What do you do with the truth when it confronts you?

It’s fascinating to watch people suddenly clam up when they’re hit with the truth. What they do next is very telling. They’ll either dance in a frantic way to jig around what was said, or they’ll outright deny it with avoidance or accusations, or they’ll ponder in silence then thoughtfully say, “You may be on to something . . .”

I know I’ve done all three when hit with a truth I wasn’t expecting. Surprise makes us stumble. But I’ve always felt the most at peace when I consider that maybe I was wrong, and that maybe the other person is on to something.

pstop talking truth

Remember to get the newly-released short story, excerpted from Book 7: “Teeria Rigoff; Age, over 50.”

There’s even an audio component, too, if you want to listen to my dulcet tones put you to sleep for 40 minutes. Apparently my 10th graders love it when I read to them. They say it’s the best nap they get all day in school.

Short story pdf: CLICK HERE Teeria Rigoff–age, over 50

Audio book: CLICK HERE

Teeria Rigoff short story cover

Is it the truth, or a poor assumption we’re desperate to cling to?

I’ve discovered that learning a “new truth,” which means that my “old truth” was actually a “poorly constructed assumption,” can be very unsettling.

However, when I ponder the “new truth” and realize the wisdom and growth that comes from it, I’m able to let go of the “poor assumptions” which I was so enamored with, and move on to a far more “stable, honest reality.”

Granted, judging what’s “assumption” and what’s “truth” is a struggle, but it’s the ultimate struggle of life. It’s the whole reason we’re here: will we accept the truth when we discover it?

Pnot ready for the truth

Get the prequel The Walls in the Middle of Idumea here!

When we stop thinking for ourselves, we’ll be far easier to conquer

Almost every day I want to leave social media, frustrated with the snarl of words and growls of dissension I see every day. But I can’t; I shouldn’t. I need to know what’s happening, how people are reacting, and what new monster is looming on the horizon needing to be addressed.

As much as I’d love to hide in the corner of my closet (and the house I’m in currently has no closets, so that would be quite a feat) I need to know each day what’s going on. It’s the only hope I have to keep my family safe, because the monsters will come, if I notice them or not.people stop thinking


Defensiveness arises when we suspect we may be wrong

In my experience, those who become defensive and angry in a discussion are those who aren’t sure their position is correct.

They respond with anger when they’re afraid of being found out, when they’re afraid they might be wrong.

That’s always been a good reminder for me when I find my ire raising: something’s not right with my thinking, and it’s up to me to fix it; it’s not up to me to attack someone else.

When in the history of the world has attacking someone with an opposite point of view brought them around to agreement?

disrespectful to tell the truth

If I’m doing the wrong thing, TELL ME!

English was my mother’s second language, and she had a good command of it except for one word: she pronounced “crazy” as if it began with a g—“grazy.”

As a teenager, that drove me grazy-crazy, and finally one day I told her that.

“What?!” she exclaimed. “I’ve been saying it wrong all these years, and NO ONE TOLD ME?”

“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings,” I said meekly.

“But I sounded like a fool in the meantime and looked like an idiot. You should have told me sooner!”

I’ve thought of her anger and humiliation (she was studying Shakespeare at the time, just for fun, and usually beat me in Scrabble) and realized that I didn’t do her any favors by not correcting her errors.

I’ve seen a spate of postings and blogs lately about “loving” people and not correcting them when they stumble, because that’s “judging.”



But what about correction?

When a child writes the letters in their name backwards, or a teen driver crosses the double yellow line, or they punch in 10 minutes instead of 1 minute on the microwave, we CORRECT them: show them the mistake and help them fix it. That’s not judging or condemnation or shaming. That’s HELPING them get things right.

If ever I’m on the wrong track with something—an idea, a philosophy, a belief—please, TELL ME!

Don’t let me wander off some literal or proverbial cliff because you’re worried about “offending me.” Maybe you’re wrong, maybe I’m wrong, but let’s get it figured out.

People are quick to pull out the “God loves me anyway” argument, in all its various forms, but conveniently forget this in Proverbs 3:

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:

12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.


Here’s love in action:

Young Pere said to his grandmother, “How about, you love me enough to let me go?”

Mahrree stared at him before saying, slowly, “If I love you enough, I will allow you to do something that I believe is potentially damaging to your soul?”


“Young Pere, you were more logical when you were eight! What kind of nonsense is that? If you love me enough. I love you enough! I love you so much that I’ll refuse to let you do such a thing without a better reason, even if you throw a fit and declare you’ll never speak to me again! That’s how much I love you, you ridiculous boy.” (Book 6, Flight of the Wounded Falcon)

Friends and family, love me enough to tell me when you think I’m making a mistake. Correct me, even if you think it may offend me.
How else will I know what the right thing is to do?

Because I want to avoid this:

Mahrree was worried about whose side she was really on. The only way someone could be “surprised” would be because they were sure they were on the Creator’s side, but weren’t.

What if they were already on the wrong side and didn’t recognize it?  (Book 2, Soldier at the Door)

By this same token, be warned that I will tell you if I think you’re doing the wrong thing.
You may become offended, that’s fine with me.
You may unfriend me. Again, that’s ok.
But I love you enough to tell you the hard truth, as I see it, to correct you if I worry you’re heading down the wrong lane.

I may be wrong (it’s happened quite frequently), but know that I will speak up because I don’t want you making bad choices, and I expect you to do the same for me.

I don’t want any of us to go grazy.

“Just tell them that underneath it all, despite what they may see, the sky really is blue and they can count upon that fact.”

There’s no creature quite so arrogant and simultaneously so insecure as an 11-year-old. I learned this many years ago when I was asked to drive a group of 11-year-olds for a church group because I owned a station wagon. (Yes, I owned a station wagon at age 25, and was proud of it! I also owned one at 16, but that’s another post.)

So, with a carload of boys I didn’t know, I set off to deliver the group. Soon one very loud, very authoritative kid with unruly hair and far too many freckles announced, “Hey—here’s a riddle. What color is the sky?”

001Obedient, and bored, the other boys looked outside—

“HA!” shouted Hairy Freckles, “Got ya! Everyone knows the sky is blue! Suckers . . .” He added that last part with the same disdain I’d heard from his 14-year-old brother, who likely pulled the same trick on Hairy Freckles.

The other boys embarrassedly looked down at their hands. But I glared in the rearview mirror.

029“That’s not true,” I said plainly. “That bit—right there? That’s white.”

Hairy Freckles scowled and looked out the window, which he hadn’t done since he’d entered the car. “That’s a cloud!”

“And it’s not blue,” I nodded.

A couple of the boys, previously shamed, now hesitantly smiled.

006“That doesn’t count!” Hairy Freckles declared and gave me a look that said, If you were my mother, I’d have you put into a home.

“And that, right there,” I pointed out the window, ignoring him, “that gray bit with some red? Also not blue.”

“That’s a plane!”

“And it’s in the sky, part of it, and it’s not blue,” I said.

005Now all of the boys were smirking at their friend. Nothing’s worse than being put into your place by a know-it-all 25-year-old college student. Who’s female.

“Now, when the sun sets, ooh—definitely not blue,” I continued.

019 (3)“And what about night?!” another boy finally felt brave enough to contribute. “There’s definitely no blue then!”

The rest of the boys howled as if that was the funniest joke in the world, while Hairy Freckles glared at me through the rearview mirror.

“And then there’s that big bright ball of white,” I went on.

002“That’s the sun!” Hairy Freckles pointed out. “And it’s yellow!”

“No, it’s not,” I said easily. “It’s white. They just make you use yellow crayons in school to color it because your paper is already white.”

None of the boys knew what to do with that, even though they peered at it to make sure, then blinked away the fact that they just scorched their retinas.

“Hey, I just got Donkey Kong—” and just like that, the conversation turned. Because hey, these were 11-year-olds.

I’ve always been obsessed with clouds and sunsets, and since then I’ve taken dozens of pictures as evidence that they sky is NOT only blue. Yet I never cease to be amazed at the amount of children’s books, TV shows, movies, and even textbooks that simplify the complexity of the sky to declare, “The sky is blue . . .” when anyone  can tell that it’s much, much more.

011 (2)We do this with so many things, just like the middle school textbook my oldest daughter had in science one year that said, “Ocean water is made up of two things—salt, and water.”

“Rubbish!” my 13-year-old had declared, and asked to be homeschooled.

And I wonder, why? Why do we oversimplify the world, even to the point of telling lies about it—if you want to get that direct—to our children and ourselves? Why do we ignore the multiple colors and shapes in the sky and insist that it’s one color, especially when that color is actually just an optical illusion, produced by the sun’s light rays bouncing back blue?

More importantly, what do we miss when we assume we already know the nature of something, and don’t even look out the window to see if our assumptions are correct?

I suspect we miss the true nature of the entire world.