19 May

Strengthened Through Blogging

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

I’ve written several posts in the past that have received a surprising response. My Husband Is Not A Jerk is definitely one of them. Other responses were not so surprising, such as the post where I suggested that those who advocate for gay marriage, should, in theory advocate for the freedom to practice polygamy as well. My SAHM post was one of those surprising posts, as I expected a response of something like 30-40 comments (that’s a great response for any normal Sunday post), but the response has been much greater.

This was the first post that had me questioning whether I had done more harm than good. I wrote it to answer some questions I had raised when mentioning what I believe to be a basic tenet of the LDS belief system. Several people sincerely asked what I meant by my remarks, and I wanted to answer them. Unfortunately I didn’t take into account the overwhelming number of other tenets of the LDS belief system that are essential to understanding how any of this be something I, as a person who I think most of you consider to be an intelligent, informed, somewhat “with it” woman would accept so easily. I’ve done my best to try to clarify things as questions were raised in the comment section (I’m still not done reading and responding to all I intend to, it’s going to take me some time), and I think the subject has been mulled over from pretty much every angle at this point, but I did want to tell you a few things I learned from this experience, things I’ve come to know after several experiences in the same vein.

Variety of Viewpoints

Royal City, where I grew up, is a small town, and as with most small towns is rather conservative. There was a moderate amount of diversity, but it was best to “be and think like everyone else” if you wanted to be accepted. I learned that the hard way a few times in high school. BYU isn’t really meant to be diverse, it’s meant to be an environment that provides the opportunity to learn about both secular and religious topics in a place where all have agreed to live by the same standard. Most of my friends here in Dallas are LDS because I spend my time at home or at church for the most part, and that’s what these women do as well.

Blogging has provided me the opportunity to interact regularly with people all over the country with pretty much every belief system imaginable. Often I think I understand the variety of ways an idea can be interpreted, but the comments prove to me yet again that I still have a lot of growing to do. I really appreciate all of those who take the time to leave a comment explaining what they think and why they think that way.

Learn to Accept Criticism

This is something I’m still working on, but my ability to accept criticism has grown tremendously. It started with Weddingbee, where readers often seemed to forget that a real bride, who loved the ideas she was presenting, was behind the posts. On That Wife I don’t think anyone forgets it’s little old me behind the wheel, and sometimes commenters use that to their advantage to try to hit me where it hurts most though. Comments like that though are the exception, as the majority of those who take the time to leave their input are genuinely nice people attempting to lay out some constructive criticism that I can grow from.

And I have grown! I’m working to take things less personal, to realize that most people aren’t trying to be malicious. My opinions have been repeatedly altered for the better. Instead of getting defensive, I’m working on accepting the suggesting and seeing where I can change.

Strengthen Relationships

Though it might not seem this way when you read the comments that say things like “I’m so offended” or “You’re judgy McJudgerson” or my personal favorite “I’m not going to be returning to read anymore”, but I think there are several people that I’ve come to respect more, and maybe, have come to respect me a bit more as well because of the posts I’ve written and the comments I’ve made. Sure I’ve made mistakes, but these are good people who can see that I’m human and that I’m trying. We’ve found that we can disagree and move on. Sometimes I send out clarification emails, sometimes they send them to me, but I’ve found that sometimes disagreeing can be a good thing. We’re able to recognize that we aren’t the same, and I think it’s often a good thing.

I mentioned on Formspring that I’m thinking I won’t write posts like the SAHM one anymore. Maybe that was a little harsh (I am a bit of a comment addict after all). I might approach similar topics in the future, but I am going to make some changes to how I go about it. One of the most important changes being consulting some of the regular commenters who I know believe very different than I do. Hopefully this will prevent me from needing to return to the comments over and over making clarifications that could have easily been prevented. A thank you to those who have contributed in the past and I’m always working to make this a place where you feel like your voice can be heard. I hope you will continue to do so in the future!

Whether you are a blogger yourself or someone who comments but doesn’t write in their own space, how has blogging expanded your horizon and strengthened your character?

51 Comments


  1. Emily T says:

    Just fyi, I think you mean “tenets”, not tenants :)

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    Jenna Reply:

    Haha, thanks Emily. I wrote this super fast b/c I knew T1 was going to wake up hungry soon. I need to take a break and spell check next time!

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  2. I was just reading the SAHM post and it really made me think. It challenge me. I liked that … while I don’t necessarily agree with the LDS points brought up, I appreciate that you are thoughtful and thorough.

    For me, I’m pregnant and we’re having a boy in September. I’ll continue to work because I see that I’ll be nurturing my child by being the primary bread winner. God knew my situation, and I have to believe He knew the situation of the family that He was sending this baby in to. We will teach each other many things. I want to find a way to work less, and spend more time with the baby. It’s going to change my whole life to do that, but I know Sean and I will figure it out.

    Anyway, I try my hardest to take posts as an invitation to see things through someone else’s eyes. It’s very informative and very good for me because it makes me think and question myself. Growth is good for us, and I thank you for being so honest and frank and open with us.

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  3. Excellent. For me one of the biggest reasons to blog/read others blogs is to get and give differing opinions. None of us are entirely right. And sometimes we offend others in the way that we present our views. But blogging provides such an excellent opportunity to learn and to add nuance to our positions. And that is *good*.

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  4. I hope you don’t stop posting what is in your heart because of fear of what others will say! And you know what, I doubt you will. You are brave and bold and confident, and that’s what keeps us all coming back. :)

    Sophia made a good comment on the SAHM post: “I think that’s where the confusion arises in *so* many of these LDS posts, because people are used to hearing “this is what I believe is true, and you will all be judged by how you live by it”, which is fundamentally not the way the LDS Church approaches differences in religious beliefs.”

    I thought that was interesting, because maybe it’s true that people just really don’t know that you really ARE coming from a non-judgmental place, because they are used to organized religion judging them. I don’t know, because I can’t claim a lot of experience with other religions.

    Keep doing what you do!!!

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  5. Nina Sapphira says:

    Hi Jenna! I’m slowly getting into the habit of commenting. =) Typically I just tend to read your post. I found your SAHM post quite interesting. I’m not a mom, nor do I intend to be a SAHM. I don’t see why women/moms have to constantly battle each other when it comes to this topic. Isn’t it possible to just agree to disagree, and support one another, regardless of the choice.
    While, you and I are completely different I love reading your blog. It also helps me understand the husby’s religion a bit better as well. =) Soo keep writing, even if you think the topics might be a bit controversial.

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  6. Jenna, I couldn’t disagree with you more about the SAHM thing but you have the perfect right to express your beliefs and you’ve done it thoughtfully and in a caring way. Keep on being you!

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  7. I agree – if we all wrote about the same things and the same belief systems, it would be fairly dull reading about them all. the. time.

    I’m all for sharing beliefs; I think the important thing is that both the poster AND the readers/commenters are able to accept the differences and keep open minded. :)

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  8. Well, I do think the primary spot in the blogosphere that has expanded my horizons is right here. You’re the kind of writer who can leave me mulling an idea for hours – or days – after I’ve read your post. (Which is why I sometimes leave 4 million separate comments after a post, because things keep occurring to me). Usually the mulling steers me back to _my_ beliefs. Why do some things bother me? Do I have anything real with which to back my feelings up, or am I just going with feelings? If so, why am I not studying the matter more? You usually post some text or a talk or some reference material to back up a claim you make about your beliefs. Can I do as much? Um… not always.

    You’ve challenged me to be more introspective, to look at my own faith and life through a different lens. (And these days, my city, too… when I’m walking down the street in Hyde Park I find myself thinking: “Jenna will like the health food store on 53rd street,” etc)

    The tone of your writing invites thoughtful responses, and that’s something I would like to do as a writer some day. There’s only one other blog I read in which the comments are consistently respectful and thought-provoking… and that’s a personal finance blog. :-)

    In both of those blogs, it’s clear that the consistent respectful tone of the blogger is what keeps the community cool.

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  9. Erin Marie says:

    Thanks for sharing this and for being so open and honest always. I don’t comment regularly, but I have been following you for awhile. It takes a strong person to really reflect on criticism and to let yourself be transformed…

    One thing I will add, is that sometimes it can be helpful to think about how you are presenting your ideas. Sometimes, when I don’t remind myself to suspend judgment, I find I can be offended by your posts. I always have believed the cliche “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” If you want people to be open to your ideas it seems like it’s best to present it in a way that shows you’re open to theirs (even if you are already clear you won’t be changing your mind).

    That being said, I appreciate you for opening my mind and heart to so many ideas. Though I am not LDS, I am a Christian and I enjoy learning more about the LDS perspective on the Christian faith.

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  10. Erin Marie says:

    I want to clarify that I don’t think it’s best to be deceptive or “pretend to be interested” but rather to present ideas in a way that demonstrates that you are open to new ideas/hearing what people are really feeling in order to understand other perspectives…

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  11. Great post Jenna. I think you’ve always tried to make your blog a conversation, rather than a one-sided thing. And this proves it.

    I think even if you write things that turn out to stir things up… even if people get angry or upset… that at least you’re making them THINK. And helping people get riled up is a good thing. (Well, in your case, where you are genuine and trying to explain your views… I’m not advocating people who rile others up just for the sake of it!)

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  12. I think the great thing about blogging is that it exposes you to different view points. I think for me, blogging has been a great thing because I realize that I really like people that I don’t agree with politically, etc. I like knowing what people think and it doesn’t have to align with what I think.

    It’s great that some women want to stay at home. It’s a great choice, but I think the beauty of womanhood is the ability to make our own choices and what works best for our families.

    It has a lot to do with how you are raised. My sister stayed home for a few months and she thought she was going to do it for a year and my parents thought she was crazy…which I thought was ironic because it goes against the choice thing.

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  13. I, like Schmei, have learned more from your blog than any other I have read. I am not LDS (very far actually, I’m an atheist) and I don’t always agree with everything you write (I believe I got heated about a spanking comment once), but I feel like you talk about the stuff that most people are afraid to discuss. For example, you know Princess Lasertron? She never once blogged about her birthing choices, but I just had a feeling she was trying to go natural (I was right). I really wanted her to open up about that as you did, but I’m sure it would have caused a bit of a stir and I’ll bet she was worried about her brand being affected. I love that you write what you feel and you don’t censor yourself for those few looney toons who like to attack you for your beliefs (I’m not talking about the people who comment with constructive criticism). Thank you for writing, teaching, and inspiring! You have given me (a bit) of courage to tackle those topics I am passionate about, but that might stir the pot.

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  14. It has made me more accountable. I can’t just write anything and not be able to stand by it.

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  15. I don’t always agree with you. I don’t always agree with my husband. To me, agreeing on issues or questions in life is not a prerequisite to be my friend.

    I never wanted kids, have always had a huge passion for my career. I’m at the point now where I’m starting to rethink whether I want to keep working when we have kids because of how busy I am NOW- I honestly do not know how working moms do it. And I am afraid that I would try to do all things well and end up doing nothing well. Which is how I often feel anyway, without kids. So I guess that is maybe why I was so curious about your post, and all the comments that followed it- I’m wondering whether I’ll work or stay at home, what our financial situation will be like, etc etc etc. And the variety of women with the variety of viewpoints who responded taught me so much. About how they live, who they are, what it’s like. You don’t get to hear from women very often their honest opinion on the life they currently live. We might talk about what we wish, or dream, or what could be- but it is incredibly valuable to hear those different viewpoints when I could be any one of those women in a few years when we have kids.

    You are who you are. You are genuine. You approach the world in your own way and you create a space where others can explain the way they approach the world in their genuine being. What’s not to like?

    As far as blogging itself- it’s helped me think things through. Repeatedly when facing a big issue or a question of some sort, I think through it better when writing, and more fully when I know others are going to read it.

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  16. I know that I read your blog not so much b/c of the fact that I believe everything the same way that you do but b/c I don’t. I like to see how your outlook reflects on things that I know I am or will be, going through. It’s interesting to me.

    I know that might be confusing, but I do appreciate being able to read about the parts of your life that you share.

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  17. I actually came to the blog today to tell you that I shouldn’t have said, “I won’t be reading as much.” When I wrote that, I was heated, because I felt like I was being told I was not as good a mother as you, because I’ve chosen to continue working full time.
    After I read (and responded) to lots of Sunday post comments, though, I realized that I wasn’t really that mad anymore. My last comment is the one I feel most accurately depicts my beliefs… “There’s a ditch on both sides of that road.”
    I agree with the commenter above, who said, “Why can’t we just agree to disagree, and support each other.” I also appreciate you posting the disclaimer, that said the standards you speak of are for LDS women alone.
    Long story short, I have always respected you for speaking your beliefs intelligently. Even if I don’t agree with you, I know you’re coming from a place of sincerity, and you say what you say because you genuinely want to do good in the world.
    So I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings (although, heaven knows you’ve gotten much worse from the trolls), and know that I think the conversation you’re facilitating is worth the frustration.
    As for your initial question… I’ve gained a better attitude through blogging. I merge personal posts with our professional blog, and the response has been outstanding. Because I want my professional blog to be a positive experience, it’s forced me to think more positively about every aspect of my life.
    (Sorry for the novel!)

    Reply

    Jenna Reply:

    Oh please don’t think I was singling you out with the “I’m not reading anymore” comment. I think I get a comment like that at least once a week between my blog and Formspring. :)

    I admit I’m jealous of your blog. I’d like to merge them but…. I write too often and don’t shoot enough and write in a manner that’s too opinionated to do so. It’s just not a good business move for me. I know you connect with your clients so well though, and it’s a smart decision.

    I’m glad we could “make up”. (If there ever was a fight!) That way we can run into each other without stressing about any akwardness. My boy baby and your girl baby need to meet someday after all!

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    Chelsea McGowan Reply:

    I was just thinking that!!! How cute would it be to do a “Boy meets Girl” type session? Ugh… now I’m sad that you’re moving away before they really start crawling. :(

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  18. I kept writing and deleting comments on your SAHM post. The gist of what I would have said: I do not agree with you. I know you have religious convictions that make you want to stay home, but it’s also something that — luckily — is actually feasible for you. TH has a great job and you guys are still able to travel and go on date nights even if you do not contribute to the family income. I wonder if your convictions would be a little different if TH didn’t have such a financially secure job?

    Anyway, despite all that, I just have to say that I don’t always agree with you, but I love your blog and look forward to reading your new posts. I don’t know any LDS people in real life and I have learned SO MUCH from coming here.

    Thank you for being open. Thank you for making your blog such a great dialogue between women of all different backgrounds and beliefs.

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  19. You are fab. I knew I liked you when I first started reading your posts because you were STRONG in what you believed in. And the more I learned I thought, we could totally be friends.

    I’ve stressed about the comment I left ever since — I hope it didn’t offend. I just wanted to say there were many aspects of nurturing. I was grateful for your post. It sparked a bedtime discussion with the husband too.

    You’re fabulous. Don’t forget it.

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  20. The reason why I read your blog is because you have different opinions on things, and I find that interesting and enriching.
    You will always get good and bad comments and I think it’s great that you are growing with this blog and learning to manage it.

    Blogging on me: it made me remember how much I love to write and that it’s truly a creative outing for me and not just a way to keep my family informed from far apart.
    I’ve learned that it’s a part of my life and therefore that I wish to share some of it with my husband.
    I don’t feel it’s changed my character but it brings interesting subjects for me to discuss at home, and makes me think about some of my opinions.

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  21. I’m glad you start these discussions! This one is SUCH a hot button issue. I wish it weren’t so we could just all have a civil discussion. Keep it up!

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  22. I haven’t actively blogged in a year and a half but when I did I enjoyed the sharing. I learn sooo much from other people with different experiences than mine and that has enriched my life so much. And you specifically! Bc of YOU i have spoken up in situations where LDS/Mormons were being criticized for some crazy stereotype. “That’s not true. I have a friend who is LDS and…….” No one needs to know this friend “lives” in my computer, lol, that I’ve never met her face to face.

    I have always appreciated the open sharing you do and I hope that you continue as long as its beneficial for you to do so.

    Now let’s all hold hands ’round the campfire and sing Kumbaya! :)

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    schmei Reply:

    Haha – when the discussion goes well here, it does remind me of my best memories in Girl Scouts!

    And I do the “I have a friend” statement, too. Then I hope they don’t ask how I know her… :-)

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    LadyT Reply:

    lol. I’m so ready for a response if i were to get a question like that. In Jenna’s case, it would be “we met while planning our weddings together”. Which is totally true!

    For others, I fill in accordingly….”we met while ‘losing weight’”. I just fill in the “activity” we were blogging about at the time! ;)

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  23. Jenna, this is SUCH and awesome post. As you know, I love you and your blog – I really do think you are great! Sometimes friends have disagreements – agreeing about everything and sugarcoating doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for us to ‘like’ each other or for me to like you, if you know what I mean.

    I think the biggest issues I have had are when I FEEL like you don’t realise or care that your words might hurt. The reason I take issue with it is because, in general, you are obviously such a nice and non-malicious person – and sometimes I find your approach jarring. I think when you write about controversial things you are so passionate that you either don’t fully contextualise (e.g. SAHM post) or you forget that the words might really hurt (e.g. Mountain post). The worst part of this seems to be that it causes you as much, if not more, pain as it causes some of your readers.

    Please don’t stop writing about yourself and your controversial thoughts – but maybe canvassing your approach to people ‘on the other side’ might help you and your readers?

    As for how blogging has changed me? So many ways! I have found this blog in particular to be hugely educational about a completely different culture, about birth, about marriage – even if I don’t always agree. I think part of why it appeals is because, culturally, there are some similarities between Judaism and LDS. People don’t ‘get it’, there are weird clothes involves and a tonne of haters. So even though we are polar opposites on a lot of issues, I feel like I ‘get you’ in other ways.

    You also encouraged me to join your Fledgling Photographers group. It might seem like a small thing, but this time a year ago it was just the thing to make me push past my fear and really pursue photography. Now, I am shooting my first solo wedding on June 6th – and I have never thanked you for that. So there’s another way blogging and the blogosphere have completely changed my life.

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  24. Jenna, I really enjoyed the SAHM post. Perhaps it’s because my viewpoint differs from most people in my situation though. I’m not an LDS, or religious in any way. I’m less than a year from my PhD. I’m 27 years old, married, I own a home, we both have decent jobs, yet we’re childless. We’re the epitomy of the stereotype people tend to have: the career-power couple who’ll never have kids. But you know why I don’t have them yet? Because of something someone (maybe it was you?) wrote: Children would be an afterthought – something I need to cram into a life that’s already centered on me, my husband, our educations and our careers. Before we can add children to the mix, we either need to shift our focus, or change our priorities.

    I think I’m one of the few ‘career women’ who wishes she already had children. Who wishes she could just be a stay at home mom. But the pressure that’s been bred into me — to professionally and academically excel — is just too strong. So I’m left thinking about how I’m getting older, I still don’t have children, and I can’t fathom a situation when I’ll have the time to be pregnant or have a child. It’s frustrating.
    Anyway, I enjoyed your post, and it made me think. I am generally of the mind that people who leave scathing remarks are usually not reading your thoughts thoroughly. The old ‘scroll & troll’, ya know?

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    bekapaige Reply:

    Yes. This. Exactly how I feel.

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  25. I’ve learned to be myself. I used to blog only what I thought other people would approve of,or what other people would read. But now I realize that it’s more for me than for any one else.

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  26. Hi Jenna,

    I’m a frequent reader but infrequent commenter. I’m LDS as well, and though I agree with you on many subjects, I also disagree with you on others. I’m sure the fact that my husband and I chose to wait to have children (and now are having trouble conceiving) gives me a different perspective than you sometimes. I think two people (or many!) can disagree and still be respectful and friendly. Keep writing from your heart. I admire the fact that you’ve taken what other people say to heart, but stick to your convictions. :)

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  27. You think you are learning stuff – I’M learning just being a commenter. One thing I’m learning…much like ‘don’t drink and drive’, is ‘don’t type when already a little stressed’. I was bit more critical and overly forthright. That’s just not me. Normally I can pause, think, then ‘say’ what I need to say in the most respectful way I can. Though admittedly I love a good debate and wish everyone would just say “Yes, Katy. You are 100% right” ;), I know it’s better to try to find common ground with those you know have differing opinions and build on that common ground. Discussions are much more productive that way I’ve found.

    I don’t know how you do it sometimes though. Sometimes those comments here and on Formspring (especially) are so SNARKY. Drives me crazy, so I’m glad you’ve learned to take it less personally:)

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  28. I don’t have my own blog, but reading blogs and commenting has caused me to learn to walk the line between sticking to my own guns and being sympathetic and sensitive to someone else’s viewpoint. It’s helped me to fine-tune my debate skills and understanding of logic. It’s caused me to think about how I handle whatever topic is up for discussion in my own life. I like your blog especially, and there have definitely been times where I just didn’t want to come back, but you’re like crack, I can’t stop myself. :) Also, I think I feel braver to comment here than anywhere else I’ve been.

    But I gotta say, what is UP with that stupid black box? I would have loved to get in more fully on the SAHM post, but by the time I got there the grand majority of the comments were buried under the black box of doom.

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    Jenna Reply:

    Oh no! Black box was back? Grrrr. I’m working on setting up a slight redesign for the blog, I hope that can be fixed. Anyone want to contribute to the “That Wife Redesign So The Black Box of Doom Disappears” fund?

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    schmei Reply:

    I had to go read comments in Internet Explorer because Firefox had it all black-boxed.

    And reading this on IE is ugly.

    I think we should start a fundraiser. :-D

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  29. I love how you post about what matters to you, despite the response you may get. I truly admire that and wish I could do more of it myself. Stick to your guns, lady. You’re doing a great job.

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  30. Keep up the good work, Jenna! I think that you’ll look back on this blog 50 years from now fondly and as a personal growth experience. I know it’s been great for me to hear and consider the viewpoints of you and others who feel so differently than I do over many things (yet agree very much on others!). You generally approach these topics with a good deal of humility and are willing to hear others out, which is much appreciated!

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  31. Bethany says:

    Jenna, I loved your SAHM post and agreed with every word.

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  32. i’m an ok commenter, i’m trying to be better, but a terrible blogger because i don’t think i have an interesting enough way of presenting things as you, or my other favorite bloggers do. but i’m going to work on it.

    the one think i think about the SAHM post is that while it was about your thoughts based in the LDS faith, which i thought you and TH made plenty clear, it wasn’t marked “sunday post” in the title like your old ones. Just a little something, but maybe it would have helped frame it for other people. For me that always signals “this is Jenna talking about something important in her faith tradition” and even if it isn’t something i personally think or believe in, i always appreciate it in the context of you sharing your beliefs with us. That’s one of my favorite things i’ve gotten out of the blogosphere, really understanding things i used to know nothing about.

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  33. Jenna,

    I don’t always agree with you but your honesty and ability to articulate why you feel the way you do is inspiring.

    Keep it up! This is my daily dose of reality!

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  34. I’ll be honest, I don’t agree with every blog I read, but you know what, it’s not my place to say whether or not it’s right and it’s def not going to keep me from reading!!

    A blog is just an outlet for their thoughts or what’s going on in their lives, and it’s not meant to push anything on other people… I think it’s good for people to stay open minded when looking into another person’s life. My honest opinion, if you don’t like it, don’t read.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

    P.S. I love reading your blog. I find it fascinating!!

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  35. Cristin says:

    Oh Jenna. My heart sank when I read that you might stop posting your less mainstream opinions. Of course you need to do what is best for you, your mental health, and your family. I love the photography you post and I have definately tried more than a few of the recipes you’ve posted (those wedges from TH’s birthday are a STAPLE in our diet now!). But I read your blog to learn about a lifestyle and belief system very different than mine.

    I have said this before, but your writing is good. You are not trying to convert us. You are not trying to scream at us. Your readers often selectively choose phrases in between the lines and consider them out of context. A few have acknowledged this today and have pulled back from their SAHM post comments. You are not condemning people who don’t follow your belief system, and you couldn’t be more clear about this. If anyone had any right to get defensive, it would be LDS couples who interpret the Word differently. But for everyone else – the snarky, aggressive and abrasive tones are rude and not OK.

    Our world runs the way it does because we have different belief systems. If we were all LDS, then we would have a very different workforce, but we’d also have a world with different priorities and different economic structure. We might not need two incomes because we’d all have neighbors to count on, families who support each other, no Sunday shopping, no money spent on alcohol, no debt to pay down, less expensive secondary education, and the cost of goods more generally would probably go down. So it is easier to understand that to the LDS church, having women stay home to build families is feasible. But since we don’t live in that world, it is harder for people to adhere to such a system or even imagine it is possible.

    I recently had a falling out with an evangelistic Christian friend, who I felt was hypocritical and over-the-top in her adherance to her interpretation of the Bible. Another friend called me out, saying that I have an incredible tolerance for people who practice Islam and Judaism, so what was my issue with this Christian friend and why wouldn’t I extend to her the same tolerance? I think Christian readers may struggle uniquely with your posts because your belief system follows the same God and many of the same Bible stories as us, but you practice so differently. If a Muslim blogger posted on why she believes she is divinely slated for life at home, I don’t think as many readers would aggressively attack her for that post. Instead, we might chalk it up to – ah well, she’s of a different religion/culture and there’s no debating with her on that.

    This was an essay. I apologize. But I hope that you don’t stoop to the masses and turn into a MommyBlogger (did you just see Dooce’s post on this). I’d rather have readers unsubscribe to you (you don’t have advertisers right? So no biggie) than to have you go boring on us.

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  36. Jessica says:

    Hey love, it truly is amazing how something like blogging can help a person grow. I think my biggest realization through blogging has been that I am truly cared about. Sounds silly, but being in NC and engaged in the twinkies and our lives I don’t get around to calling people as often or “checking” up on them, but through blogging and others comments I know people do care about how we are doing and what we are up to. Also, it’s taught me the importance of journals, where it’s not a traditional journal, it truly is the only documentation that my children are going to have of our lives while they were growing up. It makes me appreciate my ancestors more for taking the time to write down their life experiences and feelings and I pray one day my children and grand children can read mine (which I intend to print and bind for each of them when they graduate) and appreciate our history and life as I do my grandparents and ancestors.

    Anyways, you’re amazing and I miss when you don’t post daily! :)

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  37. I think you could use future posts that are potentially controversial as a great way to provide a conversation. Why not feature a few different commenters that you know in the body of the post? Take a bunch of different viewpoints on a particular subject and put them all into one post. I like that sort of thing and love hearing all views.

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  38. Jenna–

    I think that you should continue to post items like the SAHM post because it does get us all thinking. While some of us may not agree with everything you say, you at least attempt to allow us to understand where you are coming from and why you have certain beliefs.

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  39. I just wanted to say that I don’t think you should change what you write or sensor yourself.

    I do get the point of it being annoying to go back and maybe correct something you didn’t say correctly, but other than that I think you should just “speak”…no filter….just you. You may offend people but like you said in your 1st point, we are all different. You are unique…I am unique…..we all are different and have different viewpoints. If you talk about something you believe and it offends people, then it creates a good conversation. But if you believe the things you write….then you should keep writing them.

    I am not saying that you shouldn’t be sensitive and re-read your posts. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have TH read things for you….but I don’t think that you should check with others about the correct way to express yourself.

    I think what makes a good blog, is people who are 100% themselves. I like your blog because I get a little view into your world. But that isn’t to say that we couldn’t be more different. I am not sure if “in real life” we would be able to be friends. But that’s not the point. I read your blog because you are 100% yourself. AND I read because you are different than me and I like to hear other points of view.

    It would be easier for your “thick skin” if everything you wrote was white-washed and agreed to by others. It would be easy but you would be doing a disservice to yourself.

    Don’t sensor. Don’t check with others about how to express your own thoughts. Just be yourself. That is why you have all these readers :-)

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  40. Very good post. I have huge fundamental life view disagreements with you, but I love to read your perspective and don’t feel judged by it.

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  41. I think the really great thing about the way you blog about your beliefs and opinions is how you make it a conversation between yourself and readers. That is a talent. You also seem generally open to change (of opinions, of attitudes) and, like you said in this post, growth. I think that’s awesome and not easy to do. Especially in public.

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  42. i feel like it would also be beneficial to inlcude members of the LDS faith who don’t agree with you as well (in your asessment of hot-topics.)

    it wasn’t just non-lds people who were confused by your stance on this issue. there were plenty of lds people who have different viewpoints as well. i think including their perspectives would help clear up a lot of confusion as well, and result in less hurt feelings. for instance, it would be cool to see something like “i’m LDS and this is my take, but here is the perspective of another LDS person with a different take”

    gah. i feel like this isn’t making any sense so just try and muddle through it. that’s how blogging has helped me. it made me realize i’m not nearly as articulate as i thought!

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  43. I enjoyed your SAHM post and agree with you. I am not a LDS, but my upbringing and beliefs that I learned from my culture and family stress the importance of God, family, and traditional roles. The mother raises the child full-time and the father supports the family.

    The great thing about blogs is that you get to peek into another person’s life. I won’t agree with everything you post and you won’t agree with everything on my blog. That is life. You shouldn’t tailor your blog to satisfy the masses. In no way were you condemning ppl, you just stated your beliefs. Your beliefs!!

    Everyone might not like what you had to say, but I respect you for having the strength and courage to speak from your heart.

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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