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Words that bring Life

January 5, 2011

On Tuesday morning, I crawled out of bed exhausted from a restless night of sleep and being up at 4Am with Rebekah. I sat on our living room chair trying to gain composure as I fed her once again. Then out of nowhere, my toddler John runs right up to us and pinches her face (a common thing these days). She starts crying and I yell out “No!” and for him to “Stop it right now!”

But what you might not see in writing is that my tone of voice was angry, impatient, and piercing. John started to cry because of the way I handled it and my heart ached because I had crushed his spirit.

One of my favorite writers, Ann Voskamp, wrote a blog post called, Why Your Words Matter Most, and in it she says: “All the words I had ever spoken, they are making my children who they are. What we speak into others, this is what they become.”

Growing up, my Dad and Mom told my sister and I that we could do anything we wanted in life. They spoke those words to us over and over again and I started believing them. Now being in my late twenties, I believe their words have really shaped how I view life. I also know of stories of friends whose parents spoke the opposite, and well you know the rest.

I think all of us, though, hold onto lies we’ve been told or lies we tell ourselves. We believe them so much that they leave us paralyzed from taking action and trusting in God. We might even need to let go of certain words (or the way words were said) in the past that remain etched on our hearts today.

This year, I want to make an intentional, disciplined effort to use my words to bring life to others– not death. And I want to lean more on the truth of God’s Word.

Well, after John’s pinching episode, I confessed my impatience to God and thought long about what I wanted to do differently next time. Even though he shouldn’t pinch his baby sister, my reaction should have been more patient and loving. I kissed his cheek several times and told him that Mommy was sorry and loved him very much.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. KSP permalink
    January 5, 2011 11:12 am

    I love this and am sharing it with others who are loving it, too. Words are powerful, and that power can be used for good or evil.

  2. Anna permalink
    January 5, 2011 12:05 pm

    I remember a sermon once by Pete Briscoe in which he said “(telling the) Truth without love is brutality.” It’s come back to me often as I think about how I say things. While they may be TRUE, that doesn’t mean they were loving, appropriate, or even effective. I’m sure I’ll continue to be reminded of this as I grow in my parenting. 🙂

  3. January 5, 2011 3:42 pm

    I can relate. Impatience is something I really struggle with in parenting. And when I lack patience and end up lacking self-control and raise my voice, etc. Yesterday was one of those days when my reaction was often worse than the offense. I have Ann’s quote on my fridge now: “Only speak words that make souls stronger.” 🙂

    • chariskrieger permalink
      January 6, 2011 9:02 pm

      I will remember that quote 🙂 Thanks for your honesty

  4. Charis Krieger permalink
    January 6, 2011 2:54 pm

    This was a great post Samantha! So much truth that needs to be applied.

  5. Stephanie mielke permalink
    January 6, 2011 10:42 pm

    I too have been finding myself short tempered with my girls… Thanks for sharing, I love what your friend wrote about our words… I have been praying also for more compassion, understanding and wisdom on raising our girls… Love your blog!

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