Today’s What’s Your Story? Wednesday features a very special person: Jessica Hall. Growing up at the same church, I knew of Jess, but it wasn’t until almost 15 years later when we moved to Huntington Beach and began attending ROCKHARBOR Church, that our paths divinely intersected. What I love about this red-headed gal is the way she thinks about others, about who God is shaping her into, and about what brings her joy and “fills up her cup.”
In her words, this is Jess’ story:
Life is a daring adventure or nothing. ~ Helen Keller
“I sit with my cup of bliss and reminisce about the times when I truly embraced these profound words from Helen Keller. Living in Burundi, Africa for 10 months in 1999/2000 definitely fits into this category of “daring adventure”. I was an English teacher to 15 adults, primarily men, at a brand new school of Theology. I lived alone on the small and primitive campus in the capital city of a war-torn country. Yes, I heard some gunfire shots echoing from somewhere “up country” from my bed at night the first week in my humble apartment. Yes, I was a million miles away from my family. Yes, my pale skin and crimson locks made me as visible as a single gold fish swimming throughout a fishbowl of darker toned fish. But, yes, I felt like I was where I was meant to be – in the center of God’s will. He had designed this adventure for me and He gave me the strength and the courage to embark on it.
Now, 13 years later, He has me on a totally different adventure. One that is often times filled with just as many fears as I faced in Burundi. One that makes me feel like I’m alone or different from the other people navigating through this same journey. One that is many times just as foreign to me as the country of Burundi. One that makes me get down on my knees and pray with the same intensity as I did as that young English teacher. An adventure I have committed to for life—in sickness and in health, in poverty or in riches, in mounds of laundry and poopy diapers or in hilltop high moments of sweet snuggles, laughter, and kisses —MOTHERHOOD. I need to remind myself daily, sometimes hourly, that He has created me for this adventure. He wants me to be brave and blaze a trail boldly in HIS name for me and my family so that others may see HIM at work through me. WOW. A daring adventure indeed!
Some random facts from this ‘caffeinated dreamer?’ Yes, that is my email address. I love God and try to see Him at work all around me every day, in the joyful and difficult times. I have an awesome hubby, Kevin, and two beautiful little girls, Stella Maran (2 ½ years) & Zoey Wynema (3 ½ months.) We live in Huntington Beach. I love Starbucks, Coffee Bean, & Kean coffee. And, I love free gift cards to any of these spots. I love fashion, decorating, gift giving (including wrapping the gifts and making personal cards), jogging by the beach, reading, writing, eating Del Taco (it’s a huge bonus that my man is an Area Director for the company), music & singing (yes, I am already “grooming” Stella for musical theater), and artistic creativity. I dream of visiting France and Italy with Kevin someday. I dream of my hubby and girls being able to meet my mom in heaven one day because they haven’t met her yet. I dream of making a living as a writer. And, I dream of eating cheesecake to my heart’s content without gaining weight.
My hubby and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on February 3rd.
Music is special to both of us and plays (pun intended) a special rhythm in our romance. He was “the new bass player” in a mutual friend’s band. I was a single girl who liked going to this band’s gigs…and, had a thing for musicians. Amidst the smoke and beer-stained walls of dive bars, cupid—and more importantly, God—showed up.
So for our anniversary, I had an inspired window made with the lyrics from Queen song “My Best Friend” that we walked up the aisle to after we said our “I do’s”.
These words ring true in our relationship. Kevin is my best friend. He’s the one I want to tell it all to. He’s the one I want to run to most to laugh with, cry with, or just be held. We can be silly or serious together. We have experienced family weddings, deaths, divorces, and births within the five years. He holds my heart in a way that no one else ever can. Or ever will. I love him passionately. I love the life we are creating together with God leading us each step of the way. The steps are sometimes scary, sad, exciting, joyful, repetitive, and new. But, we are always taking them together.”
Jess, thank you for your beautiful story and for living each day as a daring adventure!