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About Jessica

family

Throughout most every season of my life, people have told me I’m “kind of a private person.”

I have never, ever understood that.

I am a reflective person, and someone who chooses words and her inner circle carefully. And I have always enjoyed sharing my real stories and my real self candidly.

Even as a child and teenager I liked to write to make sense of my own thoughts. In my adult life I’ve come also to love writing to catalog my children’s funny stories as a memory book. Now, that nudge to write is my desire to put a little good back into the world out of gratitude for all God has brought us through. I want to continue to learn through the rest of the adventures He still has in store for me and our little family.

The calm and the storm

I was raised in a loving home and in the church with a beautiful understanding of a faithful walk with Jesus. As a young adult I quickly realized that faith is easy when the waters are still. It’s when the storm winds start blowing that your understanding of true faith changes. After marrying Jack at twenty-one years old, both teachers, our first adventure as parents began with a miracle baby who was born fourteen weeks early and lived for just seventeen days. That loss – and the slow tear it began in my life – changed my mind and heart forever towards God. In grief you either turn away from your faith in anger, or hold on for dear life. I clung to the only One I knew would never fail me. And Jack turned away.

Our growing family

Through our son’s story, our daughter Grace came to us through adoption just two short months later, and our son Jackson was born just over a year after that.  In the midst of all of that, we navigated two career changes, started two new businesses, raised two children under two, and undertook two moves – and our marriage was suffering. By that point we had run ourselves into the ground with lack of communication, lots of unkind behavior, absolutely no true emotional or spiritual support of one another, and schedules jam-packed with no time for rest.

The tipping point

With that final move into our beautiful new home, it all fell apart. We had each hurt the other with the deepest cuts. There were days when the only thing that held us together was a set of construction paper pictures our children had drawn and taped to the wall. They say when you’re drowning, you can’t be saved until you stop flailing. So we did. We gave up the fight against each other and learned how to fight FOR each other. Restoration is long and hard and so painful but it is possible. Jack found a true relationship with Jesus. Hearts softened and we slogged through the beginnings of grace and forgiveness, mercy and kindness.

Beauty from ashes

Close to nine months later, we shared new marriage vows in our home with our children and families, and we’re working hard every day to live our life in gratitude, humility, service, presence, and trust in God’s divine plan for our family.

What makes me tick

I’m inspired by people – their stories, their passions, their unique gifts. I love to read, write, cook, soak up Texas sunshine, work with amazing people, and run my own small business right from my home.  And my most favorite thing is to serve in our church together with Jack. Watching him coach baseball and father our littles makes my heart melt. And the perspective my children have on the world makes me readjust my thinking every single day.  After navigating the death of a child, a surprise adoption, young family life, double entrepreneurship, and a reconciled marriage, I firmly believe you can choose to see life in any lens. In our family we choose the lenses of presence and love. They’re the clearest lenses we’ve ever found.

Our day starts with coffee and the Word read aloud together in our backyard. And then the hilarity of raising small children and running small businesses ensues. Our families all live and work right here in the same not-so-little town and we feel so blessed.  We’re real, we’re messy, and we do our best to love each other well through all of it.  To learn a little more about our family, and our story, check out the posts Breaking Plates (a story about grief), Adoption Surprises (our unexpected adoption journey) and Marriage Recovery: 10 Things We Learned.

What you’ll find here

At Heartfully Present, you’ll find humble real life, true stories, and insight we all can use for cultivating more present, richly-connected lives filled with the people and priorities that matter most. Life is too short to clutter up with anything else.  I’m no life expert.  I’ve just collected some wild life experiences to share.

I’m glad you found this place. It’s my honor that you’re here.

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