Saturday, November 08, 2008

Use Your Words

My son Will, a tornado of a four-year-old, frequently finds himself frustrated to the point of foot-stomping. He has trouble, let us say, "playing nicely with others." Now don't get me wrong -- Will is simultaneously the most adorable of our four children, which gets him a pass more often than he deserves.

As a corrective, Kristin and I repeat our mantra to him in the midst of his rising tantrums: "Use your words, Will, use - your - words." We want him to try and express what is bothering him -- to ask for help, to tell another child that they have hurt him, to articulate the problem. Then, we can help him and avoid a melt-down.

Of course, we adults have our own kind of melt-downs. They might be less visible, or more subtle, but they happen. I realized recently how often I forget to pray at times like this, when I am frustrated. So, I've decided to take my own advice. Use - your -words, Chris. When my heart is troubled or downcast or on the cusp of anger and resentment, I will use my words and speak to my Lord. It's so simple, really. I just need a fresh word-picture now and then to remind me of this powerful and fundamental truth.


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