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May 18, 2016

Marked By Contentment

image1 (3)Don’t forget about the giveaway to help remind the winner how God is faithfully at work, creating a masterpiece out of YOU. Here are the ways to earn entries:

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  3. Comment below what your life is “Marked By,” or something that intimidates you when attempting to design your home.
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sunset-1207326_1280I met Jessica through a writing workshop this Spring. I was so blessed to have her in my critique group and we have continued a friendship since then. From afar, she is kind, encouraging, diligent and fun. I can’t wait to meet her in person! Without further ado, here’s Jess.

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JessicaJonesphotoTell us a little bit about yourself!

Hey there! My name is Jessica Jones. I’m married to my best friend, Travis, of ten years, a mama to my sweethearts, Anna and Theo, and a daughter of the one true King. We are missionaries living in the inner city of Charlotte, residing in a neighborhood made up primarily of refugees from Nepal and Burma. We use the sport of soccer to build relationships and make disciples of Christ. In what little free time I have I take care of myself by writing with a cup of reheated coffee and chocolate by my side and taking advantage of the free childcare at the YMCA.

Tell us about your work!

I don’t have a paying job but I partner with my husband in ministry—his name is on the payroll. I’m working behind the scenes, supporting him wherever he needs help, connecting with supporters, writing thank you cards, keeping tabs on the calendar, etc. I’m more of his personal assistant. I also lead a bible study once a week for the girls in our neighborhood and mentor the women interns on our staff. I absolutely love what I do. My husband and I have always worked together and we do it well. I don’t take that for granted.

I love meeting new girls in our neighborhood and sharing Jesus with them. The way their eyes light up when they hear how much their creator loves them brings me so much joy and confirms we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be.

What are your hobbies and passions?

I’m sort of a serial hobbyist. I love being creative and finding new ways to occupy my free time. I love to sew (I’ve sold on Etsy but that lasted all of two months), I enjoy researching and implementing home-schooling approaches for my kids who are still too young to be in school, and the hobby I’m most passionate about is writing. I write to remember, I write to share stories, I write to process all the scrambled thoughts swirling through my head, and I write because I can’t articulately say what I want to say vocally. I also enjoy working out at the Y (again, mostly for the free childcare), watching movies with my husband, and singing along to Disney songs with my daughter.

I write to remember, I write to share stories, I write to process all the scrambled thoughts swirling through my head, and I write because I can’t articulately say what I want to say vocally.

Tell us about your story of faith.

I grew up with my dad taking my siblings and me to church. My mom was adamant about not attending so it was always a “thing” we did with my dad. He tried to live out his faith in our home but with a mom who wholeheartedly disagrees it can be confusing for a growing girl to know which parent is in the right.

I lived by my dad’s Christian rules, I knew right from wrong and I had a fairly strong conscious, but it wasn’t until the summer going into my senior year of high school that Christ revealed himself to me and he changed my life. I was dating my now husband at the time, and I began attending his church’s youth group our junior year. On the outside it looked like we were the perfect Christian high school couple but we weren’t really living like we were walking with Christ.

That summer we went with his youth group to a youth conference. As the worship band played I noticed a group of teenagers in the front row of the auditorium praising and singing to God. Their hands were raised with passion, and immediately I was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit. I turned to my boyfriend and said, “I want whatever they have.”

My life took a complete 180 degrees, and so did my boyfriend’s. We became different people, filled with the Holy Spirit. We fell in love with Jesus and couldn’t get enough of him. I was overjoyed to tell my dad the One who he tried to get me to know all those years before finally found me too.

We fell in love with Jesus and couldn’t get enough of him.

Describe a typical Tuesday!

My kids are always up way earlier than I’d like to be. I’m not a morning person so if I could sleep in until 8 am every day I wouldn’t need coffee. But alas, the kids are up around 6:30-7, and we stumble down the steps for breakfast. We usually hang out for a bit, I let the kids play while I read my bible, catch up on social media, and talk with my husband before he gets ready for work.

Of course this never turns out as lovely as I make it sound. Usually the kids are fighting over some toy or Anna needs more orange juice or Theo needs his nose wiped and I have to move from my comfy spot on the couch to get a tissue. I then get the kids and I ready to go to our church’s ladies bible study—my favorite part of Tuesdays. If we end up missing that morning due to illness it really gets me down.

Lunch and naps for both kids after that. I usually spend their naptime taking a shower, tidying the house, maybe throwing in a load of laundry, running the dishwasher, starting the crockpot if we’re doing a crockpot meal that night, and if nothing else is pressing, I’ll get to sit down and write. I love Tuesday evenings because it’s one of the only evenings during the week where we don’t have anything going on. My husband and I will usually try to schedule a babysitter so we can go out or we have a date night in with a movie and popcorn and a tall glass of red wine.

If you could have coffee with one of our readers, what wisdom would you share?

Stay away from Google! I’ve learned a lot from turning to Google but I’ve also wasted too many hours searching when I should’ve just been using my instincts to “diagnose” a particular issue with my kids. By the time I’m done researching, most of the time I’ll end up with the same answer Google suggests if I would’ve just prayed and gone with my gut.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Oatmeal with sliced banana, brown sugar, and almond milk, with orange juice to drink and coffee throughout the morning.

What is your least favorite thing about humanity?

The comparison game

How honest are you?

Pretty honest. I’m not very good at telling a lie. But because I hate conflict and strive for harmony in all my relationships, I may bend the truth in order to make the other person not feel bad or make it awkward.

Finish this sentence with one word – “My life is marked by ________.”

Contentment. This is something I try to live by every day. It’s easy to look at those around us and covet what they have but I’m finding more joy when I look upon my own life and count the blessings God has given me. As I thank God He brings me to contentment.

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JessicaJonesphotoJessica is a wife, mother, and Jesus lover. She lives with her little family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they are missionaries living in a neighborhood made up primarily of refugees and immigrants, using the sport of soccer to build relationships and disciple young men and women. When Jessica’s not busy supporting her husband and taking care of her three year old daughter and one year old son (so, like never), she enjoys writing while sipping reheated coffee. You can find her sporadic writings on parenting and her family’s experiences living among the nations on her blog, jesswriteshere.com.

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