On Silver Linings and Being Real
I may have whined a time or 7 about our internet woes since we’ve moved. DSL is still not offered on our road and the next best option – a service called Boonlink that operates on radio signal, requires no contract, and has no usage limits – wasn’t available to us because pre-tornado our “foliage density” blocked the transmission.
Since our landscape has changed considerably I decided to try Boonlink one more time just in the off-chance the flattening of our foliage cleared the path for reliable service. And praise the One who dwells in the High Heavens amidst silver-lined clouds, we got it! I have internet! I have internet! I have internet!
What I still don’t have is a laptop. I’m borrowing one that belongs to the church so I can work a little this week but the good news there is that I finally ordered a bright, shiny, Georgia Bulldog RED Dell that should be arriving in a couple of weeks. We don’t even want to discuss how laboriously I wrestled with the Mac vs. Dell option but at the end of the day, I decided to stick with what I know because you know what they say about Old Dogs and their inability to learn New Tricks.
On another note of happiness, I had a fabulous weekend in Pigeon Forge, TN with some of my favorite people in this world. My MIL plans a bible study retreat every year for her church ladies, my SIL brings a large contingent from hers, and several other friends and family join in the fun. I also take Sydney with me because it is an excellent chance for us to have an Mom/Daughter getaway and she is more of a help to me than a hindrance. It is always such a comfort to be among those who love you knowing that if you flat out blow it, they will still love you and not compare you unfavorably to all the awesome teachers they’ve had in years past. They can’t do that because they’ve never had another teacher and I like it that way just fine. Because I’m insecure like that.
One of the things we talked about was authenticity where we considered the question, “Are we the Real Deal?” I normally don’t Tweet while I’m set aside for teaching but I was out shopping with my girl on break and opened it to see what was up with all my imaginary friends. Beth Moore had quoted Melissa (her daughter) as saying that most of the time what we mean by ‘real’ is something negative. That struck me like a ton of bricks because something very similar was already in my teaching notes for that night and I took it as divine affirmation I was potentially on the right track.
The point I suggested was that if we find ourselves ending sentences with “I’m just saying”, it may be that what we just said wasn’t our just being real, it was our being real mean. The one who prides herself on ‘telling it like it is” may just need to repent of hatefulness rather than glory in her plain-spokenness. If we are fully aware that we are abrasive and hurting feelings on a regular basis, it’s not the public-at-large’s responsibility to learn to deal with us and our ‘authenticity’. Does that mean our criticisms are unfounded? Not always. But there is a world of difference between speaking truth in love and spewing the truth in hate. As NeedtoBreathe so eloquently states it, “Just cause I’m wrong it don’t make you right. No you ain’t right.”
And lest you think I’m pointing a mean finger, I only write these things because I’ve recognized it in my own self. This *ain’t* always about you. But if it is, maybe we can work on it together.
I’m just sayin’.
Here lately I find myself annoyed by people when they say “just sayin.” As I read or listen to them it is usually a comment that is flat out mean and truly not necessary.
Be honest…be honest in love. We are so much better than that.
Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife Reply:
September 20th, 2011 at 11:13 am
I love you Fran Thomas. That is all. :)
Hey girl – PRAISING God who gives you Internet access! And He does for He is in ALL things, including Internet stuff.
As a former/ recovering mean girl, I GET IT! And I’ve used ‘I’m just being REAL’ as an excuse to me mean and petty. God convicted me years ago, but I’ve been known to slip into that pit a time or twelve. Love your heart.
And as for the Dell vs Mac. I used Dell for years and LOVED them all, but I walked over to the Mac just recently and I’m so happy. It’s a good place, but Dell still holds a piece of my tech heart.
Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife Reply:
September 20th, 2011 at 11:49 am
I adore you Mary Mary! Been thinking about you and how giddy you must be over Bitty Ben. Thanks for praising with me over internet. It’s not as good as Bitty, but you know, it’s a close second. As for the Mac vs. Dell question..what do you love more about the Mac? I’ve always wondered about the hype..?
That was a powerful Word. I have found myself saying the same thing as of late…a Christian has no right to be mean and say that is just the way I am. It is an oxymoron. Wish I had been there to hear the whole thing!!! The last thing Beth said tonight in Bible Study was that Saul loved David and how Christ in us makes us loveable. People should be drawn to us not repelled by us! I love you girl!!
Lisa – love this post – love you. You’ve been to my house – you know we’re out in the country. For the longest we had “satellite internet,” which was slower than dial up. It was called “Wild Blue.” Truly. I sort of chuckled at “Boonlink” because I wonder if it is just a nice way to say “Boon Docks.” But I’m so proud and happy for you because the day we got real internet we acted like nuts. I know that joy.
I saw Melissa’s & Beth’s tweets too and it struck something in my heart. I’ve grown weary of the “it’s just the way I am – I’m telling it like it is – get over it” folks. Love IS the more EXCELLENT way, and we can zip it up. The Proverbs never once say “open your mouth – spew forth” but there’s a heap of verses on keeping thy mouth shutteth.
Red is my favorite color (happy for your laptop) and you are my favorite PW. I had to just say that. :)
I’m torn up over not seeing you and Robyn and Fran this weekend. I just can’t make it and SSMT 2012 isn’t looking too favorable for me either….
Until then – I love you,
You did a great job. Now my prayer is that the words will be manifested in the lives of the ladies in attendance and they can see a change in their own hearts. I always dread leaving home but so enjoy being in the mountains with my ladies. We had a wonder relaxing time just enjoying what God created around us, in us, and through us. Love Ya Girl!!
I feel like breaking out in the Taylor Swift song… “All your ever gonna be is mean. Why ya gotta be so….mean. “. Love this post.
As far as pc vs Dell. Once you go MAC you’ll never go back is true. No freezing up. No virus. Faster. Great for graphics. And you’re cool. Just sayin’…. I mean… You use whatever works for you darlin’. It’s the words you wrote not what you write them on. Love you.
Mary Beth Reply:
September 21st, 2011 at 2:09 pm
I mean PC bs MAC! I may be cool but I’m can’t think straight! Ha!
I am so glad for you that you now have internet and a new pc.
This post is such a good reminder. I know that sometime I get it all confused. If you know what I mean. I mean sometimes it’s easy to think that to be authentic means you have the right to say whatever in however manner you decide is ok. Thats not so though.
On a different note. I finally got your book for my birthday last month. It was so good that, the minute I finished it I lent it out to a friend of mine who is a pastors wife. She in turn bought it for another friend who is also a pastor wife. It was both convicting and encouraging at the same time. Thanks for writing it.
So WHEW that was right on time and much needed!!! Thanks for keeping it real. Even if my toes hurt… ;)