Posted by: Admin | March 30, 2013

The Saturday Interview 38 – Jill

Portrait Photography Northamptonshire

An American Abroad

Visiting her sister in London, American, Jill, booked me for a photo shoot and came to stay overnight (customer service, you see!) I “met” Jill online when she started to follow project50 and began to comment regularly on my posts. I loved the fact that, having been inspired to start my blog by The Wartime Housewife, Jill was in turn inspired to document her “year of Jubilee” as she approached her 50th birthday with a blog of her own.

A mother of five, Jill’s Christian faith is a mainstay in a life that has been both rich in experience and fraught with difficulty. Shortly after her husband won his fight against cancer, they lost their teenage son, James. Such unendurable heartache triggered a reassessment of their priorities and a complete life change.

Jill's tattoo

“We bought an RV and took the younger children on the road for nine months,” Jill tells me. In her blog, she describes their odyssey thus: “it was a time of physical journeys, even while we were taking an internal journey from grieving and loss toward hope.”

Jill celebrated James’ life recently with a tattoo – “Heaven’s Gift” was the name James gave to an online video game prize he received four days before his accident, and the phrase aptly describes the way Jill feels about the short time she had him with her.

How does she feel about turning 50? “I know I want this Year of Jubilee to be a turning point for me—a place to pause while I look over my past and look toward my future. I want this year to be something I can look back to and remind myself, this is when I chose to follow Christ more fully, allowing Him to bring healing to broken places inside me and helping me walk into a more abundant life.I want this to be the time when I begin to dance my way through life.”

At the time of our meeting, the family were working with “at risk” Navajo youngsters, though funding for that project was shortly to come to an end. Jill meets uncertainty with a calmness born of experience. Every change is seen as a challenge, whether she is training to become a National Ski Patroller in Ohio, flying to Germany for three months to help out a friend, scrap booking with her daughter or taking on the authorities as an advocate for her young students. I guess that when the very worst has happened and you have survived, there is little left to fear.

I look forward to watching you dance through your fifties, Jill, and I hope we meet again before too long.

You can read about Jill’s explanation of the concept of “Jubilee” on her blog here

Jill’s blogpost about our meeting

and more images can be seen on my Celebrate Life! blog here

UK Portrait Photographer



  1. Obviously I like this post 🙂 I’ve just reposted it on facebook. Hope you get LOTS of reads!

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