Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Happy February!  Happy Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday.  Still isn’t.  Just doesn’t rank up there with Christmas, does it?  Though I do love roses and chocolate.  And I don’t mean the red, long-stemmed version that cost more than a bush.  I love garden roses.  You know the kind you pick from your backyard (or in my case, front yard), cut real short and place in a jar with a sprig of ivy.   I can put roses like that in every room of my house.   And now that I’m “clean” and view chocolate as evil, the last thing I want my husband to do is hand me a heart-shaped box filled with the stuff.   Although if it were a heart-shaped box of Nuts and Chews from See’s Candy....  
No, it’s evil!
But speaking of hearts.  I was wondering -- just how much do we cherish the hearts of those around us.  The hearts of our husbands, our children, our friends?

I’m learning that from the heart, speaks the tongue.  
Just one wrong word can hurt so much.
I know this because I’m human.  And I’ve said my share of things that fall into the, “I wish I could take that back category.”  
Just this week, my son and I have been working on his fifth grade state report.  Thank goodness I have only one child who will embark upon this project.  It’s not that I don’t love learning about Alabama every day of every week since December fifteenth, but I can think of other things I’d rather be doing.  Laundry?  Root canal?  Pap smear?  
But believe it or not, in my haste to finish up late one night, I caught myself saying things that were anything but encouraging and supportive to my son.  Somewhere between “Montgomery” (the state capital, if you were unaware) and “pecans” (the state nut, if you were wondering), I lost it.  We ended that night on a low, and I felt even lower as I got into bed that night replaying a word in my mind that I wish I hadn’t said.  It wasn’t “stupid” in case you were going there, but it wasn’t much better.  And just for the record, I said it with sarcasm, but I’m trying not to do that either.
So the next day, as we embarked upon this wonderful project again, I apologized to my son for my words from the night before.  In fact, I’m telling him tomorrow morning as he finishes up “nuts” (Alabama is the third largest producer of peanuts and peanut products in the United States, by the way) and “Gulf of Mexico” (it has a subtropical climate and has more thunderstorms than any other state) that I would rather learn about Alabama with  him than do anything else.  As a result of this project, I am able to spend time with him and enjoy the qualities he has that make me proud.  Have I mentioned that the guy has set his alarm for six a.m. most every morning to do one more page before school?  Gotta love that.  
And as I was driving home today, I had a thought.  What if when we spoke, our voice was recorded for all to hear?   Would we be fearful of what we said?  Of who would hear?  Or would we know that our words were healing and encouraging to all who heard?   
Whether we say them in front of someone or behind them, words can always hurt.
“Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
--Proverbs 15:4
So as my son and I embark on our next project together, creating the state flag, I hope my words are kind and encouraging -- just like "Mae Jemison," (Alabama's famous female astronaut). 


  1. Oh, what a lovely post and I think any Momma out there can identify with you. I know in my "child rearing" years, I certainly often wanted to take back some of my words.

    Valentine's Day is just one of my very favorite. I love the hearts and all the "love stuff." :o)

    Sweet blessings to you!

  2. Oh how I remember the Florida notebook project my son had to do, but the following year it was a Nations notebook. Ever try to find Morrocan money in FL? Not only did I want to kill my son and his teacher at times, but myself as well by the time it was over...I of course don't mean that literally...but oh those projects are hard on the entire family!
    Part 1of my blog today gives a quick update on my husband's cancer if you have a moment to check it out.