Company is coming. School is calling for a substitute, and I so wanted to stay home to clean and work on that “pefect dinner”. The phone started ringing at 6AM and I’m like no, not today. Well, honestly it rung at 9:30 last night, and I was in bed. Finally, I wanted to blog today – it has been more than a week with no thoughts or even time to write.
I just burned the beans. YIKES! What do I do?
First things first – family. I texted my daughter, who delivered her first baby this week, to see their plans coming home from the hospital later today. Guess whose coming to dinner? You got it – my daughter, son-in-law and precious new grandson. But it’s a double treat – my son, daughter-in-law and 16-month old grandson are also coming.
So they are going home first, and because I haven’t subbed all week, and yep the guilt is creeping in because subs are short, I do it. I accept a half-day job, in lieu of a whole day job. I hope it goes well because I am used to high-school and jr. high. The half-day job was with kindergarten kids and the high-school job all day with science 9th graders. Oh me, oh my what is this day gonna be like? I have never subbed below fifth grade.
OK back to the beans. What do I do?
Well I am trying to salvage the beans – I would have to get dressed and drive 15 minutes to get new ones, and if worse comes to worse there are a couple of canned beans in the pantry – not as good but…….. I took a big spoon and got all the ones off the top. As I got down near the bottom I tossed those in the trash. So thankful the trash men are coming today. Stinky! I poured my beans in a collander and rinsed them and put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in them. They are sitting in a new pot because well, the old pot, one of my favorites is full of burned crud. My favorite bean pot may be ruined. I’ve got it soaking after much scrubbing.
Our lives are sort of like burned beans at times – all crusty and stinky and yucky. Have you felt burned, stinky and yucky lately? I have to admit it because God knows anyway I have those days. Ugly, stinky thinking and sometimes the words coming out of my mouth are ugly and stinky. OUCH!
I am in a wonderful study this week that just started over at Proverbs31.Org with 44,000 other women all over the world. It is called Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman. Boy do I need this. I do well most days, but some days well I just stink at it. i open my mouth and BAM, or I close my mouth and keep quiet with the silent treatment and BAM! How about you, do you have those BAM or burned beans days?
Karen talked about how it “only takes a spark to get a fire going”. Well this morning my fire was a little hot on those beans. The more they simmered and I was in my prayer time forgetting about them, the more they burned. Our words can be like that. That fire starts small, and that tongue starts small but both can lead to destruction. “If we really want to learn to control our tongues, knowing what to say, when to say it, and when to say nothing at all, we need to drill down deeper.” (Karen Ehman)
The disgusting smell of burnt beans reminded me how disgusting and repelling my words can be or even my lack of words. Karen talks about how even that lack of words can be used as a weapon. She said, “Are our words weapons, and even our silence a part of the arsenal?” I was thinking about how my parents and others would say “silence is golden”. Today I’m thinking that is not always true. I can massacre with my silence. So true and so sad.
The following verse tells us that fresh water and salt water cannot both come from a spring, just as olives can not come from a fig tree:
Joseph used his words and his silence. Unlike me, they were used for the good. Even though his brothers meant him harm throwing him in a pit to die, and selling him into slavery, Joseph remained steadfast in honoring God in his speech. Karen reminded us our words can’t spit out both righteous and evil words
One of my favorite things this week came at the end of Chapter 2. I love, love, love this book, and I love, love, love these words from Karen:
“God intentionally orchestrated the relationships in our lives. He knew who would share your last name – or your four walls. Who would occuipy a seat in your car pool or dwell in the house right next door. It didn’t surprise him who would wind up to be your in-law or be the one to teach your kids.
All the humans you encounter throughout the course of the day are “on purpose” people. God plopped them into your life for a reason.
These souls – whether they are of he easy-to-love variety or the scratch sandpaper kind – can be used by God to mold, reshape, and sometimes stretch our souls as he perpetually crafts us into creations who are becoming more and more like his son.”
Will we be perfect? Nope. Never. (Not until heaven!) Just like Joseph? Maybe close.
But this I am certain: others can catch a quick glimpse of Jesus when they see us speak and act in ways that honor him and line up with God’s Word.
Others are watching, sizing up how we behave. What will they see? Stirred-up strive – or lovingly covered offenses? Speech that incites spats and squabbles? Or speech that soothes and heals?
You choose. (Psst….The correct answer is “g”. Grace.)