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Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

Say what you mean and mean what you say. It is a classic phrase or quote. It is universal. It can be understood for parenting, relationships, and legal transactions like selling a car.

Is honesty important at all today? It feels to me as though generally I don't trust what a company tells me. Phrases like "100% beef" or "All white meat chicken" and "all natural" or "no artificial preservatives" that have popped up with fast food companies lately cause me some concern. What was I eating 20 years ago? Not meat? Does it cost more to have real food? (We know that is a yes.) Just getting into food labels is enough to cause a person not to believe much of anything a company tells us. They are very deceptive and use trickery. Why is that?

Society and news media has plenty to say. How do you identify what is real or fake news? Apparently there is a new class at my local library to help with that. It is now that big of a problem.

In my own life, I hear myself and my husband saying things that don't make any sense to my kids. Threats about ice cream or milkshakes and taking away toys. I have taken away several things, and it doesn't really make much of a difference. I don't understand why I am doing it anymore but I feel like I need to do something. Discipline is so hard.The threats would make so much more sense if I was consistent and followed through every time.

Discipline is so much more than time outs and taking things away. Whether I bribe my kid with a sucker in the grocery store or not, I still get the looks from other people who appear to have some concern over my parenting style. Sometimes I think they understand and have been exactly where I am, other times not.

I can apply the quote "say what you mean and mean what you say" to myself too. I swore I wouldn't do this or that, but I did or do. I swore I wouldn't bribe my kids. I have heard others say the same thing and yet here we are using candy or treats to get through a shopping trip.

I'm irritated a lot these days. I don't know how to handle discipline and I'm not even disciplined enough to stick with one technique. I am inconsistent often. I'm trying so hard to be positive but after several mishaps I lose my patience. I pray as often as I can out loud in front of my kids. That is my most real solution. I know God hears me and I know my children do too. Maybe it doesn't help immediately but it will. Tonight, I felt like I was praying against a demon that I wanted to scream to get out of my house. My child yells and kicks at me when I pray sometimes but I am not giving up. I believe in Jesus.

Why am I so confident in Jesus? I am confident in the Word of God and how Jesus has redeemed my heart. God is the only one I think I truly ever did really believe, it just took me awhile to accept it fully. One thing about God is that he is worthy of respect. He doesn't go back and forth like we do. He doesn't set an expectation and change his mind. God is holy. God demands perfection which was satisfied through the blood of his son Jesus Christ. God hasn't changed. God is and always will be holy and deserving of worship and praise. He just so happens to be the most gracious by loving us and making it possible to have that relationship with him. I can't measure up. I'll never perform enough. His arm is outstretched, what is my response?

Ever heard that "one bad apple ruins the bunch"? I think it can often be that one bad memory or experience is enough to write off a whole relationship or in this case, faith. I have met people that are "christian" but didn't treat me like I imagine Christ would have. I have seen churches say they want to become mission minded and then do nothing. I have also witnessed amazing people and churches that are reaching out and living among others in authentic community.

I see time and time again people that are trying their hardest but are flawed and overcoming their own past hurts. Do we extend much compassion on each other? Or if someone does one perceived wrong thing, do we shut them out immediately? Are we reacting based on our own open wounds?
Proverbs 12:18-19

Do we think that because one person on the Facebook says an awful thing about another person or group of people that all people believe the same thing? When I see anti-Christian hate on social media, especially from people that know me well, I get a little hurt. I don't think I deserve to be lumped into that category or that I am being hurtful to them by my actions. Am I? Do they even think of me that way? I also get offended by the opposite, too much negativity coming from people that are supposed to represent Christ. People should be more careful what they put out into the world. It is making impressions quickly. Typically I keep my mouth shut, except now of course.

Ephesians 4:29

Lately, I am tired. Physically, mentally tired. Worn out and when I get that way, I am more likely to say things I shouldn't. Kinda like the whole point of this blog. It is not wise to say things without taking pause, without removing the knee jerk reaction. If it is angry, hurtful, or simply selfish, why do we need to put it out there to get its own momentum?

Every time I write, I am cautious. My words are not the important ones, but they matter when I am representing God. I strongly advise anyone to get into the Word and dig into Scripture to confirm what you are being taught, by anyone. Pray about it. Ask and God will reveal it to you.

Set up boundaries with people. This is often necessary with at least one person in a family. Or if someone asks you to serve at church, and you don't want to or can't, say what you mean and don't feel bad about it. Or if you want to and are happy to have been asked, be joyful. If you are up front and honest things will work out better in the long run.

I realize that this blog post may feel a little all over the place. That is how I am lately. Who knows whether or not we are going to have toys and ice cream in the house tomorrow. My kids aren't sure so they keep testing us. I'm regularly asking them for forgiveness for my shortcomings as a parent. I am genuinely remorseful but will they believe me if I keep saying the things I don't mean or follow through on? Would you?

Dear God, Thank you for sending Jesus to reconcile my relationship with you. Thank you that I can completely trust you. Thank you for forgiveness and the way my children truly don't keep record of my wrongs. I want to improve my disciple techniques with them before I damage our relationship. I want them to know how much I love them and understand that I can be relied on, that I mean what I say and am trustworthy. Help me to move forward in my parenting and grow from each day. In Jesus  Name, amen. 

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Thank you! God Bless!


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