Has anyone else felt completely confused and/or defeated this week?
“It’s not ok to say nothing.”
If you DID say (or post) something, somebody might have told you it was the wrong thing.
“You should’ve said….”
“You have to POST this….”
Then, if you did, “WHY did you do THAT? What are you trying to PROVE?”
Posting Scripture was often met with the response that it was a misuse of the context or else it was twisted into something negative.
Social media was a lose/lose this week.
I felt bullied. I felt like every single thing I did/said/posted/didn’t post needed an explanation and/or disclaimer.
Am I defined by a square? By crafting the perfect caption that sums up my beliefs and everything I stand for?
Part of me felt like it was just hopeless. The hate. The hurt. The injustice. The division. The name calling. It’s never gonna end. There is no RIGHT answer.
But there is. The right answer is always Jesus! The right answer is always that I must decrease so that He may increase. The right answer is always to love your neighbor as yourself, whoever that neighbor may be. The right answer is always that Light casts out darkness. And one glorious day it IS going to end.
I think some of the wisest words I’ve heard (outside Scripture) came from Anna on Frozen 2. “Just do the next right thing.”
And I want to try to do more of that. Whether it shows up on social media or not.
I am thankful:
~ for the Lord’s protection. Gavin and Sawyer were playing outside, and Sawyer was about to go potty “country boy style” outside when Gavin noticed something at his feet. At first, Sawyer didn’t believe it was real, but Gavin convinced him and the two boys ran screaming inside. “Snake!” Mama had to get brave with my rubber boots and long shovel, and put an end to the snake, which turned out to be a 2 foot long copperhead! I’ve never killed a snake before. I felt a little bit like She-Ra Warrior Princess and a little bit like passing out. When I think about what could have happened if Gavin hadn’t noticed it, or if Sawyer had reached down to grab it… BUT GOD.
~ for Dairy Queen chocolate dipped cones. Isn’t that just the flavor of summer?
~ for a great, HOT week at the Barn Sale. Wednesday was Early Bird Day, and the admission fees were donated to Gold Network of East TX, so I worked at the table selling admission tickets and sharing about our programs. I met some fabulous people, and so many were kind and super generous. The sale went on through Saturday, and I was thrilled to sell more than half the Giddyup & Whoa signs I had painted! Double blessing!
~ for Carson Grace turning 19. How? How can my Princess Peanut be 19 years old??? She had a great time being celebrated by her friends, and she squeezed in a window for us to have her birthday dinner. We all love her birthday, because she has such great taste: BBQ chicken legs, pickled cucumber and tomato salad, sweet potato fries with homemade ranch, and ice cream cake. Her meal was a celebration in itself! But in all seriousness, I am excited to see what the Lord opens up for and in her this year. She is such a bright light, I know she has so much shining to do for Him!
~ for cool, refreshingly sweet and tart lemon icebox pie. It didn’t last long.
~ for a few more treats from our garden, including a teensy bitsy carrot.
~ for successful completion of the next, highly stressful stage of our gradual kitchen reno. We busted up and ripped out the final slab of dark granite from our island. The next day, a freighter dropped off its replacement: a 500 pound 8 foot long maple butcher block. The driver asked how long it would take for us to get it inside and installed. Josh confidently assured him it would be in place that night. We enlisted the help of a neighbor, and josh and I and Cooper CAREFULLY slid the massive slab onto a flat dolly, wheeled it into the house, and hoisted all 500 pounds of it onto the island. That process went much more smoothly than I had envisioned in my mind. But then came the real challenge. To measure, re-measure, and measure AGAIN to confirm the opening Josh would have to CUT out of that beautiful butcher block for our range. No do-overs. No margin for error. Man, we were calling out to Jesus for sure! But as always, Josh was meticulous and BOLD, and he cut the hole perfectly in one shot. So happy with how it turned out.
Let’s love one another well this week. Less time staring at screens and more time looking into the actual eyes of actual people. Let’s not throw darts or dodgeballs, but engage in active listening and compassion. Let’s admit when we’re wrong and forgive when we’re wronged. And pray for the healing that our nation so desperately needs to start in our own homes and in our hearts.
Thanks for giving thanks with me. Y’all are truly such a blessing.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7)
“Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And, with it done, what comes then?
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I’ll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing”
(“The Next Right Thing” Kristen Bell)
5 thoughts on “A Square”
Heather, I am so sorry for the cyber bullying that you endured this week. I guess by just reading Sunday Gratitude and not your other social media I was completely unaware of the drama. People can be cruel, insensitive, and ignorant as to how their comments come across at times. I pray your heart heals as you walk in forgiveness and that you never stop eloquently proclaiming our Lord’s goodness and truth.
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I wasn’t necessarily PERSONALLY attacked. I witnessed so many other people tearing each other apart. I was speaking more to the overall tone on social media as a whole and the pressure I felt to post the perfect words to make the perfect statement. God is FAITHFUL!
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Thank you for voicing exactly what I have felt about criticism of posting. I felt kind of stung with a comment I received.
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Yes, yes, and yes! Social media, feeling bullied, not saying anything, saying the wrong thing. I was in the exact same spot as you. I finally chose to remove myself from social media for the week. May end up doing the same thing this week. Just know that you are always a bright spot in my Monday morning routine! I love opening up email and finding your weekly blog. I was actually in Tyler last Wednesday and had thought my daughter and I might stop by the sale and snag the beautiful “In Christ Alone” sign. Sadly, by the time we rolled out of Tyler mid afternoon, we were just ready to get home and stay out of the heat (and I may or may not have thought about it until we were already south of Bullard 🙂 ). It sounds like you had a good time!
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And this is the main reason I spend very little time on social media, It seems to sometimes bring out the worst attitudes of the heart. Grace is a word that Linda Dieter often focuses on. We need to grant each other grace. We need to take a deep breath and say a prayer before we answer in heat. “What would Jesus say?” I love the words to “Do the Next Right Thing.” They are so appropriate right now. Thanking Jesus for Gavin’s alarm about the snake. He KNEW! And Sawyer didn’t! What a wonderful big brother he is! You know how the younger children get certificates for displaying character traits at GCS? Maybe you can give some this summer, in recognition of character traits that you are proud of them for. So glad about the donations to Gold Network, but even more glad for the people who know about it now, and can remember and mention it to others who may need it more. How did Carson Grace become 19? Looking forward to her next year AT SCHOOL and asking God to give her “songs in the night” that will touch other searching hearts. Love you, love you, love you! Hug each other for me.