Our Writers & Artists
Hannah Anderson lives with her husband, Nathan, and their three young children in the haunting Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. As a pastor’s wife in a rural setting, no two days are ever the same which suits her short-attention span perfectly. Hannah is passionate about helping women discover their God-given identity as His image bearers and is the author of Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image (Moody, 2014). She also contributes to a variety of Christian publications, and you can find her on her blog, SometimesALight.com, and on Twitter @sometimesalight.
Mollie is a high school drawing and painting instructor, with her MFA in Illustration, who lives near Chicago. She grew up surrounded by children’s books and bedtime stories. Though she doesn’t have children of her own yet, her picture book library is well stocked with new and old favorites. Whether working on children’s book illustrations, murals, or private commissions, Mollie enjoys the interplay of imagery with text. The Bible in particular has so many stories to tell. She likes the challenge of bringing scripture passages to life through calligraphy or illustrative portraits. Preferring to work in watercolor and ink, she chooses her medium based on the effects she hopes to capture in a piece. Her blog, Telling the Story Between the Lines, can be found at MollieBozarth.Wordpress.com.
Since marrying her Marine thirteen years ago, Kelli Campbell has lived in eight homes. She has planted zinnias at every one. Kelli is a photographer and a homeschooling mother of four. Her life looks like a zinnia patch: messy and colorful. There are more than a few bugs and weeds, but no matter the season Kelli sees one thing through the lens of her camera: beauty. She shares those images at ZinniaPatchPictures.com.
Brenda is passionate for Christ-followers to display God’s words and works as captivatingly beautiful. She has served in various ministerial and nonprofit roles, and is currently working on her M.Div. (at Fuller Theological Seminary) where she is delighting in new discoveries of her Savior and Scripture. She is a regular teacher of Bible studies and a hope coach for the wounded, weary and wandering. Sometimes she does laundry, but only when it’s absolutely imperative. She loves days spent in the garden, sharing a good meal with friends, and the exuberant devotion of her two Basset Hounds. She may or may not have an unhealthy relationship with coffee, chocolate, and book buying. She lives outside of Los Angeles with her husband of twenty-two years and is a mom to two college-age boys who grew up way too fast. She writes about truth, beauty, and God’s goodness at OnceUponATruth.
Julie Chen dreamed of being an artist and missionary since the age of six. Though she has not been around the world as a missionary (in the physical sense), her work has shown the gospel to others across the globe. She designs books for Tyndale House Publishers (including PYP founder Lisa Velthouse’s Craving Grace) and was also the designer of The Jesus Storybook Bible for Zonderkidz. Julie is also the owner and creative director of Life Verse Design, whose mission is to get the Word of God on people’s walls in creative and beautiful ways. While not making art, you will find her in the great outdoors, photographing, walking, biking, coaching soccer, or simply playing at the park with her hubby and three adorable kiddos.
Mary has always kept a journal, but what began as a woman’s own journey of God-discovery in her personal journaling, has spawned a ministry of reconciliation and healing for women. A few years ago, this mom of three realized a desire to dig deeper into her own heart-wounds and invite God into her hurt. The artist in her began experimenting with layering images, patterns and text into journal pages that captured words and feelings in a more coherent and impacting way. As Mary began to share her experience with her friends, opportunities to teach the technique of visual journaling began to open. Mary now leads workshops at her local church and in her home studio. She says, “God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes…” Find her at asplendidadventure.blogspot.com and asplendidadventure.etsy.com.
Samira Gast is a bargain hunter, lip gloss lover and coffee enthusiast. Since she was a little girl, coloring was one of her favorite activities. Now as an adult, she still gets to play with colors as an artist. Working as a calligrapher has allowed Samira to service clients from all over the world and in various walks of life: fashion icons to Olympians, brides to business owners. However, at the end of the day, what inspires her to be the most creative is God revealing Himself through nature, Scripture and what he is up to in her own life. Samira works alongside her supportive husband, who tries to keep her singing to a controlled level while they work. Check out Samira’s work and see what she is up to on her blog at SamiraGast.com and at her Etsy store.
Kelli Gotthardt is a writer, speaker, and consultant. She has spent most of her career in the corporate world, but God is now directing her into full-time ministry. Her current focus is women’s issues and she travels nationally and abroad helping women leaders develop life rhythms that will increase their capacity to listen, lead, and love. Kelli is a frequent blogger and a contributor to Christianity Today. She finds renewal in silence and solitude and exercise like running, yoga, and paddle boarding on the ocean. She has been married to Richard for 24 years, and they live in Santa Cruz, CA, where he is a pastor. They have three teenagers and are adjusting to the new reality of having a son away at college. You can learn more about her at KelliGotthardt.com.
Jane Graham is a paper-and-ink-word-lover and is amazed that God has opened the door to a career in writing. In 2010 Jane helped write Weaving Dreams: the Joy of Work, the Love of Life, which debuted at #13 on the Wall Street Journal List. More importantly, Jane loves being a mom and raising her three kids to be young disciples, to bake great cookies, and to enjoy summer with abandon. While she has put blogging on the back burner for a season, you can learn more about her and her love of Jesus at GirlMeetsPaper.com.
Amanda Jenkins spent ten years in L.A. alongside her film-making husband surrounded by plastic surgery and high-falutin lifestyles, which is where she became convicted and inspired to write about her struggle with chasing perfection in all its forms. Amanda attended Northwestern Bible College and graduated with degrees in Communication and Biblical Studies. She has taught Bible studies for women of all ages for the past 14 years, and is passionate about communicating truth in a culturally relevant and funny way. Today, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, Dallas, and their four young children, including their recently adopted 6-yr-old son. She is also the daughter-in-law of Jerry B. Jenkins, author of the best-selling Left Behind Series, and drops his name in the publishing world as often as possible. Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist was released in 2013 by Tyndale House Publishers. Amanda blogs at RagingPerfectionist.com.
Danielle Ayers Jones
Danielle Ayers Jones is a storyteller. Whether it’s with paper and pen or behind the lens, it’s one of the things she loves to do best. Her love of all things bookish and artsy led her to earn a degree in English and Graphic Design and to work in an art museum pre-motherhood. Now she has a photography business and has written for Ungrind.com, iBelieve.com, StartMarriageRight.com, Thriving Family, Clubhouse, Jr., Radiant, and Relevant. She also combines her love of writing and photography on her blog, DanielleAyersJones.com. It’s a space where she seeks to find beauty in the everyday, joy in hardship, and encouragement in unexpected places. Danielle lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Amy Kannel often suffers from spiritual amnesia, easily forgetting who Jesus is and what He has done for her—so she writes to remember His faithfulness and help others see Him as the Main Thing. She makes her home in the Nashville area and will be forever grateful to the South for introducing her to tomato pie. When she’s not writing, you might find Amy making said pie and other kitchen messes, singing to her three-year-old son, reading with her six-year-old son, or ballroom dancing in the living room with Mr. Wonderful. And if you’d told her ten years ago that she would even think of mentioning cooking in a bio, she would have declared you certifiably insane…which just goes to show that she serves a God who’s in the business of changing people. You can find more of Amy’s writing at Choosing Hallelujah.
Patty Kirk is Writer in Residence and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. She and her husband Kris live in eastern Oklahoma and have two daughters, Charlotte and Lulu, who are in college. She is the author of five books, most recently The Easy Burden of Pleasing God and The Gospel of Christmas: Reflections for Advent. PattyKirk-Writer.Blogspot.com.
Cindi Koceich (at left in photo) is a photographer and graphic design artist. By personality she is a left-brained, list-making fanatic…so only God’s design can explain the right-brained career choices. She is the wife to a fully right-brained, creative and fun husband and mom to four beautiful children. When the adoption of her youngest child, Sam, landed her in Ethiopia in 2010, Cindi was immediately captured by the people and beauty of Africa. She has since returned to Ethiopia twice for the purpose of missions. Her heart is bent to share the joy of the Lord that is so alive in the people of Ethiopia through Scripture art and photographs. You can view her chalkboard style Scripture art through her Etsy shop and photographs on SelahStudiosPhotography.com or Facebook page.
Erin Leigh is a child of God, a wife, a mommy of two small boys, a first grade teacher, and a mixed media collage artist. She pieces together paint, paper, and found objects to create inspirational and scripture art. Erin’s artistic journey didn’t begin until her early thirties, when she was pregnant with her first son. Through playing and experimenting with paint and paper, Erin is continually finding her artistic voice. She loves fresh coffee, afternoon naps, vintage tablecloths, Henri Nouwen, and chipped paint. ArtByErinLeigh.Blogspot.com.
Megan Oldfield is a writer, stay-at-home mom, and chronic user of the word, “Dude.” She earned a degree in television and film writing at Syracuse University, and while she once was a Web designer and television producer, she now homeschools and drives a mini-van, two things she swore she’d never do. Megan lives dangerously close to Hershey’s Chocolate World in rural Pennsylvania, along with her husband and three kids, and when she’s not feeding them or folding their laundry, she’s stringing words together about family, faith, marriage, and motherhood at her personal blog, RaineyDays.org.
Christie Purifoy earned a PhD in English literature from the University of Chicago. She recently traded reading lists and classrooms for a vegetable garden and a henhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. Now she writes stories at an old desk in the parlor of a Victorian farmhouse called Maplehurst. When the noise of her four young children makes writing impossible, she tends zucchini and tomatoes her children will later refuse to eat. The zucchini-loving chickens are perfectly happy with this arrangement.
The chickens move fast and the baby crawls faster, but Christie is always watching for the beauty, mystery and wonder that lie beneath it all. When she finds it, she shares it at ChristiePurifoy.com.
Stephanie Rische is a senior editor of nonfiction books at Tyndale House Publishers, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as Her.meneutics, Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Marriage Today, and Significant Living magazine. She and her husband, Daniel, live in the Chicago area, where they enjoy riding their bikes, making homemade ice cream, and swapping bad puns. You can follow Stephanie’s blog, “Stubbing My Toe on Grace,” at StephanieRische.com.
Kendra Roberts is a creative type—whether pursuing the arts or simply trying to convince her three-year-old daughter to eat more veggies. Born in Indiana, raised in Ohio, she now resides in the (dry) heat of the Arizona desert. When she and her husband moved to Arizona from Ohio in 2008, they packed only what would fit into their small sedan, making sure to save space for a nifty 1960’s green plastic elephant planter. Kendra holds a B.A. in History from Miami University. Recently she became an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) through Yahweh Yoga, a Christian yoga studio in Chandler, Arizona. It is her wholehearted desire to follow Christ wherever he leads—she stopped believing in coincidence a long time ago. Kendra’s blog: BittyBlueberry.blogspot.com Kendra’s art: EpistemologyOfLove.com
Laurie Short (formerly Polich) is a speaker, associate pastor, and author of fourteen books for students and youth workers. This year, she’s releasing her first non youth ministry book, called Finding Faith in the Dark (Zondervan, 2014.) The subtitle is “When the Story of your life takes a turn you didn’t plan,” which is a pretty good description of Laurie’s life. Single for 48 years, Laurie married and became a mom in 2009. (Her stepson was six when she married). Her experience with singleness, marriage and (now) motherhood allows her to speak to women on a variety of levels.
Laurie is passionate about God’s word, and hopes this site will help women uncover new insights from familiar (and not so familiar) passages of Scripture. She has a Masters from Fuller Seminary, works part time at Ocean Hills Covenant Church, and balances the rest of her time as an author, speaker, wife and mom. (Don’t all women have five jobs?) LauriePolich.com.
Lisa Velthouse founded Pick Your Portion as a way of encouraging herself and others to choose the good portion every day. Without accountability, she tends to save Bible study and prayer until “a better time,” which typically doesn’t happen until she’s too tired to keep her eyes open. Lisa has been working in publishing and public speaking since the age of 17, releasing two books —Craving Grace (a memoir) and Saving My First Kiss (for teens)—contributing to two other collaborative books, and speaking to audiences across the United States and abroad. Once the “2000 Brio Girl” for Focus on the Family’s Brio magazine, Lisa served for a time on staff at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI, and has written for a number of publications. Lisa is married to Nathan, an active-duty Marine Corps infantry officer; together they have one young daughter and live in southern California. LisaVelthouse.com.
Christina Vinson spent her childhood devouring books, and she vowed that when she grew up, she would read at the dinner table. After graduating from college, entering the corporate world, and getting married, Christina worked in higher education for a number of years, but decided to take the plunge into the world of freelance writing and hasn’t looked back since. Her days are spent writing for local magazines, creating website content, proofreading, and editing, all from her sunny home office where she spies on her neighbors and thanks God for the privilege of doing what she loves. In her free time, Christina relaxes by cutting cold butter into flour for currant scones, whipping cream for apple dumplings, going for walks, or, of course, wandering through the library. And every once in a while, she and her husband grab their separate books, open them up, and read at the dinner table.
Amylee’s life verse is, “by the grace of God, I am what I am.” She believes whole-heartedly in God’s leading and his words speaking directly to her as she walks this life. She is thrilled beyond words that his leading has led her to where she is now – a licensed artist, creating art for the believer’s heart. In addition to creating and managing the artwork that she licenses nationwide, she is the owner of a busy Etsy shop (AmyleeWeeks.Etsy.com) where she sells her handmade artwork. Amylee is happiest at her colorful and full-of-fun home, with her Bible open – and you guessed it, CREATING. She lives in Norwalk, Iowa, with her best friend and husband, Ryan, and their two daughters (Morgan, 9 and Ashley, 8). In addition to Amylee’s creative spirit, her home is full of creations by her daughters as well as her husband, who is a master finish carpenter.
Tricia Lott Williford
Tricia Lott Williford’s great loves are teaching, writing, and her two young sons, Tucker and Tyler. She collects books, words, and bracelets, and she pushes the boundaries of ‘widowed, single mom.’ Tricia speaks at events and retreats all over the country, and she writes daily on her blog, TriciaLottWilliford.com.