Make in Me a Clean Mouth, O God

Confession: I have had a terribly filthy mouth in my day.

I guess having a “potty-mouth,” as it’s sometimes called, felt like a safe thing to do to be rebellious 🙂 Would keep me from being a complete goodie-two-shoesWouldn’t get me in a ton of trouble

That’s totally lame.  I know it now.

Anyway, a combination of being married to someone who wasn’t much for cussing, having children and not wanting to talk like that around them, and beginning to walk with God cleaned up the filth, for the most part.

But sometimes I have, shall we say, relapses, and my tongue gets a little loose.

I had one such relapse a few weekends ago when Bill and I spent the weekend at the beach with my sister, Tiffany, and her husband, Josh. We went to celebrate my 40th birthday, and it was just what I hoped it would be: we laughed a lot. I took naps when I wanted.  We went out to eat at “adult” times.  We walked on the beach.  We rode in the Jeep Wrangler…it was perfect.

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Photo Credit: Tiffany Manley – Tiff and me in the back seat of the Jeep on the way to dinner.  Call me crazy, but I have only ridden in a Wrangler a handful of times in my life…so it was on my list of things I wanted to do while I was at the beach celebrating my 40th 🙂

 

But, when I am around Tiffany…I might cuss a little…ok, I might cuss a lot. I guess I feel comfortable with her; I know she won’t think I’m a bad person.

Of course I knew at the time it was wrong, but I kept doing it.

Once the weekend was over and we got home, God began convicting me about my unholy talk.

During our morning devotion the Monday after our beach weekend, my director used some verses from Colossians, and one of them talked about how Christians needed to avoid filthy talk.

There were 15 or 16 verses in the devotion that morning, but I zeroed in on that one. I knew God was talking to me.

 

 

That afternoon, I texted Josh and Tiffany and apologized to them. I apologized to Bill as well.

A few days later during my quiet time, I read 2 Corinthians 2:15 about our lives being a sacrifice to God to use to reach people around us. This made me think of my mouth again. Everything I do and say reflects God to others. My life is how I worship Him.

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Image Credit: Pinterest

What God was saying to me was obvious: I cannot have a filthy mouth and be a tool for God to use to draw people to Himself.

I worship God with my whole life – it is my sacrifice, and it is on display for all to see (and hear). There shouldn’t be any unholy talk.

No inappropriate jokes.

No foul language.

 

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Image Credit: pinimg.com

Since I’ve taken the first two steps – acknowledged the conviction and apologized for my wrongdoing – I have to complete the journey. To fully repent, I must turn to God and away from the sin.

What does that look like?

Maybe I have fewer relapses.

Maybe I stop cussing altogether.

Maybe I don’t even think in cuss words anymore!

That would mean that I have truly and completely allowed God to change me – what I say and what I think.

And if those words don’t come out of my mouth, then they aren’t in my heart.

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Image Credit: flickr.com

That is truly what I want to give back to God. A changed heart.

Pray this with me:

Thank you, Father for choosing me, and thank you for loving me. Thank you for sending your Son to die for me so that I could spend eternity with you in Heaven.

I want to be a tool for you to use, Father. Change me so you can use me.

My life is my worship, Lord; everything I do and say points to you once I say I am a Christian.

Continue to convict me. Continue to show me things in my life that need to be given over to you. Continue to make me more like you.

I want my life to be a sweet-smelling sacrifice to you – every part of it. Do this in me today, Father.

Amen

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Image Credit: Pinterest

Life is NOT What You Make of It

Life isn’t what you make of it although that’s what the world wants you to believe. Life is what you allow God to make of it! You have to give your life over to Him and let Him do with it what He wills.

Sure, you can make something of your life apart from God. That’s entirely possible. But that’s too much work. Work in the wrong direction. Work for the wrong reason. Work for no eternal benefit…

I am more content with the last 8 or so years of my life than I was with the first 32. Although the first 32 seemed alright, there wasn’t much walking with God going on then…so it had little eternal value. I did very little to further God’s kingdom. I did little to bring glory to His name. I was making my own life rather than giving it to Him to make.

But that’s what He asks for – a life surrendered and handed to Him.

I’ve done that in the last 8 years. Surrendered my life. Handed it over to Him. He is making my life what He wants it to be.

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About the time I started listening to God’s voice for the first time in my life…

What DOES He want it to be?

I’m not sure yet – although I am confident that He will use it for His glory.

He’s mostly been pruning so far. There’s been a lot of dead limbs, excess leaves, and unripened fruit to get rid of first.

All that extra stuff came from 32 years of trying to make my own life what I wanted it to be.

So, there’s been a lot of work. It’s been painful. There’s been some sacrifice. Some things have had to go. Other things had to change. Priorities had to shift.

He’s not done, so I’m still here, letting Him make my life what He wants it to be.

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from My Mama

“You get out of it what you put into it.”

Mama didn’t always say this aloud, but she taught me this with her life.

And she’s right.

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Me, my mom, and my sister – 2011

Much of the time, if you take a crappy attitude into an experience, the experience will be crappy.  If you go into something with a positive attitude, the experience can be positive.

There are always exceptions we could discuss.  I’m sure you have stories to the contrary as do I.  But I am confident in saying that my mom’s lesson holds true the majority of the time.

It has to do with the fact that what we expect to happen is usually what happens: We make our expectations reality.  It’s called self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you tell yourself beforehand that something is going to suck, that you’re going to hate it, then that’s probably what will happen.

You’ve mentally set yourself up for it. You’ve predisposed yourself for it to happen.

Mentally, you’ve shut down or closed-off – expecting the worst.  You’re less likely to hear and properly receive things that are said.  Your body language is communicating negativity, and that will influence your interactions with other people, too.

It’s just all-around a bad deal.

But the opposite is true as well.  If you tell yourself this thing you’re about to do might be fun, you might learn something new or meet some new people, or at least get to see a new place, the outcome is probably going to be much more positive.

You set yourself up for a favorable outcome because that is what you expect – that the experience will be positive.  Since you’re in a positive mind-frame, that will physically show in your body which will have an influence on other people around you.

You’ll probably have a positive experience.

Don’t believe me?  Try it next time you have to do something – especially something new.  Give yourself a pep talk.  Tell yourself it’ll be interesting.  You’ll learn something new.  You’ll meet some interesting people.  Maybe the food will be really good or the scenery will be pretty.

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Image Credit: TheBible.com

Think of positive things and your frame of mind has to respond.  It will have a good influence over your experience.

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Image Credit: KLove

Read another Everything I Ever Needed to Know post