One of my guilty summer pleasures is reading women’s magazines. I often read articles on my phone now but I still like to pick up a magazine for long car rides or sitting on the beach. This weekend, I picked up a a three pack of magazines and thumbed my way through them while riding on a bus with my ten year old for a spiritual retreat in the Black Hills.
I used to enjoy reading McCalls Magazine. It’s gone now, but it once had a column titled “Heinous Husband Patrol” where women would tell stories of the silly, or crazy things their husbands did while caring for the house or children. I enjoyed reading those articles, but often wondered how those husbands felt when they found out they had made the “Heinous Husband” page.
Friends, I’m afraid I have told those “Heinous Husband” tales. I may have even thrown in a few “Heinous Child” awards when I’ve talked to friends or even posted online. I know that these negative words, spoken in the moment about those people I love the very most, are not a way to build myself or my favorite people up, or to strengthen the relationships I have with them.
I’m writing these words for you, reader, but also for myself. There were moments on the spiritual retreat this weekend that were less than perfect. In fact, there were moments where I was thinking, “Why did I think this was a good idea!?!” But dear parents, I need to let my speech about this weekend and about my dear ten year old convey my best hopes and dreams for her and for our relationship. My words become my thoughts and my thoughts become my words. I want my words to convey the very best of our weekend together exploring nature, and God together.
Dear readers, tomorrow is picture day in the elementary. We came home to laundry, to hair, to stressful wardrobe choices, and to math homework. It is difficult to speak life rather than allow the frustrations of re-entry to control me. But, I know tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow I will not be focusing on those words spoken from a spent child and a tired mom over hair and laundry. I will want others to remember how much I love this sweet child who is finally sweetly sleeping with her clean hair and her picture day clothes laid out for tomorrow.
For today, there will be no “heinous husband” or “heinous child” award granted in jest to friends, or on social media and I pray that tomorrow there will be no “heinous mom” award at school either.
- “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6)
- “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29