I’m not going to say anything about the current Coronavirus because I’m not an expert. I am an expert on a few things, though. For instance, I’m fairly certain there’s no earthquake vault under where I live in California because I checked it out when I was taking journalism in college. (Not that we don’t shake a little, but not a lot.) I think I’m an expert on managing dry skin because I have it. Gold Bond Ultimate, just sayin’. (This is not an advertisement, but a recommendation from my doc.) I’m an expert on my hubs, too. Maybe not completely because he keeps changing, but better than anybody else in the world. So that’s me, or some of me.

person holding green leafed plant

Who’s an expert? Somebody who’s done the work of finding out. A scientist or MD is an expert on the Coronavirus, or maybe if you want to know what it’s like, someone who’s had it. Due to that fact, I ignore a whole bunch of what I see on Facebook. But I listen to the experts, and follow their recommendations. That’s why you won’t see me in crowds for a while, including church on Sunday, darn it. We need to give the medical people a break by not all catching it together. But I said I wasn’t going to say anything about that. So never mind.

Another expert I pay attention to is that one who’s been in the trenches. If I want to know how to be a mom, I pick a mom who has stayed the course whether her kids are considered successful or not. If I want to learn writing, I listen to a writer who publishes what I want to write. If I want to be a CASA, I listen to people who volunteer as CASAs.

Why am I saying all this? Because there are a lot of folks these days who don’t know how to pick an expert. We ask sports figures how to manage finances, movie stars how to love our kids, radio talk show hosts how to manage our love lives. We even take advice from television shows, say what? Whoa!

Evaluate people! If a sports figure is living high because s/he makes millions, what’s that got to do with you? A. You probably don’t make millions. B. That dude may easily be out of money when s/he blows out her knee or his elbow. Goodbye high life. What about your hardworking parents or neighbors, wouldn’t they be better experts? Did you know that movie stars concentrate most on how to act and look good? Why would that make them an expert on parenting? Famous isn’t informed. How about picking a couple who have raised several kids. They won’t sugar coat it or give you pat answers. They’ll give you the true skinny.

OKay, you say, so where do we go for advice? Go to people who are honest and kind, to people who are humble and wise. Go to people who are willing to help and also admit they are still learning themselves. And I know you may not appreciate this next, but go to God. He’s the expert extraordinaire, and He loves you, so you can trust Him not to steer you wrong.

One last thing. God gets a lot of bad press. People say He lets bad stuff happen for no reason. Not so. Even when God allows bad stuff, there’s a reason. We may not be able to discern it in the moment, but He knows we learn more in bad times than in good. So, as an expert Father, He allows the bad times. And if you don’t believe He loves you, take a look at the world He created for you. EXPERT


Fear of Fame

I have a feeling that Toughnut Angel will soon publish somewhere. My first feelings are delight and excitement and anticipation. However, closely following upon their heels are feelings born of the thought that Nellie’s story will bring fame into my life. I do not desire fame. Fame takes away privacy and adds people who think you know everything about everything. I don’t even remember everything I’ve learned about Nellie, much less anything else. So fear is my next feeling. I follow that with a prayer requesting that God not give me fame.
However, there is no situation God cannot handle. I doubt that He will give me what I ask this time, about the no fame thing. I think He may be stretching my horizons, at 64 cotton picking years old. He’s like that. Just when you think you’ve got life figured out, He shows you the zillion things you don’t know spit about. I could kick and scream and insist, and He would give me what I’m kicking and screaming about, or back off me until I grow up.
However, I will not kick and scream. I’ve pulled that before, and it comes out badly. I have no idea where we’re headed, God and me and Nellie, but I trust God. If He leads me into the fearsome forest of fame, He will not drop me off to fend for myself. He will walk with me, and I will remain His kid. It will be OK. Jane, do you hear me, it will be ok! If you are looking at possibilities in life that put you in fear mode, all this about God is true for you, too, as long as you let Him lead. Have a good week.