My Unspeakable Joy

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. John 16:21 (NKJV)

My Darling Alexandra Simone,

3 months have passed since my last letter, and I’m in utter shock and disbelief that you’re 6 months old today!!  Baby girl, I can’t believe how much you’ve grown! It seems like only yesterday that your daddy and I would get excited at every chance we had to see your eyes open, and now we can hardly get you to close them because you don’t want to miss a thing!! My inquisitive little dear, it’s no wonder that you’ve mastered the roll and the scoot, and grabbing any and everything is your new favorite hobby.  You view everything with fresh eyes and being around you helps me to do the same.

In the original “plan” I would’ve been a month into a new school year at work.  However, God gave us peace in making the decision to have me stay home with you, and I couldn’t be happier.  Each day I awake wondering what new adventures are in store for us, and I feel blessed to be the one by your side as you discover the world around you.

When you laugh out loud you crack me up!!  How are you so funny?!  I never thought anything could match your gummy smile, but now that there’s a tooth in there it’s the perfect complement to your beautiful cheesy grin. You’ve become one with your booster seat and spoon, and your zeal for food is eerily familiar… 🙂 You love a cool breeze on your face, and when the toys on your jumper move just as you intended you light up brighter than the Christmas tree at Union Square.

Ahhh my sweet, sweet child, I have tears of joy thinking back on this time we’ve spent, but there’s some reservation too.  As much as I look forward to seeing you hit your next milestone, a part of me wants you to stay my baby forever.  You find comfort in me, you know I’m present and that I’m not going anywhere. I never want that to change. But wait a minute.  That’s the beauty of our relationship isn’t it?  No matter the age, no matter the distance, regardless of who may come and go, you will ALWAYS be my baby and I will ALWAYS be proud to be your mom.

I love you more than you’ll ever know.  Happy Half-Birthday to you!!!

Love, love, love you,

Mommy

Think Before You Speak Part 2: The Untamable Tongue

Photo Credit: Aaron Evans
tongue (noun)
1. Anatomy; the usually movable organ in the floor of the mouth in humans and most vertebrates, functioning in eating, in tasting, and, in humans, in speaking.
2. the human tongue as the organ of speech
3. the faculty or power of speech

In Part 1 of the Think Before You Speak Series, I addressed The Problem With Venting It’s time to take a closer look at the small, yet critical force that is our tongue, and I’d like to begin with a story…

“Well, ya know, I mean the Bible tells us to love everybody.  So yeah, I guess I love her.”  Ouch.  Those were the words I heard when my former Pastor asked my boyfriend at the time if he loved me.  We’d been having problems, and with talk of marriage it was imperative that we ironed our issues out.  Needless to say this comment was the nail in the coffin, and I cut ties with this individual almost immediately. I should’ve felt free and confidant, knowing that I would no longer have to spend any energy on someone who wasn’t worthy of my love and devotion.  I should’ve been relieved to have this toxic person out of my life.  I should’ve been able to shrug my shoulders and forget the hurtful things that were said, with as much ease as the shoulders shrugged who said them.  Alas, the story didn’t go that way.  His statement (among other unpleasant ones) left me feeling empty, insecure, and inadequateThe harsh words could not be taken back, and the pain I experienced was not easily overcome.

Friends, did you know that our words have the potential to cause harm?  I shared this with you to clearly illustrate what can happen when we underestimate the power of this tiny member of our body.  For all intensive purposes it’s nothing more than a necessary organ for eating and speaking, but used in the wrong way unspeakable damage can be done.

Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Have you ever said how broke you were financially and wondered why your income never increased?  Maybe you’ve been sick and instead of claiming your healing you cling to your miserable state as that cough or sore throat sticks with you for days. I’ve heard teachers or parents refer to a struggling child as slow or stupid (breaks my heart!) ,yet they act surprised when they bring home a failing grade.  The reason for this cause and effect is because we’ve turned our thoughts in to action and given place to those actions by the power of our words.

Luke 6:45 (NKJV)

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

When we speak death in our circumstances (negativity, defeat, hopelessness) that’s exactly what we’re going to receive.  On the other hand we can speak life (faith, love, and hope with a Godly perspective) and reap the benefits of using our words wisely.  This is not only true when dealing with our personal situations, but also in what we share with others. Are you bringing joy and peace, or harm and destruction into the life of someone else? I’ve been on the receiving end of both (as I’m sure we all have), and as much as the words of exhortation have lifted me up, words of devastation have also caused my spirit to come crashing down.

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Proverbs 15:4 (NLT) Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

I once heard a Pastor say the fork in the tongue is like the road.  We choose which direction to travel, and with the help of Holy Spirit we can be kept on the right path.  I understand that this message is not a new one, but I’m trusting it’s one that’s being shared in due season.  Each and every day we’re given numerous opportunities to use our words for good or for evil, and as James describes below, we ought to show the tongue the respect it deserves.  Let us all take a moment and consider how we can do more to “tame” the untamable tongue!

James 3:5-12 (NLT)

5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.  But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

Be blessed and stay tuned for Part 3!

Are you speaking life or death into your circumstances?

Do you encourage or discourage others when you speak to them?

Related Articles:

http://virtuouswoman73.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/sticks-and-stones-may-break-my-bones-but-words-will-never-hurt-me/

http://joelstory.com/2012/08/07/james-review-part-2/

http://faith1stministries.com/2011/11/26/the-words-we-speak/

http://simplyjuliana.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/a-word-spoken-in-due-season-how-good-is-it-proverbs-1523/