Heather Jennings: Featured MPE volunteer

Heather Jennings MPE volunteer
Back row, third from left, is Heather Jennings with her family. Heather serves as our co-coordinator for Women’s Encouragement Day.

Heather Jennings serves as our Women’s Encouragement Day co-coordinator. Registration is now open until Jan. 15!

When did you begin serving?

I joined the team in January 2014 to serve at Women’s Encouragement Day. I had attended in the past and had a stirring in my heart to be a part of a team that gets to provide a refreshing day of pampering and encouragement to homeschool moms.

Furthermore, I believe that this one day really does change families. If a mom implements just one spiritual truth that she learned that day, it will make a difference and bless her family.

God orchestrated the timing for bringing me onto the team perfectly, and a few months after serving at the 2014 event, I accepted a new role as co-coordinator, along with my friend Tonya Wiley. I love hospitality and am thankful to have found a place that I can serve.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy seeing women be blessed. It’s such a gift to run into someone at the grocery store or a piano recital and hear her story and how the Encouragement Day touched her heart.

I also love working with the Encouragement Day team. Each woman on the team is a pleasure and has a servant’s heart. There is a spirit of unity among us as we are working toward a common goal.

Any surprises/challenges about your MPE role?

I am amazed at how this event has suddenly grown so quickly! I didn’t expect that after my first year as a leader, we would be searching for a new venue to accommodate more moms!

Tell us about your family.

My husband, Barry, and I have been married 22 years, and have been together for over 25! We have five children – four boys and one girl – that range in age from 19 to 9. Jackson, Jacob, Caleb, Connor, and Ellie.

Barry has worked for Argus Health Systems for 25 years. In addition to homeschooling, I enjoy decorating cakes part-time as a creative outlet and to supplement our income.

Our family worships at Forerunner Christian Fellowship. We love to play together, whether it’s a board game or cards inside, or four square and other outdoor games. We get together often with our extended family that live in town. We live in Shawnee, Kansas.

Why did you begin homeschooling, and why is it important to you now?

My husband and I didn’t plan to homeschool. We were planning on being a “normal” public school family and being very involved in our children’s classrooms.

But, life is full of surprises and while my oldest was in preschool, the Lord slowly changed our hearts. When my husband finally said we should homeschool, I knew it was the Lord!!

I began this journey feeling unequipped and not disciplined enough to succeed, but kindergarten felt like a fun and less intimidating place to start.

Also, I was counseled early on that what the Lord calls you to do, He also equips you to do. So we jumped in and decided to take it one year at a time.

Our goals in the beginning were to focus on our children’s character, give them a strong Biblical foundation, and build relationships in our family.

Over the 14 years since we began, homeschooling has become a way of life for us. I love it for the flexibility it gives us and freedom to learn what we want to. It thrills me to see how God will work a concept from one subject into another subject that day. He is always reminding me that He is in this, weaving it together.

I love that I’ve had the privilege of teaching my children to read. It’s such a gift.

Finally, when I see my older and younger siblings having fun together, those are the moments I just want to hold on to and never forget!

How would you encourage MPE families in their homeschool journeys?

Be thankful for the gift of homeschooling. When things feel overwhelming, keep going forward, even if it’s a little at a time. Write down everything so you can celebrate at the end of the year and see how much you’ve really accomplished — it’s probably more than you think.

Remember that what the Lord calls you to do, He also equips you to do. Those weaknesses in us keep us depending on Him who brought us here in the first place.

Thanks, Heather Jennings!

See how you can volunteer your time and talents by filling out this form.

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