Life has been pretty hectic for me lately. The time I have for writing has dwindled and when I do have time I am so tired I don’t want to write, I want to rest! When I really start getting busy I tend to say no to the things that give me life and continue to say yes to everyone and everything else because heaven forbid I let someone else down. That has to come to an end to some extent.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many times when we need to die to ourselves and continue to give to others, even when we are tired and overdone. But when it happens on a continual basis something happens to us. We empty out so completely that there is nothing left to give… not even a kind word to the ones you love the most. You know what I am talking about don’t you? Of course you do because it can happen to us all.
I was at church last night and I got to hear one of our pastors that doesn’t normally preach because our teaching pastor was home recuperating from surgery. You know how you get used to hearing someone and then you realize someone else is preaching and the man (or woman) inside of you gets bummed. Not because the other person isn’t great, but because you had set expectations there weren’t going to be met. We can be so selfish sometimes.
Pastor Mike is a funny man, lively and outgoing! My husband and I are introverts so sometimes people like him take us back a bit… mostly because we wish we could be so lively and happy to talk with everyone that we come in contact with! He has a passion that is intoxicating and his passion for the Lord is something I will always aspire to.
In his message last night there were some wonderful points, many that should be shared… but in this season of my life the one that hit me the most had to do with being a sledgehammer. He told a story about tearing down a wall with a sledgehammer and seeing the rubble all around him, likening that rubble to the people we leave in the wake of our unkind, angry or even hateful words. What I wrote in my notes was this… “Words are like sledgehammers… don’t leave a pile of broken people laying on the floor behind you when you are done with them.”
It cut me deep. Not because I am a nasty person and talk horrible things over others. The opposite is true most of the time. I love to encourage others and make them feel wonderful about themselves. But if I am honest, the people I love the most get the least of that side of me.
See I am tired from all that goes on my life as most people are today. So when I am home with my family they get the brunt of that. Example… My daughter comes running into the room, loud and laughing with the joy of the Lord because she has fully memorized her long Bible verse (something I struggle doing) and just wants to share it with me, what do I do? I immediately tell her to quiet down and to quit running because I am tired and don’t want to hear it! Now, I wasn’t overly loud or mean when I said it, but my words though they were true, took the wind out of her sail and left her feeling lifeless and unimportant. My heart was crushed as soon as I saw what I had done.
How often do I crush part of her spirit with the quick words that just flow out of my mouth? Am I bringing life to her or crushing her spirit and draining all the happiness and joy she has right out of her? It is said that children laugh over 400 times a day and adults… only 17. Are my words robbing her of those laughs? I am not saying there are not times that she needs to be serious, but do we prefer serious at the expense of joy?
My new prayer is that I would see her and my husband for how the Lord created them… filled with great joy and love for HIM… filled with happiness that bubbles over in laughter and sometimes jumping, screaming and spinning craziness. Those things can cause me a bit of anxiety but I can live with that anxiety because it is reminding me that I have lost my laughter and have become the sledgehammer and in the moment I can choose to be different.
Are you the sledgehammer or do you choose to be different as well?