Think Before You Speak…

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Think Before SpeakI tell my boys all the time… “think before you speak.”  I think this is something that we all struggle with.  Sometimes, I offer an opinion when I should just keep my mouth shut.  I’m not sure about you, but it’s hard for me to keep my mouth shut.

Recently, I have witnessed a couple mortifying moments… people saying things that truly sliced someone else.  I love all the people who were involved in both situations.  Loving these people made the situation even more difficult for me.  I wasn’t sure how to handle either situation.  So, in the moment, I chose silence.

I saw a friend publicly embarrassed, humiliated really, at a church event.  It was like watching Mean Girls the Senior Edition.  I felt so bad for my friend and I hope that the ladies involved didn’t truly intend to be as mean as they were.  Like I said, I love these ladies and it was hard to see them be so publicly vicious.

The other moment is more personal and I will leave it at that.  After both of these incidences happening days apart, it has caused me to think more deeply about how words can hurt people.  I know that we are raised with “sticks and stones…” but that’s crap.  Words can be devastating.  Words can’t be taken back.  Words can be forgiven, but never forgotten.

As Christians, we need to be in the business of lifting each other up, not tearing each other down.  We need to think before we speak.  Would you feel ok if someone said that to you… or your child… or your friend?  If the answer is “yes,” speak away, but if you aren’t sure, it’s best to just put a zipper on it and shut up.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Learning Disappointment…

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Boys BaseballWe had a rough baseball weekend.  Two boys, six games, six losses.  But, you know what?  They laughed all the way home during the hour-long drive.  I’m thankful for that!

As parents, we want to give our children everything.  We don’t want to see them hurting or having to do without things that others have.  If we actually follow through with that, we are doing our kids a huge disservice.  “Yes” is not a constant in life.  In fact, “yes” is rare.

What are you teaching your children if you give them everything they want? What are they learning if they never have to try out for something on their own merit because you are the leader and they make it anyway?  What accountability do they have if you do their school work for them?

I know it’s hard as a parent to watch your child lose, fail, or just do without.  Trust me!  I’ve watched my boys do each of those and it’s painful.  However, my parents let me experience each of these, too.  I feel I’m better of because of it.  I’ve worked for everything I have in life, and I work hard because I’ve been taught to work hard if you want something.

If I shelter my boys from disappointment now, what are they going to do as adults?  Children must understand that disappointment is a part of life.  They must learn how to handle it.  It’s not easy, it hurts, but it’s necessary.  Feeling disappointed is an incentive to work harder, try harder, and practice harder.  It also allows them to be compassionate to others because they know how it feels to be on the losing end.  On the flip side, you are robbing them of a sense of pride and feeling of accomplishment of knowing that they can do it on their own.

I don’t know, maybe this is just a rant… maybe it’s my way to justify the fact that I can’t give my boys everything they want… or the fact that my husband can’t coach every team… but I truly think that we are better preparing them for life in the long run.  I’d rather them experience the sting now while we can help them process their feelings, then wait until they are adults and have no idea how to handle them.

Thoughts?

“Work at everything you do with all your heart.  Work as if you were working fr the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23