Cry Baby Cry: I Just Want My Mommy!

Yesterday was frustrating. I’ve been teaching Bible Study the last couple months, and while I prepare throughout the week I spend most of the day on Wednesday completing my notes and getting spiritually and mentally ready for the evening. On these days I pray for focus, solid understanding, Holy Spirit wisdom, and for a cooperative baby (among other things). To my chagrin, Alexandra was not in agreement with my last request, and cries rang out all day. 

 I did my best to read between the lines (and tears). Whether it was for food, a diaper change, to be held, to be entertained, stared at, more food, whatever, I was hard pressed to get anything done. I couldn’t help but think of my friends who would chuckle and say ”welcome to mommyhood” or ”you might as well get used to this now”. True as these words may be, I was in no laughing mood. I was in desperate need of productivity, and the breaks in which I let her ”cry it out” only rattled my nerves more. Instead of having a meltdown, I tried explaining to her that mommy needed a shower, lunch and to study. She wouldn’t budge. The small signs of growing independence she’d been displaying all week were all but gone. It was clear. She just wanted her mommy. I somehow managed to accomplish 2 of the 3 items on my list (like my child, being clean and full makes me feel better!) before texting the hubby, asking him to head home expeditiously once he got off work. As much as my baby needed me, I needed his help to accomplish what I’d set out to do. In the meantime, I surrendered to the cries and gave into Alexandra’s every request until daddy came home to rescue me.

At last he arrived, and like my knight in shining armor he took the baby in the other room, and there was peace at last!  Well, not completely, lol, but enough for me to finish what I’d set out to do hours before.  Off to Bible study we went, and while still trying to shake off the “blahs”, my little one’s currently joyful disposition all but erased the earlier madness. Returning home last night was more of the same.  I was the one she was looking for to give her comfort before she went to sleep.  It was in my arms that she wanted to be held, and my voice that soothed her cares away.  I was so bothered earlier, but as the house fell silent and the stars shone brightly outside my window, I began to feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation.  As much as it may irritate me when things don’t go according to my plan, I can’t stand the thought of my baby being unhappy.  Knowing that I have what it takes to wipe those tears and bring that smile out is more meaningful than what I can truly put in to words.  The crazy part is, I don’t have all the answers, yet I find a way to soothe her.  God is omniscient, and He not only knows everything I need, but has the means to provide all that I ask of Him!  If the love I have for my daughter is but a mere glimpse of what the Lord feels toward me, I am indeed priceless in His eyes!!!  Isn’t that refreshing?!

The love of our Father goes beyond the cross, thru the Resurrection, and into our innermost spirit.  He wants us to cling to Him like a baby clings to her mother, and go to Him with our every request.  Do you cry out to God?  Do you desire to constantly be in His presence? His goodness is always enveloping us, but do you feel it?  Do you know it?  God is waiting, and like the ultimate parent He springs into action when we call on His name.

Thank you Lord for your goodness!!

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Think Before You Speak Part 1: The Problem With Venting

Photo Credit: Dan Pearce

At some point in time we’ve all heard it. “Think before you speak.” Often coupled with that saying is the old adage  “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” By the way, I always find it fascinating when I realize how many of these popular phrases or sayings are based on Biblical principles. He may not always get the credit, but God sure knows what He’s talking about! Anyways, 😉 in my post, Anger Management, I said I’d be addressing the negative effect of harsh words.  With this being such a broad and important topic, I’ve decided to break it down into parts, with today’s focus being on venting

vent(vnt) n.

1. A means of escape or release from confinement; an outlet: give vent to one’s anger.

2. An opening permitting the escape of fumes, a liquid, a gas, or steam.

v. vent·ed, vent·ing, vents

1. To express (one’s thoughts or feelings, for example), especially forcefully.

2. To release or discharge (steam, for example) through an opening.

About a month ago I was speaking to a trusted confidante about an impending situation.  I was preparing to spend a great deal of time with someone who had a less than favorable opinion of me, and I was asking for her prayers. I knew better than to be anxious, but I was nervous and wanted to share some background information to give my friend a better understanding of the circumstances.  I spoke of the detailed accounts in which the person in question had hurt me or made me feel uncomfortable, but it wasn’t long before I stopped dead in my tracks.  Before continuing I asked her if the conversation was being productive, or was I merely venting?  You may find this to be an odd concern, because venting isn’t so bad right?  In fact many believe it’s a healthy necessity, and much better than the alternative of keeping one’s emotions bottled up.  Not too long ago I would’ve been in full agreement with this thought process, but that changed when God directed me to His Word:

Proverbs 29:11 (NKJV)

A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back.

Straightforward. Simple.  And it cut me to the bone like a razor-sharp two-edged swordI am not a fool, and I certainly don’t want my Father to think so!  But why does it say this? Are we really supposed to hold it all in, never having the opportunity to tell someone how we feel? Is that what the Lord wants and expects of us?  No, of course not!  We have every liberty in Christ to converse and grow with one another, informing each other of our thoughts and emotions. However, we are to do so using wisdom.

Proverbs 14:33

Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding,
But what is in the heart of fools is made known.

You see, when we vent we are using neither wisdom nor self-control.  Based on the definition given above, we are forcefully letting off steam, which does nothing to benefit the speaker or the hearer.  Expressing yourself is healthy and encouraged, but once your words are no longer doing more than allowing you to dwell in your sorrow or continue to bad-mouth someone, it’s time to do a self-check and stop!! The best way to do this is to examine your motives.  Are you still talking because you have to get it out?  Is your purpose to ensure that the awful portrait you’ve painted of someone or some situation is ingrained in the minds of all those who would listen? Or maybe you just enjoy hearing the sound of your own voice.  Either way it goes, the focus should be on finding your Godly solution, rather than giving priority to the issue at hand.

In my earlier example I was told that I was not going overboard or venting about my problem.  Even still, I made a conscious decision to move on, because no scenario deserves more time and energy than I give my Lord and Savior!  I encourage you all to think before you speak, enjoy the answers God provides, and let go of the problems the world brings!!

Be blessed and stay tuned for Part 2: The Untamable Tongue