To My Rural Sister - A Welcome Letter
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a rural woman just like me. I created this space so rural women's stories could be celebrated, honored, shared, and published. I want to give rural women a voice because even though we may be small in numbers, our voices matter, too. It’s so much more than that to me, though. This is a place for us to share our journeys—the pretty and not so pretty parts of living the rural lifestyle. This collaborative blog is meant to celebrate all aspects of rural life, whether you’ve just moved from the city or you’ve been doing the rural gig for a while.
The idea for Beyond the Fencelines came to me in the early days of motherhood with my first daughter, Clementine. I felt lonely and lost and was looking for connections with the outside world. You see, I live 40 miles from the closest town in the prairies of Montana, and that winter was particularly isolating with a newborn. I turned to stories on the internet to gain a little understanding of how hard and wonderful motherhood was and discovered that I wasn’t the only one who struggled from time to time. I found comfort and encouragement through reading and listening to these stories of other mothers who had been through or were going through the same stage of life as me. At some point, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was something like this for rural women?”
And that was it. God had planted a seed, a gentle whisper. It was a few years before that seed began to grow, but it always stayed dormant in the back of my thoughts. It wasn’t until after my second daughter, Adrianna, was born that I started sharing my ‘motherhood on the ranch’ story online. I shared it all from my joys to my struggles and everything in between, and I was blown away by what I had found—healing, friendship, connection, and other rural women who could relate. In my journey, I had found a passion for sharing my story, hearing other rural women's stories, and making and creating connections.
After a few more nudges from God, I decided it was finally time to create a community-oriented space where rural women could share their experiences—because it’s not only something that I saw a need for, but it’s something I desperately needed myself
In this space, I want to surround myself with a community of strong rural women who can
support and uplift each other through the mountains and valleys of life. I want to give rural women the tools and support to work through the hard seasons and rejoice in the winning seasons. I want to cultivate friendships that will go beyond the fence lines of our hearts and transform how we live this rural life that we love dearly. I want to make the lonely feel a little less lonely and a little more encouraged, the isolated feel a little less isolated, this big world we live in just a little smaller and do it by celebrating and publishing the unique voices of rural women.
Above everything else, I believe that all rural women have a story, and those stories and voices deserve to be heard. Beyond the Fencelines is a place for those stories to be published and live on forever. This will truly be a group effort and I invite you to share your story. They say it takes a village and I hope you find yours here.
It truly fills me with joy that you would take the time to stop by Beyond the Fencelines where you’ll find stories written for rural women, by rural women to bring us all closer together even though we live miles apart. It is my hope that you’ll find a story that is meaningful to you. Thank you for being here.
See you along the trail,
Jesse Thompson, Founder