compliments in insults' clothing

“Blogging is hard,” Gabe said to me the other night. After a long hiatus at, he was trying to get back in the blogging groove.

“I do it five days a week,” I said. Stating the obvious. It’s one of my gifts.

“Yes,” he said, “and you are very good at…”

His pause was a little long. Reading pauses–another one of my gifts. “Good at what?” I said.

“I’m trying to think of how to say this in a nice way…”

“I’m listening.” (and bracing my sensitive self so as to minimize hurt feelings)

“Well…” he said. Enough with the pauses, dude. “Like, some people focus on one thing like leadership… or motherhood… but you…”

“Talk about nothing!” I said, putting words in his mouth, but feeling pretty confident they were the words he wanted to say but loved me too much to say them. “You talk about nothing! Every day of the week!”

“No, I didn’t say that,” he said.

“But that’s what you’re thinking.”

“No, you’re really good at…”

“Sucking! I suck really well. Daily!”

“No! You write in…what do you call it… you get all worked up about prayer doulas for a week, and then bam! It’s Traffick Jam! And then bam! Something else. You write in… bursts! That’s it. You write in bursts.”

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s be real here and talk about what’s in my head. Look at my head. Do you see a steady, consistent flow? Do you see smooth, slow, predictable? Or do you see bursts of ADD, lots of excitement and fizzle, a roller coaster careening dangerously around each bend, about to fly off the track?”

“I wasn’t trying to insult you,” he said. “I was actually trying to compliment you.”

“Go ahead and try again.”

“You don’t have… it’s just that you.. with your faith, you don’t go ahead of what God wants you to be. You’re comfortable with not having an agenda. You don’t try to be someone you’re not. However you feel God leading you, that’s where you go. And go and go and go.”

“Oh. Well, thank you. That means a lot.”

I see what he’s saying. Kind of. And as much as I’d like to add some focus and balance to my life, I do find the predictable to be boring. I guess I’d rather live a crazy, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-sweatpants adventure with Christ than know how things are going to turn out.

I don’t have this walking-with-God, living-for-his-kingdom thing down by any stretch. God and I will just have to keep working out the kinks together. But I’m game, and I know he is too.

Anybody with me?

51 thoughts on “compliments in insults' clothing

  1. Keri

    That’s me!! That’s me!!! I think and live in bursts and it overwhelms me so much that I stopped blogging for a bit thinking noone would be able to follow my trail of thought as it wound down a windy road to somewhere. But I LOVE you and your blog so maybe it isn’t so hard to do. Hmmmm…..

    Keep bursting away. It changes lives.

  2. Pingback: Marla Taviano » how about some free books?

  3. Kaye

    You are a very gifted writer. So thankful for the ‘gift’ HE has given you….continue on…following what HE leads you to write about, please!!!!
    Love to you all,

      1. Kaye

        With that being said, I am afraid, very afraid:)
        But will continue to pray for a publisher to contact you soon anyway.
        Love to all,
        Matthew 21:22

  4. Bethany

    That is why I like reading your blog. I am totally like you as far as being on a new “kick” every week or so. But you do have a central theme–it’s all about living a radical life for Christ.

    I LOVE my washer necklaces! I saw a girl with hers on at church Sunday and she had replaced the ribbon with twine (or hemp or something like that) and I thought that would look cool, too! I kept telling people they are the latest fashion trend because I think they are awesome! (I haven’t looked at the sales from Sunday morning yet, but I will email you with the results sometime today hopefully.)

  5. Sheree

    I’m so with you, Sister! If God gave me an agenda, I would most definitely argue with Him that there was a ‘more appropriate’ way if He would just hear me out?! So I, too, ride the roller coaster, hang on by my teeth, spit (and cuss occasionally), mess up, fall down, get back up, fall down again, lay there, but always get up with His help. Can’t say I’m comfortable with no agenda, but that is how God operates in my life, for right now anyway.

    It’s funny how I open your blog and the very thing you are blogging about that day is exactly what God has been working on in my own heart; human trafficking, pregnant women with unmet needs, how to ‘do church’, church planting. Random, maybe; God, definitely!!! Keep it up, love it!

  6. Kathleen-NM

    My type needs friends like you, and I am SO GLAD for the randomness and your ability to spit things out. For we who are way over thinkers, analyzers, the blogs never get posted, they stay STUCK in my head! You inspire me greatly, friend!

    I wonder if the Personality Types carry over to blog land–“Sanguine or Melancholy Blogger?

    Love your heart, friend! You always make me smile!


  7. Richard Westley

    I am with you sister and I can see those sweatpants getting some blog-work!

    I had to settle in my mind that I am not a “focused” blogger either. There’s just too much that I enjoy and want to process with others…out loud. I even put away the “you shouldn’t blog on Sats and Suns b/c no one reads them”. I really don’t care so much about what are the peak times for readership and response. I just want to write and live…live and write…and pastor, too.

    Thanks for being open with who you are.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thanks, Rich. (do you know how badly I want to call you Pastor Rich? why won’t you let me?) So thankful for you and the missus. And your sweet little herd of children too. 😉

  8. Arneta

    lol… Marla… that sounds like one of hubs and I’s conversations!! He is steady eddie….He’s focused.. Has a goal.. Steadily moves toward that… And me? Well..I am a bit more like you… my heart drawn to so many different things.. and my thoughts (and prayers sometimes) are hard to reign in…. So…. I am learning that that can be okay.
    Thanks Marla once again… for your honesty.

  9. Jennifer

    I do the same thing. People tell me I need to focus my attention on one large thing, but that’s not where I feel the right fit. Somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I would love to forge through a project going full force with all of my attention, but in reality I find that difficult to do.
    I love your passion, and I think that you inspire more people this way. Not everyone will get all fired up about Prayer Doulas, but they may be excited over Cambodia. So I think you have a lot of irons in the fire for God’s Kingdom, and that’s what He wants you to do right now.

  10. Mary

    Hi Sweetie. I TOTALLY get this!
    I write, think, feel and LIVE in BURSTS!
    It is unsettling to many people and intriguing to others. It keeps life exciting and it’s how God made us!!!

    1. Tug Taviano

      by the way…this is a light hearted comment…I THINK IT IS AMAZING how God is using the Washer necklaces…and my kids love them!!! I think Angie and them will be making them now. I also think you should sell them on the website. I thought it also to be cool how right when the kids walked in, you had them pick their favorites out. THINK HOW MANY YOU COULD SELL AT BUCKEYE GAMES!!! Reese wore hers proudly to the wedding, bubby wore his, and then threw it at the front window…GLAD it did not crack!

      1. Marla Taviano

        I take no responsibility for other people’s children breaking windows with our washer necklaces. I should have had you sign a disclaimer.

        We’re going to sell them to raise money for Cambodia.

  11. Laura Eckstein

    Exciting….that is how I would describe it….and real! I am so encouraged by you …your willingness to be real. So many times I hear people say things like…”But for the grace of God”…or other wonderful things that when you have so much going on….you just don’t think like that. I love the people that say things like that but inside I just want to shout…”REALLY????” my life isn’t like that. You have the ability to keep it real and be encouraging at the same time. I just gotta say…KEEP IT UP!

      1. Laura Eckstein

        We are…..OK. When people ask I feel guilty if I say “Oh fine” Tony and I are struggling with anger, grief, pain, depression and the list seems to go on. Hannah is good…she has good days and bad depending on the day. But …having whined about that….Tony and I are extremely blessed to have a wonderful family (church and “real”), friends and a Savior that loves us without fail! We continue to realize that God will be faithful to complete us! We certainly aren’t perfect yet! LOL

  12. Gabe Taviano

    Scared me a bit when you said you blogged about me while on the way out the door this morning, LOL. You did a nice job of capturing our conversation.

    Keep being you – glad God somehow finally took my words and made them sound like the compliment I was hoping they’d be.

  13. kendal

    if you changed your writing to fit some kind of formula, i porbably wouldn’t be as excited to click on your posts as i am now! i. love. it.

  14. Erin

    I like your bursts… I never know what I’m going to find but it’s always something you’re passionate about which is fun! Keep doing it.

  15. joyce

    I would describe your blog as ‘lively’ : ) I have much random in my own brain and flit from topic to topic…frankly I like random…it keeps life interesting!

    My hubs says I talk about nothing and everything all at once. I’m taking that as the compliment I know he meant it to be.

  16. Sharon

    I was reading a blog the other day that was giving tips on how to become a good blogger (or something like that). One of the tips was to choose your audience, or topic or theme or something like that. But, I had a hard time stomaching that, because there will always be random things that we blog about as they come up that may not fit into a nice little box of “my blog is about X.”

    Anyways, I love your blog! I never really thought about if you had a theme to it, but you do often blog about the coolest opportunities to help “the least of these” but also blog about whatever happens to be going on in your life at the moment. And really, who wants to read 365 blog posts a year on the same. old. thing???? Never been on your husbands blog and am not bashing him, but just saying that I love your blog and if he thinks it’s random, then I love the randomness of it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *