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Lynna Clark: Sound bites

Lynna Clark

“I danced like no one was watching. My court date is a week from Thursday.” I spotted that on Facebook and had to laugh. Apparently all advice is not wise. My mom told David to rub Icy Hot on his forehead when his sinuses acted up. The poor man still weeps at the memory. That stuff lit him up!

How do we know when advice is good? One person may warn “Look before you leap!” while another will advise “He who hesitates is lost.” Which is true: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “Out of sight, out of mind”?

One of the best bits of wisdom I’ve ever received came on a hot pad given to me forty-five years ago. It said, “My house is clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy.” I think my mom-in-law gave it to me because she knew how crazy I could get trying to keep things spotless. While that seems noble enough, if it makes the rest of the family dread being at home, then it’s not wise. So I chose happiness over being able to eat off the kitchen floor. Therefore if you stop in for coffee sometime and your muffin inadvertently rolls across the lovely linoleum, take my advice and toss it. I’ll get you another one.

All three of our girls have their daddy’s great sense of dry humor. Plus we have to be intentional about reigning in our wonderful gift of sarcasm. It just flows all willy-nilly; except probably for Stephanie, our eldest. The girl is so kind. I guess that’s how she ended up marrying a pastor who also has a sharp wit. [That’s code for sarcasm]. They balance each other out nicely. Recently when we were going through a set of hurtful circumstances, we recalled her wise words. “God does not waste pain.” Though she had shared that particular truth several years ago, we realized again how valuable that wisdom is. I wrote her words on a note card and placed it near my “nest” where I would see it often.

Our middle daughter is just as spiritual, but a wee bit more… direct. Her advice to me during a rough patch where I couldn’t seem to make anyone happy sounded like this. “Don’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.” It was exactly what I needed to hear. And as a people-pleaser it continues to be a great reminder. A card with her words is right beside her sister’s so I will remember that it’s not my job to keep everyone happy.

Underneath those two quotes is another I heard on a fishing show. A couple guys make a living showing others how to fish without a bunch of paraphernalia. Their motto is “Do Simple Better.” I like it! Currently we’re trying to simplify by decluttering our lives. It feels so good to get rid of stuff we really don’t need. We are learning to do simple better.

While writing this I realized our youngest daughter, though very wise, had not been quoted. I messaged her requesting a sound bite. Apparently it has been a hard couple days for she responded, “I’m sorry but I have no wisdom at this moment. It’s been a wisdom sucking kind of week.” Sometimes the best advice is to say nothing at all.

So what’s your favorite bit of wisdom? I’d love to hear it. Feel free to write me at biglynna@yahoo.com. I’m especially open to ideas for my next book. Talk to me people! I’ll probably dance like no one is watching. Oh, and one more word of wisdom. Never let your sister set up your email address lest you forever be labeled something flattering like Big Lynna.

Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at LynnasWonderfulLife.wordpress.com

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