Saturday, January 4, 2014

when the f word gets you published

{photo by me, art by Mandy}
I'm being published this coming week. on the eighth. this is a big deal, a long time coming. I'm not sure if I have a lot of eloquent thoughts left in me. in all actuality, I'm pretty overwhelmed.

as much as I'm excited to be out in the world, my work with my name attached being shown to eyes who have never even heard of me or this place before, there is also a strange sort of trepidation. because I did a thing, a big thing, one of those wild things that you don't think about when you're doing it because you don't think it'll go anywhere. and then, all of a sudden, it happens.

I sent in the piece to Literary Orphans because I didn't think it would be accepted. that was risk number one. putting my words out there was the big step, allowing myself to acknowledge that I have to start somewhere, that my words have worth and value.

and then came the hammer. they wanted it, every last word. including that one glaring flashing word right there at the end. that fifth word in the last line. it's the kind of word you don't say in polite company. it's the kind of word that slips out by accident and you find yourself blushing and stammering an apology and wanting to hide.

:: it's a word that starts with the letter f. 

but then, I've been learning to stop apologizing for my words. all my words. including those sharp ones that tend to make the good Christian girl in me wince and recoil slightly. He's used worse things than the f-word.

He put two prostitutes in the lineage of His son. the fully God, fully human Prince of Heaven. He didn't need to take the things that the world saw as lesser, as dirty, as inappropriate, and put them in the line that brought His son to earth. but He did. 

{photo of me, taken by Nikki Jean Photography}
I've started finding myself breathing a little easier. even though I'm mostly rambling, even though I don't have to explain myself to anyone. I learned this last June when I discovered that courage groaned, and it was a beautiful thing.

maybe sometimes, holiness is a little ragged, a little rough. maybe sometimes sacredness involves digging in the dirt until there is mud under your fingernails and you find yourself staggering into the holy places. sometimes the words that come flying from your lips are the ones that don't fit in the world, the ones that get you pursed lips and side-eye glances and tsk-ing under the breath.

so I will tell you this. if the word is going to offend you, if it's going to turn you against me, if it's going to make  you want to throw rocks at me, then please, don't read the piece. I'm okay with that, really, I am.

but if you think that maybe, just maybe, that a Lion's roaring can drown out the profane, then oh, dear ones, give it a chance. sit on the words, let them in.

because sometimes, even the f word can be holy. 

{the piece is live on Literary Orphans as of right now HEREyou can read it or not, that is your choice. I did not choose the artwork behind the piece :: that was up to the editor. if that also offends you, if it takes away your ability to soak in my words, then please, abstain from reading. love and grace to each of you. bear me gently.}


  1. woot. cant wait to read it...ha.
    i think holiness is def a little ragged....often...smiles.

  2. Coming over from Amy's #RiskRejection page. Oh, how exciting! Cheers to you. I for one will be anxious to read your piece. :)))

  3. Consider this your warning that I will be back to stalk your page on January 8th :-) Congrats, sister... Here's to #RiskRejection!!!

  4. Bring it, bring it, bring it!

    Rachel, I love your creativity. Just the feel when I come here. All artsy and whispy.

    I just included a curse word in the piece I was writing today and thought of you…wondering if mine will get slashed out. Make sure you remind everyone again on the 8th.

  5. Congratulations brave one! I look forwarding to reading your creation very soon. :)

  6. I just love your real, raw, honest writing! So fun finding you through Amy's #RiskRejection page! Bravo on being brave girl! You inspire!

  7. I am coming here now, after already having read the piece. And I think it is brilliant. It is quirky, sassy, angry -- lashing out at the absurdity of the double standards that the people using would deny.

    But underneath the sass, the spark is a plaintive cry... a longing to be heard and accepted, and seen as a whole person with a heart AND a brain.

    Brava, my new friend.

  8. I came here through #riskrejection. congratulations, girl! looking forward to reading your piece. and yes, i'm totally ok with using a holy f-word

  9. Visiting you, Rachel, via Amy Sullivan's #riskrejection link-up. I am so proud of you, and I can't wait to read your piece.


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon