10 with a 10: Jess Picken

10 with a 10: Toronto women who are honest, encouraging fighters willing to let us into their story. Willing to let me ask 10 vulnerable questions so that we can all take notes week after week from different women who are simply killin' it.

This week, Jess Picken, the oh-so-steady and strong matriarch of the incredible church of C3 Toronto. Not only is she a crown to her husband, Sam, but one to our entire C3 community. She will start a sentence speaking out of an incredible well of integrity and end it surprising you with a quick-witted joke.
So, if you think you've got the stereotype of pastors wife down pat, get a load of this young, mighty Australian and go back to the drawing board.

1. What do you do and what does it give to people?

My husband and I are the leader pastors of a church in downtown Toronto called C3 Church. My prayer and hope is that it gives people a community like none other where they can experience a tangible relationship with God.

2. What's a piece of advice you consistently find yourself giving out but find hard to take yourself?

I honestly try my best to not give advice that I wouldn't take myself. What's the point of telling someone to do something you yourself wouldn't do?!

But I do find myself telling people and reminding myself often that,
"You've got to get your security from God. Not from your job, responsibilities, title, friends, partner or your inner strength." 

3. How do you rely on others to make you better?

I'm a natural introvert but I've realized I NEED other people in my life. The worst lie of our current culture is "I don't need a man, I don't need a woman, I don't need anyone. I am who I am and I can do this all on my own." 

I would not be who I am or where I am today without my husband. Marriage is the best thing ever and I am determined to give it a good name again.
I also need my family and my (way cooler than I am) friends.
I NEED them.
We need each other.

4. Someone gives you 50 mill. What's the FIRST way your life changes?

I'd buy a house on my fave street in Toronto, then the rest in the bank.
I'm probably a little too sensible. 

5. What has compelled you forward more than anything else?

Doing the hard things when there is no glory. I am a firm believer that you will only have success to the level of your integrity and character. If you build your life without it, it will eventually fall.

Also, don't underestimate the slow and steady. My life hasn't been a firework but many slow steps in the right direction.

6. Do you like when people ask you, "Where do you want to be in 5 years?"

Yes! I like asking it, too. Vision is so important in life. If you don't see where you want to go then what are you walking towards in life? Do you just walk around aimlessly? Do you just let life happen to you?

I never want to be a victim to the circumstances life hands me. I want to be able to say, "No, this is who I am and where I'm going."

7. If someone was handed a script of your inner dialogue this week, what would it say?

I'm a mom so it would be a big mess of a million thoughts!

It'll range from,
"I need to remember to buy this at the store. Oh crap what else did I need to get?"
to
"I feel like we're stepping into a new season as a church. How do I wear this new identity, who am I again?"

8. Are you spontaneous?

Nope. But weirdly enough I'm also not a planner. I'm more of a routine person. I have a routine I like and I stick to it. I find it hard to break. But spontaneity that fits into the routine is the best thing ever! 

9. Are you failing differently each time?

Kind of, but not really. The situations may look different but it's the same weaknesses or flaws that trigger it. My husband is a big risk taker, which means our family takes big risks. Big risks = some failures and some successes. 

Failure to me is defined much more by my reaction to it rather than the situation itself. If I still feel good about myself is it really a failure?! Failing to me means having to pick myself up off the ground. So the situations look different but the root core of "failure" is always my insecurity played out in different ways.

10. Paul Newman or Robert Redford?

Robert Redford. He was such a babe in his day! 
Paul Newman just reminds me of salad dressing.