Tuesday, June 14, 2005

k.it.t.y.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comElizabeth is a born conversationalist. Not very long after her birth she started talking. To the nurses, to the bassinet, to the little giraffes on her blanket (unfortunately the giraffes couldn’t answer back even if they were real). She loved it when anyone would respond to her chattering but it was apparent that she loved the sound of her own voice. Not much has changed in the 11 years since then.

When Elizabeth was a toddler she would talk herself to sleep. I used to listen near her door to hear her singing her favorite little songs and dialoging with herself about everything. More than once I slipped a cassette recorder under her bed and captured her little words and phrases to savor when her voice no longer fills this house.

It didn’t take long after Elizabeth’s first day of kindergarten for her teacher to discover how irrepressible her penchant for discussion was. Mrs. Crossland was very patient, though, as was Mrs. Dorval, Miss Sherwin, and Mrs. Poettker. Sunday School teachers were equally longsuffering and taught Elizabeth a few ways of keeping her thoughts quiet until it was appropriate to share them.

Along with being highly skilled as an orator, Elizabeth also became an expert listener. At least as much as the hum of our vehicle’s engine would allow or the 36” x 2” space under her bedroom door would permit. Soon she decided that any and every topic was perfectly suitable for conversations with school teachers, Sunday school teachers, extended family members, or friends. It didn’t take long, however, for us to realize that we really didn’t want Ms. L or Mrs. J to know what we thought of their teaching methods or classroom management strategies, especially as it was being conveyed by a 10 year-old. There’s bound to be some things left out or embellished in the translation.

So, being the good parents that we are, we decided to teach a little lesson to our daughter. It wasn’t anything terribly profound but I did thank God for giving me the initial idea of giving Elizabeth a discreet little card to carry with her. All I had written on it was what you see in the graphic: k.it.t.y. A very simple acronym but we talked to her about there being a time and a place to talk or share certain topics of conversation. Discussing bodily functions, for example, just isn’t well received over a dinner out with friends but is entirely expected in a doctor’s office. We wanted her to know that there is a time and a place for speaking and for keeping quiet. K.it.t.y. stands for Keep IT To Yourself. It wasn’t difficult to remember and it did reduce the number of times Elizabeth would blurt things out in class or among friends. And when she’s home with us we’re all ears!

There is someone that I have spent several months praying for and I could easily say a great many things about something she’s dealing with. You see, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, and the tree has roots as well. But I know that if the Holy Spirit isn't leading my speech then nothing I say will have any impact or benefit.

I think I’m going to borrow the k.it.t.y card for awhile.

“A time to keep silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:7


Glory

6 comments:

Carol L said...

Yeah, in many situations, it's so tempting to just blurt out what would seem to us to be the obvious. But if it were obvious to the person in the midst of the situation, they wouldn't be in the situation because they would see the snares and avoid them.

Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. Proverbs 1:17

And, it's been my experience that, in many things, the Lord likes to work privately with an individual on certain matters. And, He doesn't get in a hurry. He doesn't seem to mind spending years preparing the person to receive His help, His deliverance, His instruction on a matter.

Sometimes I wonder if we actually interefere with the Father/child relationship with all our "help" when Father wanted to be able to say, "That's My kid; I'll handle it, thank you!" Wouldn't we feel the same way about someone coming in and trying to correct our children who hadn't spent the time working with them that we had as parents?

Bill and Glory said...

Carol,

Wow, you nailed it! I am finding that, with this person I was referring to, I've played the rescuer as in, "This is what you're doing wrong and you'd better stop it before Father finds out." God had a lot of work to do on my own heart because of this role I was playing. More recently I have discovered that He is WAY better at getting the truth into a person's heart than I am, but I need to be sure that whatever I say complements rather than competes with the work of His Holy Spirit.

Glory

Carol L said...

(this is the same post I just deleted but with a few minor - and one major - correction)

Yeah, I've actually started speaking to myself and commanding myself, 'Be quick to listen and slow to speak!'

There is a reason that the ears outweigh the mouth 2 to 1...in other words, God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a very good reason.

And the thing of being quick to hear, slow to speak, can be our biggest challenge throughout this life.

James 3 has some very strong things to say on how unruly our tongues can be and how much trouble they can get us into:

...the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell. (verse 6)

That's pretty intense! And goes on to say that every kind of beast, every creature in the oceans and seas, every kind of bird - and even every kind of serpent - has been tamed and can be tamed by mankind. But the tongue is the one thing that no man can tame.

That's why we need the wisdom of God. 2 chapters up, in James 1, we are instructed that if any of us lacks wisdom, let us ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to us so long as we ask in faith with no doubting.

This wisdom that we need to keep this unruly beast called the tongue in check helps us, first, to take captive every thought unto the obedience of Christ Jesus, helps us to cast down every imagination, every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And it’s usually the first thing that pops into our heads that tends to come flying out our mouths!

That totally reminds me...I haven't asked for wisdom in a long time. Gonna get right on that and correct that because I've sure had a lack of it lately!

Love you,
Carol :)

Trinka said...

Amen to that one.

Oh, to finally learn the glory of the unexpressed thought!!!

Glory said...

Thanks for your comment. I've just spent several minutes at your blog, and YOU'RE the one who is the writer I've always wanted to be! Witty, articulate, fatihful...what a nice job you're doing. And you seem to have a nice-sized readership, too.

From the other Glory

Bill and Glory said...

Those are encouraging words indeed, Glory. Thank you for taking the time to read these blogs.

Glory