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Hi I'm Janel

I was raised in the Hoosier state, where I met my Canadian scientist husband while attending college. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born to converts of the church, making me first generation Mormon. I met and married my husband while working toward an education degree at college. We welcomed our first child into the world just before I was scheduled to begin student teaching. It didn't take long to figure out that HE was my job, my calling. So I switched my college major to Spanish and graduated as quickly as I could, thus embarking upon the most important teaching position on earth... mother. Four more children followed over the years while I supported my husband through graduate school. We have lived in multiple states from Maryland to California, finally settling down in my home state of Indiana. Nothing could have prepared me sufficiently for motherhood. It is more than a full-time job with emotional hills and valleys at every turn of the path. It is a sacrifice, to be sure. Not only personally, but financially. But it has brought far more blessings than hardship. (There's nothing quite like sharing a car with your spouse to give you plenty of time to chat it up!) When I'm not busy helping kids with homework or driving them to practice, I love to pencil in some time for developing my own talents. I enjoy reading, quilting, blogging, writing, decorating, and checking up on friends. Life is just that much sweeter when you can use your talents to lift another.

Why I am a Mormon

Although I was "born under the covenant", meaning that my parents were already members, there was still a very personal conversion process. Each of us must make that decision for ourselves at some point in our lives. Mine came when I was seventeen. As a senior in high school, I studies abroad to Mexico. Away from my parents and family for the first time, I was free to choose my own path. I decided to use that time to "try out" the church. I read the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, every morning. I said morning and evening prayers and asked God to help me know if it was true. I also attended the local congregation, walking the distance to and from the building by myself each week. Throughout the study abroad program, I watched some struggle with homesickness while others openly broke the rules or fell behind in their studies. But I grew stronger each day. My language skills improved, the work load became manageable, and I felt at peace. When I finally knelt down and asked God of the Book of Mormon was true and if he had restored the Gospel to the church, I received a wash of comfort and joy. There was no denying it. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that it has, once again, been restored to the church. I know that a modern prophet leads and guides us according to God's will, that he actually communicates with Him and receives inspiration for our well-being and spiritual growth... just as they did thousands of years ago when ancient prophets led their people under God's divine supervision. I know this because I can't deny the fruits of what I've seen. I know God, my loving Heavenly Father, hears and answers my prayers because he cares about me. Me. Individually. As his daughter. I have been baptized and covenanted to always remember Him and to keep his commandments. And I will spend the rest of my days proving myself worthy of the love he gives so freely. Because it makes me happy. I am a better person for having the Gospel in my life.

How I live my faith

At church, I have been privileged to serve with the youth, specifically the young women ages 12 to 18. Much of my time is spent considering the needs of each of these girls and planning activities and lessons that will help them not only cope, but thrive in today's world. I have also recently begun an advice blog. Sometimes it's nice to get insights from an uninvolved third party. I particularly depend on my understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ as I ponder a possible solution to an individuals problem. More often than not, I find that the most significant factor is their attitude toward the situation. If they can keep an eternal perspective of what is important (such a family relationships, integrity, and love), the solutions are easier to find. In the evening, while my husband watches the latest sporting event on television, I typically sit by his side on the sofa with a craft project in my lap. My favorite project is for the local hospital. Many of the infants born in this low-income area go to their home for the first time with little more than the diaper they are wearing. Last year I crocheted hundreds of newborn and preemie hats and donated them to the hospital. I was also able to organize a donation of baby care items such as receiving blankets, onesies, and burp cloths through the women's organization at church. It was a deliciously rewarding experience that I still continue in my spare time.