That’s the book I need to write

You guys! You guys! I’m so excited and I just wanted to share with you all a bit about it.

Dear friends of ours were sharing in my mom’s group on Friday about calling and place and how to love a place, and suddenly, it all made sense. Talking together about where we live, about a theology of place, about the story of the Bible being about movement from the garden to our eternal home. Things all held in isolation as cool ideas before coalesced for me in a beautiful idea. Do you ever have one of those lightbulb moments?

I have a book in me | Circling the Story

You see, I wrote my Ph.D. on place. Specifically, it was about immigrants moving from Britain to America around the time of the War for Independence. But what really got me jazzed about the concept in the first place was my own experience living as a foreigner, since my husband and I were Americans living in Scotland. And the book I need to write is about place. It’s kind of like my Ph.D. but for normal people. It’s about how places sink into our souls, about how we learn to be a part of places, about how we resist and fall in love with locales. It’s about daily little liturgies of walking your kids to and from school, of bumping into friends at the supermarket and about feeling a sense of your own smallness in big places. It’s about all the things that Circling the Story is about — about how life is both mundane and glorious; and it’s about finding yourself again and again in the flesh and blood and meeting together as we come alongside one another, around each other’s tables, and ultimately, as we long for belonging in a Home that will satisfy all our longings.

I have a book in me | Circling the Story

So I’m going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret and I need your help.

I want to become an author. Not the academic variety right now (since I’m home with little kiddos at the moment) but I want to write; writing is something that brings life — not only to me as a write and process, but also as I share what I write. It’s life-giving in the best sense of the word. If anything I’ve said here at Circling the Story has resonated with you, would you consider sharing or inviting friends to like my Facebook page or subscribe to the blog*?

To get published these days (the traditional route anyway), I’m going to need to build myself a platform if anyone’s going to pick up my book idea. And a platform = people. We need more people to join this community we’re building here at Circling the Story. Could you imagine your life online focused on grace and truth and getting fuel to show up even when it’s hard? Instead of the relentless amount of noise and pictures and feeling so much like you just don’t measure up? So, if you’re passionate about seeing God show up in your hard, about being open and vulnerable about who you are and what you’re about, and are excited to see a community built on authenticity and struggle and hope, then please stick around. I want this little piece of the Internet to be about real, and to be about hope. And, please, invite others to join in!

It’s scary to write it down. To verbalize my goals. But there they are. I want to write. I want to do it not just for fun, on the side, not just to earn an income, but because I finally have a voice and there’s things that need saying and I think I’m the one to say it.

I have a book in me | Circling the Story

So join in the conversation. Let’s have this not just be an espresso shot to our day — where we read some words to get a quick jolt and go about our day. Let’s make it about change, about being real, and about supporting each other as we struggle towards faith, hope and love. And I hope you’ll trust me well enough to join with me here and do it.

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23 Comments

  1. Jenny, I found this through Jeannette Jones’ Facebook. I’m an American and an academic living in England (10 years now). This post resonates with me very deeply, and I am highly interested in seeing how this project develops.

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  2. My friend Alexandra recommended you to me and I agree that your ideas really resonate. I have only lived internationally in short bursts (the longest was 5 weeks) but as a single 36 yr old woman whose parents relocated to a different state when I was 19 and who has moved 13 times in the last 10 years (and between 3 states) home can be elusive for me. I am a wanderer at heart, and have lived much of the last 8 years with my best friend and companion. She has helped me to find home in some of the many places I have lived. That is all likely to change in the next 18 months, though, as she gets much more serious with her boyfriend, and I am already having feelings of displacement and wondering what home will be like without her.

    Eagerly looking forward to joining you in this process. (BTW, I am working on a PhD in American Lit with a focus on minority views of freedom in community in the antebellum US because of my own decade + long drive to better understand what it means to be free in community, prompted by an ever growing desire to live fully in the Body of Christ).

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    1. Rebecca, thanks so much for reading and responding so fully. Isn’t it so funny that the things we’re drawn to write about and study often make sense because of our own journeys?

      I’m so glad you’re here. And I’m so glad that the idea of place and home and homelessness hit a chord — I think they do for all of us, but it’s perhaps especially poignant right now.

      It is so very true that home can be defined by people even as locations change. I am so excited you’ll be sticking around and thinking through issues here!

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  3. I’d read that book. And I’d live that ideal 🙂 And I’ll root you along!

    The idea of “sacred space” has actually been doing cartwheels in my head the past two weeks or so. It’s something I’m making myself do intentionally by creating spaces at home and emotional spaces inside that are positive and cozy and healthy. I’ve been toodling around with some blog posts about it, actually. SO. This is timely. And I think you need to do it. And I love you.

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    1. Laura, I love you too. And thank you for cheering me on. I really want to hear more about your sacred space ideas. Please write them. Please. Because writing helps get it all out and developed and lovely and develops community. Link back here when it’s written. 🙂

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  4. I absolutely can not wait for this read. Continue to be that tree in the Forrest as every tree started with one leave and grew to have many I hope that is how your series of books go… Continue to use your spiritual gifts as it says in 1 Corinthians 4-9…. Continue to bless us with that gift… Thank you…

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