Monday, June 16, 2008

Word Meanie

If you have been reading this blog since its inception, or anytime this past month, you know a lot about me. And, if you read my family blog as well, you probably know a lot of information that you wish you’d have never been privy to having in the first place. What you may not know is that I have a competitive streak that borders on the ferocious side. A few years ago, it pounced that boundary in the same manner a hungry lioness takes down an antelope, causing The Professor to vow "I'm never playing with you again!"Oh yeah. I got ugly.

Tell me the truth, you think I'm always super sweet right? Well, when it comes to board games, I am sweeter now than I was a few years back. I enjoy a win, but I don't sulk at a loss, well, not for long. But let me give you a glimpse of the unsweet, actually sour, me of many yesterdays ago when my husband made that vow.

The Professor, being quite the strategist scored 70 points with a three-letter word. That ticked me off. Actually, now it impresses me more than it annoys me. But eight years ago, it angered me. And I got mean. So mean, that The Professor declared me so. My retort proved my sullen disposition because I lack the ability of cleverness when I'm ornery. “I AM NOT MEAN,” I bellowed in my best Joan Crawford voice. “I AM SWEET! EVERYONE ELSE TELLS ME I'M SWEET. THEY CANNOT ALL BE WRONG! I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE MAD AT YOU FOR RUINING A PERFECTLY GOOD BOARD.”

My maturing astounds you, no? I'm not proud. And, after letting too much time pass, I allowed God to help me understand why I couldn't handle losing, especially to The Professor.

My husband is good at so many things. He’s a math whiz, he has a Ph.D., and he even cooks better than I do. But words, they’re my turf. His continual winning in what I considered as “my game” cut me deep. I wasn't really angry at the loving man I married. I was angry with the stupid girl I thought I was. Instead of listening to the truth like “it’s just a game,” I listened to those lies again, “you’re an idiot,” “you’ll never be a writer, you can’t even win a game of Scrabble” And believing those lies made me angry and bitter.

Perhaps I’m beating that proverbial dead horse by mentioning on this blog again how dangerous it is to believe those lies, and I apologize if that is the case; but coming to terms with what is real and what is false, is vital to becoming who I am suppose to be.

I’m studying the Armor of God for the devotional series I am writing in Faith Lifts, and the belt of truth, is the first garment I am to wear. The second is righteousness, the type of righteousness that comes from total submission to and faith in Christ. I cannot pick up either of those vital pieces of armor if I am distracted by lies. And, isn’t it funny how lies can be found in everything…even in the innocent fun of a board game.

I have been thinking a lot about Scrabble during the past few weeks because I joined Facebook, and play its version, Scrabulous with a few friends, including the wonderful bloggers, Alana and “Mommy.” Now, these ladies are smart. Very smart. They each beat me twice. In fact, I have not done much winning at all. Facebook statistics tell me that out of the eight games I’ve completed, I’ve won, two. That’s not a great record. But do I feel stupid? No. I’ve made a few doltish moves, but I don’t feel stupid. I actually feel smarter than I did when I started, because I’m learning more with each game. Just like everyday life. I don’t know all the answers. But I know the One who does. And if He says I’m not stupid, I’m gonna believe Him.

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. Hebrews 6: 17-18 (NIV)


R.L.Scovens said...

God wants to "grow us". Sometimes he puts us in situations where we're tempted to feel stupid; but no one knows everything, and hey: that's how we learn! We learn from others who know more than us!LOL

Anonymous said...

What a timely post (as always). I was just talking about this with someone the other day; how quick I am to believe the lies, even to the point of discounting it when someone tells me the opposite.

I need to put on the belt of truth, I need to start listening to what God says about me and not what the lies say about me.

(I'm still laughing about you bellowing "I AM SWEET!")

mer said...

I'm right there with you! It took me about a year of counseling to undo the damage I did from believing the lies I'd believed for so long. Some days they can scream pretty loudly at me, but I choose to believe what God says about me is truer than anything else!

DeeMarie said...

"You can't be a writer?" Wrong, oh so wrong. Keep putting on that Belt. You are a wonderful and encouraging writer!
I've had my own self-worth issues, so thanks for the new insight on how I should look at myself. :)
We are Beloved Children of God!!

Lisa writes... said...

I too have a competitive streak a mile wide. I hate to lose, so much so that I often choose not to play (thereby avoiding the competitive streak altogether...).

And I totally hear you on the pervasive nature of our enemy's lies. It is the Truth that sets us free!

DotBlogger said...

Yes, yes, yes.

Tonya said...

oh know what? My hubby tells me I am too competitive with scrabble too!

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

We are Christians... and we are competitive

1 Corinthians 9:24: Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

Yup, we are born to win!!!

With blessings from another poor looser!

Shannon said...

Another great post. I also need to work to find truth instead of listening to the garbage that tends to fill my head. BTW, I am fiercely competitive to the point of mean sometimes too. Though I like to think that my most defining quality is that I am sweet... most of the time:)

Natalie Witcher said...

I too have stuggled with the feeling stupid syndrome. So much that i've said some regretable things! I'm glad that God has changed me. I still fight it, but I'm much more confident than I used to be and way less easily angered and upset!

Genny said...

Great post, as always! Had to picture you anything but sweet :)

You really are a wonderful writer!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Yep, I am SO with you!! Words are my turf too! I get crabby when my hubby STEALS words that he never knew in, words that I taught him, in order to win! Irks me!!!!

Irritable Mother said...

Oh, I understand you!
The other day my hubby was watching over my shoulder while I was playing the word game on WebKinz for my daughter. He was suggesting words I could enter, and in my spirit I was grumbling, If I need your help, I'll ask for it, thank you. Until then, beat it!
Yeah, I'm sweet - just like you! *grin*

Laski said...

Awe . . . I do feel your pain. I'm an English teacher and am continually beaten at Scrabble by a chemical engineer . . . nice.

I get it . . . I'm being taught how to be humble, and patient, and how NOT to be all scary and mean!

Maxine said...

Thanks for your visit this evening. It's nice meeting you! You are so right: only God knows all the answers.

CC said...

I just can't play games with my husband. He ALWAYS wins. Always. It's so discouraging (am I'm pretty competitive) that I just don't even go there any more...

Person(Also Known As Mommy) said...

I know what you mean about being competitive-I have had to go cold turkey on Monopoly because when I play my behavior is nothing short of disgusting!

I have really enjoyed playing scrabulous with you and I have no doubt that you'll whip me once my letter luck runs out...especially after looking at your scramble scores! Hee hee.

Gretchen said...

"but coming to terms with what is real and what is false, is vital to becoming who I am suppose to be."

Hear, hear! Me too. I relate to so many of the feelings you share, Angela. Thank you for sharing them, and for sharing your journey of healing. Blessings always.

GrandCanyonMom said...

I love the way you ended this blog! The last line was perfect.
Thanks for this today. So good. So true!

Patti said... I'm pretty sure the two people you won against were!

But I certainly understand your competitive streak in games. My husband will no longer play Monopoly with me, my all time favorite game.

He's says I'm obnoxious!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, boy. You have expressed this so perfectly. The "your stupid" syndrome raises its ugly head far too often in my life, and just as often I let it take away my joy and the truth of who I am in Christ.

I like to win as much as the next person, but when I don't I have to realize that it doesn't change who I am. Thank you for such a great reminder!

Mocha with Linda said...

Love it and I can so relate with the competitive streak. Games are serious business. And Scrabble? That's life or death! LOL

Anonymous said...

I love Scrabble - but usually have no one to play it with. I am not terribly competitive, though. Of course, I am not particularly sweet, so maybe you needed an outlet? :)
If it makes you feel better about your word skills, Scrabble is not just about words, there is a good deal of math strategy involved - you may come up with the most awesome words but if you aren't good at placement your way inferior in wordplay competitor may have an edge.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Alana said...

I had to chuckle some when I read this post because my professor husband is always beating me, too! Argh ;-)

In seriousness, though I appreciate what you had to say about the "lies" we can sometimes take on as truth. Satan always knows just where to hit us.

Great post!

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