We are enjoying the briefest and most beautiful of snow days—one that actually has snow, which is always nice. I made chili and am contemplating starting some mocha cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. I’m worried that I might be snowed in with them, which is not good for my thighs. Who I am kidding? It’s gonna 60 here tomorrow. Gotta love the South and its snow “storms”. I thought we’d take care of some business, while we’re on semi-vacation.
First of all, THANK Y’ALL so much for filling out the blog survey. Over 1800 of you lovelies left me encouraging notes, great suggestions, and helpful criticism. I mean it when I say that I LOVED reading what you had to say, which was mostly keep doing what you’re doing, but was also full of great ideas. Your questions and comments gave me a plethora of writing prompts for future blog posts, so for that, I also thank you.
Here’s what you had to say and a few of my answers/comments:
- I’d like to address a few things specifically, but mostly be on the lookout for your questions to be answered on the blog in the form of posts. The ones I have written down so far are How I Do My Messy Bun, What My Typical Day Looks Like, How to Raise Kids in the Faith, Why I’m Lutheran, How the girls are adjusting to school and about 10 more posts that you’ve inspired me to write.
- You are almost all women (no surprise there!) in your 30’s and 40’s.
- So many of you asked for me to write the next installment in my Feminism series and I’m working on it as we speak.
- You wanted more recipes and an easier way to print them. I listened and have posted 2 since the survey (soup and cookies!) and made them easy to print. I will slowly be going back and making them all easy to print. Thanks for the nudge!
- Sometimes I worry the stark contrast of topics around here is too jolting, but by overwhelming majority, you love the variety. THANK you, because I don’t think I could write any other way.
- Many of you talked about the slow loading time and oh do I know. JUST yesterday I switched to a new hosting site! Let me know if you feel like the loading is faster.
- Many of you mentioned that you love the faith posts, but that sometimes they are lengthy and hard to get through. I know. They’re hard to write, too. I’ll try to think of ways I can break up lengthier posts, but often it’s hard to articulate something important with brevity. Thank you for your patience. Maybe you could bookmark those posts and come back when you have time!
- So many of you asked for more posts on marriage, kids, and family. I’ve added it in as a regular category so that when I’m planning content for the next month, I’ll remember.
- I am just amazed at how many of you have been influenced by my posts on books. Books were THE most commonly mentioned topic in the comments. Sometimes I worry you’ll get tired of hearing about my bookish obsession, but you only ask for more. I’ll keep writing about what I’m reading and what I’m learning. So glad you care and so glad you love the written word as much as I do.
- Many of you requested more in depth devotional/bible study type posts. I’m working on something for Lent that you might like.
- More of my backstory? Hopefully, in book form someday.
- Poor performance of my blog on mobile devices? You are so right. We’re working on an app!
- So many of you asked for more photos per post, just casual photos from around the house, etc. Yes, I will! I just get lazy. But 22,000 photos on my computer in 3 years should tell you that there’s no shortage of photos around here. And um, here’s one of my lemon scone making to prove I’m listening, dear ones! That recipe may soon pass the test kitchens difficult review process.
I’m starting a FAQ page on my blog, but for now I’ll answer a few right here.
Do I ever read modern authors/books that aren’t so deep/trendy Christian books?
Well. Not that often, but I do. Some of my dearest friends are writers and I love their books and their willingness to be brave and write. Good writing is about telling the truth and that’s a lot harder to do than it looks. But, I try to make sure that the bulk of my reading diet is the best literature I can read—the best writers/thinkers/theologians. I just read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, a brilliant book on writing and here’s what she had to say about books.
For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of all the things you don’t get in real life, like wonderful, lyrical language. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention, and this is a great gift. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.
To which I say YES! So, when the world is so full of great writing, I’m pretty choosy about how I spend the precious little time there is to read. I wouldn’t say that I read “for fun” but all my reading is fun to me. I do occasionally choose badly and if I do, I don’t feel obliged to keep reading. I spent ten years reading C.S. Lewis and every author he referenced. I’ve since branched out, but I stay close to the classics.
Do you buy every book you read/do you read on kindle?
I buy most of the books I read. Because, I mostly read books that I will want to re-read, so I want my own copy. And I’m SO hard on books. I live with them, take them to bed, spill coffee on them, always break the spines, etc. Often, if it’s a more modern book, especially something that I know I won’t reread, I’ll look for a kindle deal. I have lots of books/ebooks on my kindle and have the kindle app on my phone, so that there will NEVER come a time when I don’t have a book to read on my person. For the last few years, I use the Amazon credits that I earn for my blog as my book budget. I buy books every month and have my own little library in my office. ALL of our kids are in the habit of reading books from our shelves. So, in a way, I’m not just choosing what I read, but I’m giving good choices for us all. I read a study from the NYT a few years ago that the single most important factor that determines the education level of kids is not socioeconomic/race/culture but the NUMBER of books in the house. I find that pretty amazing. But, then it was C.S. Lewis who said your book bill should be your greatest extravagance. I wholeheartedly agree.
Why is there no longer a book club?
Great question. I miss it as much as you do. When I originally set it up, I loaded a forum onto my site so that we would be able to discuss what we were reading. That forum caused my site to be hacked in the worst of ways. It took me hiring professional help to get it fixed and it took months to undo all the damage. That and the fact that spring came and I didn’t feel like I had time to properly prepare for the discussions was the demise of our precious book club. Side note:: I was taking online courses for every book we read, so that I’d be adequately prepared to lead discussion. Overzealous much? I know, but it’s just the way I am. I would love your suggestions/interest level on resurrecting it, but I’m not sure how to do it, without having a forum or a place for us to discuss it. I’m all ears!
Okay, now for the winners!!
I sent an email to the person who won the AMAZON gift card, but if I don’t hear back from her, I’ll pick another winner.
First, let me say congratulations to Melanie, for making the NYT best seller list this week!! I couldn’t be happier for her.
The book winners from Antelope in the Living Room are::
128- Terry A
156- Tomi Cheeks (her comment was hilarious!)
Okay, email me ladies with you address, and I’ll send you a copy of Melanie’s book!
Hope your love day is wonderful! Follow me on FB by “liking” the page and I’ll be sharing some of my favorite LOVE quotes and songs.
Here’s my new favorite song from my new favorite album (by Noah Gundersen) now available in iTunes and Amazon.