I could take more dramatic pictures but that would require taking my gloves off while outside --
So now, instead of sharing about student engagement and characteristics of giftedness, I get to share with you about the gift of gab. I've got it. We all know that.
As a child I didn't understand why it was hard to keep from talking back. As a young woman, I didn't understand why he just couldn't keep up in an argument. Now, after many years of study; a few good lessons learned; a little wisdom of age; and the help of my Cowboy -- I get it. You know, Cowboys are known for their pride, but also for calling it straight. You see my Cowboy was the first person to recognize and so respectfully say, "I can't keep up. You have a way with words that I don't have."
God gave me a gift. I'm an artist with words. Just as a brilliant creative painter can choose what scenes to paint, I also get to choose what I will paint with my words. They say what goes around, comes around, and God saw fit to bless me with a little man who shares his mama's gift for cleverly stringing words together and picking apart the logic or lack thereof to anything one might offer to the table different than our desires.
When I realize that I'm not "winning" the matter -- I'm just defeating someone with my words -- my heart quickly says STOP.
So I'm 2 chapters into Keep It Shut. The second chapter encourages us to take a closer look at Joseph in Genesis 37-50. I l-o-ve the story of Joseph and know nearly every fine detail by heart. So when the author looked to him for a lesson on taming the tongue...I thought hmmm. That's not what I think of when I think of Joseph. A few of the lessons shared from Karen Ehman:
1. Beware of Bragging -- and the Impact Your Good News Could Have on Others -- in our world of social media and posting your best this is so important! It wasn't wrong that Joseph loved his coat and his special place in life, but could he have been more gracious?
2. Say What Honors God, Not What Other People Want to Hear -- Interesting. When Jospeh was pursued by Potiphar's wife (likely hot) he said "How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?". He felt no need to sugar-coat and say "You're beautiful and trust me I would enjoy it, but I really shouldn't." He didn't feel the need to let her down gently. He was more concerned about what God would hear than a beautiful temptress.
3. Realize that Lies are the Minuscule Snowflakes in a Monumental Snowball -- I looked at this a little differently. For a cowgirl like me, lying isn't really a problem. But hurtful words can be. Each tiny little hurtful world definitely snowballs into a world of hurt, pain and defeat for those we use them on. I've been waiting to share this picture of the tiny bit of snow we got on Christmas Eve.
It's incredible how intricate God made those almost invisible flakes. But those almost invisible, yet cleverly crafted flakes one by one turn into the blizzard that covers R7 right now. Hmmm...let that sink in.
So the cure for this could be simply. Shut it. Be nice. I don't know about you but that doesn't really work for me. Instead for me a better plan is to choose grace. When I think of God's grace on me, I can't help but share it.
When I'm frustrated --
"But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." (Psalm 86:15)
When I'm having fun --
"Let your conversation be always full of grace" (Colossians 4:5)
When I'm tempted --
"Gracious words are pure in God's sight (Proverbs 15:26)
When I'm teaching --
"Gracious words promote instruction" (Proverbs 16:21)
I want to be like Jesus -- and they said of him.
"All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips" (Luke 4:22)
May prayer for this week is that I leave those I encounter feeling amazed rather than defeated. What was your favorite lesson from chapter 2? When do you struggle with your words? What are your go to verses?
How can I pray for and with you this week?