I tell my 5 and 4 year old all the time,
“That mouth is goingto get you into trouble.”
“Those running lipsare earning you a trip to your room little man.”
“I don’t need yourhelp in this” (usually when I’m talking to the other child and one of theother’s is piping in with their “advice”…hmph…nothing like 4 year old advicewhen you don’t want it!)
“I don’t care”(when they ask if they can do something…a phrase that I now hate because I’verealized the hurt those three words can bring…I don’t care?  Oh but Ido.  I care so much it hurts but I’m not showingyou my sweet boy.  I do care.)
I listen to him and his brother talk to one another.  Sometimes it’s so harsh that my hearthurts.  Where do they learn to talk likethat?

Are they learning that harsh tone from me?
Are they that short and rude with each other because I’mthat short and rude to them?
Am I tuning in or tuning out to their needs?
Our preacher talked this week about the mouth and how it canbe the most un-trainable part of our body. What spews from the mouth can cause irrevocable damage to someone’s selfconfidence and their very lives.  Andwhen we do say something that we “don’t mean” and then we say “I have no ideawhere that came from,” that’s not true. It was in our heart.  And we letit get there and even worse, we let it come out. 
I often wonder why we’ve been trusted with such a powerfulweapon.
Perhaps because it shouldn’t be a weapon.  It’s a battle I continually lose. 
Hunter and I watched Facingthe Giants again this weekend.  Awonderful little Christian movie where I don’t have to worry about what the kidshear.  Unlike the later watched andturned Bridget Jones Diary…ahem…andlet me say that my thoughts on appropriate language on TV and theirs iscompletely in disagreement.
Anyway, in Facing theGiants, one of the overlying themes was, “We praise God when we win, wepraise God when we lose.”  We praise Godin the good.  We should praise God in thebad. 
That’s hard to wrap my brain around and then to intently setout to do…to praise him in the bad.  Myselfish nature doesn’t want to thank God for the (seemingly) massive problemswe’re facing.  It doesn’t want to praiseGod for the (seemingly) important things we or our kids need (want).  I don’t want to say, “God, I’m going to loveyou anyway.”  I do, but I don’t want tosay that.  Instead, I hear myselfsounding just like my children…harsh, demanding, short, rude.  Justlike a child.
Instead, my prayers have been filled with begging for thingsthat I want to happen the way I want them to happen, and not for his will to bedone. And obviously, because of that, the gap I’ve put between myself and Godhas widened.  And widened.  And widened.
I find myself slipping back into old habits.  Like swearing.  Like being harsher with my children.  Like not noticing the small things that makeme happy.  Overlooking the wonderful andbeautiful that is right in front of meand instead focusing on the what-ifs and the “but God” pleas that have filledmy mind and prayers. 
I don’t have an answer or a Biblical ending for thispost.  I don’t.  Because I don’t have the answer.
For my family, I know that I need to change my focus.  I need to get back to focusing on those smallthings that I’m overlooking.  I need towrap myself in the comforting arms of my God and let it become well with mysoul.  I have to work harder on my tonewith my boys and my husband. 
Because the scary thing is that I’ve always heard, “themother sets the tone for the house.”
Another powerful gift we’ve been given.  If we are, as wives and mothers, truly whosets the tone in our house, then I have to work harder to set that tone.  I have to show those boys who have stolen myheart how to love on each other and how to respect each other.  I have to show them how to communicatebetter.   I have to teach them patiencewhen it is really me who needs to learn patience and compassion.  I have to take the time to show my love in abetter, more tangible way to my husband instead of letting our lives get sobusy that we are like ships passing in the night (a joke in our house thatshouldn’t be taken lightly because when the mother and father are not in tune,the house cannot possibly be harmony). 
Words are one of our most powerful gifts.  We can bless others with them or hurtthem.  
What are you doing with your words today?

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