Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perspective

Words must be weighed not counted. -Polish Proverb

Words enable communication.
They can be used to build people up.
Or tear people down.
Words are powerful.
Words can wound. Others. And yourself.

And they can alter your perspective.

As Gabe grows up I want to teach him that what he says matters. I want him to learn (through our modeled behavior) to use words appropriately and to know what the words he's using mean. And there will be some words that we won't let him use. Some words will not be allowed until he's old enough to know what they mean, realize how strong they are or actually goes through that circumstance.

What are those words? Well, I'm sure our list isn't complete but one of the is hate. For us, the word hate is strong, powerful and evokes such extreme feelings, we just don't feel someone young is capable of using it correctly. And hate is one of those words that wound.

Another word that wounds is stupid. Our children will not call one another or their possessions stupid. I really dislike name calling and calling someone stupid just burns me. Whether it's a child calling another child stupid, or regretably a parent calling their child stupid, that word wounds. And the wounded person remembers being called stupid and may begin to believe that they are in fact, not smart.

In case you missed it, we're adopting from Ethiopia! Because regulary food supplies are short, our next child may very well know what it's like to starve. So for me or Gabe to be hungry because it's close to our next meal or we perhaps skipped a meal is one thing. To say we're starving though, is not only inaccurage but not only disregards the pain people all over the world are going through daily, it also disparges the fact that my child, Gabe's sibling at one point in their life may have been starving too. It seems to be an American tendancy to over-exagerate but I think it's important for us to keep perspective in life. Even with our words.

Speaking of perspective; we are hopefully moving into our house today. It wasn't until last Monday that we knew exactly where our permanent residency would be in Houston.

A few weeks ago I posted that we had found a house and then posted again pictures of our house. Then Matt want to Lousianna and Gabe and I traveled home to Ohio. At our respective places Matt and I both began to feel discontent over the house we had a contract on; what would happen if we didn't like living in Texas and wanted to leave? Would we be stuck, unhappy, hundreds of miles from where we want to be all because of a house? Thanks to Texas real estate law, we were allowed to rescind our contract.

But that left us without a permanent address. We were in a rush to find a place to call home and I felt completely displaced. The word homeless kept entering my mind. I kept worrying that we were homeless. One day as I was bemoaning to myself, I realized how horrid my thoughts had become. And my horrid thoughts were giving me a negative attitude and perspective. I was not homeless; without a permanent address - yes, but I had a place to house my stuff, sleep at night and keep cool during the day. Living in a hotel for a month with a 22 month old is not ideal but it is far from homeless.

I felt guilty. Here I was blessed to have a roof over my head, plenty of food and air conditioning and I was comparing myself to people that were really without a place to find shelter and safety. It was like someone slapped me upside the head.

I wasn't homeless, far from it. But it was the thought of homelessness and all it encombers that wreaked havoc on my mood and kept me from the everyday joys of life. Once I changed my perspective, even though we still had no place to call 'home,' we had a place to live. Unlike so many others.

Agonizing over the word homeless and repeatedly telling myself we were homeless showed me that I have a lot to learn when it comes to modeling proper wordage to Gabe. Parenting is definately a learning and humbling experience. I love to learn and God loves to continually keep me humble, so I suppose I'm the right vocation {smile}

2 comments:

Heather and Chad said...

I love this post! How easily we become so consumed by the things we think we need. Yet when we stop to look around we realize then that we already have so much! Words.....oh how powerful they really can be! I am pretty much the "word police" in my classroom. So many that I won't tolerate due to their negativity and hurtful implications. I intend, very much like you, to have certain words that just don't need to be said by Hayden (especially before he can fully understand the full meaning)!!!

Carrie said...

Been thinking and praying for you guys with all the new changes; I would have a hard time just as you are....may you feel his peace and love.
BTW- I cannot believe how grown up Gabe is looking! Too cute he is!