banner paper with text written on it that says: because she believes in the inherent belovedness of every human being

Here’s the question: What am I doing?

“Just do it.”
“You deserve a break today.”
“Think different.”

I’ve been working with a consultant for the past few months in my own attempt to come up with a way to convey the work I do in a short and pithy—but true and lasting—way. (Maybe the sentence I just typed already demonstrates how hard the short and pithy part has been for me!)

I’m not becoming Nike or Apple any time soon, but I am trying to hone in on who I am, what I do, and how I can convey that to new readers/listeners. I’ve used whiteboards and Miro boards and banner paper and notebooks. My social media coordinator, Amber Beery, and I have tossed out words and phrases and brainstormed for hours.

Who am I writing for?

I’ve realized that my work, and our audience, is more of a Venn diagram than a circle. I write about disability, sure. I also write about faith. I comment on culture. I write for an audience that includes lots of parents like me–with children with disabilities. Still, I’m also writing with a different person in mind—the person I think I would be without Penny in our life.

I’m writing for the adult who has always felt driven to achieve and perform and who wants to know they are valued and loved with or without those achievements. I’m writing for the ones who want to move from achievement to belovedness, from exclusion to belonging, from fear to love, from transactional relationships to grace, from a way of payment to a way of blessing.

Why am I writing?

I’ve also realized that as much as I admire (and need) advocates and activists, that’s not my purpose. What I do best is weave together personal stories, biblical narratives, and cultural commentary that helps us to think differently. I’m more of a mindset-shift person than a behavior-shift person. (That said, when we change our thinking, our behavior follows, and I hope that the work I do helps not only cause a shift in thinking but a shift in living that ultimately nudges our whole culture in a different direction.)

New Projects

We are circling in on a specific tagline (which you’ll see sometime very soon). The process of discovering that tagline already has helped us to envision new projects for the year ahead. I’m planning to create a 4-part video teaching series called Reimagining Family Life with Disability (and, depending on how that goes, one called Reimagining Church Life with Disability). I’m starting to pull on the threads of a book about why disability matters for everyone. And I’m thinking about how these distinctive threads might help shape our list of podcast guests and speaking opportunities.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for helping me determine the best way for me to offer the world what I have to give. I hope you too can find ways to know your belovedness and offer your gifts to the rest of us.

More with Amy Julia:

Retreating and Reimagining

How to Reflect on a Just-Get-Through-It Year

Season of Waiting and Impossibility

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