Our children need words of life to build their souls in this breaking, we need words of life to build our souls in this breaking.
Put on your shoes, quick! These are the words that come naturally to me, I am a rusher, I like getting things done, a child’s pace is approximately 10000 times slower than the speed at which I want my to-list accomplished. But I have learned the very hard way the power my words and my attitude have in building or destroying my children. The very, very, very hard way. I feel the need to say this again today, I make these mistakes almost every day. Speaking words of life is an intentional, character-forming, tongue-restraining, control of my natural impulses in every way. It is not easy, it is not natural, but it is a choice. This is good news because as long as I am alive, I can make a different choice, I can choose to speak life and turn away from words that push and rush and from words that hurt and destroy.
I can think of fewer things that put life, joy and vitality back into my children and husband than affirming words. The only way I am able to intentionally speak words of life over them is to slow myself down. I don’t need to hurry them, my words can build them, and my words can show them that they are seen and known.
When he called and asked me to put his socks on after trying and I want to get out the door, You tried so hard to put your sock on, I am so proud of you.
When we arrive exhausted at a restaurant, but I still want to keep driving, That car ride was so long, I can see that you were hot in your car seat. Thank you for your patience.
When I cannot believe I have to deal with yet another aggressive move on the playground, I see you are sad to lose your toys, but you may not hit and take this other boys’ toys even when you are sad. Come to me and tell me about your sadness, we can talk about it together.
When it is way past dinner time and bed time and it’s Child Fall Apart time but an AirBnB host has messed up our booking, I know it is late and you are tired, we are doing everything we can to get the key to the guest house. Papa is trying to get a new SIM card to make a phone call about the key, we have to wait together right now. We are a family, we are a team, and we are in this together. We can do it.
Your spouse needs to know you can see what causes them stress, and they need to know that you know when you are the one contributing to their stress. It is humbling, it can be exhausting, but it leads to a tired but tried trust.
Thank you for taking the time to sort out the visa application. I really appreciate that.
The garden looks fantastic, thank you for all the time you spent working on it.
I said I would call the airline, but I forgot. I know that adds work to our schedule, I am sorry.
Gentle, patient, building words provide a rhythm of grace and kindness for our family. It makes the pace of our lives manageable in a season that carries with it inherent stress. I have to fight daily to find these words, but it is worth it.
Now it’s your turn: Who needs words of life in your world right now? What words can you speak over them? Do you need words of life yourself? Where can you find them?
6 thoughts on “day 9: words of life”
About to hop on a plane with my family, so I needed this today. As always, thank you for your transparency.
Have a great flight, Leslie! So glad these words spoke to you today. Thinking of you and praying for your family.
transition … living it out for 6 months. finding God to be faithful through every change, the excellent ones, the heartbreaking ones. thank you for going there for 31 days, Devi!
Such kind words, thank you Linda. Have a great weekend.
What you have conveyed here is so important Devi. My H is so good at finding the positive in all things and so, it is natural for him to communicate to our kids and people in general this way. But for me, it has to be intentional and thoughtful. Our words matter so much. They can be life giving or life sucking. I can’t say I’ve always delivered them well. Lovely to visit you here and hope you had a restful Sabbath. xx
I used to think that because I’m a writer I would be naturally better at encouraging my family with my words.. it has been a bit humbling (and humiliating) to realize how much thought goes into encouragement. So lovely to have you over here, Shelly. Thanks for commenting.