Friday, April 16, 2010


"How can a mother be frustrated her child is not as she longs him to be, when she herself is not as she longs to be?" - taken from Ann Voskamp's post, "What Every Family Really Needs to Be Strong"

"When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger." Ephesians 4:29 (NCV)

Lately, my words to my children have been anything but edifying. Actually they've been downright their souls.

And after such harsh words leave my mouth, I immediately begin thinking, "where did that come from?"

But I know where they come from. As Ann says in her post, "angry words come from an anger-riddled heart."

"Lord Jesus, I don't want an anger-riddled heart," I cry out to Him, plead with Him. "Lord, remove the 'soul-dross.'"

I do become frustrated when my children are not as I long for them to be. And the frustration so often leads to angry words...frustrated words...words that tear down, rather than build up. And then I realize, as Ann points out, that I am not as I long to be, either. And I cry out to Him for mercy and grace. So very thankful when He pours it out on me, like a fragrant oil, soothing me, healing me.

Lord, when I speak, help me to not say harmful things, but to say what people (my children) need -- words that will help them become stronger.

Ann's post was so convicting to me and yet at the same time, just what I needed to hear today. Here is a link to her post if you would like to read it.


  1. I think the most convicting thing is what our words reveal about our hearts: The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart; their throats are open graves. More than once the words out of my mouth have driven me back to the cross on my knees to be cleansed of the root of the selfishness and pride that spurs such things, knowing that at times we will say things that are true that will rub against and hurt the flesh, and going to God through the blood of Christ to reveal and cleanse my motives; ultimately we must live, walk, and speak to the glory of God even at the expense of the "feelings" of human nature, including our own, trusting in Him. I am still learning how to speak the uncompromising truth in love and giving up the world's definiton of "love" for the definition that comes with a cross attached to it.

    There's a little book by Walter Chantry entitled, "Shadow of the Cross; Studies in Self-Denial" that is very good. There is an abbreviated version of it here:

    You might also enjoy this blog, especially as the mother of a daughter who is going to need to be able navigate this dark and bloody and raunchy world around her through the lens of the cross: I have her book of the same title (Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World) and it is very good.

    I like the way Matt Chandler put it as regards the cross: It is never something that we lean against and say, "You should come" but rather the Christian life is a continual bowing before it and saying, "There's room for more". That makes all the difference in the world. He is faithful, gracious, and will be faithful to complete the work that He began in you to His glory and even to our joy.

  2. If I may add this too - I followed the link and was saddened to see nothing of Christ in her discussion. This is a wonderful discussion of the same thing, Wendy Alsup puts it so much better than I can:

  3. Oh I can so relate! It is amazing how when I watch my children do something I really dislike I realize I myself just did that --- and that was where they picked it up. Ahhhhhh! If only I could be more perfect I could raise perfect kids (snort) - I wish! But I pray that despite my failings that God is able to raise them up to be the people he desires them to be and I believe that as long as they know and love Jesus the rest will work out.

  4. Melissa, if you haven't seen Rachel Barkey at, it's well worth the hour to sit down and watch/listen to what she has to say. She passed away from cancer just a few weeks after delivering that message to 600 women in Canada.

    Just for further conviction and comfort :)

    Thanks, Sister.


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