Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I'm okay with being obnoxious

This is a picture of my childhood friend, Karen and me at our 20th high school reunion. Do you want to know what I enjoyed about that night? That I was able to enjoy being there without being nervous about whether or not some wildly elaborate made up story about my life would hold up under scrutiny. I figured out a long time ago that I am a very square peg surrounded by round holes. Trying to fit into those holes simply wore me down and slowly chipped away at the person I was meant to be.

That is not to say that I am completely satisfied with every aspect of me. I am always striving to become the person God wants me to be. But God, not someone else's ideal picture of what a 43 year old wife and mother of two is supposed to be.

That's why I'm okay with being obnoxious. Some of you might be wondering if "katdish" is some sort of persona that has been created that allows me to say things that I might not otherwise have the guts to say as myself. Let me clear that up for you. This is me. Warts, monkey butts and all. Those of you who know me in real life can attest to this. Jon Acuff paid me a great left handed compliment at Catalyst One Day in Atlanta earlier this year. He said, "You're not obnoxious, you're just from Texas." Thanks, Jon. I big red monkey butt heart you, too.

I'm not smart enough to keep up with more than one personality. Besides, I think doing that drains your soul and robs you of a valuable witness to the power of God's grace - for the sinner and the saint. And for the record, you ain't no saint! (Please, no theological arguments here, you know what I mean.)

Sometimes I say things that should probably have been left unsaid. But in the non-cyber world, I have my husband and friends who love me enough to tell me to shut up. In the blogosphere, I have a handful of good friends that will do the same. (You know who you are.)

I'm totally okay with someone not liking me. I think caring more about what people think and less about what God thinks is a horrible, wretched way to live. Now here's a newsflash, if you don't like me, there's a pretty good chance I don't like you either. But that's okay. God calls us to love one another. He never said anything about like. Just as long as we're not walking around with giant planks in our eyes, I'm cool with that.

This much I know is true. While I am a product of genetics and life experiences, the essence of me has remained much the same as it was when I was a silly, talkative, klutzy little girl who found herself in the spotlight more often for misbehaving than behaving. If you cannot fathom how that silly little girl might allow God to witness for Him, then you don't get me. Which is okay. You don't have to.

The following statement is intended for those who need to hear it. Clearly, some of you grasped this concept a long time ago. But I offer it anyway:

May I be so bold as to offer some advice? Stop trying so hard to keep up appearances. Accept that you are broken. Even if, like me, you have been smashed with a hammer. God's light often shines brightest through the broken vessel. I for one, will love you for it.

God? He loves you, regardless. His love was poured out for you at Calvary. He doesn't need you. But He desires your abiding love with all of His heart.

How cool is that?


Helen said...

Katdish, anyone in this here blogusphere call you obnoxious, and you just let Annie and me at them! We will get so Hungarian on their @$$ that they will revise their opinion of obnoxious. (Unless of course, it's Sherri. That could get ugly because she is our friend too. Then you would each get to claim a Hungarian as your gladiator, and no matter who chooses, that means Annie and I would be fighting eachother, and we don't want to do that.)

Michelle posted a great one on her blog a few weeks ago.
"To do is to be"---Nietshe
"To be is to do"---Kant
"Do be do be do"---Sinatra

Katdish, we love you as you are. We wouldn't want you to become a round peg. Do be do be do.....

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Great posting Kat.

I have often felt the same way so I can relate. I got your email and replied to it tonight so when you get a chance go check it out.

In Him,


Candace Jean July 16 said...

Since Helen started quoting famous people (I used to have a T-shirt with that saying on it, Helen!) I'll throw in Popeye - "I yam who I yam..."

I love you just the way you are. I don't know what the word for it is, so suffice it to say Big Heart Monkey Butt.

But you're not that square - were you guys wearing nearly the same dress at the reunion???

Billy Coffey said...

Obnoxious? No. Honest? Yes.

To see someone so devoid of pretense and so comfortable in her own skin is refreshing because you don't see it very often.

God's light does indeed shine brightest through the cracks. That's why we have so many of them. That's why I'm glad you called me out for dropping the F-bomb on my grandmother when I was six. That's why I crawled out of my death bed this morning to read this.

And if you think a couple Hungarians having your back is good, then add a Virginia redneck. That's even better.

sherri said...

Okay- Helen might jump me for this but, yes, YOU ARE obnoxious (usually moreso over at FOTTSP) but it's alright- we love the obnoxiousness in you. It's the obnoxiouslishness that only you can dish!
(Usually directed at me...but I'm good with that!) I realize I give people LOTS of material!

You , who will say pretty much anything, and me who will wear stilettos in an ice storm. We were created "different" than most...not bad- just unique.
I have no problem with being a little LUCY and you have no problem with who you are ,so looks to me like if someone else has a problem accepting us , it's just that...THEIR problem!

I gotta' go shine my shoes.
(Enter Sarcastic obnoxious katdish comment here)

I love you katdish!

Helen said...

No, Sherri, I am not going to jump you. Then I have to deal with a Hungarian Gladiator fight with Annie, which reminds me of a poem
There once were two cats from Kilkenny
Each thought there was one Cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
Til instead of two cats there weren't any.

And Annie and I don't want to fight each other. Right Annie? Annie?

Wendy said...

You're not obnoxious. You have the gift of obnoxiousness. It's a little known, but very important, spiritual gift.

sherri said...

Yeah Wendy, I think it was found in those "Lost books of the Bible".

The gift of Obnoxiousness. Sounds pretty spiritual when you put it that way.

Marni said...

Yep, this one made me cry, just like you said it would. I used to struggle with being someone I wasn't so I could live up to other people's image of who they thought I should be...and that was exhausting. God worked me over pretty thoroughly on that one and I am so much happier and at peace. I actually found out I like the real me. Who knew?

I don't think you are obnoxious. I think you speak the truth. That's really hard for me (I'm not always brave enough to level with people, not a liar, just so we're clear). I love that in people and I love it in you.

Annie K said...

Whoa, two Hungarians and a Virginian redneck. Now that would a swashbuckling good time.

And Kat, you know how awesome I think you are. (I never really thought of you as a square though...hmmm...).

I am thinking you wrote this for me this morning. I was looking in the mirror having a conversation with myself about some stuff I'm just tired of. Perhaps it's not always worrying about the 'other' person accepting us, but us (me) being accepting of ourselves. I am my own worst critic.

And you know that we've got your back. Dang...did I leave my sword at the burrito crackhouse I busted...?

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

This is why we're friends! My shatter-with-a-hammer brokenness experience happened just a couple years ago.

I was never me. God took me down to the foundation and rebuilt me on the assurance that he LOVES me. (and that my husband loves me, since I needed to learn that too)

I had no idea it was possible to be happy and relaxed all the time. It's a lot of work to keep up appearances.

And katdish, I hope I didn't seem like a different person when we met in person. I DO have a hard time meeting new people and talking with my mouth rather than my fingers on a keyboard. I'm still getting used to "knowing" so many people that I've never met.

But once you get past the initial meet and greet, what you see is the real me. And of course online, 100% real from the get-go.

Good post!

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

Wow. My comment could've used a good editor. Anyone know one?

What I meant is that I no longer keep up appearances. I kinda got off track halfway thru and may not have made that clear.

Anywho. Real is the only way to be. And I am so blessed to have found a whole passel of square pegs online. (Is this where we congregate? Like the outcast table in the school lunchroom?) ;)

Anonymous said...

I thought sarcasm was your spiritual gift...doesn't that make obnoxiousness a "talent"....I'm just saying...


{ jamie } said...

Love this post! And I love your "gift of obnoxiousness."

SO true that God doesn't need us, but I sure do love the fact that He chooses to use us anyway. ♥

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it is theologically sound, but I have prayed this prayer.

"God, you know the cracks that are in my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to the point that some of You spills through the cracks and into the lives of those who can see the cracks."

From one square peg to another.

jasonS said...

I am totally with you on the keeping up appearances. It drives me crazy! I want to be an example of godliness, but I refuse to fake it til I make it because that misses the point.

BTW, don't try to put your square peg in their round holes- that's what she said. Too far? Probably so... God still loves me.

Chris Sullivan said...

I'm going to have to write a square peg round hole post tomorrow just to keep the streak going.

katdish said...

Helen - I know you do. That's why I big red monkey butt heart you and all my bloggity gal pals. I don't think you ever have to worry about Sherri and I actually fighting. She knows that just how I show my affection for her. But just so you know, I could totally take her down.

Sarah - Yes. I got your email. Thank you.

Candy - Barry White? Mantastic! (He sort of reminds me of Madea from Diary of a Mad Black Woman)
As far as wearing the same dress, they were freakishly similar, huh? But she's a freak like me. She's also Frank Beard's (ZZ Top) niece, so that's pretty cool.

Billy - Thanks. I really appreciate that. Now go back to bed!

Sherri - the thing I love about you is that you're not afraid to be you. I wouldn't change a thing. Well, except that you nag your husband too much...

Helen - do you have a giant book of obscure limericks, jokes or poems or something?

Wendy - thanks. A small but important distinction.

Marni - ditto. I big red monkey butt heart your heart and your fiesty spirit. I've been a big fan of yours from SCL since way back. I'm glad we're friends.

Annie - You are way too hard on yourself. I think you're frigintastic!

Steph - You're exactly like you are in person as you are online. Just more polite. I'm still working on that.

Jamie - you're like the nicest person ever. And I'm glad you put up with my foolishness.

Tam - oh yeah. I'm all kinds of talented.

Tony - that was great. Can I quote you?

Jason S - Oh, that was tame. You have no idea.

Chris - looking forward to reading it. BTW - Do you think you could get Dr. Keller's autograph for me? He's my super megapastor man crush.

I really should check my comments more often...

Beth said...

"I'm totally okay with someone not liking me."

Hmmm...I wish I could say that. I'm sure this post wasn't written with me in mind, but it speaks to me all the same. This is one of the areas I struggle in. Having super awesome Christian growing up makes me a very blessed person indeed, but it does come with the danger of learning how to pretend very very well that you have everything together when you don't. And that IS exhausting. And I AM getting better at authenticity, but pride is one of those things I talk about with God on a daily basis. If that surprises anyone...I hope it doesn't make you paranoid and wonder which Beth will show up each day...and there I go again...trying to make everything better! Here's the thing. I am by nature a peacemaker. I always will be. But what I've learned is that it has to come from a peace inspired by GOD and not just a need to try and cover things over so everybody's all "happy."

One of the things I like most about you Kathy: You put your words out there without apology, and it causes me to consider what I REALLY think and where I stand. And it inspires me to share what's REALLY going on with me and not be a wuss. (And sometimes you just crack me up.) These are all good things for me. That's why we're that whole Body of Christ thing. If we all fit the same little mold, how boring that would be.

Hope you don't have to read my comment novel on your blackberry. ;)

Anonymous said...

But of course... :)

jasonS said...

@Katdish- "Oh, that was tame. You have no idea." And... that's what she said.

Okay, I'll stop now.

katdish said...

Oh Beth, I love your comment novels! Believe it or not, I'm a bit of a peacemaker within my own extended family. Frankly, it IS exhausting sometimes. I am outspoken and honest just about everywhere except when I get around my own family, then I magically turn into the baby sister who has nothing of value to say. I'm much better now, but only because my husband stands up for me and gives me the courage to stand up for myself in those situations. I tend to use humor as a defense mechanism (can you tell?), while he takes a more direct approach like, "That was a really crappy thing to say."

Oh, where was I going with this? Oh, yeah. Whoever shows up, she's one of my heroes. I hope you know that.

Tony - thanks.

Jason - You sound a little punchy. Perhaps you need a nap.

Billy Coffey said...

I'd just like to say how much I respect a pastor who can express a good "That's what she said" comment.

Crazy Casserole Burning Churchplanter said...

So, you think you are Annoying Pork Rind Sucking Church Planter?
Let me tell you something.
I know Annoying Pork Rind Sucking Church Planter.
Annoying Pork Rind Sucking Church Planter was a friend of mine.
You, missy, are no Annoying Pork Rind Sucking Church Planter.

katdish said...

Dear Crazy Casserole Burning Churchplanter,

Well played, my friend. I tip my fancy, feather festooned hat of sarcasm to you.

Chris Sullivan said...

Katdish - Alas, I no longer live in NY but I'm getting really excited about what God is doing here in Tampa

Beth said...

I second the respect to pastors who do "that's what she said" jokes!

And thanks, Kathy.

Christine said...

Wow--is that you pulling the polka dot bikini wedgie, or is that Rachel? Seriously, if that's you, the likeness is uncanny.

Regarding your post, isn't it great how His great love casts out fear...including the fear of somehow being unacceptable to just "be" the way He made us to be. When I was young, I hated being so tall. It made me totally insecure. Now I'm grateful for the helps balance out my fat!

katdish said...


How the heck are you? Yes, that is me, although I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not I am working on a polka-dot wedgie. I suppose we do look alike, huh?

Should I be expecting a blog post from you some time this year, or am I just getting my hopes up?