The Other “F Word”

One afternoon when Katy was in kindergarten she got off the bus and informed me that she had learned “the f-word.”


She later told us she had also learned the “sh-word”

“Shut up.”

Honestly, in our family the real “f-word” isn’t fart.  And it isn’t another word that might come to mind.

It’s “fine”.

To my mind, “fine” may be the most terrible word in the english language.  And words matter as my friend Sharon always reminds me.

If I ask my husband how I look or what he thinks of something I’ve written, or I ask how his day was, he knows the worst response he can give me is “fine”.

If I say my day was fine by that I mean it didn’t suck too bad.  I didn’t get eaten by a gila monster, but I also didn’t discover a cure for cancer.

More realistically, I didn’t see the “aha” in someone’s eyes as we talked about Jesus, or experience the joy of creating something new, or take the risk of being vulnerable and honest in a relationship, or try something that scares me.

Fine is vanilla.

“Fine” is settling.  It’s ok, but neither great nor terrible.  It’s even-keel, but not risk-taking.  It’s comfortable, but will never have the pay off of passionate engagement.

So what’s the hustle that’s required to make this day not “fine”?

As I heard someone say recently, “How are you gonna carpe the heck out of this diem?”

Yeah, there are bills to pay, and busses to catch, and demanding bosses,

But maybe it’s just a word of encouragement or a tiny kingdom-risk, or a random act of kindness, or doing a little extra on a project for your boss that will keep your day from being defined by “fine.”

Or maybe it’s just choosing to do something outrageously crazy-fun to celebrate life.  It was just about a year ago that daughter Maggie and I set out on a road trip in a U-Haul truck, cross-country, moving her to D.C., car dancing (yes, that’s a thing), and stopping at every quirky attraction on our route.

The Hot Dog Bun museum, the Giant Lady’s Leg Sundial, the Space Acorn, and, accidentally, we stumbled on a never-to-be-forgotten nudist camp.  One of the funnest trips ever.

One of my life verses is Deuteronomy 30:19-20

This day…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life..”

What are you going to do to choose life today?

2 thoughts on “The Other “F Word”

  1. Pingback: The Other “F Word”, Part 2 | Awake my Soul

  2. Pingback: About Ellen and Giant Space Acorns and Choosing Life | Awake my Soul

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