31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: Day 19 “Be Careful…”
A couple months ago I was coming down the stairs of our home, and I stepped on a matchbox car. I fell the last six steps. I sprained my ankle, broke my toe, twisted my wrist and was battered and bruised – as you’d expect. Sam witnessed the misfortune. Since then every time I head to the stairs Sam says, “Beee CAWRFUL Mommy!’
And I really should be more careful. A fall like that from 5’8″ and 43 is a lot further down than you might think. The fall caused a delay in my fitness goals; it slowed me down with the babies, house-keeping, and general living, not to mention – my pummeled ego.
I felt less confident. When I had to bring the chunky-monkey baby down the stairs, I was terrified. He’s heavy, and I was hobbled. I worried about falling with him – and the thought made me utterly queasy.
So, I am very careful.
I got an email from a “hater” last week. He informed me that I was wasting Christians’ time by misleading them into believing I was saying something important and in reality I was wasting their time with my silliness. He said if I use the Lord’s name as part of my blog… I should be more careful.
So, I make a note, be very careful.
This weekend while I was at a writers convention, I was getting my briefcase ready for a meeting with a publisher and I found a blue slip at the bottom of my case. I pulled it out and quickly realized it was the very first critique of my manuscript “Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors.” The publisher said it was C grade, unfunny, poorly written, and would be impossible to market. Shaken to my core, I stepped onto the elevator and tried to recover. I should have been more careful, digging through old files right before a meeting with a HUGE publisher – Why wasn’t I more careful?
The blue slip caused a delay. It slowed me down. And pummeled my ego. It hurt my feelings, rocked my confidence and made me utterly queasy. As I made my way to the meeting, I prayed that God would steady me. That He would show me how to represent best my work, and PLEASE don’t let me throw up on this woman’s shoes. As I sat and waited for my agent and the publisher, I people watched. Everyone was on the move. Places to go, people to meet with. Carefully dressed, briefcases in hand, neat hair, tidy shoes. Careful.
What are my goals? Do you I want to tip toe through to a book deal? Do I think I’ll be famous? And why would I want to be? No, that’s not my goal. I want to be brave. I want to speak the truth. What if only two people hear me? SO? If I was brave then… that’s all that matters. Then I see it. On a table across from me. A magazine with “Bruce” Jenner on the front and it says, “Caitlyn Jenner Bravely Speaks Out.” And I don’t feel so careful anymore.
When I say “careful” you know what I mean. When I say brave, you should know what I mean too. I think of the hundreds of mom’s that buried their babies and wrote in to respond to Shelly Templin’s guest post this last week. When I say brave, I think of the men and women, who are getting up alone to care for their kids while their spouse fights for your freedom far from home. More so, the spouse that FOUGHT for my freedom, and isn’t ever coming back. Brave is the momma of the special needs child. The working single mom whose husband has strayed. Brave is my boy, and millions of others, who work their butts off to learn and the letters look “kcabdraw,” instead of backward, and still they trudge forward. Brave are the cancer fighters, the teachers, the preachers, the poor, widows, orphans, refugees, police officers, firefighters, missionaries, and speakers of truth. Brave are the brokenhearted.
If all I have is words I cannot be careful. I must be brave. I saw an interview of Bruce Jenner on the Ellen Show (Christian Post Article Here) and his/her/who knows, stance of gay marriage. And I did want to scream: STAND FOR SOMETHING! And this post isn’t the place for me to start on the topic of gay marriage but, that interview made me think: Stop being careful. In the mess of word redefining – marriages, sexuality, life, death, and the bathroom decals – stay away from brave. Brave is off limits. I know people who struggle with sexualtiy, my old friend and author, Sally Gary is one. She speaks boldly on the topic: She is brave. So, as I waited for my agent and publisher, this conflict goes to battle in my head. And I try to think about the careful words I want to use so as not to be criticized or allienated.
And I boldy reserve brave for the brave.
If Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner wants to discuss the struggles of finding size 10 wide calf boots for fall, I can listen. The struggle is real my friend. But neither Republican, Democrat, gay, straight, or otherwise need your cowardly stance on marriage. I would say be a man about it? But that dress you’re wearing, nevermind. Reading further I think, “wow it would take some *&%$ to have parts of your manhood removed,” and then I learned, she/he still has *&%$ because she/he was too afraid of that part of the gender change process. And I don’t know why? They aren’t serving her/him all that well? I still don’t know what he/she stands for.
I am not brave. I do have the benefit of hiding behind my laptop. This might make someone mad, or sad, or whatever word we are carefully redefining this week. Or it may just wander lost in cyberspace. And I don’t care. I won’t spell check it, or grammar check, or re-read it. I will hit publish it – I will not be careful. If it was the last message I could send, or the last twitter I tweet I would simply say:
Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life. He bravely died for my sins, the death of a criminal. Slaughtered. He was BRAVE. I serve Him.
So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami