'It seems to me that we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good and we must hunger after them.'
Writer, sometimes theologian, wife of a marvelous Dutchman named Thomas, mother of the elfin-sized Lilian, and very happy resident of the golden-walled and cobble-streeted Oxford, I hope that someone will say of me when I die what William McGreel said of his wife Elizabeth Yates (a writer): She has plenty of courage, a strong faith, and a native expectancy of good. Living with her is a high adventure.
In keeping with that wish, I can usually be found wandering somewhere in the wilderland of books, beauty, and imagination. I'm currently at work on a degree in modern doctrine at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford with a focus on theodicy and beauty. I'm the author of Book Girl with Tyndale Momentum, a book half memoir, half book list, written as my grateful tribute and hearty invitation to the joys of the reading life. Most recently, I’m the author of Girl’s Club with my mom and sister, a book exploring the power and grace of friendship in a lonely world. (I've also authored two guides to the world of children's literature, The Lifegiving Home - with my mom - and a devotional for women. You can see them all HERE.)
On the blog here I mostly explore those moments of beauty or grief, of stories read or wisdom fought for, of joy picked up like a penny from the ground of the ordinary that, as Sylvia Plath puts it, 'set the sight on fire'. I'm with George Eliot in thinking that we have to 'hunger after the beautiful and the good', precisely because the world is broken and we must fight our way to hope and keep our sight sharp to recognise the invasion of Love - in kindness and courage, art or music, story or person. I hope that in wandering this online space you will hear the Aslan whisper of 'courage, dear heart' in whatever season you find yourself.
Instagram is where you can find me on a daily basis and join in the live read-aloud videos I create every few days by reading aloud a bit of poetry, novel, or essay that has caught my eye and heart. Go HERE to catch up on past videos.
You’ll also find me posting about the various podcasts on which I occasionally appear as a guest. I’m a regular guest on my mom’s podcast At Home with Sally, and I feature occasionally on my sister’s Speaking with Joy as well. I’ll update the podcasts page here with new episodes whenever they are available.
And I keep this site updated with news of any upcoming events or forays into the public world where my passion for some burning idea has overcome my introversion and led me to speak in public.
In the meantime, you can usually find this reader and convinced idealist enjoying the red-doored cottage I share with my loves, poring over theological tomes, hunting for books (for the community library I will one day open), taking a long, windy walk with my beloved, or exploring some corner of this grand old world (15 countries and counting). Or possibly, just settling into my blue reading chair with a cup of tea, a touch of music, and a great novel as the church bells out the window toll the start of the darkling hour...
I am so very glad you are here.