Family Matters: Mark and Jill

Last week we introduced our kids to each other.  I thought today would be appropriate to do the same with ourselves and our spouse (if married).

Mark and I have spent much of the summer gardening, working in our yard, sitting on our porch , and reading. Outside of the Olympics, we’ve rarely had the TV on.  In fact, we’ve started spending some of our evenings just laying on the couch together reading. It’s a new habit we’re forming…and liking!

We live in a 100-year-old farmhouse we’ve been restoring for the past 15 years. It’s a perfect home for our large family. However, the state of Illinois is in the process of deciding whether they are going to put a bypass highway in our city. After years of study, they’ve determined where it will go and that happens to be right through our house!  It makes me so sad. Now the state has to determine if they have the money for the project. As long as there’s no money, our house is safe. If they find the money to construct the highway, eminent domain will require us to sell to the state. God tells us to not hang on too tightly to the things of this world…I’m putting that scripture into practice a lot these days!

I serve as the CEO of Hearts at Home, but my home is where my heart is.  One of the core values of Hearts at Home is family first. That means that most of our volunteers and employees choose the hours they work and where they work. For me, that’s always been home.  During this school year I’m doing a few days a week at the Hearts at Home office during school hours, but being home most days when the boys arrive home from school is important to me.

Mark is now working construction full-time. SawHorse Homes does “home repair and renovation from the front door to the back door.”  He loves what he does and he’s quite good at it.  SawHorse is his own business. He enjoys self-employment because he can schedule his jobs around the family’s needs.

Real life...doing dishes!

Mark and I are experiencing the truth found in Joel 2:25 that says that God will restore what the locust have eaten.  God is teaching us many lessons that are restoring and refreshing our relationship.  In time, we’ll share those lessons with you. For now, we are still learning, processing, adjusting, and healing from a hard season.

Counseling is once again a part of our marriage journey. We’ve always been firm believers in seeking help whether our marriage needs something as small as a tune-up or something as large as a major repair. We are grateful for the wise counsel of the Antioch Group in Peoria.

We celebrated our 29th anniversary in June.  A little over a week ago was the 30th anniversary of when we met on a blind date!  It’s hard to believe that it’s been that many years!

Now I want to meet you! What do you do? If you’re married, what does your husband do? Any hobbies? Where do you live?

If you are reading this in email, you can leave a comment here. Simply click and then scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on ‘comments’ to share!)


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46 thoughts on “Family Matters: Mark and Jill

  1. My husband and I got to know each other when we were both youth sponsors for our church at a CIY event in the summer of 2002. We had been acquaintances before that but I had been away at college and we hadn’t had a chance to spend time together until that event. We spent the whole week together, talking and sharing our goals and history. We grew connected quickly because we were so open about everything. We were both to leave for separate colleges in the fall but we both felt God leading us to change our plans and we ended up getting married in January of 2003. Wow! We shocked some of our friends and family with our short courtship. but we’ve been together for nearly ten years now so we must have done something right!

  2. I’m Tammy. I am a paralegal turned stay-at-home-mom of two turned homeschool teacher. My hobbies include things like sewing, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, music… basically anything creative. I am still looking for my inner housewife, you know, the one who enjoys cooking and cleaning and that kind of thing. I have a music degree, I’ve taught piano lessons off and on, and I play keyboard and sing on my church’s worship team. I’m an aspiring runner, but I’ve been battling serious shin splints for over a year. I’m hoping to get my running shoes strapped on again this fall.

    My husband, Mike, and I met 15 years ago. I remember the first time I laid eyes on him. He worked in the computer lab of our university, and he left a lasting impression. We met a few weeks later, and we’ve been together since then. He is a computer genius at a large company. We got married in 2000 and moved to Peoria, IL.

    That’s us in a nutshell. 🙂

    • Nice to meet you, Tammy! Thanks for getting us started! Oh and by the way….I’ve never found my inner housewife either–at least not the one who enjoys cooking and cleaning!

  3. My husband is Joe; we’ve been married for 7 years come this October. We met in Southern CA where we both lived at the time (8/04). We were both frustrated with dating and had both nearly given up when we each heard and advertisement on the local Chrisitan radio station for a free Christian dating website for Christians in Southern CA. We both posted a profile. It didn’t take long for Joe to contact me; however, I was a little nervous about cultivating a relationship on the computer so insisted that we not do a lot of emailing back and forth. We talked a couple of times on the phone, but due to plans we both already had, it took us over a month to actually meet for our first date. We both had dated other people off and on for awhile and never felt like we had found someone we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with… until we met each other. Within 2 weeks, we pretty much decided we wanted to make a serious go for it and started really cultivating our relationship. Where did we “date?” We discovered we lived within 5 miles of each other in the Yorba Linda/Anaheim area and both worked within a block of each other in Irvine. That was a 30-45 minute one way commute each day. We carpooled together every day and THAT was our dating! I HIGHLY recommend it for long and meaningful conversations. I was 28 by the time and he was 29. Like I mentioned, that was in 8/04. We married in 10/05.

    We knew fairly quickly (in my opinion) that we wanted to get married. But we had both come out of “toxic” relationships and wanted to make sure we were walking in wisdom (God’s). We went thru Tommy Nelson’s series on the Song of Solomon at my church. We went thru thorough premarital counseling. And even after all that, we still not only loved each other but LIKED each other, so thrilled to have finally found a true best friend in each other.

    Joe was in middle management in IT at a large corporation when he came home one day in 2009, saying he’d been laid off. They’d done away with his dept. That started a very new and difficult season for us that we are still navigating thru. The lay off resulted in us moving back to central IL (I grew up in the area). After much prayer, he began a career that we were led to believe was not 100% commission. We misunderstood something (as do most of this company’s employees it turns out). Because we were not bringing in a steady paycheck he decided to find work back in the field of IT. God helped him to find ANOTHER new job quickly. We are still trying to figure out how to make those dollars stretch (and learning hard hard lessons), but are so thankful for God’s provision.

    Joe’s constantly looking for a better paying job, while trying to glorify God in his work at his current job. I’m so proud and thankful for him. I have said it over and over… I have never met a man with more integrity. THAT was the thing that sealed the deal for me. He is passionate about the Lord, serves his wife and children, and loves serving in the body of Christ. We have laughed a lot and cried a lot together.

    I desired for a wonderful marriage, but had convinced myself because of my areas of brokeness that I’d have to settle for something less. God not only gave me a wonderful marriage, but gave me one that was MORE than I thought of dreaming of. It’s not perfect, but it’s a glorious journey that we both love.

  4. Okay, I’m not married but I want to make a couple of comments. Having known you and Mark very early in your marriage, it is an inspiration and blessing to see true Christians so dedicated to God, family and working through the tough times. And, I so appreciate the reference to Joel 2:25. Not a well-known scripture, but, a promise that I have held on to for decades. Thank you for your witness. Keep shining your light!

  5. My husband and I are looking forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary in October. We had hoped we would be in China to adopt our son, but that looks like the adoption is much farther away in the future with all the agency issues.

    My husband is a electrical engineer and works for a farming equipment company. He enjoys being outside tinkering around when at home, usually with one or more of our children following behind him. He likes to read, play games of all kinds, and play his guitar.

    I am a home engineer and a writer. I am thankful to be home for our family and the needs that come. I like the flexibility of the day now that all the kids are in school. This is a first in many years that I have not had someone home with me for at least part of the day. My degree is in human resource management and I am glad I get to practice that everyday. Some days seem more successful than others!

    We met at a church plant and were the first wedding in our church plant. We both had spouses who decided to leave the marriage for someone else. I was a single parent of two tiny girls for about 3 years. I began attending the church plant of my parents with my daughters. My husband moved into the neighborhood and began attending the church and helping with the praise band. After some time, he asked me and the girls to come feed the ducks and the rest is history.

    I learned “When God is all you have, then you will know God is all you need.” He is faithful and taught me many things. I am still learning and growing closer to Him!

    Psalm 67:1-2 is the verse we picked out when we married and is our family verse for 2012, our 10th wedding anniversary:

    “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. Selah
    That Your ways may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.”

  6. Hi! I’m Nichole and my husband’s name is Brian. We also met on a blind date 16 years ago and were married a year later. I have to say that he is truly the love of my life.
    After working and attending some college after we married, we decided to take a job on the road and the day Brian left to train, we found out we were pregnant with our first child (now 12 years old!). Quite a shock after both quitting our jobs! We worked together mapping for cable companies on the east coast until my belly was truly too big to drive our truck anymore. After our daughter was born, we brought a few people out with us to work with Brian and I had the privilege of taking care of our baby while we got sight see around the Washington DC area on the weekends, while Brian made a very good salary. On 9/11, Brian was working in DC just minutes from the Pentagon. That day changed our lives in a way we couldn’t have imagined. After 9/11, our job ended abruptly and we moved home with a baby girl, a LOT of bills, and baby #2 in my belly! Needless to say, our ideal life was over and it was several years of recovering from hitting “bottom” financially ahead of us.
    Throughout the process of re-establishing ourselves financially, we have grown to be thankful for each lesson learned. Brian learned HVAC several years ago and together we have built a very successful small business. He does the work and I get to work at home in our office and take care of things at home, which I am most grateful for.
    I finished my elementary education degree a year ago and have since realized that God’s plan for me is to support my husband and take care of my family.
    I can’t say enough how much I love my man and admire his ability to support our family and run our business. What makes it even sweeter is that he loves me just as much. We have our ups and downs, but we are so thankful for the relationship we have. We’ve had friends around us break up after several years of marriage and that makes us look at our own relationship and try even harder to keep things healthy.
    Good communication and regular, planned time alone is two of the things that keeps us going. And that’s our story!

  7. My husband, Lance, and I met first on September 7th, 2003 in our churches singles Bible study. Three weeks later we went on our first date and on the 24th we decided we were a couple. We married 7 month later to the day on April 24th 2004 and now have two beautiful sons, Logan, 5, and Levi, 2. We are an Army family. My husabnd is an Explosive K-9 handler. He loves his work and I support him 110%. He is my other half and I love that no matter the season of life, he’s at my side. I am a student finishing my BA and going for my MA, but my greatest love & job is mothering our sons. My oldest is a Kindergartner and I homeschool him. My other hobbies are traveling, cooking, and some photography – and of course this all centers around our love/service for CHRIST!

    • Quick courtships are more common that people realize. Mark and I met in August, engaged at Thanksgiving, and married the next June.

  8. My husband, James, and I have been married almost 11 years and are enjoying a new tier of intimacy in our relationship after a few years of a taxing and difficult season ourselves. He taught 5th grade in parochial school for 7 years and for the past 4 years (minus a 3 month lay-off) has been serving as a firefighter – a vocation he was totally made for! I could write a book on the amazing timing and lessons God has taught us through our dating years, early marriage, and last few years, as I am sure many of us could.

    We have three beautiful daughters, Elizabeth – 5, Moriah – 4, Madelyn – 2. I just “retired” after 11 years as a church professional so that I can stay home to educate our daughters. We’ve enrolled in Classical Conversations and are excited (as well as VERY nervous at times) about this new chapter.

    It was my first Hearts conference in March 2011 when God helped me understand my worth as a wife and mother and gave me a new dream to be a stay at home mom. I am so very thankful for His work in you, Jill, and the Hearts at Home team. God bless you as you have been a blessing!

  9. I am Tami. I am mom of 2 and wife of a wonderful man that serves and protects our schools as a school resource officer. We have been married 18 years. He also just started selling real estate on the side. We met on a blind date in high school. I was a junior and he was a senior.

    In my heart I am a stay at home mom wanna be. However, we made a terrible financial decision to build a home on my dad’s farm and my dad will in no way shape or form allow us to sell the home. So because of what we have been through I implore young newlyweds not to do what we did!!!! Save up your money and then build or buy. And live off of one income so that if you want to be physically present and actively be in your kids’ lives you can do that.

    I have been a registered nurse for 25 years and work a lot of hours. Every job I’ve ever had as a nurse has been this way, they work you to death even if you are just PRN. They guilt you into working a ton, and the full time nurses are worked so hard, that they need you and the patients need you too. And taking care of sick people is just plain lots of work and it drains out everything of your being. I love being a nurse but I have nothing left for my family when I come home. I started out on a med-surg floor for 7 years, then worked in ICU for 12 years, did telephone triage for 2 years, hospice for 2 years, and now just started as a school nurse, my first day on the job will be one week from tomorrow!!! Wish me luck! I am thankful that I can go to my son’s ballgames now and at least eat supper with my family for a change! I was making $30 an hour as a hospice nurse and now will be making $15 an hour. God is good to us even when we don’t deserve it and make stupid decisions to buy homes that are WAYYY too big. 18 months and counting until we get the thing paid off.

    My prayer is that I can help someone NOT make such a horrible decision as we did. I cannot help but think how differently things would be if we would have chosen a teeny tiny wiser, more economic home. I would have the chance to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually present for my kids’ growing up years and to be a helpmeet for my sweet wonderful husband.

    Just have to focus on the time that we do have and be thankful for my new job that will hopefully allow me to participate in their lives more. Thank God for providing even when we have been horrible stewards by building a home without saving up first.

    • Tami, would you be willing to let me share your story in a future blog post about money? You seem to have a heart to help other moms not make the same mistakes!

  10. I’m Amanda. I am married to the love of my life and best friend Ryan. I met him 3 weeks after starting my freshman year of college and we have been together ever since. We got married the summer after my sophomore year. For us it was much easier to finish school while we were married then not. We didn’t have to worry about planning how to spend time together and study while living separately. We celebrated our 13th year of marriage in June. I have a degree in elementary education and taught 1st and 2nd grade for a few years before our first born came along and I became a stay at home mom. Ryan has a degree in psychology but has never used it. He has worked with IT in schools since graduating. He is currently the director of IT for an online school. He is also starting his MBA today. We serve together in our church in helping teach the children’s church.
    I love being a stay at home mom, usually, except for washing silverware, folding socks and putting the clothes away. Those things I never enjoy. Some things I love doing include picnics, playing with my boys, spinning (wool not biking), knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing, jewelry making, and video games with my husband.

  11. Hi Jill! I’m Jen. I did the last facebook bible study with you. I live in Ottawa. I am a school bus driver and mom of three. I just took a HUGE, IMMENSE step of faith and put my youngest into Kindergarten at Wallace School (small, pre-K through 8 country school). Mandie has 20 food allergies (most life threatening) and almost that many environmental, chemical, and medication allergies – so this was a VERY difficult decision. I love to sew – clothes, bags, things for the home, quilts, etc. I have a wonderful collection of old Singer machines (1892, 1910, 1921, 1946) and one brand new 160th Anniversary Limited Edition that my sweetie got me “just because I loved it”. I also love to read, but don’t have much time for that, as I am cooking EVERYTHING from scratch with the latest additions to Mandie’s list.. By everything I mean powdered sugar, mayonnaise, bread, potato chips, etc. I am also blogging about our life, and working on a cookbook. As a family we love to read together, hike, play frisbee, visit different zoos, and cook.
    I am divorced (abusive marriage), and am currently engaged to the man of my dreams. Steve and I will wed on 5/6/13, at Matthiessen State Park. Steve is the man I dreamed of since I was a little girl, and have prayed for all my life. A few years ago God saw fit to bring him into my life and lead me out of my frightening marriage. Steve drives a school bus with me, does taxes and accounting, runs an online hobby business, flies model airplanes competetively and for fun. He and I share a love of books (our poor home is overflowing!), hiking, cooking, travel (we go to work or fly at many shows on weekends when we don’t have the kids), and the Lord. He joined my home church in the fall – after 30 years away from a church (yes, he is 10 yrs older than me), and has become an active member. Steve loves my kids as if they were his own, and joyfully parents with me and takes on the gargantuan task of being an allergy parent. I am soooo blessed!

  12. Hi Jill, I am now an empty nester (one still in college, one on her own) still navigating this stage of life. I feel like I “grew up” as a mom right along w/you and H at H. My husband and I have been married for 26 1/2 yrs.; so hard to believe. We’ve had our own ups and downs, but mostly ups. I still want to be with him more than anyone else (ok, most of the time). God is showing me how to be a better wife and and that has blessed me, as well.

    This is the first fall in 13 years that I have not had to go back to work in the public school system as a teacher’s aide. We moved here to IN from NJ and now I’m “retired,” and still navigating this new season of life. Getting up at 6:00 a.m. and walking/jogging, then reading my Bible has really helped provide structure and direction in my day. I volunteer through my church as an adult literacy tutor and other activities. Life can be very fulfilling without a paying position once you find a purpose for getting up every day. I feel happy and blessed and excited about what God has planned.

    • Diane…so glad to hear you’re navigating the empty nest so well. Thanks for sharing….that is an inspiration for others!

  13. My husband Andrew and I met at Illinois State at Tae Kwon Do Club. He was in the national guard at the time and just a few months after we started dating he was deployed to Ft. Polk, Louisiana for over a year. About a month after he got back we got engaged. We got married the following July after I graduated. We’ve been married 6 years now. I studied agriculture education and taught for a year, then substitute taught for most of year until I had my oldest daughter. I’ve gotten to be a stay-at-home-mom ever since, which is what I had always wanted. My husband works at State Farm doing computer-y things.

    We live outside of Bloomington, near Downs. Our house needs some work, so we are currently kept busy with it trying to figure out just what we want to do and in what order. My husband enjoys doing things around the house, but we have to balance that with the time it takes versus the expense of having some one come do it. He also enjoys computer programming. He likes theology, but unfortunately hasn’t had as much time to get into that as he’d like.

    I’m a stay-at-home mom to our 4 adorable daughters (4 years-4 months). I like cooking and gardening, but really don’t like to clean. I’ve gotten involved in MOPS and other mom’s groups and love being able to talk with other mom’s and set up playdates for the kids. I try to be crafty, but I find with 4 little ones at home my projects that I start don’t always get finished. 🙂

      • I go to the MOPS in Bloomington, IL at E Free. I remember you coming and speaking to our group last year when my 3rd daughter was just a few months old. I have helped work the MOPS table at Hearts at Home national conference the past 2 years.

  14. I am Leslii. I am a stay at home mom of 4 beautiful kiddos. I love to scrapbook and have recently joined the design team at . I am involved in several Bible studies at our church and love to volunteer at my children’s school. I met my husband, Norvin in March of 1998, started dating in July, became engaged Christmas of that year, and took our vows of Marriage July 31, 1999. 13 years and 4 children later, we are closer than ever. We have definitely had our ups and downs but we are trying our darnedest with the help of our pastor, to keep our marriage on the right track. Norvin is a Salesman for Crop Production Services, and we farm a few acres and raise meat goats on the side. We live 8 miles from Onarga, IL a little town in East Central, IL with our children, 1 cat, 2 dogs, and 10 goats. I wouldn’t change our life for the world!!

  15. Hi Jill,
    My husband & I celebrated our 10th anniversary this past April and are amazed how fast time flies by. We have 5 wonderful kiddos (a girl-9, & 4 boys 8, almost 7, 4 ,& 2) and we are slowly moving towards adopting a dog this fall. We were 33 when we got married. We had met each other several years before we actually started dating. God had such a great timeline/plan for us. We have discovered that our relationship continues to grow and change with the passing years. We continue to look for the help we need through prayer and the understanding of each other. It is amazing how our journey has grown with God’s grace! I am thankful for our many “likes” that we have, but have also learned to embrace our differences (not an easy task!). Your blog has been a wonderful instrument in our marriage. Thank you for all of your sharing (in each season of you life). Please know that we (a couple from Plainfield, IL) have been blessed and helped by your words! We continue to make family time a priority (dinner together, movie/game night, church, & kids activities) but are also guarding from the materialism of this world. It is hard to avoid the adult peer pressure that is out there, but we support and balance each other so well….that it makes life easier! Looking forward to the Hearts conference next year (it is my annual deposit to my emotional bank account!). Thanks again! Jill 🙂

  16. Hi Jill – I love your posts and advice. I am a former career girl turned stay-at-home-mom. Last year when my youngest went to kindy I went back to work part-time. I had prayed for God to put the perfect job in front of me when my baby started school – I started praying when he was 3! Last summer my church advertised a need for a part-time financial secretary – I am able to drop off my kids at school in the morning and I get home 10 minutes before they do – they know I work, but they don’t even miss me, and I still get to be home when they are – such a God thing!
    I met my husband in high school when we both worked for our local grocery store. We dated for a long time and didn’t live together or get married for years. He is an engineer.
    I was able to attend Hearts at Home one year when my strong-willed daughter was pushing me to the edge, and also have been blessed to have you speak at my church’s mom’s group in Peoria. You are such a blessing to so many and I am so glad that I have been able to hear you speak and to meet you in person! Keep up all of your hard work lifting up moms – in all of our seasons we need you!! You are much appreciated!

  17. Jill,
    I know the attachment that comes with working on a house to redo it and especially those old farmshouses – they just don’t make them that way anymore. So if the state gets your home, you might want to check into moving your house. It’s a big thing, but it can be done. My parents moved an old farmhouse almost 4 miles when I was a kid.
    As for my husband and I , Gary and I have been married 12 years. We had known each other for years through 4-H as friends. We went through college as friends and once he graduated and moved to Missouri from Pennsylvania, then we tried dating. Things have worked out well!!!! He is a dairy farm manager and I am a stay at home mom to our 2 boys. Both enjoy gardening – he likes veggies and I like flowers. We both enjoy woodworking and working on projects together. Although summer seemed to go along too quickly to really get some of those projects done. But we enjoy time together weather working or playing. We are a great team.

  18. I’ve loved your family series!

    My husband, Greg, and I met in college at Murray State more than 14 years ago. We’ve been married 10 years. I stay at home with our two kids and he works for himself as an attorney. We also have some rental properties, including two vacation rentals on Kentucky Lake. We live in Murray, KY, which is where Greg grew up and where we met.

    We like to play games (Settlers of Catan, cards, Scrabble), watch sports (Murray State football and basketball, Kentucky football and basketball, St. Louis Cardinals and Tennessee Titans), go on trips, and be with our friends and family.

  19. Hi, Jill! My husband, Matt, and I have been married for over four years but this months we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of when we met at ISU. We were friends for several years before dating, and next month we’re expecting our second child (our daughter, Reese, is two). Matt is a high school administrator. I have been home full-time since Reese was born and I’m finally starting to follow my long-time dream of writing as my future career. On a side note, my parents live two hours north and are experiencing the same situation with a potential highway (maybe the same one?) that would uproot them from their home. They also live in an old farmhouse and it’s where I spent the second half of my childhood. My heart aches at the thought of open road running through my old bedroom and I, too, am taking comfort in prayer and guidance from God.

  20. My husband and I just celebrated 14 years of marriage! I was a late-bloomer and didn’t get married until I was 30 (gasp!)! I met my husband one-month after writing a prayer in my journal. I told God that I wasn’t going to meet men in bars, I worked with nearly all women, and there were no prospects at my church. I pretty much told Him that if He had someone in mind for me, He was going to have to throw Him my way! I also told Him I was focusing on service for Him, work and school (I had just gone back to get my Accounting Degree!). Well, one month later, my husband-to-be hired in at my work! We were friends for a couple of years and then finally started dating. Less than a year after dating, we got married! We had actually planned on waiting another year, but then decided that was silly! When we started telling people that we were moving up the date, no one was surprised! There was even some talk about some friendly betting as to what date we would move the wedding to. Two children later (now 11 & 13), my husband is back in school to get his bachelor’s degree, and then his teaching certificate. He also works in the school system that our children attend. I just recently got laid off, my company is closing. I am trying to figure out what is next. I am truly enjoying being a stay-at-home mom and focusing more time on my blog. Unfortunately, we need the second income right now! I will enjoy it while it lasts though! Thanks for the opportunity to share my story!

  21. Hi Jill ~

    My husband Glenn and I will be married 17 years next month. We met in June on a rafting trip and were married the following September. I guess that’s a short courtship in some ways — but we were both over 30 (me being a few years more “over” than he) so didn’t want to keep our families (current and future) waiting too much longer.

    As it turned out, our “future” family consisted of only one child — a son — who is on the verge of starting 8th grade this year. We would have liked to have had more children of our own, but it just wasn’t part of God’s plan for us. After all these years of being parents of an only, we’ve talked this past year about adoption — something our son is very much for as he often says we’re not a “real” family, but honestly I don’t know if that’s enough of a motivation to keep us talking about it.

  22. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and have 3 beautiful children (William 5, Thomas 3 , and Ellie 14 months). I am a teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I actually organized a moms group here in our little town of Grayson, Kentucky. Last year was our first year. The Lord is really moving in the lives of these moms and their families. Friendships are being made. Lives are changing. The Lord is being glorified. You have been a big support to me in this journey! Thank you Jill!

    Derrick and I met in Math class when my family moved from Cincinnati to a small town in Kentucky in the middle of my senior year in 2000! I wasn’t happen about the move, but my parents kept telling me “You are a part of this family and if you don’t go, you will be missing out on a blessing”. I was miserable the first couple months we lived here, then I went on my first date with Derrick. I came home from that date to my parents sitting on the couch. I told them “Mark my words. I’m going to marry him! He is the blessing you told me I would miss out on if I didn’t move.” We both went to college at the University of Kentucky and got married after graduation in 2004. I am so grateful for God’s perfect plan and that my parents trusted Him with full faith! I could not have asked for a more loyal, faithful, loving husband!

  23. The Morgans
    We are a five member family living in the mid-west. Our favorite thing to do is spend time together. We are passionate about making our time together quality time together. Scott is a Sales Rep full time for work, I stay home to take care of our three fun and funny kids. Eric and Joel are working towards a 2nd Degree BLACK Belt in Tae Kwon Do. They both like to play music, enjoy video games, and watching and making movies. The youngest member of our family, Laura Grace, is our out-going girly performer. See my blog at for more.

  24. My husband and I met 18 years ago today! We have been married for 11 1/2 of those 18 years and have two beautiful children. There’s not enough I can say about my man. He’s an amazing guy and has always been my best friend. There is not another on this earth that I love more than him (sorry kids!). 😉 As an IT guy for a major healthcare company, he has worked very hard to make it possible for me to stay at home with our babies. Until I had the kids we worked together at the same company and it was always fun to ride to work together, eat lunch together, and ride back home together. Our co-workers would always ask, “Aren’t you two sick of each other yet?!?” and we would always say, “Not yet”.

    Hubby is an avid golfer and it’s not a sport I enjoy so that is usually what he does for his man/alone time. I am a self-taught photographer and am in the beginning stages of starting my own photography business. I love beig able to capture special moments in people’s lives; it brings me a great amount of joy.

    I love hearing your story Jill and we are blessed to be able to look to you, your family, and your marriage for inspiration, encouragement, strength, and knowledge. Thank you for all that you do.

    God bless you,