There once was a girl who loved to write.

The Girl:
I’m Joy. 30 something. Wife. Mama. Jesus follower. Former literacy coach turned stay-at-home-mom. Zumba instructor. Reader. Writer. Lover of new notebooks, October, and goat cheese. Hater of traffic, scary movies, and overcooked asparagus.

The Blog:
For eight years, my weekdays were spent in a small, rural school off State Road 44. My evenings, weekends, and summers were spent in Oxford, the charming town I loved calling home.  When I created this blog, I knew I would be leaving both places within a year but decided on the name 44 & Oxford anyway. These two places will forever hold a dear place in my heart for many reasons. Among those reasons is my return to writing.

The Manifesto:
noun, man·i·fes·to
a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives
(Try saying it out loud.  It’s such a fun word.)

I believe there is a voice inside the head of every writer, whispering (perhaps even shouting from time to time), You don’t really have a story to tell. No one but your mother is going to read this.  There are so many people writing, what do you really have to contribute? On those days, I will need this manifesto to remind me what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

For the love of writing.

1. The purpose of this blog is to bring me back to a missing part of my life. Writing. I believe God made me to be a writer, not a best selling author or journalist (my initial college major...ha! Oh, what a train wreck that would have been), but a girl who tastes the fullness of all God created her to be when she sits down to write.

2. I love writing because it forces me to turn off TV shows I don’t really care about and articulate my thinking. It helps me remember snippets of life I’d forget come next week, and savor moments that otherwise may be lost in a pile of laundry. Writing is my attempt to process the confusing, uncover truth in the frustrating, and joyfully plant myself right in the midst of chaos. Writing makes me stop everything else, and I need that.

3. If at any time this blog hinders my ability to be joyfully present in the lives of my friends or family, continually cuts into my 7 hours of sleep, or becomes a looming item on my to-do list, I will step back.

4. This blog is intended to encourage, amuse, and challenge the wives, the mamas, the teachers, the readers, the writers, the food lovers and everyone in between. If you find it to do none of these three things, please move on. There is too much good stuff out there for you to waste time.

5. This blog is limited to words and pictures that cannot possibly tell the full story of Joy. It is a selective slice of my life, but I intend to be real and even vulnerable when appropriate, not attempting to depict my life as something it is not.  


  1. Hi Joy! I just discovered your blog and love it!! Keep up the great blog posts. :)

  2. Ah, I love your manifesto! I will need to come back and read it when I'm feeling like never writing again. I would only change number 3 to 8 hours of sleep :)

  3. Hi Joy! What a beautiful blessing your blog was💗! I just read nearly all of your writing in just this short time after clicking over from the mops website. So encouraging and thought-provoking! Well, now all four of my kiddos are awake, so I'm limited in time from saying all that I want- so in short, keep blessing the world with your amazing gift. Congratulations on your growing family!!