Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Today I woke to clouds and sprinkling rain. No surprise, as we live in the Pacific Northwest.

When we found out we were moving here, everyone kept warning me over and over about the dreary days, with not a blue spot to be seen in the sky. Friends would caution me about how much it rained, and how it's impossible to keep your hair doing what you want because of the high humidity. They would say, "Watch out! It's going to rain for the next 9 months you are there!"

And so, we arrived... to have 2 straight weeks of sun. Then a slightly rainy day... followed by more sun.

I knew the rain would come. I had been anticipating it, apprehensive of its arrival.

When it did arrive, I suddenly felt downtrodden. How sad that it will now rain and rain. I guess it will be just as everyone told me... sad and dreary.

And then I realized something. I love rain! Why was I sad? I find the sound calming, the smell intoxicating, and the result... well, we all know how much I love trees and lush green plants! This is the perfect tea weather, which is, of course, my favorite beverage. The resulting temperature is perfect... cool enough to be snugly, without having to over-bundle. Even now, I can hear frogs croaking outside my window. Ahhhhhh.

So why was I disappointed when the rain arrived?

It is so easy to internalize what you hear around you. When people tell you something over and over, one day it becomes a reality to you. Look at school bullying. Kids (and adults) will say the meanest things, and pick on someone until that person truly believes what they say. We tell them it's not true and that they should just not pay any attention. And they may know deep down that they are valued and loved. But it's hard to shield oneself against words seeping in. Just as I knew I loved rain, after hearing over and over that it was awful, I eventually started to believe it. This is why it is so important to watch what we say!

The Bible also warns about reigning in our tongues. James, chapter 3, goes into great detail about how much pain and destruction we can cause with our mouths. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." We have the ability to cause much hurt by what we say, but we can also cause joy and encouragement!

Next time you chat with someone (which will likely be very soon), think about the effect of what you are saying. Is it something that would make God smile and hug you about? Or is it something that would be better never to have been spoken? I know that this has been on my heart and mind lately. Even things that are initially said out of love, are sometime better left unsaid... such as advice for dear friends. How easy we are to critique one another! To push our perspective, when it isn't really all that important in the scheme of things.

What about you? Have you ever had someone tell you something so much that you thought differently about that situation/experience/environment/yourself?


  1. What a great post!! Yes, I've been on the giving and the receiving end. I still remember a 4th grade teacher telling me I couldn't sing--that I was off key. Instead of teaching me to hit the proper notes, she instructed me to just mouth the words while the rest of the class sang for parents' night. From then on, I believed I couldn't sing.

    And I know that in spite of my best efforts to be encouraging, I still criticize my friends and family for things that truly don't matter.

  2. This has been on my mind a lot lately as well. Funny you should write a blog post on it. I have really been convicted about what I have been saying to my kids and how it is effecting them.