Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: Words

They are soaking each other with the hose, taking turns spraying jets of water into the air and onto giggling faces.

I hold my tongue.

From scolding.

From warning to be careful.

From reminding them not to make mud pits

or against wasting water.

And I just watch instead, letting their laughter infiltrate the tired, the impatience that's rested heavy on my heart and come flying out of my mouth in murky, heavy phrases.


Mud pits. And sopping wet clothes. And dirty footprints. And whatever else -- they are all easily wiped away, damp towel to the mess, tossed in a washing machine and rinsed clean by water.

But words -- black and staining -- seem to stick, tattoos pressed onto skin and hidden under clothing peaking out in the parroted sentences and phrases from little lips during moments of frustration.

I should know. I dine on words like others feast on chocolate and yet

I forget sometimes.

I forget how powerful that little muscle in my mouth really is when it's carelessly flicking itself around  the mudpit in my own mouth,

my words splattering against the white walls of their hearts.

I forget how He spoke the world into existence

how words create ...

and crush.

How they blemish

but, also, how they cleanse.

I want to speak life, pure and clear.

I find myself praying, pleading

Oh, Lord, wipe me down

rinse me clean.

Not just my hands

my feet,

but my mouth, too.

This piece was written for and inspired by a prompt for our Bigger Picture Blogs Writing Circle group. Writing Circles is a virtual critique space where writers come together to share their work, receive and give constructive feedback and grow. Click here to learn more or sign up for a FREE circle. 

Linked with Let's Hear it for the Boys with The MOB Society and Bigger Picture Moments over at Sarah's


  1. OH - this is rich and thought provoking and needed...and true! IMISSEDLASTNIGHT!! I was thinking about you guys when I was traveling home. I love that this thought struck you (cut you?) when you were watching the water play...and that you wove the washing and the water all the way through the piece. The words/tatoos - so so powerful. And the image of our words splattering on the white washed walls of a heart - rich!!

    1. Adrienne, I honestly missed your voice so much -- both in reading a piece and commenting. I hope we'll get in a circle together again soon.

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement.

  2. I love all of it - you pulled it together so very well. Beautiful :)

    1. Well, I had a little help from someone really thoughtful ... :-) Thanks, lovely.

  3. I love this, Hy. I can still hear your voice reading it too. I second what Corinne said - you pulled it together beautifully. It's like we're sitting here having coffee or tea and I'm listening to you share your heart, nodding the whole time, because I know and I understand. Parenting is so hard and so convicting...and such a reminder of how much we NEED His grace.

  4. Me too, me too! This went straight to my heart because I know too well the truth of it.

  5. Thanks for visiting MercySavedMe today. And for the kind words! I have to admit that I rarely encouraged all the beating and banging. When he was in 5th grade, I can remember a meeting with the Middle School band Director once he assessed him during a lesson to see if he could be placed in percussion. He said to me, "He is really good, he has a natural talent and with a few lessons he will be ahead of those in 6th & 7th grades." My mouth hit the floor, I was STUNNED. When I was able to speak, I said, so all these years of beating & banging, he was actually doing something??!!! Thinking back now, where would he be if we had encouraged him more??
    As far as your boys, don't blink! They will be 15 & 13 in a blink of an eye. Some days may be long and tiring, but they really don't last very long. Our oldest is married and has a 2 yr old, our other daughter is in college. Its unreal how quickly time goes by.
    I love this post!! So many times I want to stop the silliness when its inconvenient for me. But, sometimes just watching them play and hearing the laughter, it makes the clean up easier to swallow!
    Thanks again!!


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