Words, Words, Words…

HenParty I was meandering the aisles of my local thrift shop, and I came across this little gem. Sometimes I can’t resist the urge to grab a quick phone photo when a blog idea strikes, and this one struck like a mini lightning bolt.

I admit, I liked the color, pattern, even the fonts used. (Maybe that’s just my poor sense of style.) Then I read it. Here’s what happened in my mind when I saw it (in a matter of nanoseconds):

“Hey, what’s that? [wall knickknack]

“It’s got nice colors…” [I’m drawn to deep reds these days.]

“Hen party—a gathering of women… [Hmmm.]

“Wh-a-a-a-?”

The slight turn-off began with the concept of a “hen party.” There’s a negative connotation my language sensitivities just can’t overlook. Am I too sensitive? Maybe I’m just protective of my favorite lady friends. A gathering of women is a wonderful thing, as I’ve experienced it. Add a cuppa, and I love relaxing and chatting in a group of familiar faces. So, friends of mine, if it’s a coffee klatch, I’m there. Invite me to a party with food, and I’ll bring something. If it’s a hen party, I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong woman.

Maybe you can guess where my mind went next.

Not all women gather to participate in the uglier forms of chatter. Careful, encouraging words have been used often enough that I’ve known and loved the experience. But, with all the words available, it can be awfully tempting to follow the conversational flow. Suddenly, you’re just not where you thought you’d be in the conversation. Cute family stories become the start of a rant. It’s happened to me before. It’s a fine line, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s not.

Words are important. The LORD created with them (Genesis 1); they have power to pierce or heal (Proverbs 12:18); and, uncontrolled, they can make us look like a fool (Proverbs 15:2). They always reflect our heart condition (Matthew 12:34).

It’s why I run to the verse I intentionally memorized during pregnancy (for the transition stage). (smile)

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 CSB

Somehow dressing up ugly gossip with “distribution of vital information” (as can be so very tempting) felt wrong. You know what I mean? I think I have a renewed desire to watch what I’m saying in more areas. I’ve been a little too loose-lipped in conversations at times, and I want to stop.

It goes for lots of areas in life. My children’s behaviors. My husband’s unique traits. The co-worker’s annoying habits I lack the courage to handle in a mature conversation. The list of things I share about a decision (because my ideas are better). I recently read how very “out of vogue” it is to speak in a manner that treats men as “oafs,” and that’s not different.*  I think the list might be endless—probably because my stream of words could be.

Oh, how easy it is to let the tongue go free!

So too the tongue is a tiny part of the body, yet it boasts great things. See how a little fire sets a whole forest ablaze! James 3:5 CJB

But, I don’t want to let it go free. Psalm 19:14, please!

The practical thing that came to mind as I was writing this was so basic.

Pause.

Really, if I just waited even a few seconds before letting the words tumble out, even a second might gain me some good ground on this.

Anyone else want to see some beautiful change in this area?

Hoping to pause and breathe—

~Jennifer

________________________________

Scripture from http://www.biblestudytools.com
* A blog article from Matt Walsh, “Your Husband Doesn’t Have to Earn Your Respect” 
HERE

Advertisements

19 comments

  1. I thoroughly loved this quote:

    “Somehow dressing up ugly gossip with “distribution of vital information” (as can be so very tempting) felt wrong. You know what I mean? I think I have a renewed desire to watch what I’m saying in more areas. I’ve been a little too loose-lipped in conversations at times, and I want to stop.”

    I loved it because I was just having this conversation with some friends of mine tonight. It is so easy to get wrapped up in gossip. How loose the tongue can so easily get! My prayer in the area of my tongue comes from James as well: James 1:19 And so my brothers, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. I know that my tongue has gotten me in many a jam in the past. Today, God had done an amazing redemptive work in that area (as well as others), and I am so incredibly grateful for that!

    I love your concept of “pause”. So simple, yet absolutely powerful when used.

    Blessings!

    Dawn

    1. Oh, I’m glad you took the time to read and respond! Thank you! I know it’s easy to let the words go unchecked. Hoping the best growth for both of us. 🙂 Be blessed!

  2. Thanks, Jen. Wonderful post that comes at a time I need it….moved my Mom to an Assisted Living community , now cleaning out her apartment along with working and all. Have felt so overwhelmed, but when I stop and pray, I can keep going without the “pity party” in my head. God’s words- I want to stand on them alone, and His call now is for me to have done the move and now the clean-up. When I go to the well, all is well~~

    1. Sweet friend, I’m sorry the season is tough on you physically and emotionally. I’ll be praying for you as you work to care for your mom and her things. Let me know if there’s anything I can do. Love you and your beautiful heart. ~J

  3. Amen, sister! Hit that pause button! I get so sick of the cliche that all women are gossipers. It is possible for women to gather together and share only words of love, encouragement and wisdom without the first shred of slander being spoken. It’s called the power of the Holy Spirit that we allow to work in us and through us so that our words honor and glorify the Lord. Blessings to you as we learn together how to navigate our pause buttons 😉

    1. Yes! We can be a tremendous positive, encouraging group of women together. There is a time to weep together and support one another in a different way, but it’s encouragement all the same, isn’t it? Our words don’t have to cut like knives. 😉

  4. Wise words and scripture, Jennifer! I guess it is our human condition – to want to put people down so we can look good. Whatever the reason, it only brings us all down!
    Thanks for reminding us to pause (imagine underlined and in bold).
    God bless your day!
    ~Mar

      1. Yes!!!! I need to see what you do!

        I’m totally going to have to visit PicMonkey now to satisfy my creative urge in this, but it will never be as cool as a plaque on the wall. Seriously. 😀

  5. Me too! Yes, I want to see some beautiful change in this area as well. Psalm 19:14 has also been my prayer. I don’t think you’re too sensitive. I sense you to be discerning. Thank you, Jennifer! 😀

  6. When i read this post, i remembered the verse : “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…..” James 1 : 19
    I think controlling the tongue is part of self-control.
    This is a great post and wonderful reminder, thank you very much

  7. This totally resonates. I’ve been working on tongue control for quite some time. It’s gotten better, but hasn’t become second nature yet… It’s encouraging to know that I am not alone in the battle with this small yet powerful member. Thanks for sharing.

  8. You are so right! This began to strike me last year, when I read this piece about the Proverbs 31 woman:

    Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

    We are reading about what a woman is expected to be, to allow her husband to be respected among elders. If my husband’s reputation is, in part, in my hands, I must be respectful of that, and not go slandering him and my family with my stories.

    Over the next few weeks, I noticed a real restraint among some women when speaking of their families and their husbands, and I noticed a waterfall of petulance and disrespect from other women.

    I know which woman I want to be!

Share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s