{gracious words}


Most of the time, I can use gracious words, but did you know this goes deeper that the words we {say} it's also the {way} we say them?

How often do we slip into the trap of snide remarks, sarcasm, eye rolling or even feeling superior to someone when speaking with them? 

Where is the graciousness at that point?  On {good} days, it's easy for our speech to be gracious, not only in the spoken word, but in the delivery of the spoken word. 

But what about on those days when things aren't going so well?

What about when you feel like:

You can never do anything right

Nobody cares about your feelings

Everyone forgot about you

You worked around the house all day, and nobody notices
{how clean the house is, all the laundry that got done, the grass that got mowed, the food that got prepared, the pets that got fed ....}

Nobody loves you {even God}

The list could go on and on. We all have {those days}, I know, I had one this week!  And on {those days} I so quickly forget what I know to be true:

I have {with God's help} done much right

God cares about my feelings {and really, my family does too!}

God never forgets about me, I was on His mind as he died on that cross!

God ALWAYS loves me, no matter what {and many others do too, though sometimes I might be loved, but I'm not very likeable!}

God notices the {mundane} jobs that I do, and I should be doing them to glorify Him and serve my family, not for vain recognition!

But then, how do I respond to the first list above?  How do you respond?  

I had a day earlier in the week where there weren't many gracious words {spoken or unspoken} adding to my reputation. My spoken words were snippy and sassy and full of the pity party I was throwing for myself.  And my thought life, well, it was worse than the words that I spewed. My words were indeed sarcastic, snide and delivered with eye rolls and not so nice thoughts {you hurt me, I want you to hurt too}.  

It was really quite an {ugly} day!  It was a day that I wouldn't have wanted cameras rolling, or Facebook posts updating my thoughts, words and actions as they proceeded from my lips and ran through my mind.


But God ....

Oh, how I love those 2 little words!

But God .... in those {ugly} moments still loved me {though those receiving the brunt of my tantrum found it harder to love me, I'm sure}!  But God .... in those {ugly} moments heard my pitiful cries for help!  But God .... didn't instantly deliver me from the {so called} trial {created by myself} that I {thought} I was facing.  But God .... was with me and didn't forsake me! But God .... allowed me to seek His face, to cling to Him, to search my soul and realize just how selfish I really am. But God .... reached down to me, and in His mercy gave me little blessings throughout the day to remind me of how little I am and how big He is! But God .... gave me a husband and children who love and forgive my un-graciousness. But God .... God Himself loves me and forgives me. But God .... reminds me that it was for these exact things He died on the cross. But God .... asks me to put away these behaviors and instead put on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control {Galatians 5:22 & 23}

Just because things didn't go exactly as I had planned, and exactly as I expected they should, life still went on. Morning turned to afternoon and afternoon turned to evening. Just because I was a crab, the world didn't stop. 

Everyone else went on with their day.

Rick went to work.

The girls spent the day enjoying each other, their big brother and family, and a boat ride with Uncle Tim and Aunt Rochet {thank you again, for loving those girls almost as much as I do Tim and Rochet!}

And I? I made a choice to pout .... Because I didn't make my expectations clear to others around me. Because I didn't graciously let my words express my expectations for the day. Because I didn't listen to Rick {as he graciously tried to soothe my rough edges, reminding me of what I know to be true}. Because I chose not to speak with love, I spent the day not enjoying the day. I didn't see the beauty all around me. I didn't appreciate the fact that I had been given another day, to live and laugh and love and BREATHE! I wasted a day that God had graciously gifted me with!

But God .... He continued that day and for the rest of the week to put devotions, and quotes, and Bible verses, and people and songs in front of me reminding me how fleeting life is. How forgiveness {and forgetting} is so important. How I've only been given one life, and He desires that I live it well .... in service to Him .... no matter what each day brings!

Now that the {ugly} day is past, I can see how foolish I was. How selfish I was. How sinful and un-Godly I was. How, if I were to have died the next day, it sure wouldn't have been worth wasting the day being angry!

" Lord I pray to guard my lips so that I remember it's not just {what} I say but also {how} I say it as well as my thought life, and my actions that {speak louder than words}. These are the things that add to {or subtract from} my reputation. Let my words be sweet and my tone be gentle to all I speak to today. Let my actions and my thoughts glorify you and encourage those around me! May I speak only words of life and love! Amen."

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