what i really want to tell you

Do you ever find yourself thinking in facebook updates but not actually posting them?  I find it a funny way to encapsulate what I am feeling at any given moment.

Usually I self-censor because it would be inappropriate to share some of these things. Like when I’m angry, as in: Jessica wishes that her husband would remember to put the car keys back where they belong. grrrr” With so many mutual friends, that just seems mean to write something like this as my status update & publicly berate my husband. And really isn’t that just so passive-aggressive? I can’t image a worse way to relate to your spouse or a friend than through mean passive aggressive status updates.

Or what about when I have a song stuck in my head as in: Jessica “feels like makin’ love”

I just can’t write that kind of a thing without having serious repercussions in my life! It  could just be too easily misconstrued and awkward even if I did feel like making love.  This is the difficulty on facebook of A: being in student ministry with people from lots of different religious backgrounds from conservative to very liberal. B: Having donors who support this ministry from lots of different religious backgrounds from conservative to very liberal. C: Having people from all the spheres of my life all mixed up like a confusing curry, some who know me better than others. Some who I’ve never even met before who are professional contacts.

So, If I posted a lyric from one of folk musician Gordon Lightfoot’s songs as my status update: Jessica is “livin’ on stew and drinkin’ bad whiskey.” what is a person from any of these spheres of life to think (assuming that anyone of these people actually read my blog)?:  I think: that is a hilarious lyric! Almost every one of Lightfoot’s songs has something about a lumberjack in it- who else writes genius stuff like this except Gordon Lightfoot?

Gordon Lightfoot was my first concert. Yeah, I grew up in the U.P. Boyz to Men didn't come up there.
Gordon Lightfoot was my first concert. Yeah, I grew up in the U.P. Boyz to Men didn't come up there.

Dave actually put this lyric as his status update awhile ago because we couldn’t stop laughing about it- except he changed whiskey to “root beer” because he’s friends with people who would either be offended by thinking that he drank whiskey, that would announce this fact, and would question his leadership in ministry if he did drink whiskey. It can just be too easily misconstrued by people who won’t bother to ask- “hey, if all you can afford is stew & bad whiskey do you want to come over for dinner? Do you need food stamps? Do you have a drinking problem? Do you have a stew problem?”

I was at a family potluck awhile ago & I brought up this dilemma with some of my cousins (facebook challenges,not my whiskey & stew problem). Their response was “I don’t care what people think of me. I’m just real and don’t try to hide who I am.”  I decided not to engage much further on this lest things get heated and the ham buns and jello start to fly.

Thankfully I’m not the only person to stress about how I’ll be construed by others. When Jesus began to send out his disciples to share about their faith he told them:

Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove. “Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.” Matthew 10:16-20

So, I’ll just have to be a snake-dove when it comes to posting on facebook, because you just never know when people will be haters.  I also hesitate posting status updates about my spiritual life, as in: Jessica can’t image a life more wonderful than a life lived for Jesus. Though I do actually believe this, I fear of isolating facebook friends who don’t, or being written off as a religious nut-job. Or even worse- seeming like some sort of a hypocrite to people who don’t follow Jesus or like I’m placating friends who share this belief that expect me to post things like this.  It gets tricky trying to be authentic.

What is a facebook status update that you “mentally posted” recently? What held you back from posting it?


  • Lorraine

    Mine are usually of the “TMI” variety . . . “Lorraine is in the bathroom”, but worse. Or the whiny ones . . . “Lorraine is tired of dragging her crippled self around”–I try to hold back on those most of the time because I end up getting too much sympathy in response and I’m like, “wait! I wasn’t fishing for sympathy!” (wasn’t I?)

    I did, however, FB-status my way through my father’s funeral . . . before, during, and after. And yes, I do mean “during”. Mobile FB is my friend!

    Don’t tell FB (! I’m paranoid that they’ll somehow see this and ban me–I was banned before when my FB account was in the “name” of CRWM) but I actually keep separate accounts for the “work” me and the “home” me. I gotta be me, indeed. I should care more about what my FB statii say about my commitment to Christ than I actually do.

  • Kate

    I just posted about this dilemma on a mommy forum I’m a part of! Mine were things that referred to the less glorious aspects of being pregnant or being a mama that would be way inappropriate for my male friends.

  • Smacek

    OMGsh. This is perfect. Joyce and I think about this all of the time!!! I’ve had times where donors have emailed me about something they saw on my facebook. I’ve had to be very selective about the stuff I post etc. With great power comes great responsibility. Hah. Thanks for posting … this was perfect!!

  • April

    I am fortunate not to have the problem of having both professional and personal contacts on facebook. I have a rule: Did we used to hang out? Do we hang out now? Will we hang out in the future? If I cannot answer YES to any of those, they can’t be my friends on FB. I don’t know how many REALTORS I turned down while I worked at GRAR. I guess I’m not a very good networker.

    So I say whatever I want! 🙂

    If you ever have a really good one that you are hesitant to post, you can just write it on my wall. I’ll laugh. And so will all my friends.

  • Beth

    Hmm. My problem is I sometimes say something verbal I live to regret it so I really shy away from putting my thoughts on fb! Once I thought I was privately fbing a friend of my daughters and it posted on my own girl’s profile – omgoodness.

    But I totally get where you are coming from having friends on both sides of the coin – those you want to draw to Jesus and those you don’t want to offend.

    Even now I’m hesitant to say exactly what I want being a ministry wife and a minister. But I trust that’s the Spirit restraining me. Love your post–keep it up.

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