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.]
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.
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—