Hi I'm Jen
I have my bachelor's degree in English. Some of my favorite books are Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and Great Expectations, as well as newer books like The Help and The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie Society. I am also a published author. I am a stay at home mom and love what I do. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs out there! My life is constantly interrupted with children needing a drink, a snack, a bandaid or a push on the swing. Dishes are never ending, as well as the crumbs on the floor. Organizing my home is a constant need, but it gives me the opportunity to be creative. Last summer I designed shelves with doors in my built-in entertainment niche. What once had been a large empty hole in our family room now houses many puzzles, games, and toys for the kids. And I designed, built, painted, and installed it all myself! It was so fun! (My parents helped in the process and with the kids--so thankful for them!) I love to bake cookies, cinnamin rolls, and other delicious desserts. First time I made my twin's cinnamin rolls, I ate them for 4 meals straight in a row...they were delicious! Not a day goes by that I don't have sweets! A friend and I organized a team sports group for our neighborhood, and we are now in our fourth season! It only costs $12 per child but runs as long as a normal season. All practices and games are in our neighborhood at the same time each week...love it! It's simple and easy for parents!
Why I am a Mormon
I love being a Mormon! I was born and raised in the church, but what has kept me here all these years is an absolute knowledge that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Of this I have no doubt! I served a mission in Brazil for 1 1/2 years, and I am so grateful to have had that opportunity. My knowledge and understanding of the gospel grew immensely, as well as my testimony of it's truthfulness. Now I am a wife and mom with children to teach. The gospel gives me the tools I need to deal with life's challenges that are thrown at me each day. I am so thankful to be able to attend church each week, where lessons are taught that help me be a better wife, mother, as well as friend. It helps and supports me in everything I do. I have friends that hold the same values and give me ideas on how to deal with my challenges. My faith and knowledge of the Savior gives me an eternal perspective that helps me make better decisions each day, because little things do make a difference! One thing I love about the church is how well organized it is, which is how the Lord's church should be! Each week you receive the same lesson whether you are in Maryland or Arizona. When on vacation, you can walk into any LDS church and know exactly what to expect, as well as that you will feel completely comfortable and welcomed. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the greatest blessing in my life! It keeps me grounded in knowing where my priorities should be each day! We are regularly reminded of the basics that we need to do to stay rooted in the gospel, such as daily personal scripture study and prayer, family scripture study, family prayer, and weekly lessons as a family. These constant reminders of the basics keep it simple--make a habit of these things, and your life is grounded, so that when the tough times come, your foundation is on the rock of our Savior. As it says in the Book of Mormon, if that is your foundation, you cannot fail.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
Rarely does a day go by that I don't read from the Book of Mormon--I am so thankful for this book of scripture, for that is absolutely what it is! The doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are clearly taught in the Book of Mormon. But besides understanding the basic principles of the gospel better, reading from the Book of Mormon has absolutely been my foundation, along with personal daily prayers. I know that those two things together is what has anchored me when not only truly tough times come, but just the small daily things that happen in the typical life of a mom with young kids. For a long time I read the Book of Mormon each night before bed, but as I've had more children and life is a little tougher, I have found a significant difference in my life if I start my day reading the Book of Mormon instead of just ending my day that way. I get more out of my reading because I am not exhausted from my day--it is truly my anchor through the day! Life is crazy sometimes, but the Book of Mormon has brought into my life a calming influence, the influence of the Holy Ghost, that helps me not freak out when my son punches yet another hole through a wall. Life is supposed to have hard times--this is a learning experience, after all--but I believe the Book of Mormon to be the key ingredient along with prayer that keeps me level-headed through the small and not-so-small trials that I have each day. I know that the Spirit of the Book of Mormon has truly changed my life for the better.
How I live my faith
I work in the women's organization in the church, making sure the teacher is prepared each Sunday for the lesson she will teach to the women, as well as doing any other thing the President of the women's organization, called Relief Society, might need me to do. I also have three gals that I visit with each month to make sure that they are doing well. I, with another woman, am a visiting teacher to them. Another organizational aspect about the church that I love! Each woman is given two visiting teachers who contacts them each month. If a need arises, such as someone getting sick or a new baby is born, that woman's visiting teachers are contacted to help take care of those needs. Such a great way to make sure we are all taken care of! One of my personal mottos is to simplify! I don't believe in packing so much on my plate that I am stressed out, because if I am stressed out, I'm not a nice mom or wife. So I try to keep it simple. I want to have time to do a puzzle with my daughter or pitch a ball to a son. Simplify--it's a great thing! The other simple but daily thing that I do is read my personal scriptures and say personal prayers each morning. Those things help me stay sain and grounded throughout the day as everyday challenges get thrown at me. I am so thankful that we have scriptures, the way that God speaks to us individually! I also know that Heavenly Father is fully aware of me as a person, that He loves me, and that He cares about the things that matter to me. I have seen my prayers answered time and again. I know He knows and loves each of His children.