Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, September 29, 2017

How NOT to Be!!

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Earlier this week, as my kiddos were sitting round the breakfast table - I began to hear an rumbling echo of something I had heard the day before while at an eye doctor appointment, with my husband.  My kids words were not happy words, to each other.
  And, I mean it.  They were eerily similar to what I had heard the day prior.   
As been our new school year, daily habit - we've been pouring over scripture, while the kiddos eat their breakfast.  I try to find one or two verses that we can talk about and find some sort of application...time permitting.

Upon hearing their "ugly" words to each other, over cereal and milk... the verses from Ephesians came to mind.   Ephesians 4:32 - And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

But, as I opened my Bible, to began reading, my eyes fell on verse 29 and immediately - the prior morning scenario became a story.   I read the verses, aloud...and started in.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen....

The Doctor Office was a busy place; the waiting room, quite crowded.  Because, my nose was in a magazine I hadn't really noticed who all was coming and going...but, all of a sudden I hear from across the room - this startling angst, of someone muttering LOUDLY under their breath...
"Whaaa.... just shut up and sit down."
I look up and see an elderly couple across the room from me.  If I could only truly paint the picture.
Here sat this weathered, old man...with a cane across his knee.  I'm assuming it was his wife sitting beside him but as body language would clearly put it... she was sitting as far away from him as possible, with her back turned towards him and her head in her hand.   I thought for a moment they were talking to each other and I went back to my reading.  But several minutes in... I hear it again...
"Come on...! What the h***.  Shut up!... and...sheez!...(shaking head)."  
This time, coming from the woman.  And then, I realized who they were talking about.

Over at the desk, stood another elderly woman of a different ethnicity... her strong dialect giving it away... and she too, was on the louder side; growing impatient... only because perhaps she couldn't understand. ?? I'm not sure.  However, I was impressed as the office staff were patiently working with her and so on... and she eventually, did find a seat...which quieted down the "disturbed" couple.

Obviously, though.  This on-going dialogue, at the counter, was too much for them, since, they repeated their annoyances several times...

I sat there, stunned.... "listening"... saddened by what was going on.  Trying to look past and through the thick skin, to see what might possibly be going on inside.  I wondered if anyone ever made these two smile...?  Did they ever know JOY?  Did they ever have a good day??

As, I shared this story with my kids... I relayed.  Sure.  I don't know what made this elderly couple "react" like that to a situation that wasn't theirs to contend with.  I don't know fully what was going on inside in their hearts and minds.  What their story is or was.  I can imagine, though, based on what I heard and saw that... they don't normally live "happy lives".  With each other or with others.  You know the phrase, "Hurting people, hurt people"?
Here they were, an elderly couple with who knows how much life ahead of them... (none of us, knows or has guarantee for another day.) ... but to be this far in life and to have allowed "bitterness" to take such deep root and have it take over spilling out into life at a moments notice.

Because, then I said, "Kids... what happens if you knock this glass over??  Whatever is in it will spill out, right?  When life comes our way and our "glass" gets knocked around... what's on the inside will come out, right?"

I reread the verses.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  ~ Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

What an opportunity to see this a lesson to be learned. A lesson, on HOW NOT to BE!!
I don't share all of this to point out the "flaws" of this elderly couple.  Rather,  I see it as a lesson for myself.  For my family.  To be mindful of what things are taking root in our lives.  I'm just as guilty - in my responses.  I'm just as prone to have my "glass get knocked"... and whatever is inside gets spilled out.  I'm guilty!!   I, too, have my days of muttering, and angst, and impatience and down right ugliness.   That's probably why my kiddos' find it easy to display all of that with each other...
they see MOM.  And, DAD! No one has it all together!

We NEED Jesus, every single day.  I NEED HIM every hour.  
 I'm so grateful for these verses in Ephesians to remind me of how God wants me to live out my days.
As a wife, a mom, a friend, a sister, a neighbor...

I will probably, forever, have the picture of this couple etched in my memory... as a way of reminder in how NOT to be!!


  1. What a great teacher, mother and wife you are!
    To take a incident, learn from it and then teach it to your children.


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