Lemme tell you about this brilliant intro I wrote for the post that I had planned to publish when rolling out my new blog name. It was distinctively captivating, inspired and innovative, bursting with terrible puns suggestive of Top Chef writers with Tourette’s.
I had planned to publish Heart to Pen: The inside story, but then I wrote a grimly navel-gazing essay on wanting a third child, followed by an amusingly self-mocking piece on the benefits of comparisons. And then I got sidetracked with the Chewbacca Mom, Olympics memes, and various other fascinating diversions on the Internet webs.
Even though it’s dated material, I have to share at least a portion of the post I wrote depicting the debate that went on inside my head when pondering a new blog name. I challenge you to read it and NOT think it was an excerpt pulled from a Shauna Niequist memoir.
Me 1: What do you think of the blog name “Heart to pen”?
Me 2: Um, OK. That is … something.
Me 1: What does that mean?
Me 2: It means hearts are cheesy. You don’t even like them. Remember how you “accidentally” broke those sweet but American Girl-sy heart earrings Colin gave you when you were dating? And how you barf a little every time you see someone post multiple lines of emoji hearts in their Facebook statuses?
Me 1: I thought the whole thing was eloquent and all-encompassing. And it’s catchy.
Me 2: This title would only seem catchy to the inspirational wall art-pinning, Duggar family-loving crowd. It might as well be the name of a Hallmark channel original series.
Me 1: Wow, that is insightful. And rude. And completely wrong. People eat up cute crap on the Internet all day long. Exhibit A: minion memes. See also: baby hedgehog videos.
Pretty fantastic, right? Only problem is, neither Me 1 nor Me 2 nor any of the other voices in my head really likes the name Heart to Pen. It’s just too froofy. And if you know me, you know I’m not froofy. Anxious, absentminded, OCD, hypercritical, yes; froofy, no. (Please disregard the fact we own a toy poodle.)
So I’ve decided to axe the maudlin heart shtick and go with something more witty, imaginative, and true to form.
“Jestify” came to me like so many other clever ideas – randomly popping into my head while I was vacuuming. The word, which is a portmanteau of “jest” and “testify,” conveys how I write: with a style that is sometimes satirical, sometimes serious, and often a strange mixture of the two, and for a greater purpose beyond reporting Current Household Events – to affirm the redeeming work of Jesus in my life.
Astute readers will notice the resemblance to the churchy word “justify,” which I appreciate from both a Scriptural sense – meaning “to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation” – and a typographical sense, meaning “to position text so that the edges form a straight line.” Both definitions capture the irony of how my sanctimonious fastidiousness falls a few hundred miles short of being anywhere close to salvation-worthiness.
The tagline “Teasing lessons from life and faith” – which carries a double entendre that should enchant fellow word nerds – describes my plan to unravel strands of significance from my frizzy tangle of personal experiences, covering topics like motherhood and adoption and infertility and spirituality and perfectionism/anxiety and all the swirling emotions that accompany these issues. I also hope to explore Scripture and delve into the glorious tension of the BOTH/AND that proliferates paradoxes throughout our lives.
As I get preachy on these topics, I occasionally lapse into a mocking tone, which I chalk up as creativity and my husband labels as “pun-ny chick humor.” (This is coming from the man who proposed I call this blog “My A Cup Runneth Over.”) I do this because I think some Christian bloggers take themselves and their subjects way too seriously, and because I think a little humor can help cast a tone of much-needed levity and humility, and because it’s more fun this way. And really, isn’t that the ultimate motivation for which any sanctity-aspiring Christian has been called to uphold? #sarcasm
So there you have it: an artfully updated, corny-downgraded blog name. I pray that the reflections contained herein will encourage and propel others toward love and grace in such a way that causes them to feel multiple lines of emoji hearts.