Tea talk

Dear people,

If you know anything about me by now, you will know that when I start Dear People I’m about to be particularly truthful with you. Much as I dislike blogging about blogging, it’s time for another little heart-to-heart about where we’re at. Can we pretend it’s just the two of us talking over tea?

Quite frankly, I’ve been rather scared of you ever since our little explosion at the beginning of December.

(You will here note the conspicuous absence of a pingback to the post. That would reopen a can of worms I prefer to seal with seven seals.)

(Do you use one lump of sugar or two?)

I’ve always loved blog comments. Sometimes I used to post on purpose right before leaving for the weekend, because I loved to come home to a row of your words and thoughts. But now I’m worried you’re going to come after me with a shotgun. It’s kind of that Piglet thing of being a Very Small Animal wondering about Heffalumps. Do they come when you whistle? And how do they come?

I am not a person who enjoys public controversy, and can usually only bring myself to say a hard thing when I feel goaded into it by the silence of others. I see that my blog would be a livelier place if I could say all the inflammable things I think.

But then I would have to shoot myself.

Unless of course you did it for me.

If nothing else, the experience relieved my occasional fear that I am writing to a pack of young liberals who won’t blink no matter what I say. You may or may not have noticed, but you definitely blinked.

As much as you would think I’d have known better about using That Word in this forum, I didn’t. I thought I would get more flak for the word “gluten;” that was the one I had vowed never to touch again. Putting them both together into a single post was nothing short of kamikaze, but unfortunately I didn’t quite realize that until afterwards.

I won’t say I didn’t deserve it.

I am still the same person who blogged here in December. I still believe in the things that influenced me to express those viewpoints in those words. But. While I am so, so grateful to the Lord Jesus that our approval comes from Him and not from people, I am not such a fool as to be careless of what His people think. You have the Spirit too, and if you say something is a problem, I want to sit up and take notice. I am currently in my “eat no flesh while the world standeth” phase: all bad words are safe from me.

I just feel a little jumpy. I don’t know what will send you, and there’s still some fire gear on my heart I’m having a hard time writing off. I thought it would help if I told you.

Thanks for listening. I’m glad we had this talk.

(More tea?)


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Thanks Shari.

By way of encouragement I would say it was great you used your voice to share your concern with fad diets.

To those that posted negatively about the “word” I would say again you missed the point of the post. It was not about language that some consider vulgar. The comment section of a blog is to discuss, agree and perhaps disagree with the message. Posting your thoughts on the value or benefits of fad diets is appropriate and appreciated by Shari as she has reiterated here in this post. I do not see that the attack on the “word” was in anyway a Christian response. If you want to take offense, would it not be better to send a personal email? Is that not more in keeping with the Bible’s principles?

Take courage; keep the fire gear handy, and blog on!

Joanna Yoder
9 years ago

After we move and my tea cups are unpacked, you are invited to come over to Glenwood Avenue. We will sit on the front porch and drink tea and have real conversation. I might blink if That Word slips out, but I’ll just refill your tea and enjoy your company, because I’ve been surprised by words like that out of my own mouth a few times, as well.

9 years ago
Reply to  Joanna Yoder


9 years ago

Dear Shari,
Thank you for sharing your heart, my dear. (I’ll have mine with no sugar, thanks) You have been sensitive, honest and real with us and I think that’s all God asks us to be! As a dear, older lady told me recently regarding my words being spread around the world and wanting to run and hide, “You need to just let the Lord take care of that – you stay humble and let the Lord take care of that!” You have been honorable and caring and I think God can take care of the rest! I love reading here, you have been a blessing to me.

Thank you for the tea, my Dear, now I shall I get on with my day…..I hope yours is a lovely one!

Love, Bethany

9 years ago

I’ll gladly overlook A Word or two in order to read the real stuff you post here. Keep at it. You’re such an inspiration. BTW, a conversation over tea (or coffee for me) would be fun again. Orion just said the other day he would love to sit down with you guys again and hash urban Mennonite church.

A loyal reader
9 years ago

Keep it up Shari. I believe it is so easy for women to just talk surface things. That’s one reason I find your writing very invigorating and refreshing. It’s more than who-is-doing-what or the common “mom talk”.

Just so you know, I whole heartedly agreed with your view of fad diets! I admire your courage to post your challenges.

As far as” The Word”, my encouragement is to keep our language honorable and fitting to “women professing godliness”. There really is no merit in adopting the world’s coarse word usage.

Having said all that, I’m eager to read the next controversial subject you have brewing!

just me
9 years ago

It is always easier to give other people advice than oneself 🙂 but it seems to me that we are all going to offend someone sometime without meaning to. We are all different individuals, in different places on our journeys, and we’re not always going to think the same way about everything! Of course we shouldn’t go around saying, “Oh well, we’re all different so if I offend you I’m sorry, I’m just different!” But the truth is, God uses us in our “clay vessel” capacity and if we tiptoe around, being so afraid of ‘sending someone off’, I’m not so sure we end up being very usable in His Kingdom! I wonder if the *response* to those we ‘send off’ from time to time isn’t the most important thing. And I see in your response a very soft, caring, attentive to the Spirit heart and that is, I think, what God is most concerned about!

Keep writing, Shari! God needs your gift in its ‘clay vessel’!! 🙂

Brenda Wenger
9 years ago

I’m not sure that I commented at all on the first post. Exactly why health can be such a hot topic I have never quite figured out. But I do know it can cause families to be bitter enemies over whether to give chemo or not etc. And why folks ‘push’ the latest pill etc. That is a WHOLE book’s worth of comments!!
I feel it is wrong to be divisive or pushy. But neither should we be namby-pamby!!!!
And you dear Shari, please keep writing, we love your passion and zeal for the Lord, your down to earth honesty. LOVE your variety of posts!!!
Yes we all make mistakes. But I don’t think you should apologize too much, or take it too personally!! . Do what you know is right before the Lord, and keep trucking!!!!
Love, prayers and hugs!!!!!

9 years ago

Thanks for tea. You are brave, you are honest, and you are vulnerable. All three qualities reflect that you are indeed “learning to live”. And I will add one more adjective – DELIGHTFUL.

9 years ago

Please, please keep blogging, and honestly.

I didn’t see your post until That Word had been edited out. Bummer. 🙂 But whether or not you should have used That Word is beside the point for me, somehow. The fact that you post so forthrightly, yet kindly, is only one reason why I eagerly look for read your blog in my feed, and am disappointed when you don’t post. You and your writing bless me, encourage me, convict me. I bless God for you!

So please don’t be scared of me, or of any of us. (And if you find out how to get the last of the fire gear off your heart, let me know. I need help in this too.)

9 years ago

I love your blog. Keep writing, please.

And I especially love the “inflammatory” posts. I think inflammatory things, too, but I don’t have a platform for expressing them. So I take particular delight in seeing you do it.

I will ask Jesus to give you a special word from Him about all this.

9 years ago

I’ve missed your honest, bold posts. I can understand why you fled to your burrow. I have a had a few of those kinds of emails that made me want to shut down my blog forever. But thankfully they have been rare- probably because I’m not courageous enough to speak as boldly as you. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to turn me into a shivering Piglet.

I can overlook a few of Those Words, though there have been blogs that I quit reading when the words became too frequent – not something I expect to happen with your blog. I realize we look at things like words, diets, and a million other topics from different perspectives and from various past experiences. I love learning from each other – even when I don’t agree on every jot and tittle.

I love how you have stretched me to think out of my box.

Thanks for your honesty on this post and others. I hope you trust us enough to bare your heart here again.

Wish I could share a real cup of tea with you.

Beth Russo
9 years ago

I haven’t blogged in quite some time, but I know exactly what you are saying. It’s quite common, as I’m sure you know, and even though you’re the same on the inside, you (saying “you” in the general sense, not YOU, Shari) need to put on a somewhat different persona, so as to be PC (politically correct). And by politically correct, I mean doing what the masses deem appropriate. That has the potential, I’m guessing, to make things a bit watered down at times. Oh well, that’s one of the side effects of non-anonymous blogging, I suppose. I very much appreciate your honesty and candor, and have put down any stones I may be holding. Keep up the great work ~ you are a joy to read, and are helpful on many levels.

9 years ago

No sugar, but I’ll have a second cup, thank you! You inspire me every time you post. =)

9 years ago

I long to read your zinger posts. Please write them. As for the scary reactions they might bring… ah, I feel your pain. You can’t keep everyone happy. I always want to use kid and other words that my parents don’t, tough to balance being yourself and not offending the others.

9 years ago

I’ll have coffee with French vanilla creamer, thanks.

A word of encouragement:
When you are truly being you, you continue to redefine my mental definition of what a Menno lady/Christian/human being is, can be, should be.

In a good way.

And you tell good stories.

So don’t stop being you. Or we’ll all lose (you will too).

Got any cookies?

9 years ago

Oh Shari, your honesty and transparency is like a breath of fresh air to me no matter the subject. I always look forward to new posts. Keep it up!

9 years ago

You make me smile! It’s ok, Shari.
Recently I read the quote, “When I think of the things I’ve said, I envy dumb people.” I could relate.
My husband tells me that anytime we do something (I’m thinking of your candid honest posts here) revolutionary or against the norm, we’re gonna’ get criticism.
So, keep on! Transparent honesty makes me appreciate people all the more!

9 years ago

You know, every time Jesus spoke about a subject that stepped on toes, it was the “religious” folks around him that got angry and began accusing him of every horrid thing they could throw at him. Including that he was of the devil. I’m not so sure that we are so different today. If Jesus puts his finger on a pet/favorite issue in our lives, don’t we tend to get all jumpy & nervous & defensive? Apparently so, as seen on your delightful blog post back in Dec.! =) Shari, to you I would say, Take Heart! You have a passion & a courage that comes from knowing Jesus, and knowing who you are in Him! That is not only precious, but rather hard to find. Especially among the plain/Menno circles where people tend to be more concerned with what others think than what Jesus might think. (And I’m preaching to myself here too- that’s my heritage! ) =)

Join the conversation to share your comments.x
Scroll to Top