Friday, May 24, 2013

Power of Life and Death

The power is in the tongue. It says this in the Bible.

Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

Our words have the ability to wound, scar, maim and overwhelmingly knock someone down - at times for good. It also have the ability to bring life to things, the power to lift people up, turn someone's day completely around for the better. Sometimes all it takes is just one kind, caring word to turn someone who is so broken, lost and alone into someone who knows there is one person who cares.

Psalm 52:2 "You practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor."
Now, I'm pretty sure most people do not want to have this verse thrown out in reference to themselves. Our words wound. Our words have the ability to bring death to people. Sometimes even the physical death, but most often the emotional death that cruel words spoken can bring. It kills the person inside, turns them into people who lose hope, lost the faith in themselves, even their faith in God can be ripped from them by one wrong word, one wrong phrase.

Proverbs 15:4 "The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but the perverse tongue crushes the spirit."

Being human, we are folly. We are inherently evil. Through Jesus Christ this is changed. Our minds still can be led where the devil may take it but we don't have to let it happen. YOU control your thoughts. YOU control your words. Not him. See, he gets into our heads, makes us see things in ways that are flawed, not true. He makes us hear things spoken in ways that are not how they were intended or he makes our imaginations take over, running full-tilt straight into sin. WE control US.

Proverbs 31:26 "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." This applies to men as well, of course. Wisdom aka the heart of God should be in us, leading us down the righteous path. I would much rather have this verse spoken about me.

Isaiah 50:4 "The sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He waken me, morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed."

Each morning when we wake, if we listen, even with half an ear, we can hear the instruction from God. He reminds us of the way we are to live, what our purpose for the day is. Let that purpose be to be blessings to others and not a burden.

James 1:26 "Those who consider themselves righteous and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless."
Where there is evil in the heart, so the tongue spews forth the folly. Guard your words. Teach your children, grandchildren to guard their words, as well as their hearts. One seemingly innocent though wrong word can change things so completely that relationships cannot be mended, hearts cannot be fixed.

One of the videos on YouTube says about the power of the words. It is an object lesson for children, on the power of the tongue. My favorite part is when the woman has her children squeeze a little toothpaste from the tube and asks them to put it back in. You can't put it back in once it's been squeezed out. (I'm sure there is a way to do so with suction or something, but if that is your focus, you're missing the point.) Words cannot be taken back. Once spoken, they are forever engrained upon someone, and I hope that it is good.

A friend on Facebook had a post about her daughter being called chubby by a little child. This breaks my heart. As a mother, I feel the pain she feels. That is HER flesh and blood that this word was engrained on. That's a memory that I pray her daughter will not keep. Words can be so cruel, intentionally or not. Words are just words though. We have the power to control the way they are used. We have the power to control the way we respond to those words, the power to close your eyes and imagine those words are just drops on a duck's back, sliding off into a puddle. I realize that this is not easy to do.

Personally, it has taken me a long time to be able to let words slide, from certain people. Usually those who we care about the most, seem to hurt us the most. Some words are easy to let slide off where other words just stick like feathers to tar. Even when the words that are spoken aren't meant to hurt, they can still wound.

This is the time where you need to pray. Pray for the speaker and pray for yourself. Pray that you will take the words in the way they are meant and not in the way they are heard. Our ears can deceive us. Our minds can play tricks on us, causing us to hear things that are so far from the way they were meant to be taken, that you need an international flight just to get to them.

Tongue Diagnosis

Guard your tongues. Guard your hearts because what fills your heart, fills your mouth to overflowing. I pray that your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit and it's the heart like God that you have. James 3:5 says about the tongue being a small part of the body. For something so small, it is more powerful than any other body part. Imagine that. A small part that has the power to bring life or death to people.

Whatever is spoken, whatever attitude it is spoken with, if you say it in front of your children, they will hear it. Although they only have two little ears, it seems as if their entire bodies are covered with nothing but ears. Our children will say what we say, how we say, in the ways that we say it. If you lash out at someone for whatever reason, they will repeat it to a T. If you use harsh, cruel words, your children will use harsh and cruel words.

Let's say you miscommunicate with someone. Something you intended for good has come out wrong and taken the wrong way. Once spoken, you can't take those words back. Even if you mean to compliment, it can be taken out of context, taken in the opposite way you intend for it to be taken. We can't take it back. Before you open your mouth to utter one word, stop and think. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Let Him guide your words. Even a quiet person can be thought as foolish until he opens his mouth and removes all doubt.

T.O.N.G.U.E. can either be:

Torturous
Opinionated
Nasty
Ghastly
Unbearable
Excruciating

Or:

     Treasure
incOrruptible
     Noble
     Genuine
     Uplifting
     Edifying

I'll leave you with this though.

Job 33:2 "I am about to open my mouth, the words are on the tip of my tongue..."

What will pour from your mouth once it is opened?

Baby Tongue out

Will it be Life, or Death?

God's blessings to you,
Karen

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm Still Here!

Sorry I've been gone for over 10 days!

My husband made it to Germany/Prague safely AND back home again. He had a successful trip for work. We missed him so much but were able to Skype with him just about every night. The boys even were able to watch 2 movies with him! We are very glad that he is back.

I was going to work on a new post last week but on Wednesday morning about 10:40 or so, asking if we could go to the school to pick up T-man. He had fallen on the playground and annihilated the left side of his lower lip, causing it to split in 5 spots, all on that teeny little lip. Both knees were skinned and his left cheek, upper lip was scraped just a bit as well.



As you can see from the first picture, he really tore his lip up! In the second picture, the injury on his left knee is on the inside, so you can't really see the bandage. His right knee was torn up so much that the Band-Aid is too small. It's a very large bandage!

I posted these on facebook and asked for prayers. Thank you so much for those of you from there who have been praying for healing. Continued prayers for his lip especially would be very much appreciated. His scab on his lip is very crusty and honestly, it looks like someone put scotch tae over that torn side.

On Thursday, I took T-man to the doctor to get  him checked because he started to throw up. Just like I thought it was, he was just sick from the entire experience and the fact that there was blood and pain. I remember the times that I have had such injuries, it makes you feel physically ill. The doctor put non-stick pads on with the Neosporin with the pain medicine to numb the pain. Then she wrapped it with the non-stick wrap, the kind that will supposedly only stick to itself. Needless to say, he was home from school this day.

Friday he was back to school. You should have seen him climbing up those high steps to get on the bus. Keep in mind that he could not bend his knees well at this point. He made it on the bus and through the kindergarten morning just fine. He was very ready to come home when it was time. After school I needed to change the bandages.

No sweat. They are non-stick wraps. Non-stick pads. Well....

Guess what?

Yup, those wraps that were very cute, stuck very tight to itself, AND to his skin. Luckily, the non-stick pads did not stick to his knees. Now, my son has always had strong lungs. I did not know that he could scream like he did as I tortured us both by removing the bandages. I felt physically ill, like I was going to pass out. I can only imagine the pain he was in!

I was bawling like a baby. He was screaming at the top of his lungs. Outright. Screams. I have NEVER heard that sound from him before, even last year when he buckled his collarbone. He was crying very, very hard but no screams like this. It sounded like someone was cutting him open, stabbing him AND ripping his legs off, all at the same time.

His face was both pale and red. I haven't seen that before. Didn't know it was possible to be so pale and yet so red at the same time. I found myself praying for him to pass out from the pain, because it took FOREVER to get just one bandage off. I asked if he wanted a break before I started torturing both of us again by removing the second bandage but he told me, "Please just get it over with, mommy." Bless his heart! I tried every possible way to use the teeniest pair of sewing scissors to cut the bandage off but the bandage was on so tight and stuck to him so much it wasn't possible without cutting him.

After the bandages were both off, I was holding him and he was shaking. His screams were dying down but he was still sobbing so hard. Once he finally relaxed enough to watch his cartoons again (they were on the TV this entire time - about 45 minutes or so!) I left the room and had to lay down with a cold rag on my forehead because I thought I was going to pass out myself. I knew that if I stood up or had to stay upright holding T-man, I would have gotten sick on him and/or passed out with him on my lap.

To give you a reference point here as to how long this torture was going on, I pick T-man up from school at 11:40 am and the time that we were both calmed down, it was pushing 1:00 pm. Neither one of us wanted any lunch until about 3:00 pm so it was a very light one.

T-man's left knee is nearly healed. It has the bright pink new skin but it is past the scab stage. His right knee still needs a scab to form. We do need to let it air out more to help the scab form. A problem we have with this is that when he is either outside or at school, it needs to be kept covered. This does not help it heal quickly. It is still a bit painful to him, especially when he needs to bend that knee. That is still very difficult for him.

His lip is awful looking still! At first we thought it was just 2 splits, but turns out that it is 5 splits. That is a very small lip to have that many splits. It is very nasty looking. The scab that formed is very solid and a slightly disturbing color. His cheek is nearly healed and his upper lip is healed completely since that wasn't badly scraped.

I ask that  you will all please pray for his continued healing. His right knee and especially his poor lip. That lip is ripped up, y'all.

God's blessings and good will to you, my friends. I pray that you all have a great week and lots of laughter in your daily living.

~Karen

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Struggles

Sunday afternoon, the boys and I dropped Daddy off at his co-workers house. They were going to Germany together and this guy was driving them to the Philly airport. They'll be back on the 14th and we cannot wait!

The boys are missing their daddy, especially J. It really hits him at bedtime and we've had some teary-eyes. We Skyped with him last night before bed, which they really, really loved. It made me sad, especially when J was so teary-eyed. One week to go.

My life motto is "One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus." Even though at times those days can be more like an hour at a time, or even a minute at a time. I've been living this. Honestly, caring for the boys is the easiest part. The constant up and downs are my big trial. It works on my knee and makes the achy pain turn into excruciatingly stabbing, throbbing pain that makes the eyes cross.

The boys have been helping, especially my oldest. Last night was bath night, so I only had to take care of T-man. J can do the washing, drying and dressing himself and only occasionally needs help with rinsing his thick hair, but only when he's used a bit too much shampoo.

With my husband being gone, I really feel God showing me how to be mom and dad, at least temporarily. My husband's flight on Sunday was supposed to be departing Philly at 8:20pm, but got pushed back a couple hours due to a breaker needing replacing on the plane. I'm so glad that that was all it was. They were airborne by about 10:45 or a bit before.

The flight to Frankfurt, Germany was about 7.5 hours or so. Once they arrived and went through customs and all, they had to find the right train to take them to Bietigheim. Later this week they will be travelling by train to Prague in the Czech Republic. 

All in all, I'd say travel time was over 12 hours. That's a very long day! Especially with only about 3 hours of sleep on the plane. When we Skyped on Sunday, he looked exhausted. The boys really loved to see their daddy and thought it was very cool that he is 6 hours ahead of us. (That means that while I am typing this, it is 7:20pm in Germany.)

He surprised the boys this morning with a phone call to wish them a good day at school. He was eating at a German McD's and told them all about it. He is looking into some kids' meals to get them toys as a special surprise.

Everyday, the boys and I say a special prayer for daddy to be safe. On Sunday, we were praying hard for him to have a safe and uneventful flight to Germany, and next Tuesday, we'll be praying for a safe and uneventful trip back home. The boys each draw a line to make an X on the calendar to cross off the day. The countdown has been on! Only seven days now, or if you'd like to be picky, 6.5 days now since we are past the halfway point of the day.

With my knee being hurt, I am supposed to focus mainly on caring for the boys and the pets. We have enough clean clothing (he did laundry before he left since crouching is not something I can do well right now.) I do want to fold some laundry at some point. It is sitting in the basket and since it is under things, socks, pjs, etc. I am not worried about wrinkles. The boys will help put their own clothing away once it gets folded.

Psalm 46:1 tells us that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

I know that God is constantly at work in our lives, protecting us, protecting our loved ones while they travel, like in our case. God is watching over the boys and I as well. Monday morning, Jeremy told me that he woke up feeling a little scared and so alone without daddy here. When  I asked him why he didn't come over to my room or call out and he told me that he felt all warm and comforted when he was nearly to scared to stay in his bed. He feels that it was Jesus holding him until he slept again.

Oh to have the faith of a child again. So pure, so innocent. Some people call it being na├»ve but it isn't. It is having that blind faith that we, as adults, so often lose and we are hardened by the things of the world. To see the world through the eyes of a child again, would be so amazing. They are amazed and excited by the things they see, things they experience. They feel with everything they are.

I love to see the wonder and that awestruck excitement on their faces and in their eyes. To be with them and to watch them as they experience new things is a special part of being a parent. They learn through life experiences and by our example. We are to raise them "in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it" (Psalm 22:6)

My boys are demonstrating this blind faith and trust in God by they fact that they tell me how they know that Daddy will be home, when daddy comes home, or how God will be bringing their daddy home to them. They take it on faith that God will bring him home to them safely. They trust that God is, and will be, answering their prayers. Such faith is awesome.

God's blessings to you, my friends.

~Karen