Hello my name is Jen Houcek and I am a story teller. My story started when I was newly married and learned some news that shattered my world. I grew up in a great home with a great mother who was a perfect example to me of what I wanted to be when I grew up, a mother. Almost twenty years later I still do not have any children, but one thing I do have is a life that I love. I have spent the last fifteen years of my life in the visual arts. I owned a business in Kansas City, Missouri for ten of those fifteen years. I loved every minute of it. You could say that business kind of saved me, but life never stops testing us. After we lost a child we were selected to adopt, and both of my parents passed away, my husband, who has always been my biggest support and the greatest fan of my life decided we needed a life break. We had always loved traveling, and we both wanted to see more of this beautiful land that we call home, so we headed out on a five year road trip. We have been so fortunate to meet some of the best people in our travels. I believe that everyone has a story, and I have learned so much from those we now call friends from all over the United States. We just never know the impact we make in the lives of others, and sometimes I know that the world can make us feel so small, but I am here to tell you that the people who may have felt that their contribution to my life was so small will never really know how their kindness affected me. I have learned so much from so many. I have learned that we all have scars, and we don’t need to hide them. So as for my journey, ya sometimes it still just stinks that I don’t get to have a house full of rowdy kids. I don’t get to prank my kids by putting vaseline on the inside of their bedroom door knobs, or sing Christmas carols with them like my parents did with us. I don’t think some burdens ever really go away, some day’s are still hard and I have learned that it is okay to have a bad day, or a bad week. I have also learned that I am not broken, I am worth more that I thought I was and so are you. No matter what your burden, or journey…you are priceless. I believe when we understand this eternal truth we will be able to see the light through the darkest times, and make a daily decision to shine so others who are still in the trenches can better see the way out.
I find inspiration in the world around me. I love to be outside, and find not only comfort and peace there but also an environment where my mind can open up to new possibilities. I hate to admit it but I am a people watcher. My husband is always telling me not to stare like a creeper. For real though I am totally and completely inspired and amazed by people. You can learn a lot by watching when no one knows you are there. Listening is such a gift and one that I have had to really work to be good at, but when you close your own mouth and listen…really listen it is amazing what you can learn. I am guilty of running the movie in my head as they are telling me their story. I guess I just see life as one big movie. At some level we are all connected and we all have the power to be great.