Thursday, May 17, 2012

All Talk

I'm a talker. I love to put my two cents in about many things or, well, anything that comes up really. Sports may be the only exception, because I don't know much about sports.... but that's beside the point. The fact that I talk a lot can be a good thing and yet, a bad thing.

I've found that a lot of people talk a lot. Some things we talk about, we know about, and some things we just wag our tongues about. It amazes me the people that say things about things that they really have no clue what they are talking about. They (me included) think that they just know everything.

This is really not a topic I've thought much about. However, of late, I believe the Lord has been showing me that the mouth is a powerful thing. In good and bad ways. As Christians we need to be so careful what we say. Wow, that is broad, right? I know, but that's it. Sometimes we talk about things that we really don't understand. For example, I used to say that I could never be apart of a life that involves the military. Deployments and just the military life. Like, no. No way. And if I must, I would certainly wait until the guy was out of the military before I involved myself in any way in his life. And I talked about how that is fine for some, but I rattled on about how I thought this and I thought that, for Pete's sake! Well, I had to eat crow. I see how backwards my thinking was. 

Now, I found myself being questioned by people like me, people who think how I used to. They were telling me how I should feel and how my life should go and when I should do this or shouldn't do that and... yada yada.

I then realized that I am the same way in many many other topics of life. I think I know how people feel, but I really don't. I think I understand their scenario, but I really have no clue. I'm full of opinions that really aren't necessarily Biblical, but they are just my two cents. That hits me hard.

One of my Dad's favorite verses that he has my family repeat is:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Others are:

A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19

The Bible is just full of verses about talking.
I just had to add this picture. Good ol' Flo.

YET, the world around us is loud. We have commercials screaming in our faces why their products are BEST!! Music is brash, people are obnoxious and the world is just big and loud. Therefore, as Christians we too tend to be BIG and LOUD.

Now, I believe that we need to be a bold people; a people that proclaims the Gospel. We need to stand and speak the truth. Yet, I want to be a person that listens and that when I speak, you can be pretty sure that it will be wise words. I want to think before I speak. I want to be remembered as someone who didn't just rattle off at the mouth with consistent and purposeless dribble. I want to know what I'm talking about before I say it. I, also, want to refrain from talking about people's lives and circumstances unless I understand. We should go to them and help them if they are in need. Encouragement goes a LONG way, I've found.

We are God's people. We of all people should speak with His voice, guided by His Spirit. God can help me tame that crazy thing of mine... that tongue. But the truth is, the tongue is the window to the heart.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalms 141:3 (Amen, David! Me too!)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Graduating!!

I graduated from highschool Thursday night. Did I really just say that? I'm not that old, am I? I'm only... 18. Maybe I am that old. Wow.

What can I say about the last 18 years of homeschool? For me, this journey of school was much more than a list of subjects and grades that I had to accomplish. It has made me who I am. It was my life. My parents incorporated my schooling into the training they we already doing to make me a Jesus follower. It was “when you get up, when you walk along the way and when you lie down" (Deut. 6:7). My parents taught me that “learning” is not confined to desks and textbooks. The true Teacher is God and the true classroom is life. They taught me to LOVE to learn. They taught me to think for myself and decide whether I wanted to believe what they believe. They showed me that my faith had to be mine.

I've realized that I’m not always going to remember every detail of Algebra or every date in History, but what I WILL remember will be Daddy sitting beside me at the kitchen table still in his work clothes quizzing me on my multiplication tables. It’ll be sunlight shinning through the window on Mama as she read to us from our History books with an elevated voice, excited about the stories. It’ll be Daddy stopping by a tree in the woods to explain why it’s an oak tree. It’ll be getting my first red journal from Dad and realizing as I wrote in it that I loved to write. Explosions in the kitchen from science experiments. Music practice when I didn’t want to practice. Lunches of peanut butter, corndogs, hot pockets, summer tomatoes, and ice cream sandwiches. Every Bible verse uttered in our house. Every prayer. And even…. Love Lifted Me sang before bedtime.
Those are things I'm going to remember. I can't buy those days back. I look back and don't regret the way I did school. I can't thank my parents enough. They were with me not just in word, but in their actions.
There I stood with my cousin at our graduation ceremony we had together. We've been together in so much of what we've done in our lives, so we graduated together too. See, I love Taylor. She really has been my best friend (outside of my immediate family) all of my life. We've been side by side for 17 years. There have been busy times, but no matter what, we can pick up right where we left off. Just like old times.
So there I stood in front of many friends and family and spoke words I've wanted to say for years, words I wanted someone to tell me when I was young.

"It is possible to make it through homeschool. It's worth it. Stay strong."


We were handed our diplomas. It was a strange and yet wonderful feeling. But it's like I told those at my graduation, "This is only the beginning." The Lord has such great plans and I look forward to the next year and every year, day and moment till I breath my last or till Jesus calls for me in the air.


How blessed I am.