As I get older, I find I’m having moments where little snippets from my childhood are coming back to me at random moments. My dad was such a goofball, and had a million little things he said that made us all laugh–at least the first 150 or so times he said them. Those little “Ralph-isms” keep coming up in my speech and even in my husband’s here and there, and warming my heart. As a matter of fact, I even hear them come out the mouth of my oldest now and then. We can all smile now as we remember that side of my dad. Surely, God has done a healing work!
Repeating truths is so important. I have verses that have literally gotten me through written on cards and stuck all over my house from the walls to the refrigerator. They’re like old friends now that encourage me when I need a lift and remind me when I forget how big my God is. Eventually, they get stuck in my mind.
You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Isaiah 26:3
The other day I was repeating one of my own phrases that make my children roll their eyes. I have said these things to my children all throughout their lives, and though they roll their eyes now, I’m sure they will find them coming out of their mouths someday! For now, I’m going to write them down–just in case they try to forget!
1. Do the thing until you feel the thing.
This has a couple applications to me. When the kids were really small and someone hurt someone else’s feelings, an apology was needed. Oftentimes, one sniffling toddler was made to look the other one in the eye and say a genuine, “I’m sorry.” I can just see their little faces as they would look at me and say, “But, I’m not really sorry! Why do I have to say it?”
Well, because sometimes the feelings follow the words. We say we are sorry and sure enough when we see what that meant to somebody else, all of a sudden we realize we did mean it after all! It worked like a charm.
It also makes me think of my little ones who were taught about the goodness of God in our family, but our story hadn’t become their own yet. I remember one of my little ones saying, “I want to love Jesus, but I don’t really feel it yet.”
Again, I would say, “Do the thing until you feel the thing.” They learned what love looked like, and claimed it over their little lives before they even realized how powerful those words would be! It wasn’t too long before our faith became their own–when the love of God became more than a family belief and was known deep in their very own spirit.
Isn’t that true for us? There are so many times in my life, whether I’m working or dealing with a family issue where my heart isn’t really where it should be. My words can lead me, though; in a good way or a bad one! Maybe I’m not feeling like I’m brimming over with love for my husband in a given moment, but when I let my words of love lead, feelings can change. We don’t want to be led by our emotions. We want to be led by what is truth.
2. A job worth doing is a job worth doing well.
Granted, this one’s been around a while, but I say it every time chores are done halfway around here. Isn’t it so true, though? Why bother putting the effort in if in the end you can’t be proud of it?
3. Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
This one goes hand in hand with number two, but has pushed me many times to follow through and finish something I’ve started when I really wanted to quit. Procrastination is a bad, bad habit and when you do it a little, you can easily begin to do it more often.
Now, this comes in moderation for me. If there is fun to be had playing with my family, I’m a firm believer in enjoying a stolen moment. Work will be there tomorrow!
As a child, too many adults in my life validated themselves by working hard. It was very easy to overlook a child who needed some love and time.
Moments cannot be retrieved.
4. There’s nothing you and I can’t handle together.
I want my kids to have this one engraved on their hearts. It’s so important for them to know that if they bring their stuff to me and their dad, we will help them through it. If they hide things, they go alone and we walk separate paths. Our paths as a family were not meant to be walked alone. We have arms to hold each other up.
5. You do bad things, bad things happen. You do good things, good things happen.
There are things in this world called natural consequences. We can look around at the lives of people around us and see this seemingly obvious truth in every direction. Sometimes, when faced with a temptation we need to be reminded of the outcome. It will most definitely reflect the decision.
6. Do the best you can do. That’s all you can do, Kid.
This one is a recycled Ralph-ism. My dad didn’t pass on a whole lot of wisdom to me, but this one I remember. He would tell me this when I had a test to take, or was nervous about an upcoming event.
It’s really so simple it’s almost silly, but it’s so true! All we have to offer is our best. If we are being faithful and doing our very best, no one can really expect more, can they? And if we fail after having done our best, we should have no regrets.
My last one is one is just a universal truth known by all who dwell in this home. It helps them keep stay focused and put things in their proper order. It reminds them that secrets are always found out, Daddy will always come to my defense, and there’s no use fighting too hard because…
7. Momma always wins.
Isn’t that great? So simple, yet so eloquent. I’ve even made them repeat the rule back to me should they sound like it’s fading from their minds.
I really like that one.
I want to hear some of your words! What things do you find yourself repeating as words of wisdom at your house? Please share them as comments here on the blog. I have a feeling there’s a lot of wisdom to go around!
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