Jessica Hoover

Jessica Hoover first became a mom in the summer of 2015. Though it was scary at times, Jessica says it was also the most beautiful thing she has ever experienced. Before becoming a mom, Jessica worked as a Pre-K teacher and cared for twenty-plus Pre-K students for eight hours daily. “Through teaching, I thought I had the ‘mom gig’ figured out, but the moment I gave birth to Koy, I realized I was dead wrong. It’s all fun and games when you send kids home back to their parents, but when you have the sole responsibility of a little life, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game,” Jessica says. “That little life depends on you for the tiniest thing to keep them alive and thriving, and the only option you have is to survive it with grace and a very helpful husband.” 

Today, Jessica has two children: Joshua “Koy” Hoover, 7 years old, and Ellisyn Gray Hoover, 5 years old, and they both have very different personalities. Jessica says that Koy is a very dependent child. “He is momma’s boy through and through. The bond we have is impeccable. Even though he is dependent on his parents and wants us in arms reach at all times, he is the most curious little fellow,” Jessica says. “He likes to figure out the ‘science’ behind everything, and he will ask you a million questions until he thinks the answer is valid or until he understands.”

Jessica also says that Koy is a careful kid who likes to sit back and observe before he tests the waters. “Even though he’s cautious, people of all ages are drawn to him and his genuine personality,” Jessica says. “Koy has a love for Jesus and a love for nature. His favorite thing is to be outside with his four-wheeler and a fishing pole.” 

On the other hand, Jessica says that Ellisyn is “Miss Independent” and acts much older than her five years of age. “She has the silliest personality and always loves to be in the middle of everything. She loves all things girly and developed a hobby of shopping at an early age,” Jessica says. “Ellisyn loves gymnastics and watching YouTube videos of gymnasts. She is always trying to mimic what the Olympians do. Ellisyn also loves music and dancing. She will bust a move whenever she hears a good beat, no matter where she is.”

To Ellisyn, everything is funny, and Jessica says she is the type of kid who finds joy in the smallest things. “She loves hard, and she loves people. It breaks her heart to see kids playing by themselves,” Jessica says. “She wants to be that friend to everyone and wants ALL people of ALL ages to be included.” 

The type of unconditional love and acceptance that Ellisyn displays is something that Jessica wants to instill in her children, especially due to her own life experiences. At the age of seven, Jessica lost her brother, Joshua. He was five years old and had special needs. “Even though I was young, I vividly remember my parents’ struggles and the adversity they had to fight through. Experiencing his death was horrific and life-changing for our family,” Jessica says. “Watching my parents develop through their experience with Joshua and learn the true meaning of unconditional love taught me a lot at a young age. Unconditional love is a word that my two children always hear. Koy and Ellisyn know that through the good and bad times, we will always show/practice unconditional love.” 

One of Jessica’s most significant challenges as a mother came recently when Koy was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD. Because of her background in education and working with all types of learning disabilities, Jessica knew something was wrong, but she had to wait until he was the right age to receive a diagnosis. “Koy struggled severely with staying focused in the classroom and coming home to do homework. We would spend hours on spelling words. So many tears were shed by him, and he would always say he wasn’t smart enough to learn those words,” Jessica says. “I will never forget the heart-to-heart conversation he and I had one day as I tried to explain his worth and value in this life.”

Though Koy has learned at a very early age that he will struggle in some academic areas, Jessica hopes this experience has taught him that he must work harder to succeed. “Koy sees his daddy and I work through struggles and how we do not give up just because things get a little hard. Communication is vital in our household, and we communicate with Koy and Ellisyn and let them know/see when we are struggling,” Jessica says. “I want my children to see how their mommy and daddy never gave up and what perseverance looks like. The most significant impact motherhood has had on my life is teaching me the value of grace. Through Jesus, I have received, enjoyed, and soaked in grace because the grace that I have soaked in is the grace that seeps out for my children.”

While teaching and modeling grace and unconditional love, Jessica sometimes struggles with not rushing in to save her kids when mistreated. “There have been a couple of times when I wanted to save Koy from a situation, but because of the type of person I am, I want Koy and Ellisyn to know how to work through the hard times and what conquering hardships is like,” Jessica says. “It’s my role as a mother to teach them these things. Even though the easiest thing would be to rescue them and fix it for them, I enjoy helping them work through the hard times and guiding them through the hard times.” 

When Jessica needs motherhood advice, she always reaches out to her mother. “But, I am also drawn to older people. I have a handful of women from church and work who I consider wise,” Jessica says. “I always find myself reaching out to them and inquiring about their knowledge and experiences with motherhood.” 

The number of life lessons Jessica feels she has learned through parenting is “quite comical and humbling.” But, the one thing that she wishes she had known when she first became a parent is to never say never. “Before you become a parent, you tend to say, ‘My kids will never’ or ‘When I become a parent, I will never,’” Jessica says. “These sentences will humbly make you eat your words because you never know how you’re going to react/respond or what your kids will do when put in certain situations.”

Looking back, Jessica says that it is always the small things that make motherhood special, and she has several precious memories from traveling with her kids. “Seeing my kids experiencing new things and learning about the history of different places we have visited makes me happy. We took the kids to Navarre, Florida, last year, and seeing them fly kites on the beach and hearing their little giggles as they watched their kites fly higher and dance in the wind is a memory that will permanently be etched in my mind,” Jessica says. “I am learning through motherhood that the smallest things have the most impact.” 

Jessica says she loves many things about being a mom, but hearing her kids worship the Lord is the best. “Whether they are singing worship songs in the car, talking to others about Jesus, reading their Bible on their own, or simply admiring the beauty in front of them that the Lord created, it brings me great joy,” Jessica says. “Just experiencing the pure intimacy that flows from them talking about the Lord makes my heart smile with warmth and hope for their future.” 

Fun Facts!

1. My dream Mother’s Day would include attending church with my children and having a nice lunch afterward. Then, my husband, Bradley, would watch the kids for the rest of the day so I could take quality time and invest in myself and my well-being. That would include working out, a nap, a hot bubble bath, and self-reflecting in peace and quiet. I have learned that I cannot fill anyone else’s cup until I fill mine first. 

2. The best advice I ever received as a mom is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and choose your battles.” Once I finally started practicing that advice, my life has been a lot less stressful.

3. All moms should be given a day to be invisible. We are still present in the house but invisible to the children. My two kids will always come to me for everything before they go to their dad. I always joke around with Brad that I wish they went to him for just one day for everything. 

4. The best gift my kids could ever give me would be for them to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, marry spouses who love the Lord, and for their spouses to love them unconditionally.

5. Moms deserve more than just one day a year to be celebrated. If I could create another holiday for moms, it would be called “Mom’s Yes Day” because we constantly say yes to our kids. I would love to give commands all day long to my kids, and they respond with “yes” instead of needing an explanation for everything.

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