A history of one family living on the edge of Appalachia.
Sure, there have been some dry seasons, years in which there wasn’t anything posted and little written, but I’ve been practicing sharing my thoughts and feelings for FOURTEEN years.
In 2008 we set off on a cross country trip in a pink campervan. Brad built a fancy-for-that-time blogging site and we viewed that as our job while we were on the trip, to write about our adventures, the way we encountered God, what we learned, and unfortunately a side or two of complaining about what we thought was wrong with the church. Like all red blooded 21 and 22 year olds, we had it all figured out.
I didn’t grow up wanting to write and didn’t even think I could. Sure I wrote plenty of papers and essays in school, but writing for an audience other than a professor wasn’t on my radar. My gifting was photography, and that’s what I did while we traveled. But I also pushed myself out of my comfort zone and began writing and publishing some of my experiences. Brad gave me lots of tips along the way, ones that have forever shaped the way I put words onto a page.
Remember when people used to comment on blogs? Back in the golden age of blogs the comment section of Simply One Life was fairly active. Family and friends were likely interested to see where we landed week by week and wanted make sure we were still alive.
I remember one of my first posts received a comment from a family member and it said something along the lines of, “Please keep writing, I really appreciate your perspective”.
Even though Brad is the gifted writer, that comment helped me to see that I also had a voice and unique outlook to share with the world. I bet this person doesn’t even know how those few words of encouragement have shaped my writing over the years.
We came back to Columbus, Ohio and settled into a not so lovely $10,000 house in a not so loved neighborhood. There were a few years that I was reeling from becoming a mother and learning how to live in a broken house with a lot of evident brokenness around me and I stopped writing.
It came back, though, and I felt like I stood strong enough with where we were to share bits and pieces of our story and life in the inner city. I love looking back at those stories and seeing the way God’s story was weaved all throughout our life, even when it felt so difficult and desolate.
I wrote through the decision to move to Zanesville and all the beauty and newness that came the first couple of years here. 6 acres in a small town was a breath of fresh air with a side of quiet compared to the lights and gunshots of the city.
I wrote about motherhood, and the decision to educate our kids at home (even though at the time I was terrified I had no idea what I was doing. Spoiler alert: I still really don’t).
I wrote about owning a restaurant and moving my grandma in with us. I wrote about new babies being born and the exhaustion and beauty in it all. Somewhere in there my voice changed a bit and I really like the way I found to write about life.
I wrote through the pandemic and listened for the words I felt God was speaking to me. Although it was new to share the prophetic stuff with anyone other than close friends, it felt like that was what God gave me to share in that season.
And here I am, still writing. Still making time to live my faith and share my life. People don’t really spend time on blogs anymore, but I don’t care. If nothing else this is a record of the wonderful life my family and I get to live with Jesus. I cherish looking back at the ways we’ve grown.
I invite you in to this space because I feel like God has given me a unique and important perspective on the world. I believe He’s given you one, too, so please write back and let me know what you find beautiful and good in your own life.
The more we focus on the good things in the world, the more we will see how good life really is.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8