Compiling the stories in our summer issue was equal parts fun and awful. I’m not kidding. I did my usual 5-7 day begging binge where our gentle, holy, wonderful authors received cryptic emails from me saying, “STORY? Done. Please? Agh! WHEN? Pizza. Send help.” Then, our photography team receives bossy emails like: “go do this” and “I wasn’t envisioning that” or “meet me here.”

It is an embarrassing power trip where all tact, tone, and kindness often escapes my brain and I’m just a giant ball of theatrics.

It is a miracle of the sweet Lord above that these people still take me seriously.

Then, the magical moment of seeing the magazine for the first time happens. Organized and illustrated, these stories bring LIFE.

And I’m humbled. And I giggle about my goofy emails and horrible time management. I chuckle to myself in weird, nonsensical ways, mumbling odd encouraging phrases out loud to myself and our dogs, and make poor eating choices (aka – fluffernutter sandwich) as I look over each page late into the night hours.

And it is BLISS.

In the three issues I’ve assisted in producing as our Managing Editor, this is the first time my blissful stupor has been so extreme. For those of you who know me well, you understand I don’t believe in romance or being wooed. It’s all garbage to me. Fleeting, unnecessary, and false. BUT, this issue of Shattered has slapped me clear across my ugly-cry face, bought me a dozen blush peonies, and I’m basically a mess about it. I mean it. And it’s because I genuinely feel this summer issue was collected and compiled JUST the way God intended it to be.

Our writers and stories seemed to trickle in casually and on time (PRAISE YAWEH!). We were able to cover some of our beloved local friends in our “Real Purpose” section, talk with some well known musicians (hollaaaa Ellie and Matthew), and create a magazine that seriously displays the heartbeat of why we do what we do. Article leads led to nothing and story ideas popped up at the last minute. Ideas were shot down only to have better ones brought to the surface. The magazine was constantly adjusting, stretching, growing, sacrificing, and compromising. And so was I.

And I’m so thankful. And blown away. And shocked. And just humbled.

So, in this blissful gratitude and in order to enjoy this issue as much as I know you will, I need to clear the air. This goes out to all writers, editors, photographers, designers, teammates, and contributors:

I am sorry about the time I texted you frantically at 2am asking a very detailed question about your submission. It seemed important. And I really hope it didn’t wake you up. Or your family.

I am sorry for the time my email account kicked the majority of my messages to spam and I was in email-lala-land for days on end. I literally said sentences like “I’m so caught up on email” and “Why is no one responding to me?”

I am sorry for all the times I said “ASAP” like it really was ASAP. When in actuality it was just because I’m a psychotic control freak and want what I want, when I want it.

I am sorry for the time I gave you a prompt that was poorly written and totally not what we had in mind and you turned in something beautiful. But, I had to ask you to rewrite. (AND YOU DID!)

I’m sorry about having to reschedule our coffee date, or lunch date, or dinner date. Speaking of…I think I’ve FINALLY got some free time.

But really, I’m sorry I’m not sorry. Cause God took all this wild maniacal behavior of mine and STILL blessed us anyway. He has shown grace through all of you not murdering me, patience through our editing team not excommunicating me, and ultimately, love through the 100 insanely gorgeous pages of our Summer issue.

It is my genuine prayer that every one who contributed to this magazine opens it up and feels valuable, unique, and vital to the success of what we do. We appreciate you. We couldn’t do it without you. And WE JUST PLAIN LOVE YOU!

Here’s to a great summer. I know what I’ll be reading…