Mad for…Jen

We must drink from the very Source the deep calm and peace of interior quietude and refreshment of God, allowing the pure water of divine grace to flow plentifully and unceasingly from the Source itself. — St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

Once, many years ago, I visited the nearby home of a lovely woman named Jen Konesco. She was clearly a faith-filled woman and a loving mother. I can’t remember if she had 2 children or three at the time, but her oldest, Joellen, was a classmate of my youngest son, Zach. We were paired up as kindergarten “room moms” I think? I enjoyed getting to know her that year, but she quickly vanished from my circle. She’s pictured above with her husband, Marc. I am not sure I ever encountered Jen after that one year together. I think she moved her daughter to a new school. My memory gets shakier all the time.

In all these years, though, I’ve not lost track of Jen, and it’s because she’s such a uniquely joyful and life-loving woman. I’ve watched her venture off to a beautiful life, and I’ve prayed at times for her family and their happiness and safety too. What makes Jen and the Konesco clan so interesting to me is a big leap they took a few years back. Today, as Jen celebrates her birthday, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate her and let her know that I am among the MANY inspired by the way she lives her life.

Jen and Marc sold their belongings (like almost all of them), and they decided to take their three kids and hit the open water. They bought a boat, and they spent a considerable amount of time (was it a year?) at sea. She’d occasionally post blog entries from herself and her children too, who she homeschooled throughout the adventure. Her photos were always quite stunning.

Following them on their extraordinary adventure became habit-forming. Sometimes, they found themselves in harrowing situations with boat breakdowns, storms, and the like, but always, Jen’s entries told the tale of a family in love with life and one another. They made new friends and found ways to serve others around them too. It was heartwarming and lovely to peek in from afar. They took the road less traveled, and they all seem better for it.

What Jen taught me with her daring choice and courage is that loving fearlessly and trusting the Lord no matter where He decides to take us will always be the right choice. I read once a quote by Hermann Hesse that said, “People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.” In Jen’s case, I’m not at all sure the word I would choose there is sinister, but I’ll admit I might have considered using “kooky” or “bonkers” when I learned of Jen’s boating adventure.

However, we all know what insanity really is, don’t we? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. By that measure, I’ve been insane many times. Change is hard for me, and stepping outside the box often terrifies. I’d be the one who is bonkers, though, if I didn’t take heed of the lesson the Holy Spirit tossed my way by the witness of the beautiful Konesco family. Initially, I thought you folks had bats in the belfry, Jen. However, I later learned that the joke was on me! The Lord used my fascination about your unique adventure to teach me a little something about stepping outside our comfort zone and living the life He destined for us all to live! I am terribly grateful to you all for that, and I felt I was long overdue to say so!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEN! I wish you and Marc, and your three gorgeous kiddos many more amazing adventures in this life! God Bless the Konescos!

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