Meet Jenna --- truly one of the most beautiful people from the outside, in. She is kind, gracious, loving + strong. Jenna brings a light wherever she goes. She's a loyal friend, mother of her dear Jack + wife to her late husband Chase. We all hope you have a 'Jenna' in your life --- because she makes life that much better. Follow along on Jenna's journey on Instagram @jackandjennablog or check out her darling shop --- Munchies Baby. Thanks for being part of our #THEHATSWEWEAR series Jenna, we ADORE you.
What are the roles or hats you lead in your life?
The hats that lead my life are wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, business owner, friend and Lyme Disease survivor and advocate.
Which hat do you find most rewarding?
The hats I find most rewarding are being a Mother and friend. Sometimes it can be a constant juggling act and I think it's important to wear one hat at a time.
Being a Mother has brought me the most joy that I've ever experienced. Though it's hard at times, it has greatly blessed my life and I've learned what's most important in this life, which is making our loved ones a priority. I also wear my friend hat with pride. This is a hat of compassion, empathy, love, kindness and being a good listener. I've been blessed with some of the greatest friends a girl could ask for, so wearing this hat has been easy to wear.
What hats do you find are most challenging and what do you do to embrace them?
The hat of sorrow has probably been the heaviest hat to wear. I became a widow at 29 years old with an 8 month old baby at the time. This hat, although the heaviest, brings with it the most growth. I've gotten better with time at wearing this hat. At first, I could only find the courage to carry it, instead of wearing it. But slowly, I've grown to know that this hat will always be apart of my life and and there are many great life lessons to learn by wearing it.
Another hat that's been challenging, is the hat of chronic illness. I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease while living in Connecticut almost 6 years ago. But with this illness I've learned compassion, hope, and the appreciation of good health. I've met many new and wonderful friends in the close-knit Lyme community and it has given me a new perspective I wouldn't have gained any other way.
What hats are least known about you?
The hat I wear that's least known about is that I'm a creature of habit. I have a hard time getting out of my comfort zone and doing things that scare me. It's something I've been working on, and this past year with my husbands passing, I've really had to learn to push through things that make me uncomfortable. I'm also a perfectionist in some areas of my life and I sometimes find myself comparing myself to others. But I'm starting to realize that we aren't meant to all wear the same hats. I'm learning to embrace what makes me unique. Finding our own talents and abilities and then wearing those hats well is what God intended us to do. As we learn to be content with His plan for us, we learn to remove a few Ill-fitting hats and spend more time wearing the hats that matter most. Busyness or the number of hats we wear doesn't equal importance. Sometimes we might think our hat isn't nearly as impressive as someone else's "crown", but we've been given the hats we're wearing for a reason.
Who or what inspires you?
My son, Late Husband, Chase, my Mom & Dad, family, and friends are who inspire me. Chase has made me want to be more open and kind to strangers like he so often was. He had the gift of making everyone feel like they were his best friend. My son, Jack, inspires me to be better in every area of my life. I want to give him an incredible and fulfilling life like my parents gave me. One of the best hats ever gifted to me were my parents. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am, and I couldn't have gotten through my darkest days without them by my side. That goes for all of my family members, near and far, and my friends who have so greatly blessed my life. I credit all of them for a majority of my growth and shaping me into the person I've become.
So hats off to all of you balancing the hats of life we've been handed. Some we've wanted, but also some we haven't wanted at all. Just remember, a well balanced hat doesn't blow off with the winds of despair. We are all in this together.