I was so excited to guest post over at SingleRoots a few weeks ago. Speaking of excitement… One of the editors, Jessica Bufkin, was kind enough to spare a few moments and answer some questions about the unique content and format of SingleRoots.
Ginger: So Jessica, tell us about yourself and your connection to SingleRoots!Jessica: In my former life, which ended just one year ago, I taught junior high English. Eighth grade English for twelve years, to be exact. I loved teaching, but I also was feeling as if God was preparing me for a change. I thought I might apply for international teaching jobs at some point in the future, but I had no idea that He would eventually lead me down a completely different path to becoming Editor of SingleRoots.
G: How did SingleRoots get its start and its unique name?
J: I met Ryan, the other member of the SingleRoots team, in college in Louisiana. We like to joke that I was his Spiritual mentor because I was a freshman intern at a campus ministry when he entered as a freshman. I taught him everything I knew.
A few years ago, he relocated to the DFW area, where I was living, and we reconnected. After numerous conversations with many of our friends about singleness, the Church, intentional living, and a host of other topics, we saw a need for a site that addressed more than just our relationships. So much of the conversation with Christian singles is about marriage—and that’s important—but we’re not one-dimensional and we wanted a conversation geared more towards how we could make this time in our lives count for the Kingdom.
We settled on “SingleRoots” because we loved the idea and the visual of being “rooted.” So often single adults, Christians included, are transient and afraid to put down roots until marriage. We put things off and tell ourselves that we’ll do “that” when we get married. Instead, we wanted to remind ourselves that roots are good things. Ultimately, though, roots don’t develop overnight, or when you put a ring on a finger. They take time to grow, and we don’t press pause until we have someone to grow them with.
Since we were both in our 30s and single for longer than we thought we would be, we figured it was definitely an area in which we could contribute some thoughts. We launched the site in October 2011.
In other news: He got married in March; I’m still single. (Note: If you want to get married, you can apply to be my roommate or co-worker. I have a stellar track record of marrying off both. I’ve yet to find someone who can do the same for me. Just saying…)
G: Who is the target audience for SingleRoots?
J: Well, you see, that’s difficult to define. I mean, obviously, it’s single adults. And, if we’re truly narrowing it down, our target audience is twenty and thirtysomething Christian singles. But, we have college students, single parents, singles over 40, even married people who read (and sometimes write for) SingleRoots. We love that so many different people are a part of our community.
G: If you could have any living person guest post on SingleRoots, who would be your dream pick and what topic would you want them to cover?
J: I would love to have Donald Miller write for us. He’s such a good storyteller; I would give him carte blanche to write about any topic of his choosing.
G: We talk a lot about practical tips to develop healthy relationships and spiritual disciplines on this blog. Finish this sentence: The most helpful piece of wisdom anyone has ever given me has been…
J: My mother told me that a Southern woman should never leave the house without earrings and lipstick. In my own life, I’ve tweaked it to lip gloss, but that advice has served me well.
However, if we’re talking healthy relationships, that sage advice came from my brother. I called him once to say that I wasn’t going to be able to follow through on a commitment I had made to him. I had a sturdy defense prepared and was ready to argue over why it was imperative that I let him down. He pretty much stopped me dead in my tracks when he said, “It’s okay. I know you, and I know you would do it if you could.” He continued by saying that it was important for us to always assume the best about each other.
Whether it’s family or friends, we tend to automatically assume that there was ill intent when we’ve been wronged. It’s so much more freeing to choose to remember and believe in the goodness of the people we’ve chosen to surround ourselves with than to believe that they were trying to hurt us. Of course, communication is vital, and we’ll probably need to talk it out, but assuming the worst until then doesn’t help matters. It’s important to remember what we know to be true about them.
G: What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
Asking me which of my brothers I love more would have been an easier question than this one. As a former English teacher, so books are more important to me than handbags, Sonic ice, and social media combined. I’ll limit it to the following:
The best fiction book I read this year was Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron. It made me want to go on a pilgrimage to Italy and trace the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. Few fiction books have made me consider my own spiritual walk the way this one did.
The best non-fiction book I read this year was Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. I love her writing style, and the vignettes she shares from her life. I just know we’d be BFF in real life. So until then, I just stalk follow her on The Twitter.
G: If you were to invent your own flavor of ice cream for Ben and Jerry’s, what would be in it, and what would it be called?
J: When I was in Spain last year, we had a crepe that was made with white chocolate Nutella. And I don’t mean white chocolate plus Nutella. I mean they had a jar of white Nutella. It was to die for. I can’t find it anywhere, though. I’ve even Googled it. So, if I were working on new ice cream flavors for Ben and Jerry, a white chocolate Nutella one would be at the top of our production list. It would be called, “My Nutella, -ella, -ella.” I’m sure Rihanna would endorse it.
G: For all our sakes I hope that your wish comes true. All I want for Christmas is some “My Nutella, -ella, -ella”! Thank you so much for sharing your heart, humor and the vision behind SingleRoots!