Tuesday, July 06, 2010

why my clouds have silver linings

i haven't always been able to see my glass half-full. i haven't always given people the benefit of the doubt. i haven't always been this forgiving, loving, giving, happy. i haven't always worn these rose-colored glasses, and my clouds certainly haven't always had silver linings.

i've dealt with junk. i have an enemy. i get my fair share of bad days and yucky situations. there are times when i feel empty, guilty, alone, downcast, helpless, hopeless. i have darkness in my past that sometimes tries to creep up and remind me of my failures. i face mountains sometimes. some days it feels like there is a giant standing over me, ready to pound me face-down into the dirt.

but you'll rarely hear me complain. i'm not a complainer [anymore].

i wear rose-colored glasses when i fight my battles. i can spin a very negative situation into something positive in no time flat.

when my father-in-law passed away last spring, i was an emotional mess. but somehow, my heart found something happy and sent it to my thoughts, which then came pouring out of my mouth as i said to my mourning husband, "Your Dad got to eat lunch at his favorite restaurant with his buddies every single day! What a great life!" i was miserable but i found something positive and encouraging to say.

i'm not hiding my emotions. i'm not burying my true feelings anywhere. what's happening here is i'm choosing my words. my dark, stormy rain clouds are lined simply by the silver shiney words that come out of my mouth. if i say it, i can feel it. if i feel it, i can believe it. if i believe it, that changes everything.

"Our words are a reflection of what we are looking for in people, circumstances, and life." -Sharon Jaynes, The Power of a Woman's Words

how can i do this? how can i be like David for every Goliath? why does it seem like everything is always great with me? how can i be such an encourager? why do i find light in the darkness? the Bible tells me so.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. -Psalm 19:14

The Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. -Isaiah 50:4

The tongue is a fire, the very world if iniquity. -James 3:6

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious...hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage...envy...and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. -Galatians 5:19-23

A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels. -Proverbs 15:1

Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. -Proverbs 15:4

The tongue can bring death or life... -Proverbs 18:21

my clouds have silver linings because i decided they would. no, it doesn't take away the bad days or guarantee 100% complete happiness. but it sure helps! i smile when i think about my Father-in-Law enjoying lunch at his favorite restaurant with his buddies every single day. God is with me, His promises hold true, and i choose to follow His teaching. it's a choice i make every moment. i choose to speak life. i choose to be an encourager. i choose to use my words to shape my world.

my words are like coffee- strong and bold, yummy, helpful, energizing, fueling, fragrant, desirable. i love coffee. but without a filter, coffee is bitter and harsh, not drinkable, gritty, dark, yuck.

i pray.
"Lord, put a filter over my mouth so my words will be pleasant to hear, encouraging to others and to myself. help me to always check with You before i speak. amen."
if you want more silver-lined clouds in your life, i highly recommend you read Sharon Jaynes' book "The Power of a Woman's Words," as well as Marilyn Hickey's pocket book "Speak the Word." there are also lots of resources online; just search "scripture about words we speak."

try it.  

rose-colored glasses photo by Shel