I Want The King for My Friend

I’ve been working my way through a book that has done something incredible in my life.

It has dried up my words.

And, honestly? I’m okay with that.

Reading Keep It Shut, by Karen Ehman, has been life-altering. My brain, and by extension, the mouth that’s connected to it, have experienced some blissful radio silence. I’m not even going to try to guess the number of people around me, who also consider this new frequency blissful.

I’m a gap-filler, you see. If there is a lull in conversation, I’m your girl. When the small talk at a party dwindles, I jump right in. In the midst of an awkward situation and not sure what to say next? Count on me!

Usually, these aren’t necessarily bad things.

But sometimes, they aren’t really good things, either.

The abundance of words that accumulates within me doesn’t actually mean that I need to voice every single one of them.

Amen? (Not you, Nana. We all know you’re saying “AMEN!”)

Not much is added to a filling-the-gap moment that is true, noble, right, pure, or lovely. Certainly not much is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. So, what exactly am I adding to conversations?

That is the ultimate question I’ve been asking myself, lately.

For the first time in probably ever, I see that many of my words aren’t attaching anything of benefit to the discussion. And, that’s not to discount the meaningful chats I have with people I care about. Nor does it mean that I need to throw out the fun back-and-forths I might have with friends and acquaintances.

Pause_Before_Piping_Up_KIS_Missindeedy

It is, however, a fantastic reason to do a lot more pausing before piping up. It’s also a great reason to do a little more listening with those two ears of mine and a lot less talking with that one mouth.

The more listening I do, the more I see what I haven’t seen as my lips were moving. The hurting neighbor. The angry relative. The hesitant friend. There are hearts that I am hearing, that I’ve never even known were trying to talk.

Allow my inner 80’s teen to re-emerge, please? DUDE!

There is no small beauty in a heart that is finally heard.

Don’t we all know this to be true? What relief, what joy, what profound satisfaction in our souls when some beautiful ear finally bends to hear?

Maybe the most amazing thing of all is that as I speak with more grace, which means more listening before speaking, my friendships will deepen. Friends that I long to connect with – deeply hear from and be heard by – will appear.

How do I know?

“Whoever loves pure thoughts and kind words will have even the king as a friend.”

Even The King.

I don’t know about you, but, I want The King for my friend.

Yes indeedy.

A Breakfast Script

Interests that I used to be able to pursue, with no thought to anyone other than myself, are sorely missed around these parts. Things like… sleeping in.

Or, just sleeping.

For one long continuous eight-hour stretch.

Without someone falling out of the bed, having a nightmare, or snoring so loud that I’m half tempted to use the pillow for something other than covering my ears.

Other things I miss doing?

Taking a shower. Without being barged in upon to ask if everyone is different, or if we’ll meet Sweetdog in heaven, or if I’ll make waffles (Really, children?  I’m in the shower!).

But the thing I think I miss doing the very most is being able to keep track of  a conversation. I cannot seem to make heads or tails of them, sometimes.  And, unfortunately, It’s the simplest ones that really throw me for a loop.

Me – “Would you like anything else to eat before we go this morning?”

Child – “Sure.”  Why they can’t actually answer the question is a mystery to me.  Maybe they are politicians in training?

Me – “What would you like?”

Child – “Are we flying to see Nana and Grampy in June or July this summer?”

Wait.

What?

And just like that… poof!  My train of thought is totally derailed.

Coffee helps.

Sometimes.

But what helps the very most is being able to remember what it is that I asked in the first place.

Stay the course, Missy!

Me – “Would you like waffles or pancakes this morning?”  I feel confident that is what I asked moments ago.

Child – “Can I have s’mores for a snack when I get home from school, today, mama,” the little one asks.

Shoot.

Me – “Yes.”  Simple is best.

And then, “Can I have some waffles, mom,” from the bigger one.

Ah, that’s right! Breakfast!

Me – “Would you like s’mores for snack today, too?” I ask.

Now he looks confused.

We often say that Sweetboy needs a script to be able to make sense of social context in certain situations.

I’m beginning to think I might need one, too.

Yes.  A Breakfast Script would be perfect.

And, another cup of coffee.

Yes indeedy.

All The Editing

I’m keeping the tone of what I have to say light, but be sure of this – I’m sharing deep here, today.  And it’s scary deep, to me.

“Conversations happen in real time and cannot be edited.” *  This quote, my friend Katie heard recently, really stuck in my craw.

Hard.

Then, a few days later, I listened to an online message about looking for likes in all the wrong places. And my ears perked up all over again at this: “Instead of trying to sound interesting, build others up.” (by Steven Furtick)

Ouch.

In all of the thinking I’ve been doing about these two quotes, I keep going back to that first one about conversation. I’ve realized that people only see a sliver of what’s really going on in my real life on social media exactly because I do so much “editing”.

All The Editing can’t be a good thing. It makes it seem like I am so much more witty, intelligent, or jovial than I really am.

Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t believe that being any of those things are negative. In fact, I’m a firm believer that God gave each of us particular gifts to be shared with the world.  As long as we’re pouring Him out into and onto others as we go along, and doing it all for His glory.

But here’s the rub, for me: I start to believe that I am nothing if I’m not able to make enough people laugh (at me), or join the conversation (with me), or show interest.

In me.

I’m cringing as I’ve tapped out those two little words.  They tell me all I need to know about the condition of my heart, deceitful above all things.

I just can’t get that initial conversation quote out of my head, either! Maybe because I’m not supposed to. It sure felt like that quote was directed straight toward my heart when I first read it.  The dagger of truth only sank deeper and deeper in each time it crossed my mind.

I truly can’t edit a conversation. Right? Not if it is happening in the now. Oh sure, I can go back and tweak it, or polish it up to make a point, or highlight certain words for emphasis that I hope others will find interesting or important or impressive.  All of those “I” words that our God actually cares nothing for.  He is not interested in my highest highs being the only thing others see.

He’s interested in being the only thing I show others.

Let_Every_Detail_Missindeedy

The more I think on it, the more I believe that was the lesson for me.  No matter how I go about living my life, what tweaks I make, or places in my life that I decide to polish up – I need to be doing it for God’s glory. And His alone.

Every detail, for God. Period.

*(Click on the quote at the beginning of this post and you can read more about what sparked all of this thinking in the first place. You’re going to want to check that out. I Promise.)

Top 5 Reasons Why I Like to Lay Low

We’re sick.  And tired.  Literally and figuratively.  You know those months when you’re going 90 to nothin’ and yet nothing truly important is getting accomplished? It had been one of those months for us in September. I knew to expect this, to a certain extent, because September is a crazy-busy family birthday month for us.  But, I didn’t expect to feel so stinkin’ tired and unproductive at the end of it.

So, when Sweetboy started feeling under the weather Friday, I actually got excited at the prospect of a “layin’ low” kind of long weekend.  And here are my top five reasons why:
1.  Naps happen.  Indeed.

 

2.  You get to overhear some fascinating conversations.  Conversations like this:
Sweetboy – “Sissy, I’m sorry, but I can’t marry you!” (I don’t even want to know what prompted that response in the first place…”)

Sweetgirl- “Aww, Brudder, but I love you.”

Sweetboy – “I know. But we can live next door to each other forever.  Maybe on the same street as Mama and Daddy.”  (The verdict is still out on whether anyone other than Sweetboy or Sweetgirl is in favor of that idea.)

 

3.  You can really busta’ move with the house cleaning and organizing.  Or not.

 

4.  There is nowhere to go; no place to be.  That, my friends, means no necessary hair battles; otherwise known as The Daily Shower.  Can I get an Amen?

 

5.  You finally get the chance to catch up on all of the shows you’ve DVR’d.  But, there are small people who also want to watch their shows. One of whom is still under the weather. What’s a person to do?  Did I mention naps happen?  Oh yes they do!

 

What do you like to do when you lay low?

Riveting Conversations

A few riveting conversation took place today after we got home from Church Camp.  Please try to contain your awe and excitement over the words you are about to read.

Sweetboy: “Mama, guess what? Elmer Fudd uses a lot of ‘W’s’ in his words.”

Me:  “Oh really?  Why do you think that is?”

Sweetboy:  “Because he speaks another language, probably.  Or, he’s missing lots of teeth.”    Oh, indeed!

To which Sweetman declared, “If you don’t blog about that, I will!”     I kindly reminded him that he does not, in fact, even have a blog.

And, not to be outdone in the Riveting Conversation Department, here’s Sweetgirl’s input for today:

Sweetgirl:  “Mama, does Nana know she wears a necklace on her foot?”

Me:  “I do believe she does, Sweetgirl.”     (You do, right Nana?)

And because Sweetdog truly is one of us, she limped in this afternoon saying (and I quote):

Sweetdog: “I need to go to the vet today as my leg hurts quite badly and I haven’t cost you guys the customary couple hundred dollars yet this month.”     If this dog could talk, I PROMISE you, that is exactly what she would say!

Therefore, I am off to the vet. Riveting. I know…