About Me

This blog used to be titled “Journey to Jen,” but my family gave me so much grief about this sounding cheesy that I dropped the “journey to” and just added my married name 🙂 I do, however, think of my life as a journey, with every place, work, and encounter/relationship that I open myself to moving me closer and closer to being who I am meant to be: a human being open to God as Creator&Lover of all and open to all God’s creation–including every fellow human.

Major points/movements of this journey have included marriage (nearly 30 years now and counting); middle-school/high-school/early-college-teaching; motherhood (to my four “permanent” kids as well as a few others along the way); pastoral work; formal studies in literature /  education / theology / pastoral care and fun “study” that simply means I try to read widely; writing / editing (both for others and for myself); and hospital chaplaincy. I currently work as a chaplain in a large hospital in Chicago, and though I write “work as,” chaplaincy has come to me to mean a way of life, a way of being in the world that impacts me far beyond the hospital walls.

I live with my husband, our three teenage kids who have not yet left the nest, a housemate/friend, and two nutty dogs in the Austin neighborhood on the Westside of Chicago (Westside is Best Side!!!!). A few others, including my college-age daughter and college-age niece, wander in and out. (In this pandemic time, of course, the in-and-out has had to considerably lessen.) My interests include pastoral care (particularly for people living in vulnerable areas/situations and people who have experienced trauma), story and its healing possibilities, and community building. My hobbies are walking (in ALL kinds of weather), writing, reading, yoga, sourdough bread making, and knitting (nothing too complicated).

I think of my blog as my “life-notes,” which means it doesn’t get a whole lot of attention when my life is extra busy. I’ve been using it as a place to record/dump my wrestlings/wonderings for a number of years now, so it is certainly a reflection of my journey. Currently (March 2021) it’s mostly the place where I plop my attempts at poetry 🙂

Glad our journeys intersected here for even a little bit!

Jen

7 thoughts on “About Me

  1. So great to be able to still keep up with you through the blog… I miss the family terribly 😦 You are part of what made my experience at Sterling something so special. Please email me when you get a chance so we can catch up! I’d love to hear from you. My email is diostebendiga91@gmail.com

    Laura

  2. Hi, Jen-
    It’s great to read your blog and–makes it easier despite the fact that you have moved. Deirdre still misses Emily.
    Valorie

  3. Dear Jen,

    I am sorry I could not make it today because I felt sick from a fever. I think it is my new seasonal or spring fever that I haven’t had in South Korea. I texted my friend teaching in next class to your class around 9 am, but I am not sure if she received my text.

    It was very good assisting you last class.

    YoungEun

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