I made a recent visit to my hair stylist for a long awaited fix. Not only is she the guardian angel of my hair but also a sweet friend with whom I can have gracious and honest conversations. She was recently talking to me about how each year she finds a word that that is her “go to” when she needs to change course with attitude, actions etc. Not just any word, but a holy spirit guided word that will carry her through the new year and change her heart to being more like Jesus.
I think without realizing it, I’ve adopted this new tradition. It first started a month ago when my husband and I were in a public place and overheard a woman having a conversation with several individuals. She was less than pleased and didn’t mind expressing her anger and frustration to the point of blatant rudeness and hurtful remarks. I remember thinking “how awful to be a woman that people would turn and run away from when they saw me coming” simply because they were afraid of what might come out of my mouth. We all know those women. Scary to think that we might be one of those women.
Here’s where I’m about to be transparent.
I’m no angel when it comes to perfecting words or holding back when confronted with confrontation or something that displeases me, especially with MY FAMILY. My poor, sweet family. I can pretty well hold my tongue with friends, acquaintances or strangers, but my husband and children… well they may tell you different. The truth is, I’ve had something on my prayer list for a long time and that’s to be a woman whose words are gracious, uplifting and most of all, patient and kind. When I speak I want to soften their day, not harden it by making them run the other way and avoid my presence. I want to be a woman who is Refined.
I’ve never really felt like I’ve discovered my God given gift. I’ve been told that I have a gift for “words.” However, I think I’ve misconstrued the idea of Godly gifts and that’s that they are natural and automatic. I’ve recently come to realize that those gifts, need refining. dictionary.com gave several definitions for refined/refining but I loved this one:
The truth is, I want words to be my gift. I’ve always wanted it to be my gift. I desire to be a woman that knows what to say and when to say it, and also recognize the time to keep quiet. Why wouldn’t I want my own family to feel this way? To have a wife and mother that is elegant and refined in her voice and actions. I think I’ve had these encounters with the unrefined to remind me that my refining process isn’t over. My hopeful gift will continue to be made pure and elegant until my very last day on earth. This of course doesn’t just come on it’s own, but takes a little encouragement from words written long, long ago. Holy Spirit guided words. God’s word. If you need a little encouragement for refining the way you speak. Here’s a few of my favorites that are great reminders.
“Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Colossians 4:6, NLT)
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 (NLT)
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” Proverbs 31:26 (NLT)