Maybe I could blame it on cabin fever. Afterall, it’s always great when you can divert responsibility for your mistakes on something other than yourself. Unfortunately, there are many times this last week where I wish I had not spoken. Most of the situations were simply where it showed I had put no thought in what I said and assumed it was “harmless”. It has not been uncommon for me to hear “mom! I can’t believe you just said that!” (After all of these years, I’m amused by the fact that my kids are still surprised).
However, there were a couple of times over the past number of days where I truly regret having said too much. Whether revealing an area of desperation as a mom that was meant just for God, or thinking I was “motivating” an individual who possibly just needed a listening ear and validation; I went away from those moments very critical of myself and full of disappointment.
This “social distancing” is a somewhat cruel test for people like myself. My personality, while I can learn restraint, is one that has a moving mouth attached to it. I am often amazed at how comments come out of it before I have even thought them. I used to blame it on being in the medical profession. Afterall, you see everything there. Really nothing is a shock and you just say things as they are. When I have shared “fun” hospital stories with others, I have noticed at times that maybe my audience wasn’t quite ready for what I just communicated.
While it would be great for my ears to dominate, I have learned that loving to be in conversation with others is a big part of how I was created. I enjoy people and love encouraging friends, family, and strangers alike. My desire is to infuse loving truth and encouragement into every person that I meet. I want people to know how valuable and important they are.
Along with that freedom to connect with everyone around me though, I have also learned that lack of fear of conversation and premeditated words has given me many opportunities to say sorry. Something I have had to become very comfortable with.
What I have learned over the last number of years is while I will continue putting myself in situations where I am opening my mouth, what is coming out of it is directly correlated to what I have allowed into my mind. It shows the condition of my heart.
It was such a strong realization when I noticed that my children did not have peace when I was stressed out focusing on hard circumstances and not surrendering it to God. There was a distinct moment where I saw fear in their young eyes as they witnessed their mom beside herself, very unsettled. At that instant, I made a rule for myself; my children did not deserve to be around me unless I had spent time in the morning with God and had at least a somewhat renewed mind. I owed it to my kids, my husband, and myself, to spend time with God at the very start of each day so that it would be His peace, joy, kindness, and faith (fruit of the Spirit) that would come out of my mouth.
What comes out of my mouth will depend directly on where I am anchoring my heart, soul, and mind during these uncertain times.
This last week I was really out of routine, as was the rest of the world. While I was still having my time alone with God in the morning, I was sometimes snacking instead of feasting on what He was saying to me. The pandemic that we are experiencing has not created a fear in me, but I would say I have definitely been in more conversations, read more articles, and seen more newsfeeds where Covid-19 dominates as opposed to the time in the Word, worship music, or listening to great teaching podcasts in a way that is normal for me. It’s a challenge to go anywhere (if you can) or talk to someone without it being part of the dialogue.
As I look back over my regrets, if I want to be the person I desire to be and who I believe God created me to be, I may need to overcompensate in these times. I will have to spend even more guarded time receiving encouragement in the Word, prayer, worship, teaching online, etc, so that it overflows out of me wherever I go. It is His thoughts and peace that I want to have come out of my big mouth. If it is His hope that dominates in my heart and mind, then by all means, let it flow.
I have come to peace with the fact that I was made to enjoy dialogue with others. What I meditate on and allow in my mind during these days ahead will determine what my part of the conversation will be. My desire is for others to experience encouragement, peace, hope, healing, and a word from God if they spend time with me.
What’s in my heart, without fail, IS coming out of my mouth. Since I’m not the quiet type, I’ve learned that in order to be successful, I best not step out until I have renewed my mind in the Word, and prayer at the start of each day.
Matthew 12:34b in TPT says it in a similar way, “For what has been stored up in your hearts will be heard in the overflow of your words.”
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NLT
More Verses For Me and My Big Mouth…
Proverbs 17:28 The Passion Translation (TPT)
When even a fool bites his tongue he’s considered wise. So shut your mouth when you are provoked—it will make you look smart.
Proverbs 10:19 The Passion Translation (TPT)
If you keep talking, it won’t be long before you’re saying something really wrong. Prove you’re wise from the very start – just bite your tongue and be strong.
Romans 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.