Mind of Steel

One of our now departed dogs had a steel-lined stomach. That dog could eat anything. One of our present dogs has a stomach lined with spun sugar. He will throw up if you look at him and think about sour milk. The good thing is, he knows his limitations. He avoids the rich stuff when he’s offered leftovers with sauces and gravies.

I have been blessed with a steel-lined mind. I can watch shows and movies and books filled with every cuss word-not-in-the-dictionary and they don’t stick, they just slide right on out. Sometimes I don’t even remember that there was bad language in there.

We recommended Apollo 13 to friends with kids. A few weeks later, we watched it for the second time and I had to call and apologize and say we didn’t notice the language the first time we watched it.

Today I met with a group of writer friends for lunch and critiquing. I mentioned a book I just finished (see below) and someone I follow on Twitter.

In describing both of them, I heard myself say: “There’s lots of foul language, but it is hysterically funny.”

Some people question why I would read, much less recommend, something full of such unimaginative vocabulary.

It’s true that I don’t use those words. The strongest thing you’ll ever hear come out of my mouth is, “crap.” And that’s only been in the last couple of years.

I did have an odd experience when I read Mr. Paradise by Elmore Leonard a few months ago. I dropped something on my foot and the first words to my mind were suitable for the toilet. Apparently Mr. Leonard’s prose penetrated my steel-lined mind. I decided he would be read no more by me.

I have friends who write exclusively about spiritual issues and they need to keep the world and the culture out of their lives. As a humorous fiction writer, I don’t have that. Instead, I need to keep abreast of the culture and society. I need to know which envelopes are being pushed and by whom and how far.

God blessed me with a steel-lined mind so I can read and watch those things. I also make sure to fill it with God’s Word as well. I recently memorized Psalms 121 and 139. Next up is Colossians 3.

I don’t judge people who don’t watch current movies or read best sellers. I hope they don’t judge me for choosing differently.


Last book: Mennonite In a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen – hysterical but with a caveat that there is potty language and some off-color conversations repeated

Last movie: Iron Man 2  - Loved it!

Today I’m praying for: Tony, Jake, Dave, Amy, and Tom.


  1. Carrie,

    I can surely relate to "your friends who write exclusively about spiritual issues" who "need to keep the world and the culture out of their lives."

    I'm clueless about post-modern culture. I used to ask God on a regular basis why He called me to be such a "prude." It seemed so unfair!!!

    I couldn't understand why He let godly women that I loved and respected (like my best friend and my sister) watch and read things that were "off limits" to me.

    Then I heard Charles Stanley relate a vision he'd had about God instructing him to walk a very narrow line. He let me know I'm not alone in my "seclusion."

    Thanks, Carrie for showing me again that God has a reason for His "rules." I'm glad that you listen to, learn from and write about the world and culture you see and hear around you!!!

    I learn a lot from reading your wonderful fiction! THANKS and keep it up!

  2. Carrie,

    Sometimes I wish I could watch and read certain things. Unfortunately for me, foul language usually lodges itself directly in the middle of my frontal lobe and stays there for about a week. More than language, though, it is cruelty that disturbs me most in a novel or movie. For some reason my brain demands that I process it in living color before I can send it to the trash bin.
    Personally, I think it is very important to engage the culture we live in. May God continue to bless you as you walk the fine line of being in the world and not of it.

  3. Thank you both for commenting and reinforcing my point that not everything is permissable for all!