If Grace Had an Instagram Feed

What would it look like, do you imagine?

If Grace, the actual I-died-so-you-could-be-loved-perfectly-forever, had an Insta feed, what pictures do you figure we could scroll through?

I have a few ideas. You must, too.

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I’m guessing Grace will get a kick out of posting pictures of my favorite snack foods with snappy captions like, “Devil Dogs in 2 easy steps!” or “Swiss Cake Rolls for Days!”. And Grace will use a beautiful filter on the pic and He’ll layer over the verse from Proverbs about all things in moderation and He’ll know… He’ll just know that I’m straining against the constraints of my diet and needing a pass for the cheat treat I just had.

I think one would probably have to be a picture of horses nuzzling on a beach with the caption, “Listen Missy, horses need love, too.” And Grace would know, He’d just know that I’d be reeled in by the beach scene. He’d know I couldn’t look away and that He could use my nemesis, as I’ve mentioned here and here and here and here, to remind me that I don’t get to decide who gets love and who doesn’t.

But I think one of my favorites would be a puppy pie pie (and it really wouldn’t matter what kind, as long as it wasn’t a hairless Chihuahua because, He would know that I just can’t even). And anyway, this puppy would be on a boat with it’s hair all wild in the wind, with the caption, “Dog Hair, Don’t Care” to remind me that even when the wind is whipping, He’s got this.

And I am absolutely certain that I’d see a picture of pigs flying. Can’t you just see it? Heavenly pigs winging through the air! And, of course, He’d know that I wouldn’t be able to resist seeing those animals flying and I would, of course, need to thoroughly examine the picture and investigate whether it was modified. And he’d use this one to remind me that Hope is alive and well and flying high, despite what it seems like in the world.

The one I won’t be able to stop liking, though, is the one Grace will put up of my Sweetman in a beach chair with a big ol’ pile of books stacked up in the sand next to him. Man. Candy. Mine. And Grace will just know that I’m needing a reminder (in that post-argumentative moment) of all that I love about That Man. And it’ll totes work, too.

Oh, but you just know that Grace will snap a pic of my sweetkids, at their very cutest of course, on a lake. Or, in a lake. And He’ll be sure that I’ll admire those stinkin’ cute kids while at the same time turning my nose up at the lake (because, Ocean). And I can imagine the caption would be something along the lines of, “Lake people are people too,” because He hears my every inner thought. Especially about lake lovers.

Because, I’m human. And, indeed, sometimes very human.

But Grace doesn’t worry about that.

He knows.

And loves me anyway.

I think I’d like that Insta feed. And I’d be scrolling through it all the live-long day.

And Grace would get all my likes.

Yes indeedy.

**My Instagram feed isn’t nearly as exciting, but in case you missed it, I do indeed have one. Click here to go there.**

Five Reasons I Don’t Jump to the Comments

Social Media and blogging accomplish much. For me, it provides opportunities for connection as a writer, as a Believer, as a Mother of an atypical kid on the Autism Spectrum, and as a Bama’ Alumnus. My interactions with people online have led to forming some mighty strong bonds of friendship – friendships that have only been encouraged to grow, as I’ve been able to meet some of these people in real life, over the years.

But…

I’ve learned that there is also dark side to the Internets.

It’s found in the comments and replies.

While there is a beautiful place for comments that encourage and support, and even question, it is one that needs to be entered with Light. With all The Light within.

Here are just five reasons why I choose not to jump to the comments, in some places.

1. If the article, post, or tweet is even remotely precocious, the comments are extreme. Extreme makes me break out in hives.

2. Comments on an inflammatory issue rarely include facts. And when they do, they are often absent of the grace that laces productive conversations. Grace, like oxygen, seems to be sucked right out of the environment. I like grace. I need oxygen.

3. As, quite possibly, El Presidente`of The Feelers Club, my emotions can run high all by themselves. And when my emotions start outrunning the facts, voila`! My already limited ability to be tactful or sensitive in certain situations is quashed. It’s not pretty. I’m not pretty.

4. Have you ever gotten into a commenting war with someone presenting the other side, and gotten to the end and said to yourself, “Why yes! That was the best 3 hours of my life!” Me either.

5. Every time I encounter a commenting hater, “Shake It Off“, by Taylor Swift, is stuck in my head for far too long. Touche` haters. Touche`.

This doesn’t mean that there is no place for comments. Or for debate. Lord knows that I love a good healthy debate! And, here, in this space, I’ve only encountered encouraging, helpful, and graceful comments. (And made more than a few life-long friends, in the deal!)

It does mean, however, that I will often read a piece written by one of the Internets and either jump down to my reply space to encourage or question the writer, or walk away considering it further. Because, the older I get, the more wisdom I find in these truths:

They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions” 1 Timothy 6:4 (NIV)

“But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” Titus 3:9 (ESV)

“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.” 2 Timothy 2:23 (NLT)

Those are some good Words, right there.

I’m sure you could add a reason, or four, that I’ve never even considered. And that is one of the many beautiful benefits of the commenting areas.

But, maybe that’s a post for another day.

Yes indeedy.

Peaceful Mode

We are not a huge video gaming family.  We own a WiiU and, as I’ve stated before, Sweetboy and Sweetman mostly enjoy making fun of me when I crash during my epic failed attempts at Mario Kart.

Once in a while, I do show my mad skillz by beating the pants off of everyone in Just Dance. Even the little one.  I have no shame.  Whoever is playing, I’m in it to win it.

I’m gracious and loving that way.

Anyhoo, as my sweet children were sitting at the kitchen table eating cinnamon rolls the other morning, I kept hearing “Where are you?  I can’t see you! Oh, there you are!” being slung back and forth.

They were sitting one foot away from each other on side-by-side stools.

This intrigued me.

“Um, what are you guys doing?” I asked.  It’s a mother’s job to get to the bottom of these things.

“Playing mime craft, of course.” Sweetgirl offered, in her most sassy tone.

“MINE craft!” Sweetboy corrected.

“Yeah, MINE craft!” Sweetgirl repeated.

Knowing nothing of this game, I asked for a little rundown on it.

What followed was one of those amazing conversations where you ask a simple question and get all sorts of extra information that you never wanted or needed. Or, had time for.

We really should have been getting ourselves dressed and ready to leave the house.

Instead, I got a Masters level explanation about Minecraft with an undergrad rendition of the social dynamics thrown in by the six-year-old.

And then, this question: “Do you want to play with us, Mommy?”

I’ve never actually witnessed time standing still, but I think I came pretty close in that moment.

I had a choice to make: carry on with preparations to leave the house to do Totally Unimportant Things, or stay and snuggle in and learn how to play a game that had my children giggling and interacting with each other.

It’s not even fair to call it a choice, really.

God saw fit to give me this quirky boy and sassy girl for a time.  I want to make the most of it.

After playing this Minecraft for a good half hour, I can’t claim to really enjoy it, (it’s basically a form of virtual Legos and my brain just can’t seem to go there without wanting to pull 54 hairs out of my head). But, I can claim to enjoy the time I get to spend doing something my children love, with them.

Spending time that they asked me to spend with them!

That is a phenomena that I’m sure will go away sooner than later.

So, if you need me, I’ll be tucked into the couch in “Peaceful Mode”. Probably, with a kid on either side. Very probably, trying to figure out how to take away one of the fifteen ducks that keep getting added.

Peacefully, of course.

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You Say Playdough, I say Plato

I don’t hate Plato.

But, Sweetgirl thinks I do.

This misunderstanding all came about because of a discussion that Sweetman and I were desperately trying to have over pancakes this past weekend.

Unfortunately, we forget that little ears, though they may be engaged in another activity entirely, are always listening.

And, oftentimes, misconstruing.

I was innocently sharing about a radio segment that I had recently heard about an intriguing new book, titled “Plato at the Googleplex” by Rebecca Goldstein. I immediately loved the premise (Plate goes on a multicity speaking tour in the 21st century). But I loved, even more, the interviewers take on how Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is such an apt description of our current society’s fascination with social media – to the exclusion of face-to-face interactions. (If your eyes didn’t just glaze over – we really ARE meant to be the best of friends!)

Sweetman immediately jumped in to share of an article that he’d recently read in The Atlantic, titled  “Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers”. If the above book didn’t hook me, this article definitely would have! The author,  currently a Community College Professor, was retelling about a letter he received from a former student, who was now a factory worker. The professor had used one little quote from Schopenhauer, during one of his courses. The student was so struck by it, that he went in search of it. By reading each and every one of Schopenhauer’s books! Essentially, the student was thanking the teacher for introducing him to Schopenhauer. Even though, the class the author taught was on Plato.

It served to remind me of the great power each teacher holds to shape thinking.

Whether at Harvard, or the local community college.

Or, in my child’s Kindergarten classroom.

And so, as Sweetgirl’s Kindergarten teacher was sharing about how Sweetgirl seems smitten with any opportunity to play with playdough, I had to explain, again, how I detest playdough. I keep it well-hidden in our home.  I only bring it out in case of extreme emergency. I can’t even think of an emergency that extreme. But, that I do, indeed abhor it, and so she only plays with it if I’m able to stand at the ready with a vacuum in one hand and a broom and dustpan in the other.

True story.

Back to our breakfast conversation, when Sweetgirl asked why we were talking about playdough, I tried to explain Plato to a six year old.

I quickly realized that is above my pay grade.

I left it at, “Plato was a wise person who lived a long time ago. PlayDOUGH is an awful thing that mama lets you play with once in a while.”

Philosophical simplification at it’s very best.

“But, why do you hate Plato, Mama?”

“I don’t” I foolishly answered.

“Can I play with it when we get home, then” she asked.

Well played, child.

I’d rather dig up Plato.

Yes indeedy.

Back in Action, Maybe, Mostly, Part 1

I feel the need to forewarn you – I do not have my act together. (I’m 101% sure, though, that almost every one of you already knew that.)

But, as it pertains to today – I really and truly  don’t have my act together.

So… today’s post will be a 2-parter.  But no worries for those of you that detest cliffhangers (I do too!), the other part is coming later on this afternoon.

A fun little summer montage may or may not follow, if I get my act together later. Today. Maybe.

For now, though, I’m letting my heart linger on the summer memories we’ve been busy making because MY BABY IS GOING TO KINDERGARTEN in too few days.

Thankfully, my nephew took my mind off of all of this Kindergarten Business by hitting me with a picture of him eating my Last Precious Piece of Cake from the local snack bar that we love down on the shore.  Stinker.

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Thank you God for summer memories.

I pray each one of you have had the chance to make a couple of your own memories, this summer.

Yes indeedy!

Oh, Horses!

Sweetgirl recently got a new game for her handed-down Nintendo DS.  And, even though this was one of those rated “E” (for everyone) games, I was having a dickens of a time trying to figure out how best to help her navigate around in it.

Does anyone else feel like you need a PHD in All Things Technological to use these games?  

Anyhoo, I started to lose my marbles around the 8 minute mark. I was trying to figure out how best to teach this silly adorable game to Sweetgirl.

In a fit of frustration, I texted my Tech Support.  Here’s how that went:

Oh_Horses_Missindeedy

Not only did the stinkin’ auto correct feature on my not-so-smart phone NOT correct “dor” with the obviously correct “for”, but, Sweetman also thought it would be funny to insert horses into the equation.

I know exactly what he was thinking.  Fifteen years together will do that.  He thought it would make me giggle and thus diffuse the frustration of the situation.

And y’all… it did!

No matter how this man can aggravate the tar out of me, he is definitely a God-given gift. And, for sure, my better half.

He gets me.  And he’s so good at keeping me together.

Even if it does involve the use of a well-placed horse.

Yes indeedy!

Sometimes, I just have to stop and thank God for the people He’s chosen for me to do life with.  Who could you thank God for today?

Playing Around

As opposed to, you know, horsing around.  Because, y’all know I don’t do horses. Please excuse the mess today.  I’m playing with the theme of my blog and the background and the header and…
 
In the meantime, I was hoping you’d feel free to amuse yourself at my expense. Feel free to click on an “update” to any of these older posts while I get this thang all sorted out.
 
See ya in a few weeks days. Oh yes indeedy!
 
 
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Update: Um, the rebounder? The blessED, belovED, needED, rebounder? It was puked on this weekend. Just sayin’.
 
Update: I’m imagining an endless supply of stories that I’ll come back from Arkansas with when we go for a family wedding in April.  (More fun stuff always happens down South. It’s just true y’all.) 
 
Update: I‘m lovin’ Modcloth right now. Seriously.  Browsing around that site will help an hour disappear in seconds. For realz!
 
And lastly, and maybe my favorite, in a surprise turn of events – The Nana is becoming totally Tech Saavy. True Story!
 
Update: Straight from The Nana’s mouth, recently:
 
“I’d talk to Siri more – but Captain Ahab says she uses too much data! Whatever that means?”
 
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See now?  How fun is that?! Plus, I just helped you kill an hour, too.  Your welcome.