I have talked a little bit about how this month has been about choices regarding how we will spend our time and money this year and how we are already seeing some of those choices fall into place.
What I’ve found has become more and more difficult is making choices about my words. Not only which words I use but when and how to use them in general. This is the Bible verse speaking to me recently: “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Or, to put it in theatrical terms, a prime rule of storytelling is show, don’t tell. And this makes sense. How many times have we heard that actions speak louder than words? (Ironically, this post is all words…)
But this is hard for me sometimes. I am a highly verbal person. I LOVE words, I believe they are powerful, and I delight in them. Knowing that women are less likely to speak up in the classroom, I have always felt like I needed to make it my personal mission to help combat that statistic. I learn by journaling, blogging, talking through things. A picture should be worth a thousand words, but I caption the heck out of all my instagrams.
I am starting to be very careful with my words as I recognize how much my son is learning every day. He doesn’t have much of a spoken vocabulary yet, but even that is growing every day and he understands SO MUCH it has stopped me in my tracks recently. That means he will start picking up on when I’m beating myself up, when I’m gossiping, when I’m less patient than I’d like. I have never been more mindful of Philippians 4:8: whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things… I think I need to practice that a LOT more. But I was just talking with some friends on Facebook about how it is hard to practice something you are bad at in public because we can get in our own way with shame and fear and this preconceived crazy notion that once you’re an adult you should be good at things, end of story.
And that’s part of why it has been harder for me to write posts recently. Both because of what I want to say and don’t know how best to say it and because I am reconsidering what I should be sharing publicly and what I should be more reserved with. It’s easy enough to share what I made for dinner, but what about the things that are more complex, difficult, vulnerable? When does talking about those things help resolve them and when should we be more discerning about with whom we are sharing? and on the other hand, how do we keep from “curating” our life and rejecting vulnerability?
My rule of thumb for now is to share with a smaller, more trusted group during what I like to think of as the “climbs” in decision making or struggles, and then share more widely during the plateaus… I don’t have to be through and finished with a challenge or issue to put it here, but I want to have some sort of orientation on where I am and how I’ve prayed about it. I’m not married to that method though. In a world where everything seems to end up shared either by you or by others and with instant, potentially huge reach… how do you decide what to share from your perspective and how do you decide what to ponder quietly in your heart?