Life Is Like Laundry {Why Today Should Be Naked Tuesday}

So. . . if you are a regular reader of this blog, I apologize.

I missed an entire week of blogging last week, and I really have no good excuse!

It started with normal busy-ness, then a little writer’s block, then a mystery smell in my kitchen that ended up with me and my 10 year old boy ripping out part of a cabinet with a crowbar. Yeah. Good times.

Life is that way sometimes. Well, actually, most of the time.

A whole bunch of normal, with some unexpected stops, starts and interruptions thrown in, and a few detours along the way. And then sometimes, a big stink that must be sniffed out and dealt with before anything else gets done.

Kind of like laundry.

There are six people in our family. That makes for a lot of laundry. Just the socks alone are enough to make me want to cry.

laundry pile

If you explore the blogosphere for very long, you’ll find plenty of organizing ladies out there with a plethora of wonderful ideas about getting control of your laundry. I actually have a system, too. With this many kids, I pretty much have to.

But then there’s the problem of life getting in the way.

Because for my laundry system to work, I have to actually get up off my butt and do it. And let’s be honest here. Sometimes I just don’t get to it. Sometimes I don’t feel like it. Sometimes I start and then get sidetracked. Often it’s lower on the priority totem pole than other, more urgent tasks.

There are those rare days when I get completely caught up. . . only to have a new pile waiting for me the next morning.

Because the only way to really catch up is to declare Naked Tuesdays.

My family hasn’t bought into it yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

For those of you reading and wondering why I don’t make my kids do it, well, you have a point. Two of them actually know how to start a load, they all know how fold (well, sort of) and all four are responsible for putting their own folded clothes away.

But if somebody’s not running the show (ahem, ME), it’s not gonna get done.

Life’s like laundry, isn’t it?

I know how you rush around and work and strive and think to yourself, “If I can just do this one next thing, then everything will fall in place. Then I’ll be able to relax. Then I’ll be completely organized and life will be easier.”

I know because I do it, too.

But the thing is, it never happens. Life never gets completely organized, does it? It never falls perfectly into place.

Because in life, as in laundry, there are no Naked Tuesdays.

The earth doesn’t stop spinning, giving us that much-craved 25th hour in the day when the sun stands still so that we can “catch up.” There is no catching up.

There’s always something off kilter. Always a kink in the plan.

Just when you think you’ve got it all under control, you come home to a big stink. Or worse. And life flies off the rails.

The older I get, the more I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Any idea that we have much control over this life of ours is an illusion.

Sure, we get to make choices. And our choices make a difference. But there’s so much that happens to us and around us, stuff that’s completely out of our jurisdiction. For us to run around trying to clean it all up before getting down to the business of living is not just futile–it’s actually a little crazy.

Nature makes messes. We have six large trees surrounding our house and just the leaf clean-up process alone makes for many hours of hard labor. My husband spends over half the year here in Texas battling those leaves.

Inside our homes it’s the same. Dust settles. Fingerprints get wiped off and then instantly remade. Crumbs fall to the floor, dogs shed, grass and dirt get tracked in. Leftovers go bad, orange juice spills, little boys miss the toilet, things break and leak and stop working.

It’s the way life is. Always in rotation. Always cycling. Always in motion.

Like a washing machine.

laundry baskets

There are no Naked Tuesdays.

All that to say, that you might have to take a deep breath, ignore the piles of unfolded clothes, and just live a little.

As my Momma always says, “Those clothes aren’t going anywhere.”

But if you spend all your time zigzagging through life trying to get it all under your thumb, your life will slip away and you’ll realize at some point that you forgot to actually live it.

The messes will always be there. There will always be something else that needs doing.  You get a million or more chances to do the laundry. Again.

But your life. . . well, you only get one of those.

Will you stop today. . . maybe just for a moment? Put down that mop? Watch the dust settle? Ignore the cat hair? Catch your breath? And maybe pretend–for just awhile anyway–that today is Naked Tuesday?

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Just for fun–because I love it–an old Friends clip when Joey tells Rachel about “Naked Thursdays.” If you have trouble viewing the video, click here.

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect {But You Should Do It Anyway}

practice doesn't make perfect

I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like writing.

And I don’t feel like practicing my singing.

I should be able to open my mouth and have perfectly beautiful sounds come out, just like I did in my 20s.

I should be able to sit down and immediately craft the perfect sentence, with beautiful imagery that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you HAVE to read what I have to say. I should be able to do it because I’m educated, and I’ve spent years reading and talking and being knowledgeable. Because I’m smart. Because I want it so bad.

///

I made these whole wheat rolls one time. I was new to bread making in general, and completely new to whole wheat. I wanted to make our bread healthier.

I was also convinced that in order to be a good mom and the perfect homemaker I’d always envisioned I would be, that I had to make homemade everything. Including bread.

(Yeah, that’s an entire post on it’s own — for another day.)

So I was industrious and I went to work and my whole wheat rolls turned out like flat, hard hockey pucks. I was devastated. I followed the recipe and was a good girl. I did exactly what I was told. And the experiment was a huge fail.

Oh how I cried.

My family ate them, even though they were terrible.

I was so disappointed in myself. I had this idea that even though I’d never done it before, I should’ve done it perfectly. After all, I knew there were plenty of people in the world baking bread who were uneducated. They hadn’t been to college, for crying out loud! They weren’t as intelligent as I was. They certainly weren’t trying as hard as I was. And they were making delicious whole wheat bread.

Surely I could follow written instructions and get just as good a result!

But I didn’t. I failed.

When I sobbed, “I’m a terrible cook!” Travis responded with, “No you’re not, Mom. You’re a great cook. You just need more practice.

///

And there’s the rub.

I tell my piano-playing kids all the time. Talent only gets you so far. Intelligence only gets you so far.

If you want to be good at something you have to practice. You have to do the dailiness of it. You have to do the boring parts, the warmups, the drills, the over and over and over part. . . until you learn how to do it well. Not perfect, mind you. . . but well.

And then you keep practicing in order to keep improving, to get even better.

It’s true in sports. It’s true in music. It’s true in writing.

And it’s even true in cooking.

I’m a much better cook than I was 15 years ago when I was first married. It’s not because I went to cooking school or studied with a famous chef or even read a lot of books. It’s because I’ve made hundreds of meals, so I’ve had a lot of practice.

I’m still not the best at making bread. I don’t practice it enough to be a pro.

whole-wheat-rolls7

Photo via melskitchencafe.com

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

I’m not sure where this idea came from, this warped thinking that I had to be perfect straight out of the gate.

Right now I’m struggling mightily with my voice. I have been for several years, but I’ve discovered that I can’t really understand what I’m capable of until I get some serious practice under my belt. I was able to sing with a chamber group back in June and found that with two straight days of singing, my voice was stronger and more flexible than it had been in a while.

And the light bulb went off. I was getting lots of practice.

Of course, that was fun–getting to sing great music with a group of fantastic musicians. Singing scales at home by myself at the piano, not so much fun. But I’ve decided that I can’t continue to complain about not having a voice if I’m not at least willing to put in the effort to practice. I’ve been afraid of practicing because I don’t like the way I sound.

But this morning I pushed through and sang anyway. Because I won’t sound any better if I refuse to open my mouth. That’s what I’ve been doing for the better part of a year and my voice has gotten worse, not better.

So practice it is. Ugh.

I’m going to try to do the same with my writing. Even though it’s just as boring to sit here and write when I don’t really have anything meaningful to say. Still. Here I am. I showed up at least. I’m trying.

And that’s what it means to practice something.

I don’t need practice to make perfect. I just need practice to make capable. I’m good with that for today. Or next week even. Just capable.

That’s good enough for now. And maybe even for a lifetime.

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P.S. Here’s a link to a terrific recipe for Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls.  Mel will never let you down!

 

I Won’t Be Letting Jesus Take the Wheel

jesus take the wheel

Yes, I know.

Jesus, take the wheel and Carrie Underwood and all of us Bible-belt raised, “good” Christians know that we’re supposed to move over to the passenger side of the “vehicle” and let Jesus do the driving.

I’ve heard that metaphor for as long as I can remember.

But I heard a better one a few weeks ago, so I’m rejecting the old “Jesus and me in the car together on the road of life” metaphor.

It leaves out too much of the adventure.

If I’m merely a passenger on the road trip that is my life, then my choices and thoughts and gifts have no bearing on the journey whatsoever.

///

Let’s just talk about my minivan for a moment. I drive a 2005 Honda Odyssey van that’s supposed to be white. It’s dented and scratched in several places, and that’s just on the outside. The inside is horrendous.

I blame the children. It’s completely their fault. Because the inside of my van is just plain gross.

Actually, that part has no relevance whatsoever. Maybe that’s a story for another time.

Or maybe the disgusting mess that is the inside of my van IS relevant. Because it’s like the children have marked it as “their territory” by littering it with their scent and all their droppings — like animals in the wild. A random french fry here, a smattering of goldfish crumbs there, a three-weeks-overdue library book under this seat or a glitter glue/wet paint/foam-stickered piece of abandoned Sunday School art — all strewn across the landscape of the van interior with utter abandon.

You see, as the mom, I have the privilege of being their chauffeur. If you can’t quite grasp the tone of that statement, please let me be blunt. I am rolling my eyes in complete unbridled sarcasm.

I hate driving. Not my cup of tea. But nonetheless, I am the driver. When the husband is at work, the job is left to me since, at least for now, I’m the only other person in the family with a valid driver’s license.

So I have these rules about riding with me in the van. And one of those rules is the radio/noise rule.

If I’m driving, I get to decide on the radio station AND the volume level. Why? Because I’m the driver. I’m calling the shots. I’m making the decisions.

The kids never like it.

Maybe I’m a van Nazi. I’m sure there are plenty of “cool Moms” out there who let the kids make all the choices. Yeah, I’m not one of those.

I tend to get pretty antsy when I drive and I find it easy to get distracted or overly anxious if the noise level (or the type of noise, i.e. rap music) cause me to go into sensory overload.

So, yeah. I don’t let them make the decisions when I’m driving. They don’t get to pick which way to turn, how fast to go, when to stop — and they don’t even get to roll the windows down or change the radio volume whenever they want.

They have to follow my orders.

Van Nazi. Totally.

 ///

 

The Reason I Can’t Let Jesus Take the Wheel

Which brings me back to the whole Jesus & Me in the car scenario.

I just can’t see Jesus as a van Nazi.

I mean, I will totally admit that He is all-powerful, that He knows best, that He would most definitely make better choices on an hourly basis than I do. Which means that I should let him do all the driving, right?

Except that He does give me choices with my life. He lets me make mistakes. He gifted me with talents and abilities and personality traits, and I really get the feeling that He wants me to use those in creative ways, ways that are unique to me.

If I’m just a passenger asleep on the highway while Jesus does all the work, why bother? Where’s the adventure in that?

I think maybe, just maybe, Jesus would prefer a little more participation on my part than me just waking up every 50 miles or so to ask for a pitstop.

What’s Tons More Fun than Driving?

So I’m ditching the car metaphor and I’m not going to move over so Jesus can take the wheel.

Instead, I’m going to picture this life of mine as a dance. A dance with Jesus in which I let Him lead, but I’m still moving.

Our pastor used this imagery a few weeks ago and I can’t get it out of my head. For one thing, dancing is so much more fun than driving. Can I get an Amen?

could have danced all night

If I’m dancing with God through the adventure that is my life, then I’m an active participant. Jesus and I are moving together to create something beautiful, something unique, something exciting. Although some of the steps are tricky and take lots of practice, there’s also an element of improvisation and surprise. There are times when He lifts me high into the air, and other times when a low dip is what’s called for, but it’s all part of the flow, part of the dance.

It is not just Him doing all the work, dragging reluctant me and my stagnant life across the floor like a limp mop.

Instead, we move together in tandem. He secures me with His firm yet gentle grip, and although He leads and I follow, I am dancing nonetheless. The more we practice, the better the dance gets and the more I learn to read His movements, His intentions, His grand idea for the shape that our dance will take.

With a partner like that, I could dance all night. Which is exactly what I hope for my life — and for yours.

You are more than just a passenger. And Jesus is way more than just a van Nazi.

He’s your Fred Astaire and He’s got some pretty awesome moves. It’s high time you got out of that car and started dancing.

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What I’m Into {August 2014 Edition}

What I'm Into August

Hard to believe, but 2014 is on the downhill slope. August is ending, which for some of you means cooler weather ahead. Here in Texas, it takes a little longer, so we’re still in full swing with summer. I can’t complain, though. This has been one of our mildest summers in several years, with only a handful of 100 degree days so far!

To keep you informed as to what I’ve been into and up to this month, I’m once again joining the  What I’m Into link-up with Leigh Kramer.

 

Books I Read:

The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc

This is such an important book, and as far as I know, there is nothing else quite like it on the market. The author uses the metaphor of a mosaic throughout the book to emphasize the importance and  purpose of brokenness, and how out of our broken pieces, we can come together with God to make something beautiful. Each chapter is short and provides a reflection exercise linking to a spiritual discipline. I especially appreciated the author’s attention to the chronic grief of parents of the disabled, as it reminded me of the post on grief I wrote last December.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

It’s safe to say that I find Liane Moriarty’s fiction to be of the un-put-downable kind. Always fun and easy to read, I usually finish her novels within a couple of days. This one was no exception. Very entertaining!

Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Creepy and good. Kind of Stephen King-ish–horror with plenty of supernatural thrown in. A bit long, but it definitely held my interest and I finished it quickly.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A very good teenage drama with a definite plot twist ending. I listened to this one on audiobook and I never saw the ending coming.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This book about World War II has gotten really good reviews, and I liked it. . . okay. The problem was that it was slow. The writing was well-crafted, and the storyline was interesting, but I knew what was going to happen and still had to drudge slowly through the last several chapters. The best part was early on in the book, when the author sets the scene in Germany with the Hitler youth movement. Quite chilling.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

I’ve been on a waiting list for this one at the library, so I was thrilled to get it into my grubby little hands. Loved it, though not as much as Me Before You. Still, I highly recommend reading anything by Jojo Moyes. No surprise, but this one gets my pick as favorite of the month!

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor

You just can’t go wrong with Barbara Brown Taylor. She is a master of beautiful, descriptive language, mingled with wonder about God, His creation, and about humanity and our relationship with Him. This book addresses the problem of “full solar theology,” and how unrealistic it  is, since all of us find ourselves plunged into darkness during periods of our life.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

A well-written novel about a difficult period in American history. The suffering the protagonist has to endure as an orphan in the 20s and 30s is almost unimaginable. I enjoyed this book immensely and appreciated how the present and past were linked together. The ending, however, left me unsatisfied.

This is just a sampling! To see all the books I read/listened to this month, you can check out my profile on Goodreads. And please send me a friend request over there. I’d love to see what’s on your bookshelf as well!

What I Watched:

On TV, we were (finally!) able to watch Miranda season 3 on Hulu. If you haven’t seen this British comedy, I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly funny it is. We watched the entire series in just a few nights, and (spoiler alert) it ends with a big cliffhanger!! Aaaargh!

We also rented Jim Gaffigan’s Mr. Universe and I’ve never laughed so hard in my life!

I actually got to go to the theater this month and see three movies! That almost never happens!

First off, we saw Boyhood. This movie is long but it’s true what the ads say — you’ve never seen anything like this.

Boyhood_film

They actually shot this movie over a twelve year period, so you get to see all the actors age and change and evolve on screen. It’s pretty amazing to watch the kids go through their metamorphoses, but I think watching the adult actors (Ethan Hawke and Rosanna Arquette) as they matured impacted me even more. It was so much like real life. . . which is kind of the whole point of the film.

Next I got to see If I Stay with a group of girlfriends. I read the book by Gayle Forman about a year ago, and I thought the movie version was excellent. Takes you through the wringer of emotions, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. I loved it, though!

If-I-Stay

Finally, my daughter and I went to see The Giver. She and I have both read the novel series, so we were excited about the film. While there were some differences between the book and the movie, it was done very well and the whole cinematography (not sure if that’s the right word) was amazing, as the picture gradually (or sometimes suddenly) changed from black & white to color. Love, love, love the theme of the book and the movie — there is no joy without pain, there is no love without choice. A must-see!

the-giver

Online Reading:

Landslide by Bree Morel at Failing Joyfully

The Depressed Christian: Why the Dark Night Is No Measure of Your Soul by Megan Tietz

What the Church and Christians Need to Know about Suicide and Mental Health by Ann Voskamp

Kirk Cameron’s Christian Nation Doesn’t Exist by Laura Turner

My Own Most Read Posts:

Jesus Was Disabled, Too

What Do You Say When the World Is Falling Apart?

 

What Made Me Laugh:

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Other stuff I’ve been into and up to:

School started!!! Hooray! I am one happy Momma right about now. I still have a couple of weeks until my teaching schedule resumes, so it’s nice to have some peace and quiet around here during the day so I can get caught up on a few things.

Or read more books.

What about you? What have you been into and up to during the month of August? I’d love to hear about it!

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How to Forgive {Even When’s It’s Next to Impossible}

how to forgive

Ever have a scab that you just couldn’t quit picking?

Yeah, me too.

When I was a kid, I constantly had skinned knees–not so much from falling, but because I was always picking at the scabs and making them worse. It drove my Mom crazy.

I could gladly sit for hours and peel paint off a wall, or bark off a tree.

It’s a little embarassing to admit, but I experience a slight thrill when my daughter gets sunburned, because I know I’ll get to peel off the dead skin. Yes. It’s a sickness. I know.

Right now I’ve got this scab on the back of my head, where my surgery incision is. It’s actually not from the incision itself, which healed quickly and neatly. No, it’s from my incessant scratching of my scalp to the point that I made it bleed. Scars itch like CRAZY when they are healing. So now there’s this little scab and every day I get up and announce boldly to myself, “Today is the day I WILL NOT pick the scab.” I keep thinking if I can just make it one day without picking at it, then it will finally heal already.

Except I keep going back for more.

I am a woman obsessed.

  • I know it will never heal until I leave it alone.
  • I know it won’t heal until I give it a rest.
  • I know it won’t heal unless I’m patient.

But every day I find my fingers migrating to that one little point on my scalp and once they’re there, it’s almost impossible to stop.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets slightly obsessive over things like this!!

Let’s translate the physical into something more spiritual shall we?

I’ve been wounded. All of us have in some way, by somebody, at some time in our lives.

The most recent emotional scars for me are those left by the church. Those wounds were deep, puncture-like wounds, and healing takes time. Maybe a long time.

I keep expecting the hurt to just disappear or vaporize and leave no trace.

And yet there’s still pain. The wound is, much like my scalp, still tender to the touch. Much like my physical body after brain surgery two months ago, my spiritual self isn’t quite 100% just yet.

I think it’s okay to write about the pain. Writing has helped me to process all of it and understand it better.

But there’s this pesky little scab of unforgiveness that I haven’t quite been able to quit picking. 

oh scab

I don’t believe in forgive and forget. I don’t think it’s possible to forget the things others have said or done. Certain experiences get seared into our brains like a cattle brand and become part of our story. So this isn’t about forgetting.

I’ll always have a scar on the back of my head, a visual reminder of the trauma of brain surgery.

But forgiveness, that’s the healing part.  That’s the necessary part.

That’s what my niggling little scab is teaching me.

Unforgiveness is like a scab that we just won’t leave alone.

How to Forgive

But how do you forgive people who don’t even think they did anything wrong? How do you forgive when the mistakes are so blatant and raw and mean? How do you forgive those who are oblivious to the hurt they’ve caused? How do you forgive the unrepentant? How do you forgive a person who rejects your child?

The truth is I don’t know. But I’m pretty certain I can’t do it in my own energy and strength.

Maybe, though, like the scab on my head, the answer is to approach it one day at a time?

Maybe by saying, “Just today, I will let it be. I will let the scab be. I will not let my fingers go there. I will not pick at it, pester it, force it to bleed all over again.”

  • Maybe today I will choose to be grateful in my current situation, rather than rehash old hurts.
  • Maybe just for today I will rejoice in where God is leading me now, rather than revisit the mess He pulled me out of.
  • Maybe just for today, I will rest and not fidget. I will let healing happen rather than prevent it. Maybe just for today.

And maybe today will turn into tomorrow, which will be another today. Day two will be easier. Day three easier still.

The only way to soul restoration is to leave it be, to number the days–to quit picking at it already!–and let the spirit (and the body) do its healing magic.

Forgiveness, then, must become a habit.

Forgiveness has to be a choice. A daily, almost ritualistic commitment to leave the scab of unforgiveness alone so that healing can occur.

What about you? Somebody or something you need to forgive today? I know how hard it is to leave that old wound alone, believe me! But there’s strength in numbers. Want to commit with me, just for today, to use your hands and your mind and your heart for something more productive that reopening old hurts?

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5 Ways to Be a Better Facebook Friend

facebook friend

I’ve traditionally been a glass half empty kind of person. When I get emotional, I tend to imagine the most doom and gloom outcomes.

Then I get on Facebook and read all kinds of status updates and article postings about how the world as we know it is in a state of disrepair and destruction. And I’m not talking about the real tragedies going on around the world.

I’m talking first world problems.

  • How we like to complain that everything is falling apart.
  • How it’s all going to hell in a handbasket, due to the rise of socialism or climate change. Take your pick.
  • Obama or gun control.
  • School lunches or genetically modified soybeans.

It can quickly cause a sensitive-minded person to sink into a state of pity and woe-is-me-ism.

I’m going to have to get off of Facebook and get myself a life. I wrote about this very thing a few weeks ago, and I stand by it. If you’re feeling a little down and out, try getting off Facebook for a while and see if your mood doesn’t improve.

Facebook can be a great tool for staying connected and for promoting positive things. Social media is a necessary part of life if you’re running a business or writing a blog or starting a ministry.

But a lot of what shows up in social media is downright toxic. I see some of the meanest stuff posted by people I really like. People who are nice. People I’ve always admired.

When I see their Facebook posts, I start to wonder.

I start thinking like a 12 year old girl again and I take things personally.

  • I wonder if they are talking about me.
  • I get paranoid.
  • I misinterpret things. And I see everybody else around me doing the same things.

We all know that things come across differently when they are “posted” whether in a text, an email or on Facebook than they do in person. We all will say things in type that we wouldn’t say in person. We all know that things like nuance and tone of voice don’t come across through social media.

Something said tongue in cheek with a chuckle at a dinner party can be interpreted as hateful, venomous vitriol when encountered in print.

And that’s just the thing.

You don’t know who’s reading what you post.

If you’re like me, you have Facebook friends who used to know you, Facebook friends who sorta know you, and Facebook friends who really KNOW you. And you might just be giving the wrong impression to the first two groups. Those “friends” might end up thinking you are a mean and hateful person, even though you and I both know you are the farthest thing from it.

When I first signed up for Facebook in 2008, I learned my lesson the hard way. I actually damaged a friendship through stuff that I posted on Facebook. Thankfully, the friendship was eventually restored, but I learned that what I post and what I say in print makes an impact, and I have since tried to think twice (at least) before posting anything that might be interpreted as mean-spirited or hateful.

This does NOT mean that I never post things that are opinionated.

I am an opinionated woman and I am passionate about many issues, and that means that if I think something needs to be seen or read, I will post it. Many of my own blog posts deal with issues with which other will disagree or might even find offensive.

But my goal and my prayer is always to approach such subjects with respect and diplomacy. I think there is a place for discussion and debate based on knowledge and kindness and the overall theme of “agreeing to disagree.”

If there’s hate language or profanity involved, then in my book it crosses the line.

Just so you don’t think I’m two-faced and preaching a double standard here, please know that while yes, I am politically liberal-leaning, there are many groups and many liberal media outlets from which I will not post or quote. There is a Facebook page that I “liked” a year or so ago called “Christians on the Left.” But I immediately “disliked” the page whenever I saw a post that, for me, crossed the line. I don’t agree with hate-filled language or condescension on either side. Many, many, many of my dearest friends are people who completely disagree with me on political issues.

And that is okay. Somehow, we have managed to remain friends anyway.

What is not okay is meanness.

If you scroll far enough back in my Facebook feed, you may find some mean things posted by me. They weren’t intended that way at the time, but I can see now how they might have been interpreted that way.

Still, I make it my goal, as an ambassador of Christ, now that I’m (a little) more mature, to use my Facebook page as a tool for communication and encouragement.

I’m hoping more people would join me in the endeavor.

5 Ways to Be a Better Facebook Friend

1. Just “Like” it.

If you really agree with a post, yet are concerned that posting it on your page may prove offensive, be misinterpreted, or hurt the cause of Christ (if you are a Christian), consider just “liking” it rather than “sharing” it.For me this includes anything that uses certain profanities. There is a Facebook page called “I F-ing Love Science” and some of the stuff they post I really like. But I won’t repost it simply because of the profanity in the page title.

2. Stop and think.

Think twice before posting/sharing anything. Please. If you have any hesitation whatsoever, then wait. It’s probably not worth it.

3. Limit sarcasm.

Remember that most of the time, sarcasm and satire do not come across the way they are intended in print. If you must post something sarcastic or satirical in nature, at least use emoticons to express your true emotion. That’s what emoticons are for. And also understand that there will be people who won’t get it.

4. Grammar, please!

Please, for the love of God, check your grammar. I’d be willing to bet that 90% of the mean and hateful posts I read are chock full of grammatical errors. Which means that not only do you come across as a mean person, you also come across as a dumb person. Which just reinforces all the sterotypes out there.

5. Extend grace to others.

Be willing to give others the benefit of the doubt as well. Maybe they are trying to be funny, but their posts come across as mean-spirited. You can choose to hide those people from your feed if it bothers you. Just try not to take it personally. Move on.

And there you have it. My top five tips on how to be a little more “glass half full” on your Facebook page. Your friends will thank you!

As always, please feel free to share this post! Let’s spread the love, shall we?

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