Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Words

Oldest boy asked for more apple juice, followed by please, followed by thank you. And then middle boy echoed.

Not because he wanted more apple juice. Simply to mimic, simply to poke. Simply to bother.

Oldest's shoulders slumped, and I spied little girl's questioning eyes examining mimicking brother; I could almost see the wheels turning, young mind memorizing poor habits.

I swooped low and bent to his ear. Son, don't waste words. See brother's eyes? See sister? Your words hurt, and they teach what you do not want to teach. Choose carefully what you say.

And as I straightened to pour the apple juice, I thought how very much I would like to keep a log of my words. A logometer, if you will, that records all I say. That warns when I go over my limit, when I've chosen poorly.

For surely I waste words all day long.

Did Husband really need such a detailed account of my disappointing day? Do sons really need to be told thrice to close the door quietly, even before they've opened it at all? Does daughter really need to hear so many words explaining her error, when green eyes already threaten tears?

These intimate, teachable moments with my precious husband and children- those occasions are so valuable... why do I waste words on complaining and berating and driving the point home?

When I hold their hearts in my hand, when I hold the shaping of their character, let me waste not my words.

Do you understand? I trust you... I forgive you... Let's pray... I love you!

And honestly, does God always need piles of elegant words in the prayers I offer to Him?

Perhaps I, instead, could have a word limit...

I'm weary... please carry me. I'm sorry... please forgive me. I could pray the Psalms, using His words to praise Him, rather than my own distracted, flawed offerings. I love you...
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
And so, setting apple juice in front of oldest, I winked at middle son as he patted his brothers' shoulder and offered silent apology, receiving instant forgiveness.

No words necessary.

May I have Your words, Father, or none at all.

17 fellow travelers shared:

Ginger@chirgies said...

My sentiments exactly. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. I've been there a million times too - wishing I'd held my tongue, and wondering what kind of example I am setting.

Sandi said...

Thanks

Stacey said...

This is exactly.... EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight.

Thank you, it will carry me through the week. I will be biting my tongue and listening more than I speak...

may the words of MY mouth, and the meditation of MY heart please the Lord....


peace, friend.

Stacy said...

Such an important post, Elise.

Oh that I could have a logometer of my own!

I know your words here will keep me thinking...

May we all strive to honor God in the words we choose.

Love to you-

Mercy said...

Thank you for this Elise.

I am still here in Baltimore, silently being inspired by you every time you post.

Deidra said...

Your words are light and beauty. Thank you.

Lyn said...

Thank you for sharing and in sharing teaching.

Linda said...

I love this Elise. There is such power in our words. Oh to use them wisely. It has been a life-long prayer.

momma's heart said...

you are a wise woman. thanks for reminding us women of a common folly. I, too, am guilty. Drippy-faucet reminders about mud and noise during naps are my worst offenses.

enjoying your blog immensely!

Quinne said...

Hi Elise :) A lovely post and straight to the mark in this mommy's heart... thanks. Praying with you. Love, Q

Rebecca M said...

A sweet reminder, Elise. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, my spirit is sad about these very things. My young and large family is so precious. Mary Brooke

amy said...

beautiful, simply beautiful. thank you so very much. this kind of post is why i read blogs. i needed to hear this. there are tears in my eyes but i am smiling after reading your words- thank you.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Elise.
I'm always inspired when I come here!

minivanlife said...

Beautiful thought-provoking post. Thank you for inspiring me.

Beverly said...

Thank you so much for this. I so often waste words. Once again, you are a blessing.

Clarissa said...

May that be my prayer too, Lord. Your words, Abba, or none at all.

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