FHM turns 1 🎉🎉🎉

Wow, we’re here! One year of Flourishing Heart! I must confess, the actual birthday date is a little ambiguous, simply due to how we came about (you can read about that below), so I’ve taken the date from our first sale. One year ago today, I sat in my room absolutely ecstatic that my business had earned $20! What a party. If I remember correctly, that first sale was from one of my housemates ha! Nonetheless, $20 was a big step up from $0, so I was stoked.

In celebration of our birthday, I thought I’d share some of the journey so far – insider’s edition.


HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

As some of you would know, Flourishing Heart started as a blog when I left high school. I wanted to create a space where I could share the thoughts on my heart and encourage my friends. It wasn’t called Flourishing Heart back then…I’m a little embarrassed to tell you, but I named my blog, “Basket of Joy”. Ha! Please don’t laugh. If you want to see the slightly cringy blog website I put together when I was freshly 19, you can find it at www.basketofjoy.blogspot.com. I’m hoping you’ll agree my design skills have improved a little since then.

In January 2017 I went on a mission trip to India. I clearly remember sitting in the back of a minibus/van and God dropped the name “Flourishing Heart Ministries” into my heart. I remember thinking, ‘this is cool…have no idea what it is!’ This is a snippet from the journal entry I wrote that day, on the 18th of January 2017:

“God put the name ‘Flourishing Heart Ministries’ into my head today. My blog is called ‘Flourishing Heart’, but I feel God has something bigger planned. I don’t know what it looks like yet, but I believe that God created us all to flourish, to thrive and to be made whole…and I want to share that with others. I’m sure it will involve teen girls back in Aus, and I’m sure it will involve orphans and widows across the world. But I will continue to dream and let God drop more ideas into my heart.”

I remember at some point, soon after coming back from India, I changed the name of my blog to “Flourishing Heart Ministries”. I remember thinking, “everyone’s gonna think I’m crazy – naming a blog a “ministries”! Not even MINISTRY – single. But MINISTRIES – plural. But crazy faith seems to get me places, so I decided not to worry about what people would think.

Over the next few years while I studied at Uni and Bible College I wrote on the blog in very sporadic phases. I wrote by myself for a while, 2 friends joined me in writing for a season, I’d stop for a month, convince myself to get back into it, started an Instagram, grew it a little, deleted all the posts, abandoned the Instagram…it was a strange season as I wrestled with some of the huge dreams in my heart, but felt like I couldn’t even keep a consistent blog going.



THE MAGAZINE

Ever since I was a teenager, I remember being frustrated at magazines for women in the shops, and I had a dream to start a wholesome magazine that would bring hope and encouragement to women. You can read more about that over here. I had been thinking and dreaming about it for a long time, but it really came to the forefront of my mind after I moved out of home in 2019 and one of my housemates encouraged me to create a Dream Map to write down all the dreams in had in my heart. This concept helped me immensely and it was what sparked Dream Shop – a 3-part workshop series I created to help people find vision, purpose, and dream for their future. It’s crazy what came out on that paper in 2019 when I caught a small glimpse of what the Lord had in mind for Flourishing Heart Ministries. Things that I didn’t think were connected suddenly all seemed to fit together – and the magazine started to gain some momentum in my mind.

At the start of 2020 (right before COVID broke out in Australia), my housemates and I went on a road trip to South Island, NZ. It was on this road trip that I made the decision to run with the magazine! In our downtime and spare moments I began to write down articles I wanted, people that God put on my heart to ask to write, and let my imagination run wild on what it could be. One of my housemates (I have 4 of them, don’t get too confused!) happens to be my graphic designer. Convenient, I know. So that trip sparked conversations about the design and what it could look like. I’ll share a little more about the magazine journey on IGTV next week, but between NZ in January 2020 and the release of the magazine on December 31st, 2020, I had to overcome so many mindsets and belief systems that were not helpful or good for me.

And I believe that is one of the most beautiful things about God-sized dreams: They’re always much bigger than your current capacity – who you are right now. The end destination is wonderful, but the process and journey to the dream is actually the most important part. For it’s in the process and the journey towards those dreams where God can grow your heart and character so you can actually contain all He has for you!



HELLO 2021

So now we’re here, 14th of August 2021. The last year has been a wild ride, but Issue 01 of the Flourishing Heart Magazine: WILLOW, is in print and in the hands of many people. Issue 02 is in progress as we speak, we have a wonderful team of blog writers, 3 incredible interns, several other projects behind the scenes which we can’t wait to share with you, and many many more dreams for things to come!

It’s crazy when I think back to 2013 when I was finishing up high school and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had dreams in a little jar on my bedside table, but at this point, they did not equate with reality or what I could pick for University preferences. I ended up studying a 4-year degree in Early Childhood and Primary Teaching, and at the time I remember thinking, “I don’t want to be a primary school teacher…but for some reason I know I’m meant to be here.” More on that story on IGTV, but all that to say, I had no idea we’d be here today, celebrating 1 year of Flourishing Heart. I don’t have a business degree or anything similar. I simply follow Jesus.

God is SO good and SO kind, and this crazy business journey has taught me many things, one of which is that God can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask, think or imagine. Sometimes it involves a simple leap of faith (which at the time doesn’t feel anything at all like ‘simple’), and God does the rest.

Happy 1 year!

Tess XO


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