I had a great day today. Great! My morning began at church with about 40 kids for our weekly summer program. We walked to the fire station to get a few tips in fire safety, have some fun experiences with water and smoke, and pass out cards and cookies to the firemen. Afterwards, my girls and I had lunch with our "Granny," a dear friend that we've just adopted as another grandparent. And later this afternoon, some long-distance friends were passing through our town on their way home from a wedding; so, we met them at a place filled with inflatable bouncy thingies for the kids to jump on and slide down. Fun times. In addition to all that, my man arranged his la vida loca so that I could slip away and hang with some friends for a craft night. While they were all making something useful, I was just there to chat. And therein lies the problem.
I am doing a study on the book of James--it is a painful thing. This one little verse pretty much eclipses all the others for me:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
Tonight I was way too quick to speak. And I regretted it immediately. Unfortunately, I can not fully disclose what we were discussing for fear of losing control again. I'm really not sure that I can even mention the subject without sharing too many details. Let it suffice to say that I complained too much, blamed too much, and sympathized too little. On my way home, all of James' teachings just kept pounding my brain. (See also chapter three of James--painful!) Why couldn't those teachings have kept my lips shut a little earlier?
My great day took a very sour turn right at the end because I lost control, once again, of my tongue. I came home frustrated with myself, sorry for my friends who had sat through my explosion, and relieved that my man was ready for bed because I was pretty confident I would have been of very little company to anyone at that point. I was never so desperate to have some quiet time as I was when I got home.
I am so grateful that God loves me through my mistakes. He showed me what it was that prompted me to speak too freely and He offered fresh motivation to do the right thing next time. (Perhaps having a craft project to keep me occupied wouldn't be a bad idea either.) He is a God of second chances. And seventeen million, two thousand, nine hundred, and eighty-second chances. And better still, He doesn't just offer me mercy and forgiveness, He gives grace, the ability to do the right thing. Believe me, holding my tongue is not within my own power. But He can enable me. So, if you ever witness a day when this girl is quiet, you can be sure God has worked a miracle: the Holy Spirit has jumped right in my mouth and is sitting on my tongue. Where I am weak, He will prove strong.
"If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness..." so that when I have overcome by His power, He may get all the glory. (2 Corinthians 11)