I’m Bethany J., and this is my journal, because experts in the craft tell me to “write what you know.”
I’ve written things since I was a little girl in braids and rubber boots, but it wasn’t always about what I knew. I tried stories about people who got lost in forests or suffered World War II, but before and between those projects (and for seven years straight), I did something a little closer to home:
Every other Friday, I rang my neighbors’ doorbells and handed them some rolled-up pages, typed over with stories about lost dogs or potholes or rainstorms that forced Papa’s pond over its banks. They were newspaper articles about my neighborhood, for my neighbors.
It’s taken years for me to come full-circle, back to the front porches on Edgewood Road. God is working into me a love for place and an ambition that’s quieter, that minds its own affairs and works with its hands (1 Thess. 4:11).
So, I try to grow my garden (with Beatrix Potter as my guiding light). I take long walks and play in the creek with my niece and nephews. I like to mow the yard, but I always dodge the wildflowers. I read books by writers like Wendell Berry and Andrew Peterson, C. S. Lewis and Tolkien, because they don’t just take me on adventures; they bring me Home.
And so from Edgewood Road — with my big family living through the gate and up the hill and down the street — I write what I know.
But all the while, I remember there are things I can’t know. I cling to God’s Word that anchors me to what’s real and true, while leaving the door open for my imagination. I’m lost without the hope that Jesus has called me, saved me from myself, and written a better ending to the Story than I could ever dream up (Romans 8:30).
And I sure couldn’t do this without you, friend, to long with me and walk Home with me. Thank you for being here and wanting to share a little of life.
By God’s grace and for his glory alone— or, to let the Latin sing it so nicely:
Soli gratia, soli Deo gloria,
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:11
You can read more about my neighborhood newspaper and writing journey in a piece called Front Porch Ambitions. I post lengthier essays/articles like that one on the first Thursday of each month. Here are a few others:
And then every Sunday, I share a short Sunday Sketch. Here’s an introduction to those.
Lastly, I piece together a list of “things that make me happy” at the end of every month — things like cumulous clouds or apples or soup. You can look through a few older lists here:
On the righthand sidebar, you’ll find a list of topics I usually write about. Feel free to browse them, as well as the archives (though I can’t say I don’t cringe at some of my baby blog posts).
I hope you feel welcome here. I wouldn’t mind if my blog felt like your grandma’s kitchen: a place where the light comes in and stories are shared.
“I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death… I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.”
~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity