Quote ideas 25 characters or less Trust Him brave brave & kind live in hope I have everything I need extend grace love always wins true love is a big deal choose happy blessed protect your peace trust your story namaste angels will bear you up seek shine radiate joy practice gratitude listen there you […]

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  Operation Serve to Heal is simply a service initiative. We hold ours during a time that is most healing for us. Would you like to host your own Operation Serve to Heal? We would love to support you and join with you. Please feel welcome to create your own day of service. Let us […]

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If you are wondering what Operation Serve to Heal is all about you can find all the general information here This year, because we have a few extra days,  we wanted to do some things that would be more like a service project, and not only random acts of kindness. I wanted to let you know about […]

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Beauty For Ashes This quote comes from one of my most favorite and comforting scriptures ever. Isaiah 61 – This little painting is one of my new favorites. I’m keeping her. She’s going in my room. Isaiah is speaking about some of the things Christ will do. “he hath sent me to bind up the […]

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  • Annie Bambrough - Im from Riverdale, Utah now I live in West Haven. I just came acrossd your about May 1st post. I want to follow your blog, and page. I love the “Beauty in Ashes” quote. Your story touched my heart, I can see your strength and joy. I also see your pain. What a beautiful women and strong example you are to your girls and many of us.ReplyCancel

  I’ve had these exact words on a giant chalk board in my room for the past five years. TRUST HIM.  You can do this.  p.s. You ARE doing this. I needed to read them every morning and I needed to read them every night. Half the time I was bawling when I read them, […]

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Love Always Wins {my widow motto}   Something in her eyes told you she had known unimaginable loss… but those eyes also told you she has known unimaginable love. Overwhelmingly beautiful, empowering love. and love is bigger than loss. LOVE Always WINS. always I wrote these words sometime in the first year after Brad died. […]

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THANK YOU!!! Thank you for spreading the word about Operation Serve to Heal. Thank you for joining in. Thank you for your kind words on social media and for your love and support. I wanted to give people the option of joining us on this day for a few reasons. First, I wanted my little […]

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Join us May 1st for  Operation Serve To Heal May 1st will mark 7 years since losing Brad.   Last year we added some small acts of service to what we normally do on this day {you can read more about that here} We found that something special happened when we focused on serving others […]

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Tomorrow is my amazing sister’s birthday. I’ve been wanting to write about her for a while – and this week seemed like a fitting time. Last August I had just started painting (or, more accurately, started daring to tell people that I was holed up in my basement playing with paint.) I told her that I was […]

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May 1st is my least favorite day. This year I wanted to be a little more prepared.  I can always feel it coming and I struggle  for weeks before. This year was a little different. Tyler had been out on her mission about 6 weeks. We were all still adjusting to her being gone and […]

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May 1st is my least favorite day. This year I wanted to be a little more prepared.  I can always feel it coming and I struggle  for weeks before. This year was a little different. Tyler had been out on her mission about 6 weeks. We were all still adjusting to her being gone and […]

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May 1st 2008 was the day we lost Brad.  Every year, the month or so leading up to May 1st is just really difficult for me.  I can feel it sneaking up when spring starts to come.  I can’t stop my mind from revisiting every last experience we had with Brad…  It’s emotionally exhausting. In […]

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Six years. Instead of focusing on the sad…. or the loss. Focus on the LOVE.  Because no time, no distance, nothing exhists in the world that can change OUR love. It’s mine and Brad’s. And it’s still growing and we are both actively still giving and receiving that love. It is part of my physical […]

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New Year. I’ve been looking back over 2013 and realizing a few things. 2013 was a big year for our little family. We had lots of changes. {most of which I was dreading} I remember at this time last year being overwhelmed even thinking about everything that would happen this year. Ty would graduate and […]

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New Year. I’ve been looking back over 2013 and realizing a few things. 2013 was a big year for our little family. We had lots of changes. {most of which I was dreading} I remember at this time last year being overwhelmed even thinking about everything that would happen this year. Ty would graduate and […]

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  • Kalani - You are an artist in so many ways and words are definitley one of them! This was beautiful! love you! 🙂ReplyCancel

Today marks 5 1/2 years since Brad’s death. It’s interesting how the passage of time changes things.{and how it doesn’t} I remember having a physical “flinch” on every 1st of every month. Another month without Brad. I was always counting. Hours, days, months.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I’m counting years now. I remember […]

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  • Chad and Tara - Found your blog through American Widow Project. I am only 11 weeks into this journey, but am grateful for these words of wisdom. And ever grateful that the love I have for my husband can exist without the pain. Thank you for writing this.

    (PS, I am also in UT!)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - You are in Utah! Where? (there aren't many military widows in Utah as far as I know.) I am so sorry for your loss. Wow, 11 weeks – I don't know that I could string a sentence together at that point. I'm so glad that you found the AWP. I think they are great. It has been good for me to be able to learn from them. I would love to have your email. (if you wouldn't mind sharing.) Mine is jenrfunk@comcast.net – I would love it if you would send me a message so we could keep in touch.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage —pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically,  to say “no” to other things.  And the way you do that is by  having a bigger “yes” burning inside.   Stephen R. Covey About 4 years ago I went to a Time Out for women. I remember listening to a […]

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  • Mande Opheikens - I love this post! Absolutely love this post! And I'm so proud of you for following your dreams to become an artist! Where can I place an order!? No seriously…..I'm dying to have one of these hanging on my walls. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Mande you are so sweet! Most of the ones from the pictures are sold… so I need to get to work! (yay!) I'm working on an Etsy store…. I'll let you know when that is up.ReplyCancel

  • Janine - Wow!! Your art is beautiful! And you are so right. Creating has a way of reaching down deep into our souls. My theory is it is because God is so creative and we are made in His image. Art is important stuff. So glad you found it. And I look forward to seeing your Etsy store too!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - I need the "You are my sunshine" one IMMEDIATELY!!!ReplyCancel

  • Shawna - I am looking for my "ah-ha" moment with art. I started about 6 months ago. Still haven't found my "thing"…. Your art is amazing and I have been blessed by your story. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Parkside View - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

  • Parkside View - "'I told them, "Someday I'm going to be an artist.'"

    I think that is so interesting that you said that. For all I know, you have always been an artist. As long as I've known you, you have created beautiful things. I'm glad you feel comfortable with assuming the title. It is definitely meant to be yours.

    Thank you for making me consider what my personal "Yes" might be. Perhaps someday soon I will feel brave enough to share it out loud as well.

    As always, you continue to inspire me…but I guess that should come as no surprise, for that's what artists do. They inspire others.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Love you Amber 🙂 It's scary to say that new yes out loud – but it's also a really good feeling to let it out. I'm excited to see what yours isReplyCancel

  • Jen - Thank you Shawna. It took me a long time to find my thing – and i still feel like it's evolving… thank you for reading.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - I completely agree with that Janine! I always fill like i am fulfilling some innate desire when I get to create something. Thank you for reading 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kalani - My uber talented wonderful sister you are amazing and have always been an artist in my mind 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I just ran across your blog and it is exactly what I needed to hear. I have 3 children, one 17 and getting ready to leave for college and go on a mission. My youngest 10. Last year I had a stillborn baby after years of trying for another child. I am no longer able to carry babies. I have been suffering so much with what I'm supposed to do now. Now that I have no babies to raise, what do I do? This was not the plan. We wanted a BIG family. You have inspired me to find my "Yes." Like you, I think I know what it is. Perhaps now I will have the courage to do it. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - 🙂 love you Kalani.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - I am so happy to hear you got something positive out of this little blog. yes! you have the courage to do it. (you'll know when the time is right) Thank you so much for your kind words and for readingReplyCancel

  • Dave n Bre plus thr3e! :o) - Jen, Oh my word!! You are fabulous and I LOVE every.single.one of your pieces!! I deffinitely would love one, no some. 🙂 You are such an inspiration and example to me. I am so lucky to know such an amazing, beautiful (Inside and out) person!! ~Bre:)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - 🙂 thanks Bre! You made my day.ReplyCancel

  • Veronica@ChaosInMyCasa - Thank you for sharing your story. I saw your work at the AWP gala and was so inspired by your words that night. I always wanted to express myself through art, but told myself I wasn't born with a natural talent for it and therefore never even tried to pursue that interest. I'm thinking now is the time to just go for it, but I'm curious as to whether you took online classes or if you attend a local college? I have a 4 yr old so I'm leaning more towards something online. I would appreciate any advice you could share. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Hi Veronica. Thank you so much for your note. (I just went to your blog and it looks FAB. I can't wait to go through it.) I will tell you that I never have had any natural talent for art either 🙂 so don't let that stop you. You should just go for it! I was always planning on going back to school when my girls were in school first time – but I decided to take an online class before then .(after attending that AWP event. The class I signed up for is called Brave Girls Art School. taught by Melody Ross. Just found her online and loved the look of what she did. I really liked the class. (and I'll be honest, I did about 2 or 3 of the homework assignments – and really enjoyed then and learned a lot and then life got busy and I haven't even done the rest. (you get a year of access and I'm thinking I've been kicked out now.) but I learned enough to start doing my own thing and that is what I've been doing since. Another class (that I've signed up for, but not actually done yet… 🙂 is one taught by Christy Tomlinson called She Art. I do plan on continuing with these – but right now I am having too much fun doing my own little thing. They both have blogs and websites. check them out. The Brave girls one has some of what I would call "soul Work" as well as art. I loved them. They get you thinking and teach you in a way that you aren't intimidated if you have never done art before – (which, really – I hadn't) Good Luck!ReplyCancel

  • Veronica@ChaosInMyCasa - Thanks so much for replying and for all the info! I came across Christy Tomlinson's website just the other day and was considering signing up for She Art 1, 2, and 3. I'm definitely checking out the Brave Girls Art School. My mother in law gave me a beginner's paint set for Christmas last year, and I have yet to even open it. It includes pastels, acrylics, canvases, and a bunch of other stuff and every time I look at it, I feel overwhelmed and end up sticking it back in my closet. I'm finally gonna give it a try and see what I come up with 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Don't be overwhelmed. Christy Tomlinson even has free youtube videos – watch a few of those. I have found making art to be SO healing for me…. it really doesn't even matter about the finished project. But creating it has been such a good thing. I was seriously just like you. Thought I had no talent for it, thought about doing it all the time and was just scared to start because I worried I wouldn't be able to make anything that looked good. Don't worry about that and just start creating. I'm guessing you will love it.ReplyCancel

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage —pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically,  to say “no” to other things.  And the way you do that is by  having a bigger “yes” burning inside.   Stephen R. Covey About 4 years ago I went to a Time Out for women. I remember listening to a […]

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You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s […]

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Today marks five years since Brad’s death. That is crazy to me. Five years sounds like a long time. And it’s weird because it seems like a lifetime ago and also just yesterday all at the same time. I remember very vividly walking in my bed room to get Addie who was six months old […]

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Today marks five years since Brad’s death. That is crazy to me. Five years sounds like a long time. And it’s weird because it seems like a lifetime ago and also just yesterday all at the same time. I remember very vividly walking in my bed room to get Addie who was six months old […]

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  • Katte - You are one amazing woman. Thank you for sharing your experiences. You truly inspire and uplift and are an amazing example to me!ReplyCancel

  • Ticey - Jen you are so amazing! I have been thinking about you the last couple days and just want you to know that you are a great example! I love reading your words and am thankful you share!ReplyCancel

  • Leanne - Wow I feel the Spirig so strong in your writing. Well done. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Kalani - Love you! You are such an inspiration to me and everyone else!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Beautiful! You are an amazing woman, and Brad is very proud of you! You are a great example to those around you!!
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  • mariam baurice - This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyCancel

We sang while making dinner the other day.  And I missed you.  But it wasn’t the aching, lump in my throat missing you that I usually feel when a wave of missing you comes on….  It was just missing you, because I know you would have been singing right along with us and having a […]

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  • Kate - Jen,

    My husband, Nate Niederhauser, served a mission in TX and has fond memories of the Funk family. We were stationed at Mt. Home when he was and just missed you when you got to Sheppard (we were in the Burk branch too!) We attended Brad's funeral here in UT. You are an amazing woman!

    My son Jack is getting ready to do his Eagle project and we were wondering if there was something he could do for your AWP group. If you get a minute and would like to email us at 4katen@gmail.com I would love to hear any suggestions you might have.

    Thanks for your blog! You are an amazing writer, and you have so much courage.

    Love,

    Kate NiederhauserReplyCancel