Ali Hoffman, GIVEN ’16
“I really started to understand what the feminine genius really is — that each woman has unique gifts and talents needed for such a time as this.”
Please share a little about yourself – feel free to include a fun fact!
Hello! I’m Ali Hoffman, professional doodler and tiny hand acquire-er from the Dallas, Texas area. Fun fact, I have HUGE birthmark on my left arm that my dad named “Ali Island” when I was little. I recently got a tattoo of a sailboat sailing from Ali Island!
Describe your professional work. How were you led to this? What are you passionate about?
Professionally, I was a youth minister for six years and recently transitioned into a full-time designer and creator with The Oodles Of Doodles. Whatever “job” I’m doing, I try to be led by the Holy Spirit so that I allow Him to surprise and delight me. I’m a control-freak, so by allowing Him to actually be God, in my family, in my career, and in my ministry, I’m learning to let go of the reins and totally give myself to Him in all circumstances.
What are the personal strengths that you’ve been given and how do you utilize them?
One gift I’ve been given is the gift of encouragement. I am naturally an optimistic person, but the Lord has refined this optimism into an ability to rouse and encourage those who are suffering. This optimism doesn’t come from a place where I’m looking through rose colored glasses, but rather, I have incredible hope in the Lord — that He is who He says He is and He can be trusted.
“I have incredible hope in the Lord — that He is who He says He is and He can be trusted.”
What women inspire you, and why?
Hands down, Saint Teresa of Calcutta. I’m re-reading her book, Come Be My Light, and I’m struck, once again, at her ability to have a deep-seated joy, despite external (and even internal) circumstances. The way she sees and loves people makes me want to do the same. Her spirituality of joy is something that is so deeply planted in my own heart. Another woman — MY MOMMA. She is the EPITOME of joy. She selflessly shows me to constantly give in a self-sacrificial way.
“The way she sees and loves people makes me want to do the same.”
Are there friends and mentors that you depend upon? How do they support you?
The older I get, the more important it is to me to seek out friendships that make me want to go to Heaven. I’ve really cultivated a circle of friends that champion me, encourage me, and motivate and inspire me in my particular gifts and talents. I know that when I share something exciting happening, there isn’t jealousy or comparison, but genuine encouragement in my accomplishments.
What is the best advice/encouragement you’ve received about vocational discernment?
JUST TAKE A DEEP BREATH, JESUS HAS YOU! He has a plan and no matter what you think, your life is not in Plan B.
Prayer is essential for everyone, but especially for women who are active in the life and mission of the Church. Do you have any favorite devotions or prayers?
I love reading the daily Mass readings. I read them every morning in my Magnificat, which also provides a great reflection. There’s nothing better than planting into the Word every morning and rooting myself.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“Don’t be an idiot” — changed my life.
What were your key takeaways from the 2016 GIVEN Forum?
I really started to understand what the feminine genius really is — that each woman has unique gifts and talents needed for such a time as this. I really loved seeing so many religious orders come together in this unique sisterhood and champion one another.
What was your GIVEN action plan? Describe its mission, audience, and impact.
My action plan was to host and teach a workshop for The Oodles Of Doodles. Essentially, I taught a group of mid-20 year olds how to doodle like I do, and a great way to practice doodling is by praying! By journaling or writing down Scripture, you’re able to put into muscle memory words from the Lord into your heart. It was awesome! And now I’m about to go full time into doing that!
“By journaling or writing down Scripture, you’re able to put into muscle memory words from the Lord into your heart.”