A Spark

A spark is a necessity for survival, and I was in desperate need of one. I was feeling burned out. Burning on both ends. I felt dull. I was praying privately about a few fires in our life and adding anything else to my calendar or to-do list felt…too-much. My commitment to the Lord about the podcast was simple, please use this for whoever listens to share hope and healing. I did not tend the fire, whatever downloads were happening were from organic searches. Every now and again I would get a notification for a listener or an email here or there but I had no give to fan the flame. I asked the Lord, what he wanted me to do because giving it up just did not feel like what he wanted.

Over the last 7 years, I feel I am closer to understanding my heart’s message (God can redeem all things, especially the unimaginable) with a better understanding of my audience (those suffering from shame and guilt and people who doubt the goodness of God), and how to serve them (listen to understand and point them to a loving Savior).

I was praying. I had ideas for shows and messages on my heart but I was stuck.


I was gifted a VIP ticket to Spark Media Conference. And being in rooms with other creatives who serve God through podcasting fanned a flame. Meeting women who were sharing some of my fears and deepest laments reminded me of a God who ordained every step.

From my sweet friend who drove me and shared her room with me to the conversations at the tables and the tips, tricks, and ideas…it was all that I needed.

God is using the Accidental Hope Podcast, thank you Jesus for this ministry!

I gave God my “yes” and I’ve watched Him do things I can’t make up.

Charting in countries for people who are searching this very heavy topic of accident with fatality.

Watching God connect listeners to people who have trusted me with their stories. What an honor and privilege to witness from obedience. I am grateful.

2022 the short version

I accomplished a dream of publishing a book. It was hard. I don’t have eloquent words for the feat of this magnitude. 90K words of my heart in print. Pray for it to reach people who need to hear it.  Holy Spirit do what only you can.

My heart broke over and over in 2022. There was change out of my control. New levels of trusting God and letting go. I had to dig deep. I am still reaching but less of my own strength and more of God’s. The things we are facing aren’t the kind I can just fix, they are the supernatural-sized. The kinds of trials that are testing. The difference is I have had more resolve to sit in peace. Choosing to love and exhale, releasing the temptation to hold onto expectations and simply, trust.

I do trust, I trust like crazy. I also know that my prayers are heard and I will never stop believing.

I got a tattoo with my mom & sister. It’s a little bigger then I envisioned  but I love it.

We graduated Katy and it was letting go that ached my core. How did she grow up? I knew it was coming and then it was done.

We moved, God blessed us. SO while we battled spiritual warfare He provided hope. A God-sized, can’t-make-this-up kind of provision. I am in awe, someday I hope to share the miracle of our new home.

My parent’s sold our home from my childhood and it was grief, like actual grieving. All the memories it held. We also celebrated 45 years of marriage with a renewal of vows. They are the cutest. I love them so much!

We were a family of 7 for the month of June. William is apart of my heart. Incredibly grateful to be a bonus mom-ish and help love this boy!

Haven started public school and our house flooded.

I met a CADI friend and had the honor of speaking at his church in Pflugerville. Rev David Peters. I met wonderful, beautiful people.

I told the Lord in 2021, after being a guest on @RedTableTalk that I was cool, that if nothing ever else happened in life I was good. But I also said, Lord use me, I am willing.

October just after honoring and remembering David for the 6th year, I traveled to North Carolina. God and his people provided the means to travel to speak at a retreat for survivors. I battled. I wanted with all my heart to go and yet, there was this inner battle of a voice that said, “you are not worthy.”

The message God gave me was “God Makes It Beautiful.” Because he does! My story is never going to be exceptional, but what God does can be. I looked into the eyes of twelve brave women and I was in awe of the Holy Spirit’s presence.  You could feel him in the room. The joy. The family. The closeness. Beautiful.

He takes our shame, and our guilt, our wishes to rewrite our story and he makes it beautiful. I am really grateful he has the ability to do this but also how he connected women in the room with different stories. I know they left fired-up, filled-up and stirred to share that what happened to them doesn’t define them.  *Bonus-I met a CADI that was there as a survivor of unimaginable pain. She is beautiful and I was there for her, God sent me for the one. Honored and humbled.

My heart is still broken and mending from 2022 but I am grateful beyond words and hopeful without fear, anxiety or doubt of God’s goodness.

In between and not pictured were a couple semesters of graduate school. An MRI and trip back to Children’s Dallas to visit Katy’s neurosurgeon, A few trips to the ER, Covid, a wicked run-in with flu and a colonoscopy. I also got to see my books on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and that was surreal.  Let’s go 2023 I am all in!



God answers prayers, He does

About 5 years ago, a weeping mess sitting in a counselor’s office I cried out that there should be more help, more resources for people who have been involved with accidental death. Three years ago I started a podcast to offer a safe place for stories of hope, resources, and always point people to Jesus. A year ago I was watching a Red Table Talk about anxiety, I started following the show. I told the Lord this is a place that would do justice with the topic of being a CADI (Causing Accidental Death or Injury). In this  conversation I said I am willing go where he leads, share with whoever he brings in my path and give glory to him.  I did not have any other focus other than to share of his goodness. On November 4th, one month after the 5 year anniversary of my accident I flew to Las Angeles and met one of my heroes, Dr. Maryann Gray.  She and I were invited to the Red Table Talk. In this moment God answered 2 prayers to meet the person who had the courage to start Accidental Impacts and to speak on behalf of CADIs on Red Table Talk.

I am speechless. I am in such awe. The whole trip was beautiful and exciting. And not that I deserved any of this, God answered another prayer. I met one of my CADI friends that lives outside of LA and she drove to have breakfast with me. Hugging Laura instead of just telling her how someday we will get to hug in person, really happened. Many tears and prayers we have shared.

On the trip home my Uber driver opened up after learning why I was traveling that he too was a CADI.  Long ago when he was an off duty police officer a mentally impaired man threw himself in front of his car. He said, ” I had to call my Sargent to come to the scene.” It was hard but it wasn’t his first time attending an accident scene. He said he never shares that obviously as he now drives people for a living. His name was Kim.  I sat in the back seat listening while he took me from the hotel to the airport in the infamous 405 traffic, and once again I knew all the steps down to every detail were ordained. How can I not feel so incredibly close to the Lord and his goodness and these divine coincidences? These are things that either you stand in wonder with me or think I am a crazy liar. That’s okay, I know the truth and so people thinking I am crazy or making it up does not offend me one bit!

I am an ordinary person who wildly loves the Lord and miracles abound. Do I still have hard days? Of course, we battle everyday with lots of junk I don’t always share, but that 100% does not change the goodness of God.  The journey to CA is one of the most treasured experiences of my life and I am grateful! Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”


A trip of a lifetime

For years we dreamed of a trip to Disney and Universal. At some point we had placed this trip as a trip of a lifetime, a bucket list item. It felt impossible because the money to afford this trip was something unattainable. We had let it rest but as the days neared knowing our oldest was leaving for college and our family dynamic was changing, it was now or never. We began to dream again.

We made a budget and a goal and it had to happen above our monthly budget, so we wrote it out and showed the family. We explained the sacrifice and commitment. We put in hours of Door Dashing, not eating out, trimming the budget, selling things from closets in both a yard sale and flea market…but we were short.

Habakuk 2: 2-3 Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

I started to make plan “b’s” and praying to the Lord that he would change the desires of our heart and I was so frustrated. I cried out to the Lord to help us and it felt selfish to ask for such a thing as a luxury trip. And then…

We got a phone call from a friend who happened to have a time share in Orlando. “Have you guys booked your hotel yet?” This question made a trip happen.

We entered a magical land and we said yes more to the kids than probably their entire lives. My heart was so full and grateful.  I wish I had more eloquent words but simply grateful says it all. In this photo it was our last day. We feasted as a family of six, and it hit us with tears and laughter. I’m certain the corner of The Leaky Caldron at Universal we sounded obnoxious. (But I don’t care) It was truly a great trip.

We made a second trip to drop Patrick off at TN. Hundreds of miles confined to the family van from Texas to Florida to Texas and to Tennessee and home. We said goodbye to my oldest son and there was total peace.  He was ready, and his happiness and excitement faded my grief and worry. I had nothing but tears full of pride, hope and expectation of his future.  Eighteen years in the making a trip of a lifetime.


Teetering focus

I consider myself a realist, the younger, more naive version of myself could find the sunny side of just about any predicament.  And then life, but I am trying to find my way back to the middle where I am content with all situations.

For example, I’ve graduated my oldest son, I don’t need my mini-van anymore. Read that again in the voice of a mom navigating transition.  “I don’t need a mini van anymore!” The end of an era and embarking on new terrain. I have celebrated it and grieved it. I’m teetering so many emotions and I am working hard on embracing the beauty in it all.  I am deeply sad to see my oldest son go off in some ways because there are parts I would do over again if granted that wish. He makes the letting go easier in moments when he refuses to help with dishes, ha! And yet I am elated for him to find adventure in his new freedom…Polarized feelings any given minute.

Ex. 2 When my hosting for the podcast switched about half of my files did not transfer, so I am reloading them. I am reloading them and therefore learning from them again as I re-listen to every episode!

Ex. 3 A small group of C.A.D.I. s want to get together here in Waco, in person!!! Like I love these people I have never met, and yet the only reason for our chance meeting…we share the deepest pain we wish on no one, ever! And yet I anticipate when we can all come together and cry and hug and laugh and encourage and inspire one another.

Ex. 4My older daughter is like a little mama to my younger daughter, this can be both endearing and dangerous.

The other day my older daughter was preparing to leave for camp, she told our younger daughter a set of instructions. I smiled and said, “um hello, she has me lil mama.” And then I remember that my daughter took on some roles for me while I was struggling to just survive. The guilt has tried to tangle me up but I remain working on that focus, that God equipped us all while navigating that season. And praise the Lord grace covers it! Thank God they had each other and their is an unbreakable bond because of it but there is resentment too.

2 Corinthians 12:9 covers both scenarios, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

I grieve my life before the accident but I am so grateful for the person I have become and the community I now love.

Can you think of something that has you walk the line of appreciating different perspectives?

We went to the Homestead here in Waco, and I could have spent all day there tucked away, it is so peaceful. Wildflowers scattered everywhere, it was unusually cool in TX for July and it was drizzling rain. There is a barn that was rebuilt from early American settlers with a watermill to power it’s storefront. I just stood and listened letting the trickling sounds sooth my soul. I want to go back and just sit again. Contently. The people who live there choose a simpler life. While visiting the coffee shop there I took this picture of a sunflower patch, the picture doesn’t do it justice and then the camera adjusted to get a shot of the raindrops gathering outside. I loved both pictures equally.

I want to love the me before and the me after equally too. I’ll get there and I hope you do too!

XOXO, Jenn

P.S. to those with little ones and you are tired and would give anything for a night of pre-kid sleep…take time to breathe it all in. Those moments that break you in tears of frustration (i.e. the exploding diaper or marker on the new couch) those memories are precious too, I promise!!

Season 3 Episode 67: A Blessed Tragedy w/ Jesse Schrake

In this episode Jennifer talks with public speaker and safe-driving advocate Jesse Schrake about the aftermath of his accident. He encourages us to make choices that honor God and the healing power of forgiveness and true identity in Christ. To find out more about the co-authored book with Amanda Watts and Jesse Schrake please visit Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Blessed-Tragedy-Amanda-Watts/dp/1700495623, or their social media platforms.

Passion & Purpose with Marci Corry

In this episode Jennifer visits with founder of Safe2Save App, Marci Corry to talk about passion and purpose. She is devoted to seeing change  in safer driving across the country. In a near fatal accident Marci was grateful to be alive and her faith became stronger. To find more about the Safe2Save Mission and how to get involved please visit, https://safe2save.org/

Season III

I looked up the biblical meaning of three and it did not disappoint. It’s the number of harmony, three accord (strength), three is for eternal life and the resurrection on the third day.

The 2nd season of Accidental Hope exceeded all expectations with guests and incredible stories. The goal was to find stories of overcoming, beauty from ashes, purpose from pain…and hopefully make some friends along the way.

My dear friend Audrey Fulton, a tragic accident may have brought us together but God has connected us in so many other levels. She is a mother of four and her strength and faith are rare. The Fulton’s prove vows matter and marriage can handle anything when God is at the center.

I talked with Dr. Maryann Gray, a pioneer of hope for C.A.D.I.s , she shared stages of grief and her journey of accepting. It was such an honor to meet her and now I consider her a friend.

Darin Strauss, author of Half A Life reminded me the power and freedom of sharing your story. I was so nervous and Darin’s down to earth spirit eased those nerves almost instantly.

We heard from a world-wide evangelist with his struggle in faith (Jay Lowder), a sexual assault survivor advocate (Lavinia Masters) , families who started foundations to honor loved ones, two best friends that literally experienced the most heartbreaking loss and God got the glory. I literally could not pick a favorite episode because they each mean the world to me, my only hope is that they connect to someone else who needed to know it will be okay.

We heard from many moms including my own and how motherhood and tragedy come together, there is grace, fortitude, and inspiration.

Season 2 had something for everyone, an artist and entrepreneur, different types of trauma including racial injustice, living organ donation, battling cancer and daily devotions with Tera Elness.

I don’t have a Word for this year, a vision board, or a prominent goal. No hustle, no BS, just one step forward each day learning and growing and seeking deeper connections with people and faith. I don’t have a plan or an outline or expectations of the season to come but my heart is open and I am ready to receive what may come.

There are many lessons to be grateful for from living through a global pandemic. I hope 2020 taught you, you are stronger than you can imagine, we can pivot when least expecting and triumph when facing utter chaos. The world went upside down, but we are still here and I am grateful!

May God bless whoever finds this little blog!


XOXO, Jenn