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Reflections

One-Sided Conversations

God has surprised me with an unexpected object lesson through this blog. I realize I’m new at it, and it takes time to build a site and a community, but I often read other people’s blogs and enjoy the dialogue that takes place in the comments section almost as much as the post itself. And the other day, I was wondering how I could inspire more people to interact on mine. I have posted 50 articles now, and most of them have been one-sided conversations.

I haven’t been able to aptly identify for myself how I feel about the lack of input on my posts. It isn’t entirely disappointment or loneliness because I am always hopeful and motivated. And while there is a weightiness in the responsibility to steward the trust and time of my readers well, I am also joyful just to be doing what I love! Hey, comment below if you have the right word for that mindset. (Irony intended!)

Thank you, sincerely, to everyone who reads!

Friends, please don’t get me wrong. I appreciate all of you so very much! I write to cheer, challenge and cherish you, and if you’re a ninja reader who slips onto the Back Porch and back out again without a trace, you are always, always welcome. No comment required!

I was thinking about all of this when God caused me to realize that I am occasionally guilty of causing one-sided conversations. I talk to the Lord, and tell Him what I’m thinking, how much I’m thankful, what I need, everything that is on my heart… and then change my focus. Sometimes I don’t even check back with Him to see if He’s responded.

A deer with huge ears: one-sided conversations.
Photo by Charl Durand on Pexels.com

The encouragement I want to pass on needs to come to me from the King of my heart and if I’m not paying attention to His message, how can I relay its relevance to you? When I pray, it must be a two-sided conversation. After I speak, I need to be all ears, listening with anticipation. Jesus communicates through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. He has truth to share, wisdom to impart, peace to give, and so much more. His input should be my priority.

I’ve learned that prayers and blogs have this in common: they are richer with feedback. My blog is a work in progress, and I expect I will be learning about prayer until the day I finally speak to Jesus face to face. All the while, I will do what I can to amend my one-sided conversations. If you have any helpful hints or suggestions for me, I’d be grateful to read them.

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Word Wrap Up

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never REALLY hurt me.

It is official, I am a word nerd! A couple of weeks ago, I asked you to join me on a journey of Words. Thank you for coming along! Together, we have thought through the pros and cons of the way we speak. In case you missed any of those posts, here are the links:

There are so many categories of words. I’m sure I’ll look into more of them from time to time because I’m humbled by the power my words have for good or for evil. I read a quote by an unknown author that said:

“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.”

That reminded me of an object lesson my husband did when he taught our kids about the importance of words. He had them squeeze a whole tube of toothpaste onto a plate, then he asked them to put it back in. Of course, they could not! Words are the same way. Once they are out, there is no retracting them. They can be forgiven, but not erased. How important it is to make sure the words that get through the gateway of our lips are laced with grace and will benefit those on whom they land!

The common wisdom I hear is that “loose lips sink ships”. But I say not always! I want my words to flow freely when they are edifying. Can we agree to let loose when credit is due, or praise is earned?

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Proverbs 3:27

We can honor God and those around us when we control our words, written, spoken, and contemplated. Are you inspired to take up the challenge? This may wrap up our little study for now, but I hope we maintain the awareness and intentionality we’ve discovered together as we’ve focused on our words.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14
Categories
Conversations Devotions

Words

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about words. I guess that is to be expected when starting a blog. What is the message I want to convey? How do I want to say it? When I write, I can be thoughtful and intentional. I have the benefit of backspace. But spoken words can be harder to manage. I have this poster-sized reminder hanging in my house:

I intend for my audible words to withstand rigorous checkpoints before they get through my lips, but they often escape with astonishing ease. The Bible points out the inconsistency of my tongue very well:

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.”

James 3:9

I can say something compassionate and kind and follow it right up with something sarcastic and sassy. I can express gratitude with one breath and complain in the next. And God shines His light on it, so I take notice and fix it.

When choosing the cover
photo for this post,
I noticed the letters in
“W-O-R-D-S” can also spell
“S-W-O-R-D”. How appropriate!

“The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.”

Proverbs 18:7

Having issues is not the issue but failure to address the issues is. (Say that ten times fast!) Are loose lips consistently bad? Is it always preferred to have a tight tongue? Over the next few weeks, I’m going to dive into God’s Word to understand what it says about my words. My friend, I would love for you to join me. We can meet here on the Back Porch, or you can enter your email address below to follow this blog and receive each post directly to your inbox. I can’t wait to see what God has to say about confidently using our words for His glory and our joy!

“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Psalm 141:3