A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream that Martha Krienke and I were in Colorado Springs. In a very serious tone, she said, “Listen, we need to go on a walk and have a talk.” Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t understand what Martha was trying to tell me. So the next morning, I sent her an email, told her about the dream and asked, “What was it you were trying to say?”
Martha replied, “This is crazy timing! Wow.” And then she explained that she had just resigned from her role as the editor and producer of Boundless. So apparently that’s what she was trying to say in the dream (and all the Boundless fans let out a collective sigh of disappointment).
I had some questions for Martha, and I’m sure some of the readers do, too. So we figured we wouldn’t let her go without a Five Questions interview, in which she talks about why she’s leaving, what she’s learned from Boundless about marriage and dating, and how much she’s going to miss all of us.
1. I’ve only known you and your role as the editor and producer of Boundless. It’s hard for me to imagine you being anywhere else — so where are you going, and what are you going to do?
Starting Aug. 17, I’ll be working at The Christian and Missionary Alliance national office here in Colorado Springs as their senior writer and editor. The U.S. Alliance family includes 500,000 people in 2,000 churches, and as a denomination, they have over 700 international workers in 70 nations fulfilling the Great Commission. I’ll be part of a team of writers, editors and designers working together to tell the stories of how The Alliance is making a difference around the world.
One cool little tidbit about this organization’s connection to Boundless is their president, John Stumbo, was once a guest on The Boundless Show — Recommended Reads: Episode 140. I grew up in The Alliance denomination and have a lot of history there. My three older sisters and mom all went to an Alliance college in Minnesota; a past president of The Alliance officiated my parents’ wedding; and the current president was my family’s pastor when I was in elementary school.
2. After all these years of reading and writing about intentional dating, give a summary of the best advice you’ve gleaned from your work.
I remember blogger Adam Holz once recommending a book called Mars and Venus on a Date. He spoke so highly of it that I soon downloaded a copy for myself. The thing I most remember is the author, John Gray, describes finding the right person to marry like hitting the center of a target in archery. Some people may hit the center right away, but most do not. He goes on to explain that when a person misses a target (your shot is too far to the left), they automatically self-correct (next time you shoot more to the right). It’s the same in relationships.
There was a time when I felt like a failure for not marrying the first person I dated, but this archery analogy helped me to see that a relationship that doesn’t end in marriage is not a failure. You can still learn from it and use that knowledge and experience to do better next time.
3. A lot of our readers are trying to make tough career decisions. What’s one life lesson about careers that you can extrapolate from this career change in your life?
If you’d like to make a career change, start doing your part to make that happen. For me, that included letting people within my network know I was looking for new employment. And it was one of those conversations that led to my new job.
Being proactive about finding a new job was a little scary. I feared no good options would be available. I feared the process would take longer than I wanted. I feared leaving Focus on the Family would somehow mean saying goodbye to my own future family. But I chose to be courageous and take a first step, trusting that God would lead me to just the right place at the right time. And I believe He has.
4. I noticed that in the last several months, you’ve shared fewer personal stories in your writing for Boundless. Why is that?
Your observation is correct! One of the reasons I began to seek employment elsewhere was from a desire to have more separation between my work and personal life. At Boundless, I read, write and edit content about dating, singleness and adulthood all day. Then as a 33-year-old single woman, I go home and live it. And then I come to work and write and edit about what I just lived or something I’ve been thinking about.
Over time, I began to sense an imbalance in my life of being a bit lopsided in my interests and the things I spent time thinking and reading about (that is, dating and relationships). So one way I remedied that realization was by more intentionally separating my personal life and work life.
5. Many of our readers know you by first name and feel a strong connection to you. For some people, your departure is going to feel like losing touch with a friend. What do you want to say those people?
I’m honored and humbled that anyone would feel any sort of sadness about my departure from Boundless. But I’ve got to say it goes both ways; I also feel a strong connection to our audience.
I think of the people who have used vacation time to visit our offices, the people who have sent us Christmas cards and Valentine’s Day candy, the people I met at Pursuit 2014 and 2015, the people who have written me personally to encourage me in my journey, the people praying for my future marriage — thank you! I think Boundless has given me a heart and compassion for other singles that I didn’t have before, and I look forward to taking that with me in this next chapter.
To stay in touch with Martha, you can follow her on Twitter @MarthaKrienke.