Meet Jen

I may appear to be a typical suburban American mom, toting my four kids between school and activities in my minivan, prepping healthy lunches and homemade dinners every night. But look closer.

It was a warm spring evening in Abilene, Texas (2005) when I heard my calling–clearly, loudly, and undeniably. More than a decade later I still bristle at the term, but my brief forays away from that calling (and numerous mentors) have confirmed its validity. I am called to use my gifts of speaking, writing, teaching, and leading in ways that announce and usher in God’s Kingdom here on earth. This happens everywhere–from the academy to the church, to the neighborhood and the grocery store, to the interwebs and the kitchen.

In addition to these five beautiful sets of blue eyes, my other passions include writing and reading and speaking (obvi); learning about connections between diet + lifestyle + health + mental health + environment + culture + community; discovering new recipes and cooking; spending loads of time with good friends and neighbors; yoga; endlessly rearranging furniture and keeping a tidy home; and learning the ukulele.

As I journey together with Dave (who is such a perfect partner for me that our marriage has convinced me that soul mates are a real thing), we are experimenting with and learning about hospitality, parenting, healthful eating, cultivating gratitude, owning our own emotions, and embodying kindness. We are exploring how to “do church” outside of (but hopefully in addition to,) the institutional confines of an “American church.” We are mainstream in (too many) ways but trying to swim upstream in terms of how we eat (healthfully, sustainably, real, local when possible, and always as a family–sitting down at a table, no screens, actually having a conversation), how we recreate and relax (we roller skate, play games, share stories, read books, build Legos, and only watch screens sparingly), how we keep a tidy home (we do chores together, we expect our kids to pitch in, we try to teach our kids the value of not having too much stuff and passing items on with open hands).

If you’re interested in my academic credentials, here they are: Doctor of Ministry in Missional and Spiritual Formation from Lipscomb University (2015); Master of Divinity from Abilene Christian University (2006); BA Psychology from UC Davis (2001). You can find my published work here. 

Here are snippets of a chapel talk I gave to students, faculty, and staff at Pepperdine University:

Here are some clips from a talk I gave to a group of faculty, staff, and administrators at Pepperdine University where I was serving as Associate Chaplain:

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