Bless, don’t mess

June 5th, 2011

Our responsibility as Proverbs 31 Women isn’t just to our family but to those who surround us too.  Verse 15 speaks of the ‘servant girls’, verse 20 the ‘poor and needy’, verse 24 of ‘merchants’ and verse 31 talks of the ‘city gate’.  In other words, everyone we are in community with.

Verse 26 says ‘She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue’ and while much of this passage relates to the family of the Proverbs 31 Woman, I believe we are encouraged to conduct ourselves in such a way towards all we encounter and have some kind of personal interaction with our friends, neighbours, colleagues, clients, and anyone else we should have contact with.

And so it is with this preface that I encourage you to think carefully about what you say and to whom.  In particular the ‘negative speak’ that often enters our head and exits our mouths before we’ve really thought about it.

Case in point:  My husband is currently in hospital due to a serious accident he had 6 weeks ago.  He suffered spinal cord injury and partial paralysis. Let me first say he is recovering and we’ve been told he can expect 95% full recovery within a 12 month period. This is wonderful and we look forward to that.  However, in his first week he was really worried that he might be permanently paralysed and at times he was concerned he might die.  He was worried about what he’d done to our relationship and our future together.

I knew he was depressed in those first couple of weeks, as did his best friend and I’d shared with our Pastors too. We all worked at building up his spirits, encouraging him and praising him with each new development as he began to sit up again, regain his ability to walk unaided and relearning to use his right hand.  Each day he is able to do a new thing again, small perhaps, but they count and he is making progress.

What I can’t understand is why people (who are otherwise well-meaning) should start relating stories to him of others they’d heard who’d had accidents and died, who’d never recovered, who’d returned home only to have something go wrong and so on.  What kind of encouragement is this to my husband?  It makes my job, and that of those of us encouraging him, all the more harder.

It seems that ‘bad news’ is told better and travels faster than ‘good news’.  I encourage you to consider Ephesians 4:29 ‘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‘.  In other words, if it won’t encourage or build up someone, then don’t say it at all.   Especially when they’re down, or convalescing.

While my husband may appear to be his ‘normal self’ when chattering, the reality is he’s still very vunerable and fragile emotionally and, for the most part, is not in an environment where people are working to build up his spirits, but rather to heal his body.  I am glad he feels he can text or ring me when he needs me to build him up and encourage him. He knows he will always get that from me.  But it is sad that I have to keep ‘putting out fires’ and extinguishing the bad that someone else has conjured up in his mind simply because they had a ‘good’ (but sad) story to tell.

If you are planning to spend time with someone who is getting better, no matter what from, please don’t start pulling out bad luck or sad stories to tell these people. They don’t need them. What they do need are positive stories that will build hope and encourage them in getting better themselves.  Even funny stories, as long as they don’t have bad endings, can help.  Or say nothing at all and just listen to the patient talk about what they need to talk about.  You being a listener is far better for them and healing, than listening to a story that will have them worrying long after you’ve stopped talking to them and gone on to something else.

Bless the people you speak with, don’t mess them up.

Mother’s Day

May 8th, 2011

A day when all mothers should be shown appreciation and love, but sadly, that isn’t always the case.   Some mothers are estranged from their children, some live a big distance away, often because children have moved, some are just not appreciated.  Some mothers never got the opportunity to see their children grown up because the child was taken from them when only a baby.

And yet God intended for the relationship between mothers and their children to be a blessed one. Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise and called her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her”. How do your children see you as a mother? How does your husband view you?

I hope that you are being revered today and that your family are paying homage to you on this very special day that recognises the value of mothers in several countries. If you haven’t already, have a look at this clip – I hope it blesses you.

It’s daughters week!

March 13th, 2011
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It’s daughters Week! If you have a beautiful daughter/s that you
love more than you can describe, copy and paste this to your
status for a little while, but hold them in your heart for a lifetime

The above was posted by a friend on Facebook and I dutifully copied and pasted it onto my wall.  I have daughters I love and am proud of and they are all beautiful people.  I loved them very much as children, but now as adults they are people in their own right, fashioned by their parents and by the world that surrounds them.

They are, indeed, held in my heart and will be for a lifetime.

I hope and pray that they also hold me in a similar light.  P31:28 ‘Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her’ This can only happen if we treat our children in the manner they deserve and as they grow up and become adults, we respect them as adults, not as little children.  Too many times I’ve seen people who have badgered or nagged their adult children about things, when instead they should be loving them and praying for them, and continuing to set an example.  We release them into God’s care and pray that He will continue to direct and guide them throughout their years.

Do you have a ‘use-by’ date?

November 30th, 2010

As we get older we’re often tempted to think that our time has passed, that all opportunities are gone, that we’re no longer useful to community.  But this is far from the truth.  Too many people ignore the older folk and miss a wealth of knowledge, history and experience, that is just yearning to be shared.

In verse 12 of Proverbs 31 the last part states ‘all the days of her life’.  All the days of her life. ALL the days of her life.  If you feel sometimes that you have passed your ‘use-by date’ think again. While you are still breathing, while you can still communicate with others, God has a role for you.  YOU are important still to the others around you and you still have opportunity to give meaning to the lives of others.

I’ve just seen this clip and had to share it with you.  I want to be able to do this when I’m her age. I love to sing and it’s only just now (in my 50s) that I feel my voice has matured enough to be strong and appreciated and as a result I am now singing in my church and loving it. And those who hear me let me know they appreciate it too.

Janey Cutler – Britain’s Got Talent 2010 – Auditions Week 4 @ Yahoo! Video

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