Why Thoroughly Alive?
Because we touch Love himself in life and laughter, story and song. By the savour of feasts, the cadence of seasons, in apples crunched and friends touched, God reaches into time and grips our hands with his taste-and-see goodness. My goal is to daily become more thoroughly alive to all that he is and offers. This is my space to celebrate and seek, to “hunger after the beautiful and the good” (as George Eliot put it) in music, art, books, and meals, stories told and journeys taken, my song of witness to the wonder I find waiting to startle me to life at every turn. Please, join me.

About Sarah:
Writer and student, wife of a marvelous Dutchman named Thomas, and very happy resident of the golden-walled and cobble-streeted Oxford. I hope that someone will say of me when I die what William McGreel said of his wife Elizabeth Yates (a writer): She has plenty of courage, a strong faith, and a native expectancy of good. Living with her is a high adventure.

In keeping with that wish, I study theology (far more of a wild adventure than you might expect), write, and learn every day a little more how to love. I mull life here when I have the spare moment, and I’m at work on a children’s story set in my grand old church here in Oxford. I have four books published (all here, if you’re interested) and I’m at slow, but steady work on a fourth exploring the power of beauty to speak out truth in a language without words.

unnamedI’m a reader and convinced idealist, always on the hunt for books (for the community library I will one day open), an occasional musician, a lover of long, windy walks, and an avid explorer of the world (15 countries and counting). I come from a highly opinionated family that values discussion, good books, strong hot drinks, and the thinking up of impossible ventures. The genes run strong.

Grace comes the clearest to me amidst friendship and family, in fellowship made, in the beauty of good stories, in vigorous discussion, art in myriad form, and music, always music. I love the green earth; hope someday to live a little closer to it, but for now am always eager for a foray into the mountains or down into the valleys. Life is, to my thought, a feast to be celebrated, a grace to be daily blessed, and my delight is to live, and live this story to the full with the people I love.

Best-Loved Books, My Brave Companions:
Anna Karenina, Till We Have Faces, The Four Loves, Hannah Coulter, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, A Place on Earth, Bright Evening Star, Streams of Living Water, Pilgrim’s Inn, At the Back of the North Wind, Our Mutual Friend, Cry The Beloved Country, Remains of the Day, Island of the World, The Great Divorce, Chronicles of Narnia, The Space Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Speak What We Feel, Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places, Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, The Man Who Was Thursday, The Giver, Simplicity, Mysticism, The Brothers Karamazov, The Celtic Way of Prayer, My Antonia, Gentian Hill, Walking On Water, The Chosen, The Renaissance of Wonder, Peace Like A River, Mariette in Ecstasy, The Yearling, A World Lost, Phantastes, Lilith, Life Is A Miracle, Three Cups of Tea, Planet Narnia, The Scent of Water, Reading the Classics with C.S. Lewis, Following Gandalf, Tree and Leaf

Music, My Muse:
Rich Mullins, John Rutter, Mat Kearney, James Newton Howard, Mumford & Sons, Max Richter, Josh Garrels,  Loreena McKennitt, Kate Rusby, Chris Rice, Andrew Peterson, City On A Hill, Death Cab for Cutie, Bach, Vivaldi, Fernando Ortega, Bob Bennett, Josh Groban, Jim Fhyrie, Joanna, Thomas Newman, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Morten Lauridsen

Movies, My Guilty Pleasure:
Chocolat, The Tree of Life, Bleak House, The Village, The Dark Knight, Babette’s Feast, The Wind and the Lion, The Painted Veil, Hunt for Red October, Blood Diamond, Carrie’s War, Lorna Doone, Persuasion, Evelyn, Mrs. Brown, Chariots of Fire, Fiddler On the Roof, One Against The Wind, Life Is Beautiful, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Much Ado About Nothing, Sense and Sensibility, Count of Monte Cristo, Anne of Green Gables, Gettysburg, Nicholas Nickelby, Daniel Deronda, Pride and Prejudice


  1. I just finished caught up in a story and I must confess I cried through almost the last two chapters because I found it so encouraging. I’m 32, with two very young children left by my husband to an affair. I read all the same books as a young woman and had grand dreams that have crashed into an evil world. But I continue on and your words on joy and the heroes hit hard for my tired soul. I absolutely loved your book and want to thank you. I took a one week class at Oxford as a 18 yr old girl and absolutely loved it. Glad you are getting to live out your dreams.

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