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Meet Jennifer Magnano of The Barefoot Preacher in Gilbert

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Magnano.

Jennifer, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Mother Teresa. I remember watching her funeral on television and listening to reporters speak of her legacy with such reverence and awe. This woman loved so deeply! And she radically changed the lives of hundreds – if not thousands – of children, and I’m guessing lots of women and men all around the world.

Like Mother Teresa, I never imagined having kids. I just wanted to pour into them. But life had better plans. I met my husband while finishing my B.A. in Healthcare Management, and found myself thinking about what having a family might look like.

Having kids drastically altered my path – in the BEST way. I found my calling in life: to support women.

After two complicated pregnancies, an early and critically ill baby, postpartum depression and anxiety (which made so much sense given the wildness we experienced!) and a special needs child, it is my mission in life to love women well… right where they are at.

Today I do this through multiple platforms, speaking life into families (wild rides) and faith journeys through virtual musings and meditations – writing is my jam; running desert meetups (Moms for Mental Health launches this January!); and working as a postpartum doula with Cherry Blossom Doula Services. I’m speaking life into families (wild rides) and faith journeys through musings, meditations, desert meetups, and doula support.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This road has been about 2% smooth and 98% complicated.

The struggles? They’ve been massive!

I launched into serving mothers through a mama yoga studio (Mamoga) in Connecticut in 2011. I found that the mothers who actually needed yoga in my community couldn’t fit it into their budget. So, I started working with the state on grant-funded opportunities; and connecting with various nonprofits.

The way I have supported mothers has continually evolved because of my personal health, too. I have a disorder known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Because of this autoimmune/neuroimmune disease, I have experienced everything from a mosquito-borne virus (Dengue Fever) to Cancer.

Personally knowing the effects of stress on the human body, I not only seek to support women today but to serve from a full well. It’s hard as a special needs parent! (It can be hard for any parent.) But we are worthy of well. Of feeling good in the skin we are in and the life we are living. Period.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Barefoot Preacher – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am best known for how I interact and engage with women on a daily basis. I want no woman to be within my reach and not experience God’s great love through me. This can be through my writing as The Barefoot Preacher, a support group, or my work as a doula.

We are made with purpose and intent, for such a time and season as this. If I can make this idea accessible to even one woman in my lifetime – and perhaps create community around this vision and mission – I’ve done what I was put here to do.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m really looking forward to launching Moms for Mental Health this January! I’ve partnered with some incredible local women in Gilbert. Together, we want to seek out a better future for women and children who have been touched by challenges in their mental health. Life isn’t always easy, but even in the midst of a storm, it can be good!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
BN Love Photography, Nicole Heighway Photography

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