Ironic, but deeply fitting that with over 160 posts, today we are going to talk about one of my greatest failings. In elementary school I got Cs in conduct. I even remember a C- Ugh! I talked tooooo much! On a trip home, just from a city errand, my mother offered to pay me a dime to keep quiet. Never saw that dime. My cousins lovingly teased me about always talking. I was known in high school and college for always having one more question to ask (but there was always more to know. . .inquiring minds right?) And then came relationships, and I just know I talked much more than I ever listened. When the other person was talking, I was not listening, I was planning what I was going to, profoundly, say next when my friend took a breath. God forgive me :0 . . . ..wtyhdukwolkacsxurbnmqouslttpxzz. . ..talk, talk, talk.
Then I got married, and I had more to say than ever. I knew a better way of doing everything. I thought I would save my sweet husband the effort, and just “tell him how to do ‘it’ right.” Well, more like everything right. Oh well. I did not hold my tongue and took advantage of my woman’s 20,000 words per day and talk twice as fast. That alone qualifies me?! Ha! I could dance a jig around Bucky with his, “slower,” 7,000 words per day. (Receiving scientific review now!) Oh, the opportunities I missed to encourage! It just seemed the right thing to say. . .Wrong. If only someone had told me to hold my tongue and let him figure it out, but no one did, and I was too young and foolish, perhaps to have listened, anyway. Oh boy. The truth is men learn faster and receive a true sense of respect if their wives keep their mouths shut and let them work it out with trial and error to discover God’s best. They figure it out. Their way be may different, but is different wrong? (I thought so!) Surely with Bucky if I said it a several different ways, several different times, and at several different loudness levels, he would “get it,” right? Wrong. Who gave me “supervisor status of parking, parenting, and passions? Friend’s learn better, if we refrain from giving advice, listen, ask them what God is doing, and through trial and error, they find God’s best. And now let’s get to our children. I so wanted God’s best to keep my girl’s safe, the first two daughters received long lectures. I’d lost them after the first three minutes. . .but surely more was better, right? Wrong. As a parent, you are far better off, asking them what they think and why. . .responding with a thoughtful, “Thank you for sharing. Let me think about that.” Later, come back with some well-thought out SHORT points, on God’s Best and what that might look like. I totally ignored the concept of 2 ears to listen, one mouth to speak.
As God began to break through, I applied it to friendships first. Definitely, missed first priority. But it is not as it appears. Because my marriage, my mothering carried more weight, more significance it also carried more fear of failure and so that remained well-guarded territory. . .Until I allowed God to be a wife, a mother and a sister. It was not up to me to cover all the “territories.” And just where did I get the idea I could???!
When we can go into relationships expecting mistakes and misunderstandings, in brings grace into the equation. Who here, wants to operate in relationships without grace. 😦 Mistakes and misunderstandings are both opportunities for growth. They are rarely life threatening. You see, now that my speech is becoming more cumbersome to articulate and to be understood, I’m finding, I really don’t have that much to say. I see and experience all the places I would have directed or re-directed or mis-directed and I just observe. Imagine that the people around me are actually surviving and in some cases thriving? I laugh silently at the words that remain in my head, unshared and no one has ignored me yet! I grieve for the major misuse of the privilege of the spoken word. 😦
Proverbs 18:22 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but ONLY such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
The loss of speech is teaching me profound lessons on the “spoken word.” That includes, what is written. If a word does not speak love, insight or encouragement, God’s Best for me is to sit back and watch what He does. More often than not, my prayers, but not my lovely insights are what is called into play. So here is my “huge” word speaking platform. My “Boogie Board.” (I confess, I already wrote the company and told them, this just would not do, I need a BIG Boogie Board! Seriously, I did! They did answer me with they are considering it! LOL) In the meanwhile, God is teaching me to “conserve” my words in another’s Godly Best Interests.
P.S. Look how many words, I used in this post, to write about limiting my words. :O
It’s an on going work in God. . .Be patient with me!