Hi. I’m Jennifer. Or Jenn – I go by that too. Or MommaHatch – my kids’ friends call me that. Or Mom, Momma, MO-OM! – I answer to all of those too, unless I’m hiding somewhere, eating from my secret stash of chocolate, then I don’t answer to anything.
I have six children, ages 11 – 18. Yes, I birthed them all. No, none of them are twins. Yes, that’s a lot of being pregnant in a little bit of time. And, yes, our house is pretty much organized chaos all the time. And, all hiding away to eat chocolate notwithstanding, I actually love being the mom of these six very unique, very loud children. When I was 19 years old, a boy told me I was the most maternal person he had ever known – including his own mom! It probably says a lot about me that I treasured those words as a great compliment. I know that I was born to be a mom, and I pour myself into the job.
In addition to being a mom, I’ve had other jobs. Throughout the past twenty or so years, I have been an elementary school teacher, a youth minister, a museum tour guide, a camp counselor, a shoe saleswoman, a nanny, a homeschooler, a missionary, a magazine writer, a substitute teacher, a children’s minister, a blogger, and a speaker. I currently coordinate a program for young adults who need a second chance at finishing a high school education and I teach English in a juvenile detention home. As you can see, the common threads among all of these jobs are connecting with people, communicating, learning, teaching — these are my passions.
I love people. Whether I’m with a huge crowd of teenagers singing silly camp songs or a couple friends curled up in my living room with mugs of coffee, I am energized by being with people. Few things make me happier than good conversations, especially when lots of laughter is involved. I don’t want to brag, but I have this exceptional gift of stretching lunch with a friend into a three-hour event.
I also love words — writing and talking, reading and listening. Few things are better than a good story. Communicating is my thing. Often, I feel like an experience or a lesson isn’t totally complete until I have told someone about it. And smack in the middle of really challenging or horrifying circumstances, I almost always think ahead to the great story it will become. Hello, epic fail of a cottage on our way home from Niagara Falls! I just prayed that adventure story wouldn’t include tetanus or bed bugs!
What else do I love? Coffee, chocolate, romantic comedies, a day at the beach, sunsets that make the whole sky glow, cozy pajamas, hillsides bursting with reds and yellows in the autumn, and our small town life in this valley in southwest Virginia.
And Jesus. I love Jesus. I’ve known about Him my whole life, and I still can’t get over the whole idea that God became Man to rescue me. I am captivated by His lavish love and mercy. I am such a mess, and He knows all about it, and He still loves me. And though I spent far too many years trying to win brownie points with God (as if!) and impress all the people around me, I am slowly learning to rest in the love and grace God freely gives me. I am so drawn to Jesus’ compassion, the way He identified with the nobodies, the broken ones, the least of these – because I know my own brokenness. And so I cozy up to Jesus, hoping I can be more like Him.
I’m so glad you’ve found my little space on the Internet, and I’d love for you to tell me all about you in the comment section. Or link to your own Internet space, if you’d like. I hope you’ll join in the conversation here.