Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh, Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

We were zipping down 162nd, the kids chattering in the back of the van about how they'd like to decorate the tree. They were most excited about continuing the tradition that my husband's family began long ago: decorating the tree while eating fresh doughnuts and sipping homemade Hershey's hot chocolate.

Above the kid chatter and the TobyMac, I heard a portion of Avery's contribution to the conversation:

"But Mommy's allergic to colored lights!"

Silence. And then laughter. I caught my Sweetpea's eye to make sure that she was okay with us laughing. She was.

"Oh, Sweetie! Mommy was just teasing. I'm not really allergic to colored lights. I just prefer white lights on the tree." She smiled as she processed it all.

This is perhaps a good time to mention the fact that I teasingly told my children last year that I was allergic to colored lights and could only abide to have white lights on the tree. I said it with such drama, with such big, silly eyes, that I was sure everyone knew I was joking. But a four-year-old Little Miss Avery Kate took her mama's words very seriously. And she remembered them. For a year.

I'm thankful she remembered something funny and silly that was in no way detrimental. But I've been thinking about it for days. How many other words are tucked into my baby's subconscious? Am I speaking words that bring life, words that she'll remember next year? Or am I speaking words that bring . . . death? Oh, it makes me shudder.

When I was a kid, my parents gently suggested -- well, required -- that I memorize Ephesians 4:29. I had exhibited some sort of angry outburst, and this was their brilliant way of addressing the sin and tucking God's Word in my heart -- words that I can still quote today:

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

I know that my words are heard by my children. I want them to be edifying, according to the need of the moment, but also according to the fact that they may very well be remembered a year from now. Perhaps longer.

Well, I've got some hot chocolate to make. The tree goes up tonight (with white lights, of course). The doughnuts are nestled safely in their box, and I pray that my words are nestled safely . . . in grace.

Last year's Little Miss Avery Kate
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  1. Thank you, friend! And happy trimming of the tree!

  2. What a timely reminder. I've been convicted lately of my words and tone...oh, my tone...with the children. Thank you for reinforcing that oh so important truth.

  3. Ironic...my prayer just last night was to please help me speak only life unto and into my children, as my words and tone as of late have not been good. Thanks for the reinforcement that God heard me! :)

  4. So well said, Sweet Julianna! Hey, we were trimming in concert last night :D



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