Hi I'm Jenny
I love to go camping, hiking, biking, exploring, rock climbing, swimming, or playing in the outdoors with my family. When I'm not outside, I love to quilt. I especially love to make quilts with my children's artwork, whether it is drawn on with fabric markers or embroidered on by me. This helps me freeze a moment in time while my children are small.
Why I am a Mormon
My parents are Mormon, so I grew up in the Church. In my teens I began to challenge and question a lot of these beliefs because I didn't want to belong to a church just because my parents did. I read the Bible and I read the Book of Mormon and I prayed. As my relationship with God grew I found I could tell when He was guiding me through my thoughts and feelings. I tried to be cognizant of my feelings so I could recognize God's direction in my life. I found that I too believed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I found the scriptures to be the word of God and I still find that when I immerse myself in them I feel better about myself and I make better choices. Why am I a member today? Because through ordinances like baptism, I have made covenants with God that I take very seriously. God has kept His part with me and I intend to keep my part with Him. I love the Lord, Jesus Christ, and my Father in Heaven. I know they devised a plan for me and my family. I am overwhelmed that Jesus came to earth to die for me to fulfill His part of that plan. His sacrifice for me makes it possible for my family and me to return and live with Him again and with all of my loved ones beyond the veil, and for that I am truly grateful. Why am I a Mormon? In part, because of gratitude. In part, because of love. And in part because of the joy and inner peace I feel from following what I've learned to be the truth.
Can you think of a specific challenge in your family that Gospel Principles helped overcome?
I have been married for 16 years to an amazing man whom I love dearly. We have five crazy children that we love to play with. Our oldest is a girl, followed by four wild boys. We have a lot of fun together and we usually enjoy each others' company. On January 1, 2008, we were on vacation when our four-year-old son, Russell, died in a sledding accident. We were stunned. We were shocked. We were beyond belief or emotion. One minute we were planning our trip home, and the next minute we were trying to figure out how to plan a funeral. When my husband, Kirk and I were in the emergency room saying good-bye to our son, we could feel the comforting presence of our Heavenly Father. Although we were consumed with sorrow, we both had the strong confirmation that this was part of our Heavenly Father's plan for our family. It is very difficult to describe how much pain we were experiencing while still feeling the assurance of our Heavenly Father's love for us. We could feel His care and concern for our tender feelings. It was almost as if He were holding us in His arms and weeping with us. It was a sacred moment for us as we let go of our little boy and literally put him in the Lord's Hand. I have had many ups and downs since that day. Honestly, I've had more downs than ups. It has been extremely hard for me to live through this loss. I've struggled with a depression that I had never experienced before. There have been many days I struggled to get out of bed, and many days I gave up and just stayed there. While I appreciate the doctors who worked so tirelessly on my son in a vain effort to save his life, the experience of watching my son die caused me to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. I had panic attacks, increased anxiety, trouble sleeping, and trouble coping with life. It was hard to be a good Mom to my kids, but I did the best I could. During that first awful year I spent a lot of times in frank conversation with my Heavenly Father. I let Him know at times how angry I was with Him, and I was surprised to still feel His love so strongly for me. I told Him how sad I was, how lonely I was for Russell. I told Heavenly Father how much it hurt, and how hard it was for me to smile. Then I stopped and I listened. I was amazed at the care and concern I felt from Him. I gained a deeper understanding of the pain my Savior must have experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. I understood, if only the tiniest portion, of how my Heavenly Father must have wept when He saw His Son dying on the cross. And then I was overwhelmed by the love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ, must have for all of us to go through all of that exquisite pain and suffering to open the way for us to return to live with them. The scriptures have seemed to come alive to me. New information from well-known stories leaps from the pages into my heart. Insights that I had never even thought of come into my mind and teach me great things. In Isaiah 61:1, the Lord promises that He is coming to "bind up the brokenhearted." and in Isaiah 61:3, He promises us "beauty for ashes" and "joy for mourning." Through the gospel of Jesus Christ and through my relationship with my Heavenly Father, I have been bound up, I have been given that beauty, and I am starting to feel that joy.
How I live my faith
My family and I are very committed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We attend church every Sunday, and serve wherever we are needed. I currently play piano for our women's group, and I am the leader of our "activity day girls" who are the ages of 8-11 years old. We meet biweekly and have fun activities that teach the girls new skills and help them to ingrain values into their every day lives. I also try to serve in the community as often as I am able to. I work in my childrens' classes and every year I make a class quilt for each of my childrens' teachers. I participate in service projects in my area, whether it be trash pick ups at the beach, or beautifying a local park. I find that my children also enjoy serving in this capacity, and serving together has helped to strengthen our family. I have found a way to incorporate my love for quilting with serving others. A few years ago, a friend of mine had a child die in a car accident. We were all devastated and sad for her and were unsure how we could ease a bit of her pain. When my friend was deciding what to do with her daughter's clothes, I offered to make a quilt with them. This turned out to be beneficial to both my friend and I. We planned and worked together on the quilt and my friend was able to share stories of her daughter with me. I learned that I could talk to someone with a great loss, and that it was o.k. if she cried. Our talks were healing for my friend and they helped me to be comfortable with these types of conversations. Looking for ways to serve helps me to be happy. I enjoy who I am when I am doing what I can to improve my surroundings. I feel closer to my Savior because I am living like He did when He lived on the earth, and I think that is the best way that I could live my faith.