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when to speak and when to be quiet

May 21, 2019

Have you ever done or said something that you deeply regretted and wish you could take it back?


Me, too. 


Several years ago, I got myself involved in a conversation that honestly had NOTHING to do with me.  I was angry about the way someone treated someone else, and took the liberty to make my feelings known, even when my husband urged me not to. 


"This has NOTHING to do with you.  Just keep quiet."  But I can be a passionate little soul, and let my fire get the best of me.  


If only I could redo.  Uncall.  Unspeak.  Unsay.  


I was young and ignorant. I need to let that go, but honestly, it still bothers me all these years later. 


That's the problem with our words.  Once they are spoken, there is no undo. un-call. un-speak, un-say.  When we let our emotions get the best of us, we can get ourselves into so much trouble. 


If I could redo that particular situation, I'd have let my feeling be known to Mike, or I'd have written that person a letter to make myself feel better then I'd rip it up and throw it away.  That is a great way to release our feelings and emotions. Write and Rip!  I really wish I'd have Prayed about the situation, listened to Mike and  simply have  been *quiet.*  


You live and you learn, right! 


Some verses that I love are,


"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29


"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." James 1:19


"Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end." Proverbs 29:11.


"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1


"Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city," Proverbs 16:32


"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered," Proverbs 22:24


Ecclesiastes 3:7 Says, "there is a time to be silent and a time to speak,"


Sometimes it is so important to speak.  Yesterday I had to call another mom about an incident with one of my girls. Before I called, I prayed about it, took some deep breathes and then miraculously, I kept calm, stated the facts, asked her to gather information from her daughter, and in the end, the two girls were able to reconcile. I thanked the Mom for being a SUPER mom and helping her daughter reconcile the situation.  It was a very beautiful ending to an unpleasant event. 


Mike and I have had our girls make calls and even walked them to someone's door to apologize.  Sometimes it's received well.  Sometimes it isn't.  Again, that is not in our control.  We don't get to pick if other people choose to forgive us or not. 


I told my girl, "Momma's got your back!  I am here for you."  I want her to know that she can tell me ANYTHING and we'll get through life together.  "We CANNOT control other people's actions, not for a second, but we can control how we respond. We can choose to forgive and give grace, or we can choose to walk away.  Some people will offer a humble-heart-felt apology, and others will not.  That's up to them and we have to accept it.   


In this situation, I am glad I said something.  Usually, I don't.  We talk through all kinds of situations with the big girls all of the time, and for the most part, we like for them to handle their own problems.  We continuously guide them to make what we think are Christ-like decisions.  Honestly, sometimes they listen, and sometimes, they don't.  They also have Freewill and they usually suffer the consequences when they go with a poor choice.  


I want to "Momma-Bear" them and keep them safe and try to get them to listen to me all of the time about all things, but Mike is adamant that they live and learn. Better now than later. 


The moral of my story is, I have found that for me, I can save myself a lot of heartache, a lot of regret, a lot of anger and embarrassment by simply keeping quiet.  Fighting battles that need to be fought in respectful, calm ways and praying through the rest.  Letting Go and Letting God.  


I love the verse from Exodus, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."   Still!  That is HARD!  Especially in the heat of the moment, when emotions are running high.    You really have to TRUST that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." 


Anywho, I guess I am writing to say, It's okay to just be still.  Be quiet.  Let God do the work.  It is soooooo much easier that way, but it sometimes takes an incredible amount of self-control and a spouse that will keep you calm and point you back to Christ.  We sometimes think of "quiet" as "weak" and "loud" as "strong", but I know it usually takes a lot more strength and self-control to simply keep quiet.  Anybody can holler like a maniac.  Am I right, or am I right?!?!?!


Sometimes, it is okay to speak up.  You have to consider your audience when you're doing this.  Will they work to reconcile things with you, or will they LOVE to keep a heated debate going with you?  I promise you, you don't have time for that. Your body doesn't need that stress.  There are better things to spend your time and energy on than arguing with a quarrelsome person. 


I always tell my kids, "It takes two to tango!  If you can learn some self-control and how to walk away from a foolish person, your life will be SO much Better!!!!! Be the bigger person and step away from the fire.  You don't need the last word.  You don't need to prove yourself.  You don't need to be right.  You know who you are and what you've done, and that's all that matters!  What other people think of you...It means nothing.  You do your best and let the rest go. God sees and hear and knows.  He won't miss a thing! 


If you know the other person's heart and you know it will be received well, go for it.  Say something.  I did it for my girl and I'd do it again a thousand times. 


But, the older I get, and the more I TRUST God, the more I am learning to keep quiet.  To stay in my own lane.  To focus on who and what matters and let the rest go.  It is truly given me so much more "Joy in the Chaos."




****I have great reservations about sharing this.  I don't want any particular person to think I am writing to or about them.  I'm not.  It is a reminder to me, myself and I to choose my battles wisely. To think about my audience and their heart before I speak.  Will they be humble or prideful? To consider my own feelings. Am *I* being humble or prideful?   Have I thought through their side of the story?  Their circumstances? Their particular situation? Their past that has helped to shape and form them into who they are today. 

I need to remind myself to persevere in gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, peacefulness, forgiveness and goodness.  This world isn't an easy place to navigate and I need to spend as much time as possible searching scriptures about how to live my life, reflecting on how my own decisions have caused me great joy and great pain, and thinking through how my own obedience or disobedience has helped or hurt me. Writing helps me to really think through how I live my life.  I promise, I'm sharing with you, but this is just a peek into my own little thinking and reflecting about ME.  


And the truth is, ultimately, I have so much growing to do.  I'll be learning and growing and praying until the day I die.  





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