About Me


Welcome to Part of the Main!

My name is Betsy.


I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus, a receiver of grace and mercy, and a new creation. This means I was once lost but I’m found now and I’ll never be lost again. It means I am far from perfect but fully forgiven. I don’t know it all but I do know this: Jesus saved me on that famous cross and gave me an eternal life of knowing him . . . that surely is a beautiful inheritance!

I am married to Alex.

Alex is my best friend. He is a wonderful husband and father all of the time, a biblical scholar most of the time, and a football enthusiast whenever he gets the chance. He’s a sushi-eating optimist who’s interested in everything from grammar to rock-climbing. He’s perfect for me.

In the last several years Alex has completed his PhD in theology at Oxford, with a view to teaching and serving overseas in Christian education. We moved to Java in August of 2015. (A little more about our journey is here.)


I am the mommy in this family. We have four precious little ones.

Norah is our first baby, born in December 2008. Every day she’s a little taller. I tell her she grows sneakily, in the night. She’s always had a lot to say and we don’t want to miss a word. Norah’s our artist; she loves beauty and our home is knee-deep in her creations. She likes to help out, dress up, make-believe, and giggle. I call her “Sparky” because she’s full of zest–she wakes up each day not only bigger–but with greater enthusiasm for life.


Harriet is our sweet second child, born in England in November 2010. She’s a very jolly little dumpling. She’s full of fun and mischief. Especially mischief. Harriet loves story books and baby dolls and Norah, her fellow member of what they call “The Sister Club.” This one tends to collect affectionate nicknames–we call her “Wee Chicken Lickin’ ” and Norah has dubbed her “The Chocolate Bean.”


Hugh arrived in November of 2012. He has inherited his daddy’s adventure streak and Mommy’s full-time job is protecting him from himself. Hugh deeply loves all things automotive, with a special place in his heart for fire engines and tractors. When his grandpa sent him a new metal tractor for his third birthday recently his Daddy said, “Wow, Hugh, a new tractor!” Said our boy, “Daddy, that’s a John Deere.”


God gave us Walter in November 2014. He fully understands what is expected of a  fourth child and behaves accordingly, remaining at all times fat and happy. His cheeks are dreamy and we can all only just refrain from swallowing him whole. At this writing he boasts six teeth, two words, and the most powerful throwing arm I have ever seen on a baby.


We are overseas service workers and it is our privilege to live on this huge island.

I am a teacher by profession but at the minute I am the lady of the house.

I dream about becoming a writer, so this is where I write.


16 Responses to About Me

  1. Peggy says:

    I just loved reading your posts so far and can’t wait to read more! Thanks for keeping us posted…for sharing your adventure and your gifts…
    With Love,

  2. Alyssa says:

    Hi Betsy! Both Haley Scharf and Allison Harmon gave me your bog info and I so enjoyed “catching up.” You and your family are so beautiful! I was inspired to be a better wife and mother after reading some of your posts. I have a special place in my heart for Oxford since I studied there for a short time in college. It would be so fun to pop over for a spot of tea and introduce my 2 girls to your little ones. By the way, what was that British word we used to say in high school? I couldn’t help but remember you saying it (whatever it was) and laughing. We prayed for you and your family tonight :-).



    • Hi! How wonderful to hear from you! Let’s email, I want to hear all about your family. I think the word was extraordinary. 🙂

      • jenna says:

        It totally was EXTRAORDINARY- and i still say it exactly how you used to say it bets!
        and I echo alyssa when i say that i love reading your blog as well and it does inspire me to be a better mother and wife and it brings back such wonderful memories of writing notes/letters in high school! (tared and way tared)
        you are and always were a great writer 🙂

  3. Emma Witmer says:

    I think Alex sent out your blog address with the relocation email, it is so nice to see what you are up to. I confess I am a little jealous you’re in Oxford (although I’d be beside myself were it Cambridge!) What church have you settled into? I had a lot of friends at St Ebbes at one time.
    My life looks a lot like yours, abeit in a different country. Samuel is 2 and a half and Annie is 7 months. Full days of caring for the wee ones, and sometimes a struggle to find joy in the nappies and lego towers. All is grace though.
    Much love to all the Kirks,


  4. Mrs. ****!!!
    You live in England!!!
    You have two children!!!
    I miss you!

  5. '[ says:

    Hi, Betsy. I’m linking to you from Deep Roots at Home and have really enjoyed looking back at Oxford through your blog. Our family visited last year while our son was a student at Christ Church. He loved almost every hour of the experience. I wonder if you are familiar with the Christian Worldview Ministry called Summit Oxford? I highly recommend Kevin and Angela Bywater to you. They are an American couple living outside Oxford in Enysham (with 5 children ages 2 to 13). Kevin is director of Summit Oxford. http://www.summit.org/media/pdf/institutes/oxford/summit-oxford-prospectus.pdf
    Anyhoo, God bless you as you love your husband and raise your children in England.

  6. Erin says:

    AHHHH! You added HUGH!!!! He is such a manly man, defeating colic and surviving two affectionate older sisters!! Love him to pieces!!!

  7. Hi Betsy,
    Mert Tabbut made me aware of your blog and I love what I’m reading–you have a new fan! I’d say follower, but that sounds so weird–but yeah, I’m now following your blog :).


  8. Tim O'Leary, Boston says:

    Betsy: thanks for sharing that photo of Harriet showing us her bird drawing. That smiling face — so happy just to be alive makes me think, at least for a minute, that God is in His heaven and all is right with the world. God bless your family. — Tim from Boston

  9. Alice says:

    I look forward to each post. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better mom, wife and running the race with my Author and Perfecter enabling. We miss your family- so great to “see” you all via this blog!

  10. Fiona Stocker says:

    Thank you so much for the Advent Readings for the Very Young. I’m a kindergarten teacher here in Sherwood Park, Alberta, and after searching for relevant but understandable day-to-day Advent messages and related scripture, I fell upon your site. I am currently planning an Advent unit for a class I am taking, but the plan is to put the unit to use this year (just a week after I had in the assignment). This probably sounds confusing. Anyway, thanks so much to you and your husband for taking the time to come up with it, and then, for making it available to all of us!
    Best regards,

    Fiona (a fellow mom of 4, teacher, and writer). :O 😉

    PS – Looks like you have a wonderful, adventurous life, that is richly blessed! =)

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