• books,  Uncategorized,  writing

    Why I’m Changing my Name

    In a little over a month my book, Beautiful Feet: Unleashing Women to Everyday Witness will be released with InterVarsity Press.  Though I’d like to be all like “aw, shucks, no big deal, it’s just something I did on the side,” I’m not really that kind of person.  I’m SUPER PSYCHED my book is about to drop! I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life! I’m even putting together some awesome giveaways to do next month around the time of book release for all ya’ll because of all the ways AMAZING you women and men have inspired me to share my faith. So, the name change thing. I found a…

  • social media,  writing

    Blog Break

    I would really love to give you heartfelt, thought provoking and funny content on a daily, or at least weekly basis. But I’m giving all that goodness to something else right now- my book Beautiful Feet: Unleashing Women into Everyday Witness. I’ve been feeling the pressure to be “a real” writer by blogging, submitting articles for publication and working on my book but I’ve begun to realize that just isn’t feasible right now. My manuscript revisions are due at the end of December so I’m hoping in January to start the new year with some kind of blogging consistency. I have a ton of ideas and things I want to…

  • art,  books,  inner world,  Uncategorized,  writing

    I Hit Send

    Two years ago I sat on a grassy hill listening to the roar of jets above me.  Dave and I had taken our boys to the Cleveland air show and along with other frugal Clevelanders, we had parked ourselves on a grassy slope across from there all the other fools were paying admission to listen to the same jets. Oswald would cry when one would suddenly zoom overhead, the noise too much for my baby. Watching Reuben roll down the hill with other kids who were enjoying a day off from school on Labor day, I sat feeling anxious, pent up and like I needed to let go of whatever…

  • books,  Uncategorized,  writing

    Bird by Bird? More like Turd by Turd

    As I’ve been getting up early to work on my book Beautiful Feet, I was reflecting on Anne Lamott’s book- Bird by Bird, which, if you’re a writer or an aspiring writer, it’s a great place to get some practical and inspiring tips.  The title of the book comes from a project her brother was working on about birds while he was in middle school. He had waited until the night before to write a report about various kinds and birds and was freaking out that he wouldn’t be able to get it done in time.  Their dad, encouraged him-” just take it bird by bird, buddy.” A little bit at…

  • friendship,  inner world,  kids,  parenting

    Fatherly Encouragement

    I sent my dad a thank you card recently. My mom is in Liberia for three weeks chaperoning a trip for Calvin College students. My dad is usually the one traveling around the world.  In part because I knew he would be a little lonely, in part because at InterVarsity’s recent national staff conference we were invited to write thank you’d. Thank you’s to people who have helped us to become a world changer. I love and appreciate my dad but I realize how seldom I tell that to him. Somehow texts, emails and even words spoken don’t have the punch of seeing something scrawled in a familiar script on…

  • books,  inner world,  jesus,  spirituality,  writing

    Dreams Come True

    Right before Christmas I received this amazing email from Al, an editor at InterVarsity Press: Jessica – I’m thrilled to tell you that our publishing committee officially approved publication of your book proposal! The team was impressed with what you have done to develop both the proposal and your platform, and folks really appreciate your motivation and creative energy. The sense was that the time is right for you and the book. Congratulations! I’m still grinning ear to ear that this is for real happening- I get to write Beautiful Feet! It’s all I can do to keep myself from yelling in excitement right now lest I wake up my…

  • Uncategorized

    Radioactive Writerman

    This coming Monday I am going to look a little bit like this picture of Spiderman.  Not slinging webs, not fighting bad guys or upside-down kissing anyone while I hang from a building.  Just sitting, writing and being radioactive. Recently I found out that my thyroid was messed up with hypothroidism and that I’d have to undergo radioactive iodine treatment to cure it.  Basically I have been unable to make it through the day without taking a nap, going to bed ridiculously early and having crazy mood swings. Most mornings I wake up feeling hung-over because I’m so sluggish. I have just felt like a giant loser because I can’t…

  • Uncategorized

    write it…maybe?

    It felt a little like InterVarsity Press’ version of Carly Rae Jepsen- “we like your concept, so write it maybe” when I got the email with a solid “not yet” regarding my book proposal.  I have been putting off writing this blog post in part because I’ve been sorting through next steps of where to go from here with their suggestions to resubmit my proposal, staffing a student conference in MI, throwing a pity party, and getting advice from other author friends.    Though I was pretty down when I got the email, especially because Dave was out of town and I was with the boys by myself (and my…

  • Uncategorized

    If and when I go into labor

    book proposalIt is difficult not to picture the moment that will change life forever.  Will it happen when I'm out running errands, helping myself to a second cup of coffee, or at a dinner party with friends?  Will I be alone when I realize it is actually going to happen or be able to celebrate in the company of others?  How will I feel when I realize that what I've been waiting for, longing for and picturing is actually going to happen...... or not happen.I'm still waiting to hear back from InterVarsity press about the  

  • Uncategorized

    week #1 of the writing adventure

    Inspired. Productive. Joyful. Words to describe my first day of writing last week for my book proposal. It’s been almost a week since I went public with my goal to write a book proposal in 60 days & I wanted to give a brief update on how things went for my first writing day. I felt super grateful for the quiet space overlooking the woods on a cool day to kick this adventure off.  The month before as I was roaming the woods among the bluebells, ferns and riverbank on a retreat of silence, I could feel the envy for the beautiful home & lush property creeping up in my…

  • writing

    I’m feeling nervous to Breathe

    This weekend my kind friend and author Lorilee Craker is taking me to the Breathe writers conference.  I am feeling so excited and nervous to go! Here are the reasons I feel nervous: People who are serious about writing go to writers conferences. This commits me to being more serious and intentional about writing. This is scary. This is taking a step towards a dream rather than just dreaming. Will I seem like a poser amongst serious writers? I know not everyone there will be a published author, but it is still a little intimidating to be with so many gifted people! Will I discover that I don’t have what…