Thursday, January 13, 2011

Helpful For Building Others Up

If you really think about it, there's nothing really ordinary about being a Mama. I crawled into bed tonight and caught a glimpse of two shiny stick-on earrings stuck on the sole of my left sock.
My living room floor, my kitchen table, and everything in between are currently decorated with a wide variety of children's books, matchbox cars, and pink princess dolls.
I found a little red whistle in my sink this morning when I leaned in to discard the spit from my mouth while brushing my teeth.

There's something new everyday. We never live the same day twice around here. Granted we have the same conversations over and over again...
"Please choose kindness towards your brother."
"Please stop screaming Reesie. If you have a problem you need to speak to Siah in a kind word."
"Are you promoting peace, or are purposing to be a trouble maker?"
"Think about others above yourself."
"When do we obey? The first time, every time!"

But even in those conversations, there is always something new... always something to be thankful for.

Tonight when I was praying with Siah as I was tucking him into bed, he reminded me why some things in life are so repetitive... why some things NEED to be repetitive...

It's not so that we can be bored to tears of the same old, same old...

But instead, the repetition brings change... much needed, much desired change. It brings answered prayer. It brings perseverance... which brings character... which brings hope.

And tonight, in the corner of his quaint, angled top, room, he said,
"Mom, today we spoke words that were helpful for building others up. God answered our prayers. We've been asking Him everyday."

The kind of smile that can't help itself, crept across my face.

He's right ya know.

In the repetitiveness of our conversations we found something that is changing us, each of us, from inside our souls. It's molding us and slowly making us more like Him.

Back in November we memorized Ephesians 4:29-32 as a family.
"Do Not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up..."

In December, a woman that I have never met, but who has challenged me and inspired me, and encouraged me into Jesus more than anyone I know, wrote this post...

And isn't it so like the Lord to prepare our souls before he brings out the big guns??

Before I read the post I already had the verse freshly written on my heart... But after reading the post I could grasp the power in that one little scripture...

It's HIS power, HIS Holy Spirit, HIS sacred Word, that changes us from the inside out.

I printed out the Word strengthener that she so graciously offered to all and pinned it on the window sill by the kitchen table, a place where I can see it several times a day.

Then I shared with my kids my desire to speak to them only words that are helpful for building them up...

And here's the kicker...
I gave them permission to confront me when they hear me speaking in a tone that hinders their heart in any way what so ever. I want my kids to be respectful when they speak to me (or any adult for that matter), but I also want them to always be able to kindly tell me when something I am doing is hurting their hearts.

"When Mama is speaking in an unkind way, you can say,
'Mama, you are not speaking words that are building me up. Could you please speak in a more kind way?' "

And they have.
In the past eight weeks, I am bummed to have to confess, that they have confronted me on several occasions. But I must say, when I'm all caught up in my fluster, and a tone is coming out of my mouth that is causing the hearts of all the little treasures around me to wither, and one of those little treasures gently reminds,
"Mama those words are not help for building others up, could you please speak in a more kind way"...
My heart softens.
It's not always easy to admit that the Lord is using your four-year-old to speak truth into your life...
It doesn't take long for me to
confess my sin ,
ask them for forgiveness,
and turn the other way.

After all...

"A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them." Proverbs 14:3


"Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin." Proverbs 13:3

Since my treasures have arrived on the scene, I've asked, I've begged, I've sought the Lord day and night and asked Him to rid me of my lame tongue. The process of ridding might take years, or maybe even a lifetime, but in His goodness he has given me hope. And in the repetitiveness I can taste change, and that change, is oh so sweet on my tongue.

"A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil. Proverbs 13:19

We can change...
He CAN change us...
He WILL change us...

We need only to set our minds on repeat, until His truth sinks deep down into our souls, and eventually fills us up so overflowing that it splashes out joy from our mouths onto those whom we are learning to love. :)

Am I speaking words that are helpful for building others up?
In and through His grace,
The answer today
is YES!