About Jen & This Blog

headshot 2014 A low resMy name is Jen.  I was born in Saskatchewan, grew up in Calgary, spent a short stint in Manitoba, established our family in British Columbia, and recently moved to Abu Dhabi.  Sometimes this throws me into an identity crisis.

The great loves of my life are Jesus, my husband, my son, my daughter, my extended family, and my friends.

The great passions of my life are listening for the voice of God’s Spirit, following his leading, and encouraging others to do the same.

The lesser passions of my life are great photos, good books, homeschooling, natural nutrition, and football.  The fact that I have to resist putting an exclamation mark at the end of this last sentence as opposed to the preceding sentences is an indication that sometimes I need to remember to keep football in it’s proper place in my heart.

About This Blog:

Once upon a time…not such a long time ago…I lived a normal life.  My husband was a teacher in a stable, full-time job, I had a part-time job as an equipping pastor at our church, we sent our two children to a lovely public school, and we built a dreamy home in a perfect neighborhood in an idyllic community.  And then, one piece at a time, God invited us to dismantle the comfortable life we had built.  He showed us a glimpse of an alternate path.  One hidden at first from the wider, more obvious path we were on; obscured by the vines that grew up along the edges.  God compelled us to take a look behind those vines and we opted to follow that narrower way that we saw there.  It has shown itself to be a less predictable route, and at first it seemed more lonely, but it has certainly brought a peace to our hearts and kept us more reliant on and open to God’s leading than ever.

This journey has so far involved both of us leaving our jobs and pulling our kids from public school to home school.  It has caused us to really wrestle through our purpose and our passion.  Then in August of 2014, it led us to sell our home, leave our beloved community, and move across the planet.  We hold everything a lot more loosely these days.

This blog is where I write about sorting through the clutter and noise of our culture to hear what God is really asking of us.  About discovering our greatest passions and seeing the vision God has for our lives.  And about taking the sometimes scary steps to make that vision a reality.  What God specifically calls you to will be different than what he calls me to, but I think the principle is the same: Are we bold enough to take a look behind the vines and consider the more narrow path?  Thank you for joining me in this space.  I pray the thoughts shared here would lead you closer to Jesus and to the great story he wants to tell with your life.


7 thoughts on “About Jen & This Blog

    Cecily said:
    March 19, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I found your blog through my sister. I have read all your entries, and they have really resonated and caused me to take a step back and listen to God’s voice in my life. You have a gift for writing. Thanks!

      jendhansen responded:
      March 21, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Thanks so much for for your encouragement, Cecily! I pray you will continue to follow God’s lead. Bless you.

    Celeste Wahlberg said:
    February 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Jen,
    Thank you for sharing your journey; I’ve only read a few posts, but sense a kindred spirit. We’re slated for Aug 2015 arrival, and I’d love to chat with you about homeschool, life in the UAE, and the joys and challenges of being a Christ follower to the ends of the Earth. 🙂

      jendhansen responded:
      February 15, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Oh Celeste! I would also love to chat with you anytime! Thanks for taking time to read and comment. 2015 is going to be a big year for you.

    Joy Jameson said:
    August 26, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Hi Jen,
    After a day of uncertainty about the unknown, I googled “waiting for a flight to go teach in the UAE” and I came across your blog. I was just what I needed to bring me back from worrying to trusting God….
    I am currently about to literally make the ” we don’t know yet” and hang it around all four of our necks so we will have an answer for everyone regarding our departure date to the UAE. I am at the visa processing stage for a teaching job with the MOE and my husband has also got a job in the Financial sector so you can imagine the coordination nightmare of trying to get the whole family on one flight together Inshallah.
    After reading your blog I finally received the Peace that I have been praying for and will let God lead us going forward.

      jendhansen responded:
      September 13, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Oh joyemi, thank you so much for your reply! What an encouragement it is to know that when we write honestly about what’s in our hearts, it brings someone else to a point of peace and trust. Praise God for the peace he has brought you. I would love to hear more of how your UAE journey is going. 🙂

    Peninah said:
    November 16, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Jen

    I came across your blog as I was searching for people who had made a similar choice to what my husband and I are about to do.
    Such similar beliefs come through, maybe we could chat about the crazy times as I’m learning not to be anxious but to wait on our Heavenly Father.
    We don’t have dates yet so we too just wait.

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