Sometimes the spark comes from some one else’s words. For me, that spark is often lit when someone is so honest that I can feel their spirit actually touching, embracing, mine. Today that happened again when I read Justin Lee’s 30 Confessions. Before you continue to read here, go over there and read his words. I’ll be here when you get back.

I’ve been thinking about honesty a lot, particularly in terms of myself. I know the kind of person I want to appear to be, and somehow in the course of my 37 years, I have taught myself that to be the kind of person I want to be I have to pretend. I have to act like I have a lot of things figured out, and I have to hold certain opinions that I don’t. So I stay silent, or worse, I act more strident and sure than I really am.

So today, taking Justin Lee’s post as my model, here are 30 things I want to confess to you all.

1. I don’t like sit-coms. Not even the cool ones like Parks and Rec and 30 Rock. I want to like them. I really do, but I don’t.

2. I feel the same way about seafood. I do have a mild allergy to seafood, but mostly I play up that allergy so that people won’t think I’m lame for not appreciating the health benefits of seafood.

3. I cry every time one of my cats brings in a dead animal. Today it was a vole that was just barely alive in his breath. I cried as I laid him amongst the lilies to die.

4. I slow WAY down when people tailgate me. And I take pleasure in that.

5. I don’t think I’ll ever have a day when calling forth the memory of my mother doesn’t crack my heart.

6. I love cheese doodles.

7. I loath when writers tell other writers what we SHOULD do, or when we use second person (you) when we’re talking about ourselves. It makes me really angry, and I don’t always manage that anger well.

8. The thing I most want right now (next to my farm) is the Mandala coloring book I saw in Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver last July.

9. I absolutely love a passionate, heated debate IF people actually listen to one another and IF we can all confess we haven’t got it all figured out.

10. I hate it when church metaphors are based around marriage and child-rearing. I feel totally left-out, and then I get angry. I’m embarrassed by how my pain overwhelms my reason there.

11. I have no idea what to do with the verses in Scripture that seem to speak against homosexuality. I can’t make sense of them, so I choose to take the side of love and nonjudgment.

12. I truly don’t understand fiscal conservatives. I try. I really do, but I just don’t get it. I wish I did.

13. Because I write about race relations a lot, I want to seem an expert, and sometimes I pretend I am. But I’m not. I have no idea how to talk about those wounds perfectly, but I’m not willing to quit trying.

14. I’m taking this one from Justin Lee verbatim – “Sometimes I get tired of being around Christians, even though I am a Christian and my faith is the most important thing in my life.”

15. I am really bad at managing money. Really, abominably bad. I need to take classes.

16. When I subscribe from an email list, I feel guilty. I don’t want those people (as if people check email lists all the time) to think I don’t support what they do. I want to send an email to unsubscribe email that says, I love your work; I’m just busy.

17. I fall on the side of showing mercy far more than wanting justice. This is problematic because I can often see both sides of an issue. This makes me seem hypocritical, and maybe I am.

18. I have never been in a place where I had to consider an abortion, so it’s easy for me to believe abortion is killing. Thus, I still believe abortion should be legal.

19. When I see my Uni-Ball Vision Elite pen on my desk, I get a little giddy.

20. Every time I post something controversial, I am scared that people will lambast me. It makes my chest hurt.

21. I do not believe in complementarianism, even with the verses in Paul right there. I understand why other people do hold to that system, and I try not to judge them. I fail a lot at that.

22. I miss every man I have ever loved, every day.

23. I check hang-tags and license plates when people park in spots for disabled people. I want to call the police when they aren’t supposed to be parked there.

24. I am not a pleasant person when I am overly tired. I fake it well, but when I’m worn down and around people, I get really mean inside my head.

25. I pretend not to like pop music, but every time Katy Perry comes on, I bop around in my seat.

26. I am eager for my friends’ childrens to get older because I miss my friends. So horrible, but true.

27. I lay awake at night trying to figure out how to work through a conflict with someone. (Thanks to Jason Lee, for sharing that one with me.)

28. I feel superior when people eat processed peanut butter.

29. I’m very nervous about the farm because I know there will be snakes and I will have to deal with them.

30. I love writing, but I avoid it because I’m afraid it will, one day, fail me.

Thanks for letting me to confess to you. Thank you for reading.

Feel free to confess here in the comments if you’d like, or post your own list of 30 Confessions. I’d love to hear yours, if you’d like to share.