LET ME SPARK YOUR INTEREST
This is the part when I tell you all the juicy details about my life . . . well, some of them and the rest will unfold as you read iGNITE. Where should I start?
I was born and raised in the MidWest but my heart travels the world. I grew up thinking I wanted to be an astronaut (already desiring to explore the universe) . . . then a fashion designer (this is where my creative side comes into play) . . . then a singer (here comes the performer) and yet my journey didn't end up in any of these careers. But to avenues SO MUCH BETTER!
At age 15, I traveled with a group from church to serve a community in Romania. After only two weeks abroad I was hooked and started a path that has led me to where I am today. I returned to that beautiful country many times through high school and even lived there for a summer in college. This was followed by serving trips to over 10 countries over the last twenty years and the list continues to grow as I provide pro bono photojournalism to nonprofits around the world. While others run from uncomfortable situations, I gravitate toward them because being taken out of one's comfort zone grows us in ways that we can't imagine are possible.
Speaking of out-of-the-box experiences . . . parenting. Whew! The hardest yet most rewarding job. I am happily out-numbered in my family with a husband who won my heart in college and two growing boys. My oldest - a junior higher - is nearly as tall as me (which doesn't take much when you're vertically challenged)!!! And my youngest - well, he gets his charisma from me and his dance moves from his father.
The comment that I hear often when people get to know me is, "what have you NOT done." Yep! I'm that girl. I jump through every open door God puts in my path . . . worked at the oldest homeless shelter in St. Louis with at-risk youth and low-income families; helped buyers and sellers as a realtor; coordinated as a wedding planner; waited tables; sold clothing at store in the mall; organized events for a nonprofit; handled insurance billing for a chiropractor; act in commercials and films; photograph families and communities locally and in third-world countries, etc . . . etc . . . etc.
This is where it gets good . . . in 2010, I started my own business that I affectionately call Under the Tree Designs. I dabble in everything from graphic design, website design, social media, branding and photography. And through this I discovered my passion for photojournalism . . . telling stories behind the camera and bringing a little piece of the unknown world to many. To meet new people and experience new cultures is truly a pleasure and an honor that I don't take for granted.
Thank you for joining me on this iGNITE blogging adventure! I hope the posts will inspire you . . . encourage you . . . and even challenge you to step outside yourself to make a difference and to set the world on fire!
JESSICA LYNN AMBUEHL