Winter Wonderland and Wielding Your Words

My Instagram and Facebook feed blew up today with pictures of SNOW. Ask anyone in central Texas, and they will tell you, “It SNOWED today!” A veritable winter wonderland. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, so I’m sure not carrying around any rocks in my pocket. I bundled up and went outside in the SNOW today, too. Wouldn’t have missed it! I took Winston on a walk with me in the pasture, and he loved it! I even captured a picture of the first tulips peeking through the SNOW in my front flower bed.

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Of course, I get a good laugh at what we call “SNOW,” compared to what folks in Boston might call SNOW. With the crazy February SNOWstorm, they’ve had 130 roofs collapse from SNOW accumulation. As I look out my window while I’m typing, I can see that our SNOW is already 75% melted. SNOW? What SNOW?

And y’all know that in my little “today it’s blonde” head, I got to thinking about words. And what they mean. And how they’re used. And I remembered back to a night in prison about four weeks ago.

Seven women in a small group. Five offenders from Hilltop Women’s Prison Unit. One volunteer and me.

I posed the question: “What insecurities do you have?”

Without hesitation, one offender replies… I was in fourth grade. I had a secret crush on a boy named Jonathan. One day was he told me I had a nose like Pinocchio. I’m still so self-conscious about my nose. I always thought if I had enough money, I’d have plastic surgery and get a new nose.

Another replies… I hate my teeth. I have this chip on my front teeth. I’m so embarrassed by it.

Another replies – this time an African American girl… I’ve always been so skinny. Black women are supposed to have curves and big butts. {This is a quote… promise!}

And there I sat looking at these same women. Never once had I thought, “Gosh, she has a big nose.” And the skinny one. Well, you know what I was thinking about her… Don’t I wish I was that skinny! I’d never noticed even one of the “insecurities” that have threatened their image, their identity, their value, and their confidence. And for those of you who know me well, you KNOW I’m observant. I don’t miss much.

With a few more prodding questions, I discovered something about insecurities.

They are most often planted. By the words of someone else.

Just like Jonathan’s comment about a Pinocchio nose… over 15 years ago.

I write to a young man who has been incarcerated since a very young age and who is facing an extremely long sentence. He’s exceptionally bright, and he often expressed an insight I find to be profound. When I told him how I choose a word for each year, he decided he would choose one, too. And in choosing his word… which is LIGHT… he wrote this:

Words are important. In a way, they are the basic elements of our being.
We can certainly live in a world without words in the primitive biological sense,
but we could never understand the world, never have a sense of self or anything like a spiritual life.
We understand this reality by the concepts that words represent.
And since there is no one-to-one correspondence
[think SNOW] between concepts and words,
since our brains do not even process information linearly but in parallel,
I imagine this
[choosing a word for the year] would be
an excellent approach for the guidance of the
[Holy] Spirit.

One word extracted from the course of normal conversation can impress our soul
with such profound significance that it can lead to internal revolutions

[think “my nose is like Pinocchio],
ultimately finding actual expression
 [think “I wish I had money for a plastic surgeon].
As God spoke reality into existence, we actualize the words within the world of our minds.
Also, much of what we know of others is obtained by the content of their speech. 

 And with those powerful words from my incarcerated friend, I leave you with this thought for today.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord…”

Wield your words for His glory!

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2 thoughts on “Winter Wonderland and Wielding Your Words

  1. Trae, Great message! Makes me want to think about: ” what is my word for this year?” Well, I think the Lord just gave it to me: “Care”. “people don’t care about what we think; they want to know that we care”. Thanks sweet friend!

  2. I missed quoted myself in the above statement: People don’t care what you know; but want to know that you care. Anyway, I’ve been doing a study on this word care today and excited about what He is showing me. See you tonight!

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