faulty filtering

I am writing a different way this morning – drafting on Microsoft Word. I returned from a weekend trip to find that our Internet is not working. So, in a little bit, if it is still down, I will drag my laptop to the library to connect and post this.

Drafting on Microsoft after months of blogging directly through WordPress is like using a typewriter after having a computer. Ok, not really. Actually there is really no difference other than my perception. I am still hitting the same keys on the same laptop, but it looks different! My screen is the blank document of Word instead of the ‘live’ page of my blog. Ultimately you won’t notice any difference – I will cut and paste this onto my blog and you will read it, or not. You wouldn’t even know I was on Word right now if I didn’t tell you. But by now you know, I HAVE GOT TO TELL YOU! I have to say EVERYTHING! I don’t know why, I have a horrible time holding anything back.

As a matter of fact, last night I met some new people. First of all let me say that Friday and Saturday I drove to Cincinnati and back, attended my daughter-in-law’s baby shower, stayed up late watching Michigan State lose to Ohio State, went to church, then out to lunch, took my mother back to Lansing, and then, and then, at 7:00pm I went out with my husband to meet new people.

I never do very well holding back my opinion about anything, but when I am tired, and you know I was tired, my filter is very weak. By the grace of God, I didn’t say anything that was particularly offensive, but I have a feeling that these people got to know me better in two hours than I may have originally preferred.

You know how in polite conversation people ask you things like “So, what do you do?” “How many children do you have?” “How do you like Ann Arbor?” Then, in response, we have polite answers like “I am a teacher.” “We have four children.” “I love Ann Arbor.” These types of answers keep the conversation moving forward and don’t cause anyone to look at you like you have three eyes.

Well, I think I may have said some things that suggested I have three eyes. Don’t get me wrong; the people we met were lovely. In fact, one of them told a story that had me laughing so hard I practically stopped breathing (which is, by the way, one of my favorite things to do). But several times in conversation I noticed the others looking at me immediately after I spoke with an expression like, “Did she really just say that out loud?” Each time it happened I tried to rewind my words and replay them in my head to see why what I had said had had that effect, but for the life of me, I couldn’t do it. The conversation kept moving forward, (thankfully!), and I wasn’t able to attend to both the moving forward and the rewinding. So, I honestly don’t know what I said.

Now, my husband was sitting right next to me, so if it was really bad, he would’ve said something to me either right there, or on the way home. He didn’t. We both recalled the funny story and laughed again. So, I at least know that I wasn’t offensive in any way. Phew!

My sister-in-law teaches fourth grade. She says in her sweet fourth-grade-teacher voice, “Not everything that pops into your head has to come out of your mouth. It is good to use a filter.” Trust me, I filter. (Again, thankfully!) But I am definitely a truth-teller. Sometimes filtering and truth-telling are in opposition to one another.

I don’t lie. I can’t. I used to. A lot. All my lies are gone.

All I have left is the truth. So, filter I must. And in order to filter,I need grace.

It seems that my gracefulness is more abundant when I am well-rested. So, rest I must.

Resting too much makes me bored. Driving to baby showers and watching late-night football is fun! I like to have fun!

Having fun makes me tired. Being tired causes faulty filtering. Out comes the truth, not necessarily gracefully.

Oy vey.

The good news is that these new friends all hugged us at the end of the evening and said “nice to finally meet you!” So perhaps in my limited gracefulness, their grace was abundant. Perhaps they were able to ‘overlook a multitude of sins’ for me. I will have to remember to go and do likewise.

I Peter 4:8

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly,

Since love covers a multitude of sins.

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