Journey with Jen: Momma Tried

I am going to let you in on a secret, I am 40 years old and I still talk to my mama every day. I still seek her opinion and approval. When I am sick, still want her to come and rub my head and seeing “Screwball” like she did when I was little... which is a lot, by the way. Make no mistake, my mom and I have been through a lot together- specifically in the last 18 months. She has taught me so much about how to be a mother as I have fumbled my way to the last 17+ years, but through the trials of the last year and a half my mother has been my cheerleader, my caretaker, my guard dog, my advocate, my shoulder to cry on, my sounding board, occasionally...a royal pain in my rear, and if I end up being half of the mom she is, my children will be so lucky.


Let me give you a little background for those of you who do not know me. I have a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and that has caused an issue called Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome- which briefly (& completely unscientificly) explained means my aorta and my superior mesenteric artery are strangling my duodenum. That means the opening from my stomach to my small intestine is constricted. For reference the passage from your stomach is about the size of a quarter. Mine is about the size of a McDonald’s straw when I am at my healthiest.

In November 2016, we found out that my “McDonald’s straw” had been flattened, so almost nothing was getting through. It was decided that I needed to get a feeding tube placed in to my small intestine. To simplify the story as much as possible, things did not go as planned. It was a comedy of errors in which I spent 27 days in the hospital and almost passed away on five separate occasions. It was intense to say the least.

What in the world does that have to do with Mother’s Day?


If you know my mom you know she spent every one of those 27 days at the hospital with me. The good, the bad, and the ugly (and trust me when I say, it got ugly!).  I doubt that I will ever be able to thank my mother in the way that she deserves, but maybe if I share a few of the things that I learned from her while we were there, everyone will understand just how much better this world is because she is in it.

15 Things I Know Because of My Mama.

Because of my mama, I know a heart is made for serving.

Because of my mama, I know that Faith is the best foundation.

Because of my mama, I know what loyalty looks like.

Because of my mama, I know that laughter is good for the soul.

Because of my mama, I know when you love someone you do not give up on them.

Because of my mama, I know that God is always with me.

Because of my mama, I know that tears can utter prayers when you cannot find the words.

Because of my mama, I know that a woman should know what is right, what she wants, and stand up for it even if it is not the popular thing. 

Because of my mama, I know that farts are always funny.

Because of my mama, I know the value of keeping traditions alive even when those who started them are long gone.

Because of my mama, I know that family is important and it is worth the effort to stay close because there will be times when you look around and they are all you have.

Because of my mama, I know that a mother’s job is never done... even when your baby is in her 40’s.

Because of my mama, I know that fun can be had in any situation because your attitude determines the atmosphere, not your setting.

Because of my mama, I know to never buy the cheap shoes.

Because of my mama, I know that I am loved- unconditionally.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there, especially to mine. May you be celebrated not just on this one day, but throughout the year. 

Jenn IMG_1265.JPG

Hi. I'm Jen-

a small town, Oklahoma girl married to a superhero. Together, we are raising a family on second chances, shiplap, and a shoestring.

I am a firm believer in grace, organization, and efficiency. I find great satisfaction in taking broken items and giving them new life, likely because that is exactly what God did for me.

I over use the word shine, exclamation points, and emojis. I cheer too loud in the stands of my kids’ activities and hug more than is socially acceptable. A natural born encourager and armchair warrior, I am learning to redefine my mission field and make the most of each day I am given.

I am chronically ill and chronically positive- not necessarily in that order. I am learning to practice perseverance over perfection and long for the day I get to see my grandparents and Jesus’ face.

Until then, I am just looking for Grace in the Grind


Thank you to our incredible sponsors!