Tuesday, May 26, 2015


With Mother's Day I found myself reflective. I consider my role as a mom and about my present and future children and how they are helping God shape me into the mother He would have me be. Growing up I would consider all of the things I could be "when I grow up". My mother has always been successful in the work force, so when people would ask "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I would think about the different jobs available to me. I never was able to stay committed to any idea of a job for long. For a while I wanted to be an actress. I know there were more along the way. Marine biologist. Doctor. Artist. At one point I wanted to be a teacher. So many things interested me that I couldn't imagine spending my whole life doing one thing. But, deep down, from a young age, I knew that I wanted to get married and be a mom. I just couldn't imagine life as a woman without children. And I knew I wanted a lot of them! (No one fully believed me I think!) I don't know why I didn't think that "wife and mom" was an appropriate answer to give people. Maybe my idea of success was skewed. Maybe I just didn't know that I could fully devote my life to my family. I must not have realized that this was to be the biggest, most important role God has for me. I didn't know then that my love for children and my urgings to be a mom were from the Lord!

I considered how thankful I am for my own mom. For how she has been my biggest cheerleader in my life. How she has always been willing to drop what she's doing if I need her help. How excited she is whenever there is a new grandbaby coming! (Even if she doesn't understand why I keep having them!) How much I have seen her change and grow. I have never questioned my mom's love for me or my children. 

I considered Brian's mom and how thankful I am for her. How she raised Brian to be a faithful, loving, helpful husband. How she loves me like I am one of her own and my children like they are treasures. How her example as a wife and mom has encouraged and challenged me to grow and change.

I considered my grandmothers. How their influence in my life helped me determine who I wanted to be. For the time I was able to spend helping care for my Nana while having to watch the progression of Alzheimer's take her mind. For all the times I want to go see my Granny and ask to her about how she managed to raise 5 sons and a daughter! I can't wait for the day when death is no more! Below is one of my favorite songs right now, and my favorite lyrics of the song are "When we arrive at eternity's shore, when death is just a memory and tears are no more..." I think about my grandparents when I hear this.

As our family goes through the process to be a licensed foster family for Utah I also find myself thinking of the moms out there who have given their babies up for adoption, or have lost their children to the state. I find it hard to be hopeful that we will have children placed with us. I know that placement with our family means the children will have been through something terrible, and the moms will be hurt in ways I can't even imagine. But I know that the Lord has called us to this and I know that no matter how hard it is for us He will sustain us and grow us through the process. He will use us in the lives of these children, He will use us in the lives of the birth families, and His name will be glorified!

And, finally, I wonder what our newest baby blessing will be like. Will the baby be a boy or a girl? Will he/she look like Alex, Penny, and George, like Jack or Max, or like Sam? I know that he/she will be loved because his/her brothers (and sister, I'm sure) are totally stoked that Mommy is pregnant (again!!). 

So many thoughts in the past couple of weeks. I am thankful that God has called me to be a mom. I am thankful that He has placed the mothers around me that He has. And I am so thankful for His calling on my life, and that He is walking me step by step through.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...

Don't you know what causes that?!

You really have your hands full!

Exactly how many do you have?

You know there's a way to prevent that right?

Don't you have a TV?

You are so brave!

You FINALLY got your GIRL!!

Boy, you deserve that girl after all those BOYS!!!

Yes, these are all real comments and questions that people have said to me. Almost always in front of my children. So, to answer all of them quickly, here we go:

We do know what causes that.

Yes, my hands are full, but so is my heart!

I have 6 living children, I have had 4 miscarriages. 

We do know how to prevent them, we choose not to.

We do have a TV, we don't have cable.

I am not brave. I have faith.

I did have a precious girl, but that is not the reason that I continue to have children.

I don't deserve any of my children. Thank you Jesus for NOT giving me what I deserve!!

This is my favorite funny video to watch when I think about the ridiculous things people can say:

We choose to believe the Lord when
He says this in Psalm 127!

We choose to live by God's promises, and that includes His promise to bless us with children! We choose to believe that children are a gift and a blessing. Yes, these blessings give us a run for our money some days, but we know that if we are faithful to raise them in "the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4) that God will use our trials to grow and sanctify US into the parents and disciples He can use for His purposes and glory! 

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials
of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith
produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing...
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he
has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which
God has promised to those who love Him."
-James 1:2-4,12

We can be joyful in our trials, knowing that Jesus is
refining us, and ridding us of  ourselves!

When we become overwhelmed at our task, we remember that we are not left alone to raise godly children who want to give their lives up for Christ. If this was solely up to us we would surely fail! The thought of where my children are now spiritually in relation to where they need to be someday is too much to handle on our own! We trust that God is working in them as we point them to Him, all the while giving us much grace for the journey! We also know that He is the strength we need for this duty! 

For those of you who knew me well before our move, you know that I was the mom who loved sending my kids off to school for the day. I loved sending the kids off to Grandma's and Nana's for the weekend. I was the wife who was calling my husband everyday and saying "When will you be home??" and "I'm DONE!!" Friends, this is NOT what the Lord has for us in child-rearing. I feel confident that accepting God's gift of children into our families and then complaining about those very gifts is sinful. It is selfishness at its very core. I know that the Lord has used my children to weed out my selfishness and He has replaced it with selflessness. Do I still have my moments where I need a break? Yes!! But, I try to never make my children feel like they are a burden to me. After all, they did not ask to be born, I invited them here! To expect them to fit into my life around my other priorities is selfish. I discovered that I must change my priorities! 

I am now, through the grace of God, the mom who can't imagine being away from my kids for a full school day, or a full weekend!! I would miss them so much! Now that I have put my selfish desires to the side and am focused on my kids, I actually like them! The silliness that once got on my nerves now gives me joy! I love the young men my boys are becoming!! And I now have the focus to help focus them on things ABOVE! Thank you Jesus!!

I want to be this kind of woman!! Why?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Disclaimer notice!!


I want you to know that, first and foremost, this blog is a place for me to share my heart. I will be sharing about all of the ways our family has changed and is changing through God's work in our lives. There are going to be some posts where you may not agree with what I am saying. I am always open to discussion, and would never want my words to be a stumbling block in any of my relationships. If I say something that you don't agree with, please let's discuss. I need you all to know that I in no way think less of you if you choose differently than I do!

Some of the things I say may be challenging to you. If so I would love to hear about it! It's always nice to hear that the Holy Spirit may have used me as a tool in someone's life!

Had to get that off of my chest!

I love you all and am humbled that you would take the time to read my words...


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Through the Looking Glass

View of the Wasatch mountains from Herriman
Praise Him for the mountains!!
We moved to Herriman, UT on June 23, 2014. 9 months after we agreed that we were both feeling called to Utah. The details of our journey were completely orchestrated by God, from the Greer home selling in 3 weeks to Brian's job offering for him to stay on with them remotely! I often say that the Lord is merciful in only showing us 1 step at a time. If we were to see all the way to the end we would be overwhelmed and most likely back out. Mercifully He gives us the grace needed for each step.

As Brian says (quite often) "sanctification's hard y'all!" Our vision of what this journey would be was much different than the reality. This place is much like home, but much different as well. There are wards on every corner instead of Baptist churches. There are 3 LDS temples within view of my neighborhood. I am surrounded by people who believe they are Christians but couldn't be farther from the truth of the gospel. Our ideas of living in community were maybe too lofty and unrealistic. On one hand we have never been this close and open with a group of people. On the other hand relationships still feel distant and sometimes forced.

Brian and I at the top of Ensign Peak,
overlooking downtown SLC
#6 =)
The Lord has been faithful to bring our family closer together. Coming together for such a difficult task has bonded us in a way I didn't dream possible. We love and respect each other more now that we see what each other is willing to do out of love for our God. It was a rocky start when we first arrived but praise God He is faithful! He opened our eyes to the discipline needs in us and our children. We followed His guiding and our children are so much different now! It pains me to hear moms speak of their children like they are a nuisance! Our children are "a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" ~Psalm 127:3-5
#1-5 =)
Our "quiver"
We are currently living out here, trying to love on our neighbors and live out the call to take up our cross daily. It is not easy, but the Lord never said that it would be. He said "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33

Monday, April 28, 2014

Our Family!
This blog will be to show our journey of following God as He leads us to serve Him in Utah. Here is a quick about us:

This is me (Jenn) and my husband, Brian. I am holding #6 and we are standing in front of the house we sold in Greer. We met in Sept 1998 and were married in Aug 1999. We have been blessed by the Lord with our 6 (!!!) children!

From oldest to youngest:
#1, 13, 7th grade - He loves being the biggest brother (mostly)!
#2, 11, 6th grade - He is so loving and will make a great Dad one day!
#3, 9, 3rd grade - He is a character! His personality is happy-go-lucky and he just rolls with it!
#4, 6, 1st grade - He loves his family and is very loving to all of us!
#5, 3 - He is amazing! He loves his brothers and is trying hard to be just like them!
#6, 14 months - She is the only girl in our Y-chromosome-filled world! In an effort to keep her girly she wears lots of bows and pink!!

I hope this serves to introduce everyone. Soon I will post about our journey up to this point!