Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor

Monday

25

April 2011

64

COMMENTS

Random Crap I Learned While Trying Unsuccessfully to Be Good

Written by , Posted in faith, life

I’m not sure what exactly Lent is supposed to feel like, but it felt to me like holding my breath for 40 days– and, somehow having survived, I am relieved to finally exhale.

At the onset of the season, I wrote about my high hopes for spiritual growth, but only about a week in it became clear that my monumental personal deficiencies were going to get in the way. So you’ll understand if the following is not the most sublimely spiritual synthesis; it’s more like Random Crap I Learned While Trying Unsuccessfully to Be Good.

1. I am unfaithful. I love the Avett Brothers’ line “I like to think that I’m a faithful man, but it may not be true” because that’s me, always teetering. I want to be one of the people who gets to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” when I’m finally face to face with God, but I kind of get the feeling it’ll be more like, “Wow, you sure effed up a lot. Good thing I gotcha covered.”

For a long time, I seriously considered going to law school, and after this Loophole-Lenten season, I really think I could’ve cut it. For all the rules I set out for myself, I was terribly clever at finding ways around them or just outright breaking them. (So maybe not law school, then; maybe reform school.)

2. Searchbombing is highly addictive. I don’t like to blame other people for my failings (okay, in the spirit of full disclosure, Yes, I do), but my friends’ invention of the hilarious searchbombing game could not have been more ill timed. I was trying to limit my online chitchatting so that I could open up more conversations with God, and then these jokers had to go and create what is sure to go down in history as every blogger’s most delicious addiction. I should warn you not to click that link and get ensnared, but like I said, I’m bad at being good.

3.  God is stubborn. Not that the season went so swimmingly for me in general, but there was one day where I was just sunk. And as I sobbed into folded hands, I heard my God say only one thing, but He said it so clearly: I will never forsake you. I know none of the crap I learned about myself came as any surprise to Him, and yet here He was, in the midst of it, telling me I couldn’t scare Him off no matter how hard I tried.

And I guess as far as Lenten lessons go, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Did you learn anything this Lent? Have you participated in any searchbombing? And if you have, fess up– which ones have you dropped on me?

  • http://www.veronicamonique.com Veronica

    I admire your effort (and your candid failings). I find your personal revelations inspiring, actually. For me, my version of observing Lent is witnessing how others practice and listening to their experiences. Strangely, I’m finding my social media chatting has become an avenue to discussions that leaving me deep in faithful thoughts. Still not sure what it means, but when the Divine works in your life it is never as one would expect.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Never as one would expect, indeed. Grateful.

  • http://christiannoob.wordpress.com/ Frank

    And as I sobbed into folded hands, I heard my God say only one thing, but He said it so clearly: I will never forsake you.

    amen!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      So glad you hear that.

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com Jason

    I’m glad you were able to take something from it and that God spoke to you at times through it. I’ve never search bombed…never heard of it until now…but I’m going to try it. 🙂

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Check your site stats. You, my friend, have been searchbombed!

  • http://www.writinggig.wordpress.com Ellie Ann

    Jesus’ grace can never be underestimated. Even if you’d been perfect the whole time, it wouldn’t make Jesus love or like you any more than he does now. Thanks for this wonderful & humble reminder. Cheers to search bombing!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      You said the magic word. Check your stats. 🙂

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    I’m not sure if you’re into Christian Rock but this post reminded me of the song Vices by Dead Poetic. The last line captures it:

    “Oh but Jesus, I’ve got vices like any other man.
    Vices that you’re so used to, vices that won’t make you think less of me.”

    Song: http://listen.grooveshark.com/s/Vices/2za3kj?src=5
    Lyrics: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Vices-lyrics-Dead-Poetic/6B9CF0383D6BA1AB4825721C0013A4E2

    I’ve never really celebrated Lent but I may give it more thought next year. Oh, and I’m going to check out the searchbombing craziness.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I don’t really, but I’ll always check out music you recommend, T. Oh, and check your stats.

  • Mom

    No, it doesn’t get much better than that! “His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. He carries us when we can’t carry on.” He covers us with his grace which is far better than anything we can do on our own. He loves you, and so do I. <3

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I love you too, Mom. 🙂

  • http://educlaytion.wordpress.com educlaytion

    I suppose the fact that IM and I plan on annual search bomb raids during Lent will not come as positive news for you. Well, you’re a blast to know. As for all those rules, ditch em. What I mean is, focusing on rules we set up only leads to disappointment right? Jesus ditched all those rules and said love and be loved. You’re a good kid Charlie Brown. Except when you’re not 😉

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      You know I’d bomb you, but I think I’ll give you the day off. Maybe.

      • http://ironicmom.wordpress.com Ironic Mom

        Dear Tamara: I take only some blame. Clay’s and my bloggy love child clearly latched on to you.

        And I’m not even going to say sorry, because I got to know you this Lent. Maybe that was part of the grander plan, because you rock.

        • http://ironicmom.wordpress.com Ironic Mom

          Sorry for the sappy moment. You’ll forgive me? 😉

          • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

            Loved it.

  • http://www.knoxmccoy.com Knox McCoy

    A few years ago, I tried to observe Lent by not eating meat. I kept Subway shareholders very happy by blowing up the Veggie sub all month and I complained all the while. The lesson for me was to look closer at why I do what I do. Is the spirit compliance or passion?

    I think most times, what we anticipate finding is never what we actually learn.

    And if you think I’m ever telling you my Search Bomb MO, I’ve got a island full of Black Licorice jellybeans to sell you.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      “I think most times, what we anticipate finding is never what we actually learn.” And I think sometimes the way we learn it is so different from what we expected. I thought I’d get to know God’s goodness through my own discipline– turns out I got to know it through my lack thereof.

      I will take those little delicacies right out of your undeserving hands. And I will bomb you.

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  • http://www.drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com Diana Trautwein

    Ah, but….you have learned exactly what Lent is really all about: you need a Savior, one who has walked this road we call life and loves us all anyhow. We all do…need a Savior, that is. If you were able to keep a perfect holy Lent – would you need an Easter Sunday? It’s about the journey, the process, the trying and failing and then realizing all the trying in the world won’t change one damn thing about who you are. Take it from one who knows – and who still tries way too hard most of the time. Lent ALWAYS feels too long, too hard. And I think that’s exactly the point. So glad I found this blog – even though I’m too old to figure out what the heck a search bomb is or how to do it. :>)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thank you for those wise words. Now go check your site stats– you’ve been search bombed!

  • http://messiahmom.wordpress.com kristinherdy

    I don’t searchbomb, I look for my friends using words in creative positions. Ahem.

    I made the decision to not eat Fast Food this Lent, and I failed a few times, but the point was to be more intentional about what I put into my body and time spent with my kids. I think I managed that – I also managed to recognize how far I fall short of Jesus and how much I need him.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Glad you had a good Lent, my friend. See you on the site stats!

  • http://jenniferluitwieler.com Jen

    Girl. You can’t come close to being bad enough for him to be scared off. Sometimes we need a little reminding. He loves you. All of you. They way you are right now.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Amazing grace for sure.

  • http://heresyofthemonth.typepad.com/blog/ Bill Sergott

    All of this was SO good and true. Thanks for being so vulnerable. The truth is that the very fact that you wrestle with this stuff, blesses the heart of God. I speak nothing but grace into your life today. Now that Lent is over, as Martin Luther said, “When you sin, sin boldly!” 😉

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thanks for the kindness. And I can definitely work with that quote. Ha!

  • http://www.joyinthisjourney.com Joy

    Loved this post — it’s so me.

    I’ve search-bombed you, but I ain’t tellin’ what.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Imma get you.

  • http://considerthedandelion.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    I’ve search bombed a friend’s site before but I never knew there was a name for it. I feel so much more complete now that I possess this information.

    It’s always interesting setting out to learn something and to discover that you didn’t learn about that thing at all…but what you did learn blew your original expectations out of the water. Pretty awesome, if you ask me.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      “Awesome” is the perfect word, and not just because I’m a proud Gen Xer. 😉

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Oh, and you’ve been officially search bombed.

  • http://deepintoscripture.com craig

    I will be strong and just say no to searchbombing 🙂

    And I heart this – I’ve lived it – and been awed at how Our Lord doesn’t let go no matter how hard we squirm, “here He was, in the midst of it, telling me I couldn’t scare Him off no matter how hard I tried.” Amen – just amen. {smile} Thank you for this, I hearted it. God Bless you and all of yours Tamara.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thank you. I heart you for saying so. 🙂

  • http://wildmikebennett.wordpress.com M!ke

    Despite my charade yesterday, I have never partaken in search bombing on you OR anyone else. I think that “I am unfaithful” is pretty much the standard Christian lesson; it’s definitely one I learn frequently. In conjunction with Lent, I learned how easy it is to be vegetarian — and how inclined I am, upon that realization, to immediately lie to myself and others by lording over meat-eaters how superior I am for my awe-inspiring discipline, aka Pharisee “faith,” aka unfaithful to what really matters, following God and not rules.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      You high-and-mighty vegetarian, you. You know, I like to make fun of vegans– but only ’cause I’m *so* superior. 😉

  • http://larryhehn.com Larry Hehn

    Ok, I may have mentioned something about being squished like a fat baby…

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Aha! Consider yourself squished. 🙂

  • Marianne

    I went to law school and I believe that you had the right attitude for it (and it is a lot like reform school, in my opinion). I think these times of year are here to help us get re-centered. And to torture us by making us try to give something up for a really long time.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      The right attitude for law school? I’m going to eschew everything they say about lawyers for a moment and take that as a compliment. Thanks!

  • http://marykathryntyson.wordpress.com mary kathryn tyson

    okay, the search bomb? hilarious.

    LOVE this post, tamara. so full of wisdom and comedy. oh, the irony of god. sarcastic jesus is my favorite one.

    xo

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      “Sarcastic Jesus.” Ha! Love it.

  • Mom

    You definitely could cut it in law school – with your intelligence, insight, determination, and verbal acuity – you’d be an awesome lawyer. Maybe in your mid-life years?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thanks, but I think that boat has long since sailed. And I’m okay with that. 🙂

  • http://www.halfwaytonormal.com/ Kristin T. (@kt_writes)

    I love this:

    “I know none of the crap I learned about myself came as any surprise to Him, and yet here He was, in the midst of it, telling me I couldn’t scare Him off no matter how hard I tried.”

    And it made me wonder—maybe our Lenten practices are not so much about getting it right as they are about the *struggle* to get it right, and all that we learn about ourselves and God along the way.

    As I mentioned in my post yesterday, your willingness to face the imperfections and still find God, clearly in the midst of it all, was just the kind of encouragement I needed.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Absolutely, I think that Lent is all about seeing our need for Him. So grateful you were encouraged– that’s encouraging to *me.*

  • http://www.randomlychad.com randomlychad

    Regarding “searchingbombing,” I may, or may not, have searchbombed Bryan Allain with “Bryan Allain wishes he were as funny as Tyler Stanton.” Bryan later tweets about it, totally thinking that Tyler was behind it. I love searchbombing! Tis a fun game.

    As far as Lent goes, I learned that I can exercise (even though I hate it).

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      The search bomb frame-up. Love it.

      • http://educlaytion.wordpress.com educlaytion

        To think that Bryan Allain and Tyler Stanton are talking about search bombing and probably don’t even know of its origins. We’ll change the world yet.

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  • http://www.completerunning.com/runarmyfree Reba Verrall

    Believe it or not my Lent was about trying to find a friend because since getting posted back to Calgary I just don’t seem to find the time to reach out into new circles…You, IM, TAL & few other amazing #fearlesswomen came tweeting and blogging along to be my Lent’s answered prayer.

    So while you were busy being a humble & willing child of our Lord you also managed to help remove the cloud of loneliness I was feeling. Sounds to me like you are definitely letting God work through you…hmm pretty spiritual if you ask me. 🙂

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Oh my. I don’t know how humble or willing I was, but I am sure glad to be used anyway. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter}

    “Wow, you sure effed up a lot. Good thing I gotcha covered.”

    love this. much and much.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thank you, much and much.

  • frogla

    awesome post!! i’m sure i’ve been searched bombed and i’ve been searched bombed by few too many. so go ahead make my day. search bomb the helicopter out of me! 🙂

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I’d love to search bomb the helicopter out of you– do you have a blog?

      • frogla

        um *dilema*….nopity nope! honestly, i’m not a writer like you guys are @ least that’s what i’ve been told by teachers and other ppl. so i am super super scared & so shy to actually have a blog with my name on it for fear that i would get beaten down with how bad it is.

        i have an anonymous blog http://www.trumpetcultofgod.com that i used for posting awesome stuff over and against my husbands cult but he & the other flockers found out about it. the DH was very hurt and upset. so i sort of put that on the shelf. not sure what my next step is gonna be. :p

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  • http://www.tylertarver.com Tyler

    you are quickly rising my list of favorite bloggers, like a bunt cake, being thrown in the air.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I don’t even quite understand that analogy, but I’m pretty sure I can work it into a search bomb. And thanks for the kind words. Not all Tamaras go around grabbing butts, see?

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  • http://seekingpastor.wordpress.com seekingpastor

    I didn’t do anything for Lent, but during the days heading up to Easter I learned again the beauty of Jesus and the ugliness of sin. I also re-learned who great Peeps are.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Sounds like you did enough, then.

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