Tell us about yourself.
My name is Jenny Rickman. I am a first grade teacher at Highland Elementary and I am also a Rodan and Fields skincare consultant. I have a 10-year-old stepson named Ethan and a 3-year-old son, Noah. A little over two years ago, I became a single mom. My husband, Troy, battled mental illness, eventually losing that battle. My prayer is that God would use me to bless others in whatever way He so chooses, based on my personal experiences and struggles through these challenging times. It has definitely been a challenge moving forward, but has also been filled with many blessings.
What is the most challenging thing about being a single mom?
I believe the most challenging thing about being a single mom is that there is no one to say “tag, you’re it” to – on those days when we as moms are exhausted from work and just need a break for a moment. I’m reminded again and again, though, that trying times will come and go and this season, too, shall pass. Enjoy all the memories along the way, because time flies much too fast!
The most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of being a mom is all the moments that make me so proud. Though often I wish I could share those proud momma moments with their Dad, there is still great pleasure in all the milestones they both continue to meet! Ethan and Noah are amazing boys who are well rounded and thriving. One mother/son tradition that I have with Ethan is something that he actually initiated this past Valentine’s Day. As a tribute to his Dad (his birthday was on Valentine’s Day), he told me he would like to take ME to dinner for this holiday every year, as something special we do together! How precious! With Noah being so young, we are creating new traditions each year. I do believe it takes a village to raise children. I am grateful for the wonderful experiences we continue to have with Noah being part of the KB’s Kidzone Daycare family. He has been going there ever since he was four months old. They have done and continue to do a phenomenal job helping me raise and teach Noah.
What advice do you have for other single moms?
Believe people when they say they are there for you. When someone offers help, take them up on their offer. When they say, “you are loved and supported,” they mean it! I have countless, loving relationships because of the support that God has placed in my life through many amazing people.
Can you give us an example of the support you found in the community?
One special family that God placed in our lives about two years ago was the Faught family. Ryan and Liz Faught have a daughter who was in my classroom when Troy passed away. Liz soon started inviting me to a women’s bible study at Owensboro Christian Church and over to their home. Months later, Liz and Ryan asked us the most pivotal question of all; something they had been praying about for a long time. God had laid a specific verse on their hearts – James 1:27 – “…to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” She and Ryan wanted to help – they felt led to ask if my family wanted to move in to their home. She explained that they would want nothing in return and we would have our own living space. She went on to say she would provide dinner every night and help whenever needed.
What Liz and Ryan didn’t know (and had no way of knowing – because it was at a different church I was visiting) was that I had just gone to the alter two weeks prior and given my finances to God, pleading for His help with my financial burdens, not knowing what to do or how things would or could change. He, of course, knew what was ahead. To some, their offer may seem like a no-brainer question, but to me, I really had to ponder it, to pray about it, to know for sure that it was what God had planned for my little family. With such huge changes, the last thing I really, selfishly wanted was another change, but knew after much prayer and consideration, that God had ordained it. He made it very clear that THIS was His plan all along. It became our reality in June of 2018. We have been blessed beyond measure by living with the Faughts. I am forever indebted to them for truly changing the course of our lives! Praise God for all of His provisions! I hope my story inspires many moms out there – single moms, married moms – to keep pressing on when days are hard and remember God has a beautiful plan and He is right there to help!