We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)I tell my children that is why I wear an invisible make-believe bulletproof vest. It is also why I designed an imaginary invisible door between me (the driver) and the mouthy teenager seated in the front seat beside me. This invisible door prevents arrows from passing through, but only in my imagination. By announcing to my carpool offspring, “Quiet, or I will have to close my invisible door!” they were somehow able to muster up a teenage amount of self-control. I am always amazed at how powerful words are. This protected my heart and kept my peace. The closer we are to a person, the deeper the wound is. If only more of us would commit to memory the cliché “Think before you speak,” I am convinced fewer arrows would be launched at another’s heart. Watching your words is a lifelong learning process. We know that we cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves with the Holy Spirit’s help. When in doubt pray for self-control.
Let the words of my mouth be acceptable, the thoughts of my heart before you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:15)Hurting people hurt people. It is when we are down and out that words seem to do the greatest damage. Relationships can blossom or break over words. People can become bitter or better over their reactions to the words spoken to them. Some people try to keep a stiff upper lip and a hopeful heart. Some talk your ear off, some close down, and some come alive. Some learn from their trial and others proceed to go through the same trial over and over. Some trials are self-imposed and some are not of our own doing. Some are put on us from other’s mistakes and others we choose because of our bad choices. When we didn’t choose that a lemon tree be planted in our backyard, we can choose what we will do with it. Which path will we choose: bitter or better? If life gives you lemons, do not peel them and take a bitter taste. Instead look at them carefully, and see what you can create out of that lemon. Your bitter trial may be a blessing in disguise. Don’t get bitter; get better! Remind yourself that this too shall pass. God alone can heal the hurting heart.
He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)When you encounter someone who is drowning from the storms of life, kindly offer them a life raft in the form of a listening ear, a caring heart, and a hug. That may be all that they need. Love heals the wounds in the heart, so serve a heaping portion. Avoid serving them a plate full of unnecessary words or a bowl overflowing with unasked-for advice.
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7)If they ask for a margarita, join them in the toast; just be careful not to get some salt in their wounds! Photo credit: copyright 2019 Ellen Mongan. All rights reserved.[/caption]
- Avoid isolation.
- Seek wise counsel.
- Read good books.
- Pamper yourself.
- Play positive Christian music.
- Watch funny movies or old movies that you loved as a child.
- Avoid people who are negative or controlling, or who give lots of unasked-for advice.
- Journal your thoughts.
- Spend time around young children.
- Eat right, exercise, and take time for quiet prayer.
- Sing out loud.
- Look at old family photos, slides, or DVDs.
- Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and pray for the wisdom to know the difference.
- Simplify your schedule.
- Learn to say no.
- Pray, knowing that God alone suffices.
Copyright 2019 Ellen Mongan
About the Author
Ellen Mongan is a Catholic writer, speaker, and host of WOW MOM podcasts. Her book, WOW MOM: A Walk with God, is on Amazon. She contributes to Catholic Mom, Women of Grace, and Augusta Chronicle. Her most important roles as wife to Deacon Patrick and mother of eight led her to ministry. Learn more and contact her to speak at EllenMongan.com.