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Featured Friend: Loretta @ Dancing On The Dash

Welcome to Featured Friend Wednesday!  Every Wednesday I will introduce you to one of my beautiful writing friends.  I hope you will take the time to read, get to know the writer and visit her blog and social media links.

How To Avoid A Snark Attack
by Loretta of Dancing On The Dash

Our Story and Journey

It’s the time of year when I can eat my weight in watermelon. Seriously. I’ve already polished off 6 so I’m probably over half way there!

Suh-mer-TIME! Although it doesn’t happen near enough, I love that I can get in the car and be at the beach in two hours. #happyplace!

We’ve had our share of water adventures and a few close encounters of the water creature kind: jellyfish, crabs, dolphins and a few stingrays. Sharks are out there—we know it. Fishermen catch smaller ones and you always imagine the bigger guys are much further out.

I was confident of this until a friend posted her video of a 4 or 5-foot fella swimming along the shore at a local vacation spot.

I won’t live in fear but I’ll certainly be more aware of my surroundings next time I jump in to body surf!

Awareness. Navigating hazards… while actively living and participating—that’s just life, right?

Is it me?

It seems like conflicts abound with always something else to be more aware of, navigate through or avoid. Some days it’s easier. Other days…I’m just edgy. Agitated. Easily provoked.

Because, you see… I’m not always a nice person. No, really. I might seem all good and Christian-y but I confess — It takes a lot of effort sometimes.

It’s not always what I say or do. Mostly, it’s the yuck I’m thinking which, thankfully never clears my lips.

But it’s there.

And Lawd, shutting up can be a chore.

I’m a born-again Jersey girl. Quick with my words, I didn’t grow up Southern-sugarcoating anything. I could be quite fluent in several dialects of sarcasm and cut people to ribbons with my sharp tongue. Nasty.

Knowing this about myself, I must be honest because satan knows this about me too. I must stay on my guard and on my face before the Lord at all times.

As a writer, I’m called to carefully steward my words, serving them with love and grace— “seasoned with salt”, using them to heal, preserve and flavor the lives of others.

This is a difficult day for words and their stewardship. Never before has information travelled so quickly from mouth and mind over a matter of milliseconds to the whole virtual world.

For the record, I’m SO grateful to God that Facebook, Twitter and Insta-Everything were not around when I was younger because I might have been stupid enough to…. yeah.

It’s challenging.

You know the drill: Someone hurts your feelings, your BFF or insults your team. Suddenly, you’re tempted to dig a shallow, 140-character grave or update your status with just. the. right. words for that “special someone” and the fight is ON.

It’s an all out snark attack.

The scent of fresh blood draws others into the ring fueling a virtual snark-nado— a feeding frenzy where everyone’s “special” personality is on display.

It’s not just the kiddies. Full-grown adults bait and bite one another–online, in the halls and aisles, on the streets…. we do this.

As a Christian, I’d love to say I never feel this way. I can’t. I get hurt and angry too. Misery loves company, desires sympathy and sometimes seeks revenge.

With God’s strength, I must fight the impulse to strike back and choose not to give in. I try to remember these five things:

People are friends not food.

Even if I don’t agree.  Even if they’re wrong. Even if nothing changes, I can yield the right of way and swim on.

Snark unto others as you would have them snark unto you.

My blood may boil til I sweat. My jaw may ache from the effort of keeping my mouth shut. My fingers can twitch and burn from resisting the temptation to push “send” but I don’t have to go “there”.  Most likely, I need to take a break and get out of the water.

Dive deeper.

Often, these things stem from deeper hurts others are experiencing and their only outlet is to attack or deflect their pain onto another.  Sometimes, defensiveness is a sign of something we’ve not fully dealt with ourselves. Pray. Spend time with that accountability person I’ve been telling you to find!

Come to the surface.

Lighten up. Maybe I’m taking myself too seriously and I need to laugh off whatever’s tripping my trigger.

Maybe it’s legit.

There’s a more mature response: in private, one on one.

Public humiliation always backfires. I’ve never seen someone survive a snark attack fully intact. Truthfully, I’m far less likely to pitch a snarkaleptic fit than I once was. Some things don’t wear on me the way they used to.

Maybe I’m older and getting wiser?
Maybe it’s grace applied.
Or maybe…life’s too short and there’s still watermelon in the fridge.

Possibly, all three.

LorettaAs a life-long sojournrer and visionary, Lorretta has discovered how to make herself at home any ol’ place and bloom wherever she’s planted.  Divine risk and holy adventure are branded into her DNA and she’s privileged to work with her best friend and husband, David. Together as media missionaries they seek to go, find, and tell the extraordinary stories of God at work found often amidst the ordinary– whether it’s across lands and oceans or right across the street.  Lorretta thinks writing bios are as awkward as taking selfies! She’s a self-professed food snob, a jellybelly-aholic, cat lover, and a weaver of words. She plays well with others, doesn’t run with scissors and tends to her own word-garden at www.dancingonthedash.com.”

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Missy
    June 11, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Loretta, I LOVE the way you tend to your word-garden! Amen. To every bit of this. Especially, though, the bit about knowing this about yourself and knowing that Satan knows it about you too. Sigh… I have to be on guard for the very same reason. But God surely is faithful to clamp my lips, when I ask Him to! Praise Him for it!

    My only request is, please tell me that you’re not talking about a four or 5 foot fella on the Jersey shore?!?
    Missy recently posted..When to Turn the Other Cheek

    • Reply
      Lorretta
      June 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Ha Missy! No… it was along the Eastern seaboard though. Think further South! I don’t want to be labeled libelous by their tourist industry so I won’t name the location! 😛 Yikes!

  • Reply
    Lorretta
    June 11, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Ha Missy! No… it was along the Eastern seaboard though. Think further South! I don’t want to be labeled libelous by their tourist industry so I won’t name the location! 😛 Yikes!

  • Reply
    Heather
    June 11, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Loretta. Loretta. Loretta.

    Dude. We are so much more alike than I even thought. People have told me they believe I could not have ever been mean. I appreciate that they see my love-heart now. But I have to bite my snarky inside too sometimes.

    It’s grace that we can do this, girlfriend.

    Just yesterday I wrote a post titled “Why Are Christians Do Mean” – after a Google search for something – “why are Christians …” – landed me that as the most popular phrase. Yikes!

    Your whole post here is a great companion to my post! Love this.

    Ps – snarky isn’t ALWAYS bad. 😉
    Heather recently posted..Why Are Christians So Mean? {Hear the Heartbreak?}

    • Reply
      Lorretta
      June 11, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Uh yeah Heather… I hate to confess but … yeah. I know there’s a loving bit of humor that goes a long way with snarkiness but you are correct– people are mean and Christians can not be excluded from the mean category. In fact sometimes it’s worse because we EXPECT better–and should. I’m glad we have SO much in common! 🙂 But I’m not surprised!

  • Reply
    Nacole
    June 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I LOVE this, Lorretta! This is so, so good, and clever. You witty thing, you! I’m sharing this, you know, for all those crazies out there on my facebook page. *wink* A joke, a joke. Oh, and I get the clamping my mouth shut and fingers twitching. Yes, the best thing is to not say anything at all. I do stand up for myself sometimes if need be, but I hope to be kind about it. 🙂 Love you! Barbie, thanks for having my dear friend, Lorretta!
    Nacole recently posted..For When You Just Need Life to Rise Up From the Decay

    • Reply
      Lorretta
      June 12, 2014 at 5:25 am

      Well Nacole you know… it takes one to know one eh? 😀 Truth be told, I’ve learned more in my life from my own mistakes and from watching others than I ever have from doing things RIGHT. I think the most important lesson I’ve learned in the history of ever is that I’d much rather be silent and be *righteous* than try to prove myself to be *right*. Somehow, when I choose this route, God vindicates me EVERY time. Blessings Sister!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Nacole. I LOVE Lorretta!

  • Reply
    denise
    June 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Enjoyed this, nice to meet you Loretta.

  • Reply
    Patty
    June 11, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Sweet Lorretta, so good to find you here at Barbie’s precious blog today. Two of my faves in one place. As always you weave words to speak truth and it is a voice which needs to be heard again and again. Bless you for your courage and your vulnerability.
    Patty recently posted..How I Organize Our Homeschool – Part 3 (More Curriculum)

  • Reply
    Shannon Payne (@SimplySaidMom)
    June 12, 2014 at 4:54 am

    Lorretta, you are my cup of sweat tea sister! I love your bold writing style, yet truly appreciate your honesty. Thank you for this message today – Lord knows we all need some tough love sometimes and this was just the dose I needed.
    Shannon Payne (@SimplySaidMom) recently posted..A Memory That Makes Me Smile

    • Reply
      Lorretta
      June 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Hi Shannon! You are a gracious swig yourself! 😉 Trust only that this advice was applied deeply *just this morning* when I felt the urge to snap and snarl and went for a walk instead. I’m learning that God is indeed THE Deliverer but He does so in the ways so different and much more lasting than the things we think will satisfy. Bless you Sister!

  • Reply
    susan@avintagefarmwife
    June 13, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Great post and reminder! First time I’ve heard the term media missionary, but I think it is right on!

    • Reply
      Lorretta
      June 13, 2014 at 6:39 am

      Hi Susan! I know we didn’t coin the term “media missionary” but yes, there is a WIDE OPEN field for media-types to go and tell the story of where God is at work all around us. And to be the presence. So important. Thanks for being here with us today!
      Lorretta recently posted..avoiding a snark attack

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