A little over a week ago, during bible study, we were discussing the power of our words. We talked about how much words can wound others, especially the ones we care most about. Our physical bodies were created in such a marvelous way, that our physical wounds can heal with impressive speed. However, the wounds from others’ words or actions towards us or involving us can leave wounds that last for years or even a lifetime. Then sometimes, just when we think we’re healed, the scab over our wounded heart gets picked at and begins to bleed. Those wounds we can not physically see but are ever so present and real, are the ones that hurt the most.
As we spoke about the power of our words, the idea of speaking to the king or queen within someone, rather than the fool, came up. I talked about how in the last few years, I’ve worked on being mindful of what I say to my husband and children and how the fruits of that intention are beginning to show. Please don’t miss understand me, it’s hard and I am so far from getting it right sometimes. It’s the moments I forget how my words are coming out, and instead of building someone up they are torn down one little brick at a time, those are the hardest places to rebuild. One of the women asked me for examples, and at the time it was hard to think of a specific instance. And then, as if on queue, an opportunity presented itself.
I love my kiddos, and they provide ample opportunities to learn and grow. My daughter Alexandra is a constant source, and although there are times when I want to pull my hair out (or hers), I wouldn’t have it any other way. She is a very creative and smart young lady, she often blows me away with her deep thoughts and then turns right around to play imagination with the dolls in her bedroom. Alex loves fashion, and has a taste all her own. I’m so grateful for her creativity, and her Granma who teaches her to sew some of her magnificent creations.
With Alex’s wonderful blend of interests, tastes, creativeness and fashion sense, getting ready for school five days a week can occasionally be a challenge. We’ve tried getting up early; the girl needs her beauty rest. We’ve tried me picking out her clothes; no go. We’ve tried laying out her clothes the night before, even a couple different choices…then she goes to bed, and wakes up in a completely different mood. Imagine that! I love her so.
So an opportunity presented itself, to use my words. I walked into Alex’s bedroom and saw this….
Somehow a tornado had gone through our house and I was caught unaware! I stepped away, and took a deep breath. I saw two choices, to hurry things along and cut down her creative process of getting dressed in the morning or encourage. I encouraged her to be snappy and grabbed her “snappy dresser” shirt. However, that wasn’t fitting with her mood. I explained that she had five minutes to pick something out, or that I would get to do it. Five minutes later she was dressed (barely), and ready to eat breakfast. While she ate, we agreed that she would need to put all of her clothes away after school.
A couple days later, we were running a little behind. I asked Alex several times to get up and get dressed and she just kept laying in bed, drawing with her notebook and pencil. After three times, I got a little upset without any foreseeable action and took the notebook out of her hands. As she looked up at me with a look of shock, I noticed she had been drawing out what she wanted to wear to school. Ugh. My heart sank, and so did hers. I had no idea, because my focus was on the clock and not her. She saw this as a better way to decide what to wear, as opposed to tear her room apart. My words to her, cut; they cut her spirit and her creativity. This wound seems easy to heal, and we recovered quickly that morning. However, the reality of how powerful our words are, and the ability to build up or tear down was evident. It’s little exchanges like this that would, over time, darken that creative light within. The truth is, I believe that God created her in a beautiful and powerful way. She is not able to be replicated, and I do not want to squash that creative gift placed within her by our Creator.
It’s hard to remember that sometimes, especially when obligations knock at the door and minutes are ticking by. It’s hard to remember when emotions are heightened, raw or hurting. It’s hard to remember when we’re scared, and the only thing we know to do is lash out in protection of ourselves. It’s hard to remember when I’m tired (or super hungry) and running on fumes. It’s hard when we don’t think about where the other person may be emotionally, or what their previous experiences have been. Our words are powerful. The tongue is a mighty sword we wield, it can be done recklessly or intentionally.
I love the lessons my children present, even the hard ones because those are often the best. And I’m pleased to announce that this week, Alex has managed to get dressed without a hitch, each day for school. Yippie! (It’s only a two day week. 😉 Happy Thanksgiving!)