Gardening Shame

I wrote a letter to my friend, Sarah, last week and told her I’m suffering from Gardening Shame. There are weeds in every box, and I haven’t re-mulched the paths, so black tarp shows through like the garden’s underwear. My tomato plants won't take to the soil and stand limp. Zoysia grass creeps in and … Continue reading Gardening Shame

Introducing “Sunday Sketches”

I’ve called this place Bethany J’s Journal since it’s beginning, but I’ll admit it isn’t my journal— not my real, blue hardback with the exotic fish on the front and squatty cursive inside. Here, I draft, tweak, redraft, edit, polish, and find pretty pictures to match each article. My real journal is messier, and while … Continue reading Introducing “Sunday Sketches”

Front Porch Ambitions

For seven years, I stood on my neighbors’ porches every other Friday to hand them some pages I’d written, rolled into a rubber band and labelled: Argyle News. The neighborhood newspaper was mostly a briefing of the birthdays, holidays, and graduations in my family, sometimes headlined by a tree that had fallen across Edgewood Road … Continue reading Front Porch Ambitions

Part Three: Belonging in a Kingdom

When Jesus says, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning” in Luke 12:35, I get two images from Tolkien’s The Return of the King. The first is of Minas Tirith— a stone fortress towering against the enemy realm of Mordor. I see Pippin the hobbit bumping between soldiers who are rushing to find … Continue reading Part Three: Belonging in a Kingdom

Part Two: Belonging to a Person & People

For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Cor. 6:16). As my church crawled out of quarantine, blinking in the May daylight, I had a run-in with … Continue reading Part Two: Belonging to a Person & People