Welcome to our New Blog!

Isaac, Heidi, and James

We are Isaac, Heidi, and James Botkin, and we live in middle Tennessee. We got married in May of 2014, and our son was born September 2015. Isaac is a designer and filmmaker who has worked in a variety of media in several countries, and now runs his own design firm. He has been writing about culture and ideas sporadically for several years. Heidi is a helpmeet, mother, homemaker, chef, advisor, and she provides the order and structure needed to implement a small number of the crazy ideas Isaac generates. She is learning to enjoy writing, even when the sink is full of dishes. James is a baby. He doesn’t write much yet, since he is only one month old.

We are attempting to create a very simple family-portfolio-commentary-diy-review-design-homemaking-news-theology-art-sewing-debate-photo-security-crafts-guns-cooking-political-technology blog. The reason for such a scattered and diverse set of topics is that we are going to write about the things that we talk to each other about, and the things that we are interested in. It won’t always cover what we are doing, or the most important international news of the day, but it will be based on conversations that we are having with one another, with our friends, and the conversations and lessons that we would like James to be part of or learn from… if he were older.

So if we can’t narrow down the topics that this blog will cover, we can narrow down its purpose. We are trying to accomplish 5 things:

Document Ideas for our Children

As parents who desire to obey the command of Deuteronomy 6, we plan to teach our children as we walk in the way, lie down, and rise up. If, for some reason, either of us won’t be around for our children in the future, this will be a record of some of the conversations and ideas that we would have shared with older children.

We are bad at journaling. We know this from our feeble attempts to journal the first year of our marriage. But we do want a record of what we were thinking and doing as our children grew up; the lessons that we learned when our children were too young to grasp them.

Encourage Others

As Christians who serve a Sovereign God, we are encouraged about the future. We are enjoying our life and where God has placed us, and we hope to communicate that in our conversations and our blog posts. Even when commenting on the evil that is in the world, and confronting tyranny, sin and death, we have hope. And we hope that the optimistic reliance on God that we profess is something we can live out and write about.

Honor our Parents

In this day and age it’s cool to push the limits, question everything, and throw off tradition to find your own way in the world.  In contrast to this prevalent rebellious attitude, we want to make a point to go out of our way to honor our parents, and the way they did things, even when it wasn’t perfect.  Proverbs 1:8 reminds us, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” In our day to day choices, we want to love our parents, be thankful for their sacrifice and investment in our lives, and model honor and respect for our children who will be watching. Through this blog, we want to remind readers that this is important.

Expand our Business

Since Isaac is self-employed, and we’re always looking for new clients, we’ll be posting some of his work projects here. What he values more than clients, however, is being able to work with like-minded folks, challenges that force him to learn new skills, and helping people to complete their own projects. We hope that readers of this blog can help us build relationships that result in work, consulting, or teaching in any areas of design, film, or manufacturing.

Practice our Writing

We are called to preach the Word in season and out, and to take every thought captive. Christians are commanded to be communicators, and to be able to communicate clearly and effectively requires diligent work and practice. If you’ve read this far, you know that we need all the practice we can get.

You’ll also notice that there are several blog posts that predate this one; we’ve tried to write for the past few months to make sure that there’s a bit of content to get started with. Also, all the previous (and ancient) posts from Isaac’s earlier blog Outside Hollywood have been archived here, partly for those people that are looking for a specific article, and partly to make this new blog look a little more established than it already is.

So, have a look around, and let us know in the comments what you think of things so far, and what you’d like to see more of. Thanks for reading!

  1. Isaac, Heidi, and James: I think this is an excellent idea for a blog. There are many blogs out there about the same stuff – homemaking, childrearing, homeschooling, etc. but none of these Christian worldview blogs talk about technology or politics/culture as well. Most blogs have a single focus, and frankly for someone like me they are boring and not worth checking out on a regular basis. Yours sounds like Scientific America, National Geographic, Better Homes & Gardens, People, Life, and World all together in a family blog! Awesome – a Christian worldview blog on steroids! Well, if we believed in taking steroids…. I can’t wait to see how the Lord makes this grow right before your eyes. Love you.

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Mrs. McMinn!


  2. Looking forward to getting a glimpse of your lives! I love reading about people who are in a similar season of life as my little family.
    Hope this blog is a blessing to you and your readers!

    - Ashley Narwold
  3. This is epic :) So looking forward to reading your thoughts!

  4. Great idea to do a joint blog–will mark milestones for you as well as be a source of encouragement to other couples going through the twin joys and challenges of young married life and babies. Love it!

    - Susan Malone
    1. Enjoyed getting to talk with you at the Freedom Conference! Thanks for stopping by our blog!

  5. Great idea!! We will look forward to reading your blog! God bless!

  6. We are excited about this new project and looking forward to enjoying your long distance fellowship. We are actually even more excited since we cannot just talk to you any time we want being separated by the ocean. So, we both think it is absolutely wonderful!

    Blessings to both of you … and others :)

    - Andre and Nadya Furmanov
  7. Excited to read your thoughts, and l look forward to many great posts!

  8. OK, I’ll bite.. I just signed up for the ride. It will be exciting to see what adventures are ahead with this tool….. maybe I’ll learn a few things to help get my own blog started up someday…..

    - Nick Jesch
  9. Wonderful! So excited for what you all have in store. Such a great vision, and something little James will one day very much appreciate! But for now, we get to reap those benefits. May God give you strength, wisdom, creativity and perseverance in all these endeavors!

  10. I love the look and design of the blog! I’m looking forward to following and seeing the latest!

    Love you guys.

    - Holly Buss
  11. Hi Issac: I’m not technology oriented so I’m not sure if I’m doing this correctly, but I was reading above where your are having trouble with keeping up with your journaling…I found this to be a problem also and wanted to record words from my mom before she passed away. I found a small recorder made by SONY..it is light weight and is 2″ X 4″ …you can record from fifteen feet away and you do not have to hold it while recording…each time you use it ..it sets up a little file that you can access later, but there is no risk of recording over what you have on there already. if you have thoughts while you are working about life…you don’t have to stop and write..you can just talk…!!!!!Still in love with all of you former WVAians…Love Nancy

    - Nancy Pillar
    1. That’s a good idea. We actually have an audio recorder that we’ve been using to record ourselves singing. The quality is, um, well, let’s just say we aren’t going to be cutting an album any time soon, but we’ve been recording some of out favorite songs for James to listen to while we put him to bed.

  12. Hi Isaac, I’m one of the people who started reading your old blog way back. I ended up checking in on it every few months, since I really appreciate the quality of your writing, which you clearly prioritized over quantity. Coming back after months today, I am glad to see you are still writing. I really enjoy your description of this blog; you have some great interests. This note is my way of saying thank you for the years of Outside-hollywood.com and may God bless your efforts on this new expanded blog. Oh, and congratulations with your wife and first-born. You look great together.

  13. Hey Isaac, Mark Bowen here.
    I just want to wish you a Happy Birthday Today (27th)
    And since I have no idea how to contact you currently,
    If you’ve got a moment, I’d love to hear from you
    (or at the least get an email address)

    - Mark Bowen

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