I asked McKenna, my oldest and by far my most challenging child thus far, (could be because she is myself in toddler form!) "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Her response was something deafening to any mothers ears, "Well, I don't want to be a mommy." "Why not," I asked her. Her cool, calm response was, "Because I don't want to be like, you."
Stab, punch, jab, hurl right through the heart. My eyes welled up with tears, but I quickly put my pride back together and like any "good" mother responded, "Fine, well then don't be a mommy when you grow up. See if I care." Lie, lie, lie!! Not to mention I became 4 again as I responded to her with such elementary emphasis. My four year old has once again managed to bring me to my knees with piercing words that cut right through my core.
I am driving home after dropping her off at preschool rehashing the conversation over and over in my head and I am deeply hurt by the words of my four year old little girl. My baby. The pride and joy of my life. The same kind of hurt that makes you pause and do a soul search. What is wrong with me? Am I really that bad? What do I need to change? When I remember what God's Word says about the tongue. James 3: 5-6 "So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the VERY word of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell." You better believe my whole body was on fire... and it was my four year old who sent it a blazin'!
Words are so incredibly powerful. As women we use thousands of words a day. Not to mention thousands more words then men in just ONE day, which is probably why we set so many more fires than they do. We talk bad about it each other. We just can't help ourselves. And half of the time it is about those we love the most. We poke, prod, jab with a little dose of sugar, after all we do live in the sweet south, and feel like we aren't hurtin'any feelings if we end it with "bless their hearts." But bottom line, WORDS can HURT no matter what you season them with. Words have made me who I am. The good and the bad. The spoken words of those I love and the Word of God have molded me into the woman I am today.
So I am on a mission. If my four year old can hurt me like this, then I know I can do some serious damage, too! I want to heal with words, not hurt with them. I want to encourage people. I want to love with my lips. Isn't it the most amazing feeling when someone tells you how incredible you are. How much they love you. Isn't it soul feeding to hear scripture being prayed over you through the lips of a loved one. Almost like it's pouring down your throat like warm hot chocolate on a cold rainy day. It makes us feel cozy, comfortable in how God made us and accepted. This is why the Lord tells us "Encourage one another, and build each other up, don't tear each other down."
Think of how the non-believing person would gravitate to us if we really did this for each other. It would be revolutionary if we actually started building towers of encouragement for one another instead of setting them on fire. And it starts at home. It starts with the ones we love the most. Even if they are four, feisty and ready for battle guns a blazin.' So from here on out I am going to try my hardest to love with my tongue. God help me when I revert to four again. I just can't seem to help myself!
Until next time,