Hi I’m Jan, Mom of 7 sons and 4 daughters. I’m not Amish or Catholic (we get asked that a lot!) And Yes, we know how that works! I’m married to Todd, and together we’ve raised a tribe! I never dreamed I would have 11 children. We always knew we wanted a big family, but people told us we’d change our mind. We had 3 boys, Paul, Caleb, and Abe, then Hannah entered our world. Of course everyone said “you got your girl, (insinuating we had enough children). But God had different plans. From the beginning, we chose having children over having things. We lived on 1 income for 30 years, and I dedicated my life to mothering my brood. Todd is a Pastor which involved us moving a few times, starting in Pittsburgh, seminary in Massachusetts, back to Pittsburgh, then 7 years in Virginia and 4 years in Alberta, Canada. For the last 13 years, we’ve lived in western Pa.
My hope is that this blog is an encouragement to you who are in the throes of Mothering. Some days I know you feel like the waves are crashing over you, and you’re barely keeping your head above water. I remember many days that I felt like a failure. Some days it seemed like the biggest accomplishment was to get a shower. Other days getting a meal on the table was a bonus. But along the way, I also felt a deep joy to pour my life into my kids and my husband. After all, Jesus said the greatest among you will be your servant. What a loving example Christ is to us!
This blog is my heart. I am letting you into my front door to get to know me and my family. I hope I can get to know you as well. Because what I KNOW is that everyone has a story, and that story makes up who you are. As a fellow Mama who now is just a hair away from having an empty nest (youngest child is a Senior in High School!) I still remember the difficult days and I am here to cheer you on! Know that you have a safe space to rejoice at the good days, and to weep on the trying days, and there will be many. I will pray for you on your Mothering journey. So often I get the question, “How did you ever do it?” Well this blog seeks to answer that question. I didn’t do it, and I’m not that Mom who has it all together. Just ask my hubby or my kids about their “Hot Mess” Mama! But God gave me real help and bushels of grace along the way to do what He had called me to do: Mother a large family! I believe I am one of the richest women in the world. Not according to my bank account, but according to the privilege and joy of the relationships I have with 11 extraordinary individuals who call me Mom.