This is a real family. 
It's not always pretty and polished. 
It is a family with six children. It is a family in ministry. 
We strive to be healthy, 
to live simply,
to teach the really important things. 
But sometimes we eat cereal for dinner. 
This is a real home. 
It is both a launchpad and a soft place to land. 
It is a creative expression, a classroom, a safe haven.
It's loud and always, always open to visitors. 
There's an extra chair at our table.
And a mouse lives here, eating out of the cat's bowl and mocking our attempts to do him in. 

I am a real woman. 
I cry over dumb things. 
And am much more capable than I ever imaged. 
Sometimes, I'm a mess
But this is my attempt to reflect the beauty and order of my creative and wonderful God. 
 I am a daughter of the King. 

This is our real life. 
Come on in. 

My name is Jessica. I wear many hats. I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mother, a photographer, a homemaker, a writer, a cook, a gardener. I have a trunk in the basement full of journals and now I have this blog, The Hodgepodge Darling. It is…well, a hodgepodge written by a gal with a baby in her lap, sitting at a desk in the living room in a house on four acres in Central Arkansas. Here is a collection of thoughts, projects, scriptures, and attempts to return to simplicity. I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I'm enjoyed sharing it with you. 


  1. Hello, and pleased to meet you Jessica ...Marlene shared a link with me to you....you are what we used to call a FREE SPIRIT, and that is such a good thing...I too had a large family, there were moments when I too wondered " what next".....
    each moment unveils such depth, such wonder, such delight. Your journey is one of sheer delight...Someday in the future you will sit back and wonder how did you do it all and you will come to understand that HIS PLAN revealed everything you could possibly imagine...Enjoy the journey my sweet.....it is full of adventure...

  2. Was just introduced to your blog thru your article in Do South and am now a regular. I love your views on life and on our remarkable and amazingly forgiving God. Pleased to makeyour acquaintance...

  3. Hi! I was trying to follow you on Instagram, but the photos above led to snapwidget. What is your instagram name?


    1. I'll fix that! Thanks for letting me know.

      My instagram name is roots_and_refuge

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  6. Dearest Jessica ~ I just came here from your latest vlog post which had me in tears, but also filled my heart with joy and encouragement. I thank you for that.

    Just reading about you and your family touches my heart also. You inspire me to keep living my life, alone now that my dear husband is with Jesus, enjoying my gardens, talking to Jesus and praying for others.

    I pray that God will bless you with time to write a blog post every now and then, and thank you for the time and effort that goes into them and your vlog posts.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

  7. Following you all they way from Windhoek, Namibia

  8. After watching your YouTube video about pulling sweet potatoes I thought I'd tell yuou the best sweet potatoes happened my no research. I didn't know you were supposed to cure them. So u pulled them, washed and baked and the were amazing. Just thought you might like to try it.

  9. Hi, I watched your YouTube video about sweet potatoes pulling and wanted you to know that the first time I grew sweet potatoes I didn't know you had to cure them. I took them in the house, washed and cooked them and they were the most amazing sweet potatoes I ever had. So you might just wanna try a few uncured and baked in the oven.