Christianity: My Journey & Thoughts, Ponderings

Life Lessons/Semi-Sage Wisdom: “Stay in Your Lane”

I celebrated my birthday recently and had some time to reflect as I turned 300. I rung in the day on Saturn, skating on the rings, listening to oldies while I broke 70k in my novel (almost to the finish line!). Three hundred is old, you say? Not for a Time Lord (or Time Lady, as it were).

“Stay in your lane” is a phrase I use to encourage my husband, the saint, or to describe a decision I made. “Keep moving forward” (as Walt famously said) is another way of saying this. For Christians, we could say “Keep your eyes on the cross.” In other words, don’t let the world (and its many lies and enticements) distract you.

Society is full of charlatans, and many of these charlatans sell their wares willingly and often, even if it’s only words. They want to divert you on your journey, weigh down your proverbial trunk with their junk and fill your gas tank with sugar. They’ll take your energy, waste your time, make excessive demands to appease their needs, and then leave you high and dry. These people have many names assigned to them: narcissists, emotionally immature, toxic, emotional vampires…What to do?

I’ve worked with people like this. They never took responsibility for a single thing they did, including the many mistakes they made, or the tasks they repeatedly ducked and watched as others scrambled to pick up their slack. They live in little bubbles of make believe, and they’ll rake their claws across you if you dare point out (or better yet: poke) their bubble of fantasy. The people I worked with deflected any accusations faster than Wonder Woman’s wrist guards ricocheted bullets. As I recognized their toxicity, I built boundaries higher and quicker than the Great Wall, and I enforced these with titanium, Kryptonite and lookout towers. My archers would signal to me when a plea for attention and pity would come my way, and I’d let it fly in the wind past me and dissolve into ash.

Stay in your lane; let people crash and burn (proverbially) in their journeys. Don’t be the wrecking crew for another person’s repeated and earnest mistakes; they need to learn themselves what to do better next time. And if they need professional help–or a legal wakeup call of sorts–it’s out there.

Until then, stay in your lane. You’ll meet many people in your life, as I have in my 300 years. Some of them will help you grow and learn, and some of them you might even help in a healthy, reciprocating friendship with beautiful boundaries and mutual respect. But some people you’ll meet won’t help you; they’ll want to tear you down instead, even if it’s subconsciously willed. It’s tricky learning to discern between the two, but you will. With time and practice.

Until then, happy writing and journeys. Stay resilient, and remember to take a pit stop every now and then for ice cream. Self care and all that, you know.

Christianity: My Journey & Thoughts

Seasons of Life: Walking with Dusty Sandals

I probably rolled my eyes the first time I heard ‘seasons of life’ from a fellow Christian. It sounded chintzy to me, like something you’d find engraved on a plaque mounted next to a Thomas Kinkade print. Can you picture it: a painting of a too-perfect gazebo surrounded by a pristine English garden? Maybe it even has a little painting light mounted above it, to better sear the saccharine display into your mind. It makes me want to pick up a charcoal pencil and sketch in a kraken devouring the flowers, shooting laser beams at the sky in wild, blissful rage. The raw sweetness is sickening.

It can be maddening when you’re waiting for something in your life to happen–a change you want to occur. This can happen in seasons of rest or reflection, or during those times when Dusty Sandals* is preparing you for what comes next. It’s a “Wait here and trust me” or “Walk with me and trust me” kind of thing. I’m not an expert at this, but I think this is how it works.

I’m in such a season currently. A foundation in my life recently changed, somewhat dramatically and suddenly. Like a chess game, I am trying to figure out which piece to move next. I made a couple of foolish moves in the beginning chaos, but am stepping back to take a look at the bigger picture. Dusty Sandals is ever understanding and sympathetic–He gave me my queen back. Then He asked if He could sit down and play.

I said sure, but I would get unlimited handicaps. He agreed. There may have been a chuckle while I prepped the popcorn bowl and drinks.

Whenever we’re uncertain, those who follow Dusty Sandals can (see: need to) remember that He is always present and ultimately in control–even in the midst of evil (see: war) or otherwise very bad situations. When we suffer, He is suffering with us; when we rejoice, He rejoices and joins us at the taco bar for seconds. Sometimes during these seasons of waiting, we need to get out of His way and let Him work; other times we need to sit down with Him and break out the chessboard and talk it through together. But just be reassured–He’s there and He’s not leaving you. He promised you that long ago.

I hope everyone is well. To any readers in India, my thoughts and prayers are with you especially as your country continues to suffer so much with the pandemic. Please do your best to take care of yourselves and each other.

Until then, happy writing.

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*Dusty Sandals: I refer to Jesus sometimes in my blogs as “the guy in the dusty sandals” or “the guy with the dusty sandals”. I shortened it this time to Dusty Sandals. I don’t think He would mind.


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Blogmas Day 15: “Favorite Bible Verses” (Humor | Indie Author)

“This is Reginald Swinebottom presents. Welcome to Day 15 of Blogmas 2018. Grab your mittens and let’s get crackin’!”

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