"Careless words stab like a sword, but wise words bring healing." (Proverbs 12:18, NCV)
"Worry is a heavy load, but a kind word cheers you up. Good people take advice from their friends,
but an evil person is easily led to do wrong." (Proverbs 12:25-26, NCV)
As I read these verses to our children during our morning time in God's Word, I reflected on how our very words can encourage one another........or break our spirits. We are constantly reminding each other to use our words wisely, especially when we are frustrated about something. We may say something in a silly way to "joke around," but it always ends up hurting the other person somehow.
It's easy to use this example when we disciple our children daily, but what about us adults? Who is keeping US accountable to the words that are coming forth from our mouths?
Just last Sunday, we were spending time at a Bible study at a dear family's home and truly enjoyed the conversations we were having. While the men were outside ministering to one another, the women and young girls were inside sharing our hearts (and a delicious cup of blueberry tea, I might add). This might sound like a typical Sunday with the ladies at your church, but not for me. You see, I was in corporate America for most of my adult life, even long after having babies. Although I had given my life to the Lord several years prior, I still had to endure the daily grind of working in a very feminist environment. Our board meetings did not consist of homemaking skill training, or how to deal with a fussy, teething baby at 2 a.m. We didn't talk about the joys of motherhood, or why some bake homemade bread with yeast while others use a sourdough starter. Nope, that wasn't on our daily agenda and quite frankly, it had no place to be there at all. Neither did I. After much prayer and truly laying my life at the feet of Jesus, He changed my heart. Correction: He is changing my heart....daily. I've now been home for almost a year, and I can promise you that He isn't done with me yet!
So, as I sat there on Sunday, eagerly listening to mommies sharing their best recipes for homemade toothpaste and where they get the best deals on organic produce, I was giddy with encouragement. Not because I'm going to be a better mother by making everything from scratch (which isn't a bad thing, by the way), but because of where my heart is headed. Gossip didn't rule our conversations; not one person complained about their husband leaving a soiled pair of socks on the floor. There was no mention of how frustrating it sometimes gets when we are raising our children in the ways of the Lord. Yes, it does get overwhelming at times, but the Lord never said for us to do this on our own! We are to lay everything at His feet and let Him guide and direct us. Even when I'm kneading our bread dough by hand and my shoulder is aching with pain, I can do this because I love my heavenly Father and know that He is pleased with me as I care for my family. I learned recently (by default), that obedience is better than sacrifice. So instead of me always thinking,"..well, I am sacrificing my career or my 'me' time to raise our family," I can rest assured that what He has called me to do as a women is answered through my obedience.
What words of encouragement do you have for others today? Is it a verse of scripture that the Lord placed in your heart? Maybe it's that pretty awesome whole wheat recipe you tried last week and can share with another mom who is trying to help her family eat in a more healthy way? Whatever it is, always know that what comes forth from you mouth is flowing directly from you heart. I'd love to hear from you today!