THINK Before You Speak

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

think3

Photo: Bob Lenz @lifepromotions

One of the greatest jobs I have as a mother is to instill godly character into my children. To do this, I intentionally utilize both resources and teachable moments. I have found that it is best to learn from life’s blunders.  Currently I am reading aloud and discussing the book Love As A Way of Life by Gary Chapman with my youngest daughter, Cayley, as well as the mom group I’m leading.  At the end of one of the chapters, I became convicted. There was a challenge to evaluate verbal interactions with others and determine whether or not the words spoken were kind. If any unwholesome words came to mind, the challenge encouraged you to take action and apologize.

My heart sunk as I remembered a phone conversation that I had with a friend. I sent the apology email below to my friend and then read it aloud to my daughter. Even though I was embarrassed by my blunder, I wanted to use it as a teachable moment. Words do matter and carry weight.

Visit me over at I Take Joy as I explore whether I was gossiping or simply sharing my heart and frustration with a friend? 

I encourage you to ponder the following poem shared by Ann Landers many years ago.

Remember Me?
“My Name Is Gossip. I have no respect for Justice.
I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society.
My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.
To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never quite the same.
I topple governments and ruin marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.
I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses. I AM CALLED GOSSIP.” Office gossip. Shop gossip. Party gossip. I make headline and headaches.  Before you repeat a story ask yourself. Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary?
If not – KEEP QUIET.

My Hands Were Busy

I vividly remember the day I was handed the below poem “My Hands Were Busy,” at a MOPS (moms of preschoolers) gathering I attended almost twenty years ago.  My eyes welled up and I felt so guilty as I was the mom who wasn’t taking time to get on the floor and play. I found it hard to enjoy my little ones.  I reasoned there were meals to be cooked, clothes to wash, and a house to clean.   However what my daughters desired more than anything was ‘ME’ entering their world  consistently and often.  I am so thankful for the encouragement I received so often from others to savor the moments and enjoy my children.

Life is like pictures.  You can look back on moments, but you can never recapture them.

girls

My Hands Were Busy

My hands were busy through the day,
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn’t have much time for you.

I’d wash your clothes; I’d sew and cook,
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me, please, to share your fun,
I’d say, “A little later, hon.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.

For life is short, and years rush past,
A little child grows up so fast,
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,
There are no children’s games to play,
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands once busy, now lie still,
The days are long and hard to fill,
I wish I might go back and do,
The little things you asked me to.

Author Unknown

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