Saturday, May 06, 2017

View From My Table

Good Morning, Ladies,

I want to share a few more of my own pictures here. As you can see from this vantage while I type, the weather is a brighter albeit cold, so I am not ready for a picnic.

Some scenes around the house today:

Someone recently made a set of embroidered tea towels for me. This one is a teacups and spoon.

A dresser I embellished with some knobs:

Years ago someone told me that if there is something you like, put a picture of it in a frame, and maybe one day you will achieve the goal. This is an advertisement from a paint company I found in a 1990's Southern Living magazine.  I got the frame at the dollar store and painted it white.  This is quite a suitable house for me, but I must tell you the idea of setting your goal in a picture doesn't exactly work. This picture has been here for 20 years, and no Victorian house yet. At least I will never have to wash the windows or clean the floor.

I was having a conversation with someone today about the importance of watching your words. We both remembered these witty poems:

“If you your lips would keep from slips,
Five things observe with care;
To whom you speak, of whom you speak
And how, and when, and where.”

(William Edward Norris)

"Be careful of the words you say,
Keep them short and sweet.
You never know, from day to day,
Which ones you'll have to eat."

These poems contain figures of speech. A figure of speech is a word or phrase that is not literally meant but exaggerates the point to emphasize the meaning more clearly. The Bible uses many figures of speech to get the points across, as when it refers to the tongue as a fire, or words being seasoned with salt.

What does "eat your words" mean? I hope we have not stopped using this old expression, because it is a very good illustration. It means when you let out words that are rash, hasty, untrue, vilifying, or accusatory, you will regret it.

 You will blush in embarrassment when you remember what you said. The cruel words that went out of your mouth will have to be "taken back" or repented of, with bitter tears. "Take it back!" someone says, when your words are not true. That is like eating something that has been spit out. 

So, eating your words is not pleasant. The poem says be careful to make the words sweet in case you have to eat them. This is a contradiction of words, to emphasize the meaning. Of course you won't have to take back the sweet words and eat them: only the bitter ones! The Bible also uses contradictions to emphasize lessons. 

Years later the memory of unkind words may burn in your mind. You digest them again and they do not settle well in your mind. To eat your words is a figure of speech that means you will have to recall them and be sorry for the and it will not be a very tasty experience.  That is why we so carefully teach our children about being kind and gracious with words.  Those awful old words can give you heart burn. You will have to humbly and sorrowfully repent of them before God when you start remembering.

There is an old saying: "Loose lips sink ships."  Loose lips is another figure of speech. It means just blabbing on whatever comes into your mind when you are upset or feeling superior. Loose lips are open, not closed.   Loose lips, where unedifying words are allowed to flow unhindered, cause worse trouble than you know. They can cause loss of income, loss of friendship, church trouble, family estrangement, lost of people's confidence in you or in themselves, and loss of faith. They also do sink ships, which is something you can research yourself.

You have heard the saying, "My lips are sealed."  It is a figure of speech, because lips are not naturally sealed. They must be sealed by closing them before words escape. The best way to seal the lips is to guard the thoughts and not allow them to escape through the lips. The New Testament says to take every thought "captive" which is yet another figure of speech. It means do not let them out.

We talked about how unkind words deal a crushing blow to someone and send them into hours and days of grief; and how we were taught never to say things that put doubt in someone's mind about their own sanity.  We were severely warned by our parents and church members of how such words violated our relationship with God and put our soul in jeopardy. While many a time in foolish days of youth we tried out those accusations and cruel put-downs, we later repented of it, and the memories of eating our words taught the lesson again and again.

Later on I hope to have this lady as a guest  on Housewife Radio who will discuss this issue with me.

We as older women can regulate the culture and the society in some ways, and the language we use will be a teacher in public and at home. By language, I am talking about throwing out words that crush someone's heart or dampen their happy outlook on life. There have always been people who see happiness sitting on a post and want to knock it down.  There will always be people who, when they know something helps you or gives you contentment, will yank it out from you. They use cruel accusations to unsettle you and keep your emotions in a turmoil.

If we simply follow a couple of good things from the Bible, we can overcome the loose lip syndrome.
The first is to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. The next is to build one another up. Another is to be loving and forgiving. Also, love is patient, love is kind.  I remember someone being severely bossed around, who was trying to understand, not resisting or fighting, but patiently enduring the diatribe of accusations and snarling questions with verbal entrapment etc.  The boss-ee quietly asked the boss-er to be more patient with him.

Many people get in a frenzy throwing out words, and have mentally checked out and gone into what my husband calls "the far country." This alludes to the state of mind in the parable of the prodigal, told by Christ. The person is blinded by his own headlines and independence and cannot have an understanding heart or sympathy for the person he is attacking.  One symptom of being in "the far country" spiritually is the loss of empathy, as well as the acquirement of the desire to always punish someone in order to feel justified.

"The far country" is an expression, another figure of speech meaning "far gone" from their good values. It means they  have spiritually run away from home, as would someone on rebellion. They have left their good training. Proverbs says such a state is like a bird that wanders from its nest.

My friend and I had quite a discussion about the way people talk today--so many things being said that we would have been too ashamed to say when we were taught restraint. Today the word "crazy" is thrown around as a slang word, but there was a time you never would demean anyone's mental condition. You showed respect and empathy to those who truly had some mental problems, and you never casually imputed that someone was crazy, for fear it would push them over the edge.

God knows how intricately created we are in our emotions and minds, and that is why there are so many instructions on the New Covenant to build one another up, and to not cause someone to be so sorrowful that they cannot recover.   See 2nd Corinthians 2:7. Parents need to memorize this because a reprimand sounds harsher to a child than it does to an adult, and it may cause such sorrow that it makes recovery hard, if you do not reassure them.  Simply said, the verse teaches that you ought to show forgiveness, and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by sorrow.

There are some parents who think their authority is more important than their kindness, but lack of kindness undermines authority and detaches people from loyalty. Harsh unloving words to emphasize authority are not as affective as love.

We also shared this gem:

People who have accusations are usually guilty them. When they let out a torrent of accusations they are revealing what they, themselves, are guilty of. 

Of course we do not want to be overwhelmed with sorrow when someone we love and have invested a lot of our souls and hearts in, has accusations.  We cry because we are not yet hardened, and may we never be too callous to cry, or too insensitive to feel the pain of the unkind words. But let us also chalk a lot of it up to immaturity on their part. We can rise above it by being an example. When they enter "the far country" they do not know what they are doing. 

You can comfort yourself knowing you would never stoop to calling anyone any derogatory name or description. The other person knows this too, and will try to get you so upset in order to make you lose your integrity and stoop to accusations, like they do.

As Christian ladies we cannot sleep at night if we know someone is upset with us, but we cannot reconcile with those who are in "the far country" because they have rebelled against good sense. There are those people who like to keep nice ladies upset and never allow them to make things right, because they enjoy keeping others in turmoil. In cases like this, it helps to see what Christ thinks of you  and base your perception of yourself on His Word, not the words of someone in the far country.


Mrs Honeybee said...

"Of course we do not want to be overwhelmed with sorrow when someone we love and have invested a lot of our souls and hearts in, has accusations. We cry because we are not yet hardened, and may we never be too callous to cry, or too insensitive to feel the pain of the unkind words. But let us also chalk a lot of it up to immaturity on their part. We can rise above it by being an example. When they enter "the far country" they do not know what they are doing. "

Private tears were shed yesterday. No matter how stoic I tried to be accusations do hurt. But once the tears were dried, one can understand that the accuser were coming from a place of pain. I am glad I did not stoop to their level. Prayers helped a lot. Thank you, Lydia. Your words are a balm to this sensitive heart.

anonymous said...

Oh well said Lydia, well said.

I am, to this day, still stung by the words I spoke at an earlier time of my life and asked the Lord daily in my prayers to put a guard before my lips and heart so that I don't use them to hurt anyone else, but to build another up and glorify the name of the Lord.
By putting a guard before my lips and heart, I am referring to my emotions and bitter words. Often when we get our feelings hurt we spew out the most hurtful words to strike the other person in their emotions.

We should familiarize ourselves with God's Word and what he says about who we are. Not listen to what the enemy says about us. Satan uses subtle whispers in our ears negative things about us and they are totally untrue.

By using hurt emotions and speaking them back to those who have offended us, we have played right into the hands of the enemy.

I like what you said about hurting children with harsh words. They are so sensitive to harsh words and I can't help but think of the bullying situations going on at schools and work places when people use unkind words to Lord it over others to control and manipulate them. Children and spouses really do need building up in their emotions before they leave the sanctuary and haven of home to go to school and work.

Thank you Lydia for sharing your wonderful points. I will be thinking of them often.

anonymous said...

I wanted to comment on the picture frame hope.
Your house is surprisingly Victorian Lydia. Its very pretty outside with all your trees and flowerbeds. When one comes inside the whole place is Victorian in decor. Not only the decor but the very spirit of your home is so hospitable, peaceful and welcoming. One feels quite safe there. To my understanding, that was the whole idea behind the Victorian home. Anything else would be only a house with no soul.

D said...

Lydia....I am thanking our Lord for your words of admonition. You have based wisdom on the Word of God. 'The far country' is a meaningful explanation of where we go and why we get into trouble with words. Self centeredness? Always rooted in sin. Thoroughly admonished,yet joyfully encouraged! D.

Lynn said...

This post is probably one of the most important you could have come up with....thank you for all the wisdom you shared.

Lynn said...

I would love to have an old manual type writer such as yours, Lydia. And must tell you your dining table put next to the front window is just must be lovely to sit and eat and look out at your long view.

Unknown said...

Oh Mrs.Sherman, I (selfishly;) would love to read a post from you everyday!! The longer the better!

A question I have (related to speech). I have always wanted to be more soft spoken, I am a bit embarrased to ask this, but is it silly to try and change our speech "volume" at middle age?

I have tried lowering my volume on a few occasions and my family will say, " what, what"? It's a little funny because they have no idea I am trying it out. I am not talking about when I obviously am whispering to them, just in a regular conversation. Out of all 7 family members, I and the oldest are louder talkers. She is out of the house now, so it's just me. This is something that has always bothered me about myself! I just have used the excuse I am Italian...but I do wish to have gentle speech...


Unknown said...

I love your wisdom and the things you share in your blog. They are all beautiful. Will you please inform me on when and how to hear your radio program? Also, isn't your husband a minister? Are his sermons recorded and online somewhere? Thank you for all you do, Jayanna.

Lydia said...

I also have a theory that some people who are jealous of the love and loyalty of your husband, children , parents, grandchildren, friends, etc. want to divest you of it all . There are some people who do not want anyone to love you. They want to disenfranchise you of any natural God-given love of the home, family, friends, brethren in Christ, etc. it is good to understand that they aim to see you devastated. But you can realize God intended you to have that natural love, even when other people doubt you deserve it. It's just a theory I have, based on observation. Some people hate your influence and want to prevent anyone from being effected by your faith.

Lydia said...

There is jealousy and resentment of the women who stay at his me and whose home and family is their woek and their investment. Sometimes the basic resentment of people with the accusations and sharp words is that you stayed home and are home today.

Lydia said...

I made the last two comments in regard to those ladies who are targets of cruel words designed to demoralize you and leave you questioning your own stability or purpose.

Lydia said...

Mrs. O. I think it's perfectly fine if you want to practice a quieter way of speaking. People will get used to it.

Jayanna, yes, my husband has been a preacher 50 years and he has a blog. However Inhave only recorded a couple of things he has done and we don't do podcasts. There are two videos on his blog and I will put the link here when I get to my other computer. Or you can email me and I will send the link. He says he will talk about the far country on video soon. I can't seem to find a time when he will sit down and do that. I think of so many sermons that should have been recorded but after the cassette tape era was gone, we didn't get into the new ways of recording and it would have been more expensive and complicated. The only thing I can do is get him to record a video at home on the dining room table, and I keep hoping he will make time to do that.

Adelaide said...

Thank you so much, Lady Lydia. I grew up in a home with battling parents; arguments were constant. I know that my parents did the best they could and could not help themselves. This advice is helping me to reach a deeper level of forgiveness, and a renewed resolve about my own outbursts and lack of control (I have improved, but there is still much room for improvement). I am grateful to our LORD Jesus Christ for you and your insights.

Unknown said...

I apologise about the question on speech volume, I didn't mean to minimize from the meat of this wonderful post! It just reminded me that this is something that has been on my mind.

ladypinktulip said...

Such a good post. I too am trying to be more gentle in speech Mrs. O. I think we are always coming up higher with the Lord in regard to conduct and speech. Oh that we would be able to pass these things on to the younger generations. Love Kelly T.

Unknown said...

Indeed!I an in agreement on this.

Mary said...

As usual, your essays are so true.