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Responding to Your Questions

There are so many things I’m excited to write about soon but I want to spend a little time on your questions and responses from last week’s survey. I’m constantly refining this platform and because there was a lot of repetition in what was submitted I think it would be helpful to share the main themes here.

This should help set expectations as we go forward, answer some frequently asked questions, and reveal a little more of my heart behind all this too.

There are also a few important updates in here so don’t miss those! Ready?

Ok, first and most importantly, the dad jokes. 

I couldn’t include them all for the sake of space but I grabbed a few good ones and will pop them in here. Punchlines will be at the bottom. Enjoy!

Did you hear about the first restaurant on the moon?
Why does America hate knock knock jokes?
What’s the difference between an old bus stop and a lobster with a boob job?

You asked: How long does it take me to write these each week?

It depends. Some weeks I fly through it and others it’s a multi-day process of wondering if I can just write about how much I love toast.

On average I’d say 2-3 hours, including the photos, formatting, social media posts, and responses to your replies (my favorite part!).

Because of that, and because the overall consensus is that once a week is a good cadence for us here, I’ve decided to stick with once-a-week newsletters.

I love the combination of what used to be “weekend stuff” with the traditional “mercies, musings, manhattan” and it sounds like you do too. Thanks for your gracious feedback on this!

You asked: is there a way to find all the recommendations (books, articles, etc.) I’ve sent in one place?

Yes and no. You can find every Manhattan suggestion I’ve made on the Manhattan page of my website and the “mercies” I shared prior to switching to this summer schedule on the Mercies page.

But I haven’t quite figured out how to include the article / product / book links just yet so more on that to come.

I am, however, working on a Spotify playlist for all our song suggestions and a recommended reading list for books and articles too so stay tuned for that! 

You said: you can tell when I rush through a post and prefer when the newsletter includes all the normal sections instead of an abridged version. 

I feel you. I can also tell when I’m rushed and also prefer when the newsletter is as full and polished as possible. I am a recovering perfectionist and one of the things that I’ve loved and hated about this process has been the *many* times I’ve hit “send” when it wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be

That said, I love this newsletter an embarrassing amount but it is not my full time job (yet! tell your friends! find me a publisher!) so I’m very grateful for your grace on the weeks when I’m busy or traveling or just plain pooped. This is real life and real life is a little messy and I’m learning to let go of my perfectionist tendencies in light of that mess. I appreciate your understanding on the off days!

You asked: can I make more devotionals / studies / workbooks throughout the year?

YES! These are my favorite things to make and I will definitely be spending more time on this going forward. 

I’ve mentioned this (too) many times now but I started working on a study on living deeply and it is coming soon! I promise. It’s just that I acccccidentally wrote less of a study and more of a mini-book (is that a thing?) so it took a bit longer than expected. 

But yes to more devotionals / studies / workbooks and all topic ideas are welcome! 

You asked: could I cover some of the following topics– singleness, dating, and marriage; my testimony; discipleship; comparison; depression; finding your passions; vulnerability; friendships; forgiveness; discernment; community; stewarding gifts; how to write a newsletter / blog

Well at least they’re all easy 🙂

I’m an expert on pretty much nothing except coffee shops in Manhattan and which brand of peanut butter is the best. So I don’t pretend to know everything about any of the topics submitted. But, I do enjoy knowing the things that are of interest to you and I love seeing how many topics were submitted by multiple people because it reveals the commonality of this human experience and the areas in which we want to seek truth. 

SO yes, I’d love to try to touch on these topics (and those not listed here) when I have something meaningful and Spirit-led to say. Thank you for sharing with me what you’re struggling with or are interested in. Grateful to be learning along side you!

You asked: could I have more of a social media presence?

Can I just confess that social media brings out a weird insecurity in me that I haven’t quite sorted through yet?

I never want this blog (or the socials that go with it) to become all about me and I get insecure that I’m making it too much about myself when I post a lot on social media. (Does that make sense?)

So I’m trying to find the balance and I really do enjoy it as a medium for connection and conversation and can certainly put more effort into that aspect of things. But fair warning, you’re in for a LOT of puppy pictures and coffee shop shots. 

You said: you want this to be more interactive.

Me too! I dream of a facebook group or Voxer chat or where we can all just hang out and talk about our mercies and musings all the time.

I’m not entirely sure how to foster that at this stage but I think some good first steps would be: hang out with me on Instagram, follow the Facebook page and feel free to comment your thoughts, invite your friends to join the party, and please, please hit reply whenever you have something to say / share / ask! 

You said: you want to hear more about my toxic-free / sustainable living journey.

Can I also confess that I’ve been really conflicted about whether / how much of that part of life to share on this newsletter because I don’t want to muddy the waters here and I want to be sensitive to those of you who aren’t as interested in that topic. Basically, I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m pulling a bait and switch. 

BUT I do want to share that part of my life and you know I love a good newsletter 😉 so a little while ago I started a separate blog/newsletter alllll about toxic free living, clean beauty, sustainable swaps, etc. 

It’s not quite as regimented as this one – aiming for an every 2-3 week schedule but holding it pretty loosely so I don’t spend my entire life on Mailchimp – but it’s fun and free and full of good information. I’d love to have you follow along!

You asked: what do I want from my readers?

(Thank you to whoever asked this!) Part of me wants nothing because I’m just grateful that you’re here and part of me wants everything – your help, your thoughts, your feedback, your suggestions. So I guess I just want whatever you’re inclined to give. I love that we’ve carved out this corner of the internet to celebrate God’s little mercies and wade through the waters of grace and hope and this weird world we live in. 

And even though it’s me writing these letters each week my hope is that this feels like a community of people trying to think through these things and live them out in our various pockets of the country ( / countries. I see you, Canada!). So do whatever feels natural. Just read and archive each week or hit reply every time and tell me your thoughts. Either is perfect!

(But also if you wanted to get your friends to sign up or tell your cousins’ boyfriends’ mom who is a publisher about me that’d be great too.)

You asked: can I include more pictures of Olive?

Just kidding. No one asked that which is honestly pretty rude.

WOW that was a little longer than expected but I hope I touched on the big stuff and am happy to answer any I left out over email. 

And if you skipped down this far just for the punchlines here you go:

It has great food but not atmosphere.
Because freedom rings, b***h.
One is a crusty bus station, the other is a busty crustacean. 

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