JLB headshot

Meet Jill

I’m a mom. Wife. Friend. Someone who laughs loudly. I love garage sales and thrift stores and will proudly tell you how little I paid for something. I’m a fan of boots and books. Not a fan of cancer. I love Jesus. I think He’s the only thing that really matters in this crazy beautiful world full of trials and suffering.

Family Shelfie FFTGrowing up, I always wanted to get married and have kids. Those dreams came true over the last seventeen years. Writing a book was a dream I carried close to my heart along with the thought of “someday.” After hearing my mom tell my daughter that I was going to write a book one day, I questioned, when is “someday?” Interestingly enough, my mom does not remember saying those words. But God used them to spur me into action. I started writing, and I pray those drafts never see the light of day. 🙂 A few years later, I won the ACFW Genesis Award for unpublished writers. I also entered Falling for Texas in an online pitch contest with Harlequin Love Inspired ®. The synopsis of the book had to be one-hundred words or less. I pitched that short paragraph, and amazingly, my editor gave me a chance and coached the book into what it is today. I’m forever grateful for that opportunity.

Kara&Friends_0062I met Kara Tippetts through church and school when her family moved to Colorado. I’m pretty sure that before I had the chance to meet Kara, my husband met her husband. My hubby immediately gave the stamp of approval—this guy is funny. Our friendship grew, and Kara and I bonded over our shared love of writing. I don’t remember the exact moment we said “we should write a book together,” but I do remember tossing ideas back and forth, dreaming over that thought. Eventually, our focus landed on this topic: how to walk through suffering with a friend. Unfortunately, it was one we’d had a crash course in. Like so many others, I was privileged to walk with Kara during her cancer battle. I learned so much about the delicate dance of showing up from watching and listening to Kara and her community.

Now, Kara has flown away to meet her Jesus face-to-face. I miss her. We all miss her. Her wit. Her humor—even in the midst of excruciating hard. Her ability to discern and give advice about something that would take me weeks or months to figure out. Before Kara passed, I told her I didn’t know what I was going to do without her wisdom. She told me “my words will still be here and my voice will be in your head.” May it be so. Kara was an inspiration, someone who changed my faith for the better, but more than anything, a friend.

Writing (and life) is a delightful—sometimes crazy—journey, and I’m so glad to continue creating stories. Every single day is a gift.