Posted in Friendship

The Words We Speak

red-telephone-booth

Her words, though seemingly innocent, cut me to the core.  A compliment laced with criticism as the main objective. I chose to respond to the flattery, purposely pushing the criticism out of mind until I could politely excuse myself from the conversation. But its effects lingered.  In my mind. In my heart. I couldn’t help but wonder if her words were intentional, or if she honestly didn’t realize the punch they packed to my sensitive heart.

Oh sweet sisters, why aren’t we more careful with our words?

It’s so easy to find fault in one another, voicing our disapproval in small, subtle ways. We are masters at inflicting one little jab here, another tiny dig there, leaving one another to question … “Am I a bad mother? Was my idea foolish? Should I do more for my children? Less for my husband? Am I wrong for not adding this “important” activity to my already busy schedule?”

And in the aftermath, some precious lady begins the arduous task of separating those hurtful words from what she knows to be true. Working tirelessly to shake off the undeserved guilt. Struggling to find her confidence again despite the uncertainties rising within her.  All because another woman carelessly cast inconsiderate words her way.

I’ve been there. No doubt you have as well.

And even worse, I’ve been guilty of dishing out sharp comments myself at times. I’m guessing you could say the same.

Sadly, we do this without truly considering the impact our words have on one another. In the busyness of our own small space, we forget how much we need one another. We fail to show love. To extend grace. To grant acceptance. To offer an occasional pat on the back.

Dear friends, how I pray we will become more thoughtful with the words we speak to one another. More aware of the message our words convey. Praying for each other more, judging less. Cherishing rather than belittling -despite our many differences.

May it become our mission to affirm our sisters, seeing to it that tenderness and hope tarry in their hearts long after our conversations cease.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Posted in Overwhelmed

When Our Hearts Run Dry, 2

dandelion-closeup

We decide whether or not our hearts run dry. This is the thought I left with you last week.

We talked about warning signs in our lives -flashing red, reminding us we are nearing empty. These indicators typically stand out in how we respond to what is going on around us. Perhaps we are quick to anger, become easily frustrated, or tear up over the tiniest of matters. Any of these responses may be evidence that our hearts desperately need refilling.

Do we ignore the warnings and continue at lightening speed, or do we slow down and receive some pick-me-up along the way?  Do we settle for life as it is, or do we resolve to make it better?

Our decision is crucial. Our choice becomes the game changer.

I believe most of you desire to live as I do, from a place of fullness. But how, sweet friends, do we go about doing so when life is so hectic, demanding, and frenzied?

We become INTENTIONAL ~~

We pause, though the world spinning around us may not.

We pray, asking God to help us find balance and pour His love into our weary hearts. Please, please don’t skip your time with God. He is our ultimate source of fullness.

We pursue “happy getaways”. Yes, happiness is okay (just make sure your “happy” lines up with God’s goodness -that’s a topic for another day).

And just for fun, here are 10 mini-getaway ideas to get you started:

  1. Curl up with your best-loved book.
  2. Participate in a ladies’ bible study (comment below for a list of my favorites).
  3. Share a cup of coffee with a friend or two.
  4. Treat yourself to a new hair style or an outfit that makes you feel pretty.
  5. Enjoy a no-distractions date with your significant other.
  6. Take a nap.
  7. Snuggle with your littles.
  8. Sit, unrushed, with your aging relatives.
  9. Watch your all-time favorite chick-flick.
  10. Take a walk and listen to encouraging music as you do so.

Friends, when done correctly making time for ourselves is not selfish. It is nourishing.  It is you placing the oxygen mask on yourself before placing it on others. Not because you consider yourself more important, but because you know you cannot fully care for them unless you are healthy yourself.

In summary, (1) realize you need to be refreshed, (2) know what little things bring you blessing and joy (and honor God as you do them); and (3) determine to incorporate them into the crevices of your everyday life.

As you do so, may you find yourself empty less often, and may you pour kindness, encouragement, and grace into the thirsting hearts of those around you.