Facebook Squabbles

I admit it, I love Facebook.  I am a total media geek addicted to the social realm.  I tweet, link, post and blog mostly on a daily basis. Usually all this talky talk is a good thing, except for when it’s not.

Let’s just say, intent and interpretation can have a vast chasm between them.

On Saturday evening, as the blessed second day of July came to a close, I decided to thank all my friends and family for my lovely birthday wishes.

So, I took a silly picture of the baby and me and posted it to Facebook. My status comment said, “Thank you, thank you for all the birthday blessings!  Thirty-nine never looked so good.”

Now, just for clarity I was in jammies. No makeup, no hair styling, just a darling baby and a blissful mommy with a heart full of gooey emotions.

My husband glanced at my post and commented, “Umm, that seems sort of vain,”

“Huh?” I replied.

“Well, it could be interpreted you think you look pretty hot for thirty-nine.” Tim suggested. “I don’t think you mean that, but some people might.”

My eyes filled with tears and spilled over onto my cheeks. “That’s not what I meant at all!

What I meant to say was –turning thirty-nine isn’t as daunting as I thought it would be.  My life is bubbling over with precious riches like my toddler, tween and teenager. I don’t feel old; I feel twenty-nine with ten extra years of wisdom.”

“Ok” he said. “I understand your intent but other people might not.”

I lurched for my laptop and angrily deleted my post. I thought about trying to reword it but all my attempts sounded pathetic.

“Umm, yeah… I don’t mean I look hot for thirty-nine. I mean, I don’t look bad, actually, I think I look pretty good for birthing three kids, but I didn’t mean –aren’t I hot? But, if you think I’m pretty, that’s ok too, because it’s nice to feel attractive, but I wasn’t looking for a compliment or trying to brag all over Facebook like I’m some sort of diva.”

I admit I’m vain, but not that vain.

Right. Delete seemed to be the best option.

Over a yummy margarita and chips on Sunday at Casa Ranchera (yes it’s my favorite restaurant); I shared my Facebook tale with some of my closest friends, relative newlyweds who are beginning the journey of navigating marriage.

The husband laughed with a knowing look of insight and said-“Facebook causes more arguments than anything. We spent a whole counseling session over a misunderstanding regarding a picture my wife posted. “

He thought the picture portrayed him in an unflattering and possibly angry light. She thought it was funny. Then he really did get angry and she got hurt.

Bamm! $150 bucks on Facebook therapy.

I’ve learned the hard way, as in some counseling sessions of my own, not to write about my husband or post on my blog without his approval (as a pastor he doesn’t approve of the humor or shock value in some of the stuff I find hysterical, like an occasional well placed bad word, his unedited opinions and anything remotely sexual.

Social media inevitably leads to social conflict.

The beauty (or maybe the detriment) of Facebook  is that it reflects ordinary life, with all the misunderstandings between men and women.  But the old petty arguments are now  magnified in front of five hundred of our closest friends. What used to be an annoying slip of the tongue now morphs into a media fiasco.

Maybe in this new social planet, some things are simply better left unsaid, at the very least edited, or if it’s really funny…maybe worth a little squabble.

Intuition and Pet Prayers

my dog, a labrador retriever

Image via Wikipedia

I wrote an article the other day on prayers for pet funerals

Really Sam?  Pet funerals?

Yes, I know…cheesy with an extra slice (but there is no shame in trying to make a few bucks)

Ok, maybe a little shame. I would post a link to the article but my editor sent it back for revision.  No comments please.

But the point is, the next day my dad calls me and tells me his dog died.

Freaky, right?

So, now in a matter of a few weeks I get to tell the kids their favorite animal kicked the bucket, right on the heels of losing their great-uncle.

The sad part is my daughter will cry over the dog. A lot.  Maggie was a beautiful blond Labrador and everybody knows that labs are the best kind of dog.

And I will have to tell my daughter, because she will ask, about pets and heaven.

And then I will have to lie. 

Because I don’t believe pets go to heaven, although I do think there are animals in heaven.

One day at work, we spent a whole afternoon debating this very topic.  And I learned that there are passionate and crazed people who think I am wrong. 

Like death threat wrong. 

But I am sticking to my guns, and on the off-chance that I am mistaken, I am more than willing to stand corrected; because honestly, I really miss Wilbur, my old childhood dog that I lost as a teen.

It sure would make this conversation easier if I was wrong.

Maybe my freaky intuition will give me some profound words to say.

Then again… sometimes there are no words.

Hurling Darts into Jello…

Strawberry/Raspberry Jell-O Ring

Image by pirate johnny via Flickr

As a writer, I often wonder if my words connect with my audience.  Am I making a point, eliciting an emotion or provoking a response, that changes one’s paradigm, even momentarily?

As a follower of Christ, this question becomes even more pronounced… because in the art of losing myself to glorify Christ, I write to tell His stories, but then secretly wonder if anyone listens???

Often when I write I feel as if I am inspired by the Spirit.  Words flow like water.  My fingers tingle, I am in my element because I am operating within the giftedness I was created for.  Other times, I am at an impasse, relying on my own cleverness, or lack thereof, trying to find words when there are none.

Some might call it a writer’s block and try to push through it. I tend to file these articles away for another day when my eye is fresh.

Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way,  “The torpid artist seeks inspiration at any cost, by virtue or by vice, by friend or by fiend, by prayer or by wine.”

While wine sounds attractive, prayer must be my muse, or I am tempted to think of my art, writing in this case, as a gift in and of itself, versus an offering to the Giver of all good gifts.

If humility is recognizing who we are in light of God, neither overestimating or undermining our worth, then writing with humility allows us to release our work and give credit where credit is due.  We can let go of the insecurity of penning a masterpiece that may or may not be universally well received.

If our pen has been moved by the Spirit of God, and we write for an audience of one, have we not in all reality hit the mark?

But if we are merely trying to stroke our ego or gain a following to prove our prowess with the pen, then our words are vain folly.

In all honesty, much of my writing attempts are like hurling darts into Jello.  I aim, I throw, and then comes the distinctive sound of jello– blu..blu…blump.

Maybe no one cares or takes interest in something I thought was riveting.  Other times, I aim and hit dead center.  I am praised and feel loveable for my contribution.

Once again, the achievement ladder has stealthy crept into my sincere desire to create.

I…we… must constantly surrender to the Spirit–allowing God to take both the triumphs and the catastrophes, freeing me up to simply use the gifts and talents he has given me for His glory, and hopefully, someone else’s benefit.

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