Have you ever said something to someone and then wished you hadn’t opened your mouth at all? Oh friends, I have done this more often than I care to admit. I have gotten on my kids’ cases about cleaning their rooms. Now what I want them to understand is that a clean room helps them to have a clearer mind. The ccaos of their rooms spills over to their moods. They can’t find something so they stomp around in a bad mood because they need it and it’s “just gone”. I want to speak encouraging words to them, but what comes out of my mouth is usually something like “You need to clean up this pig sty right now!” Sigh… my frustration speaks louder than my reasoning. I’ve lost the ability to share why it’s a good idea to keep our rooms clean.
I have taken this same approach with my husband. When he is late at work, I wanted to convey that I missed him and wanted him to be home. What came out was something like “You never consider that I might need you here!” Sigh… again. Why oh why can’t I just say what I mean, what’s in my mind to say?
Friends, anytime we come at someone with the word “YOU” on our lips, it almost always means certain disaster. It is attack mode. Can’t you just see the imagery? A nagging old prune faced person with index finger shaking, tsking you for your bad behavior. Like an old school marm looking disapprovingly down her long nose at you. One hand on a hip and the other shaking with emphasis on every syllable. This is the image given when we start with the word “YOU”. No matter what we intend to say, if we are not mindful of what comes out of our mouth, then anything can come out of our mouth.
I know that frustration can sometimes get the better of us, that’s why this is such an example of what self-control looks like. I want to share some words from the bible with you that draw another picture of this.
James 3:2-5 says, “For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says he is a perfect man. Able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.”
You see, we actually have the ability to guide our loved ones based on our manner of speech to them. My son might be in a perfectly fine mood, then I come in with guns a blazin’ and demand he clean his room right this minute. Now I may have asked him a million times already (which is usually the case) but I can choose to be encouraging with my request thus guiding him in a more positive direction. My daughter might be just chillin’ on the couch watching a movie, then I come in hand on hip, shakin’ that finger, lookin’ down my nose and declaring that she always leaves a mess in this room for me to clean up. I could have given a gentle reminder… again, to please pick up her things when the movie is over because I’d love her help with dinner as soon as she puts them away. My husband could have had a terrible day at work and just needed me to be his rock and understand that though he’d rather be home, he is stuck there at the job having to finish it. I should respond with a loving and sympathetic tone. Not the wicked witch of the west assuring him I would get him for this. My dear loving readers, we must realize the power our words carry. It can make or break the day of a loved one or friend. It can also make or break our day as well. Speak kindly to yourself too. I’m working on this one. Choose the road less traveld and speak kind words to your people. Tell them what exactly your trying to say with loving words.
Now for that recipe…
This is a side dish to accompany… well, anything. It was a new find and we had this over the weekend and it was a hit!
Herbed Baby Potatoes
1 lb. baby golden potatoes
4 Tbls. Butter melted
1 tsp. thyme
2 cloves fresh garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. (approximately) grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In Dutch oven, place scrubbed, unpeeled, whole potatoes and fill with water to completely cover potatoes. Boil until tender (about 20-25 min.) drain. Return to Dutch oven. Melt butter in microwave or on stove top. Add Thyme and garlic to butter. Mix well. Pour over potatoes and toss to completely coat potatoes with butter mixture. Place potatoes on cookie sheet with sides in a single layer. With mason jar or large glass, smash down each potato but still keeping it in tact. Sprinkle on salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes. Ooooooohh, they are soooooo good!
Additional tip— To dress these up a bit for an appetizer for a party or just for your own pleasure, you can also top these with:
- Green onions
- bacon bits
- French fried onions
- other cheeses
- sliced mushrooms
t’s really up to your personal tastes!