Watching My Tongue

As my kids are getting older, I'm realizing more and more how I need to watch my mouth. Not because I use obscene language or anything in appropriate around them, but because I need to be more intentional in the words I use.

Anders frequently catches me when I tell him, "Just one second," and it takes more than one second. Sure, I use it as a figure of speech meaning give me a short amount of time to finish what I'm doing, but my son needs me to say what I mean.

I've been reading through Joan Chittister's The Rule of St. Benedict: Insight for the Ages lately. St. Benedict talks often about being intentional in what we say, and not saying it too readily or saying too much (in fact, he chastened monastics to not speak unless asked a question).

My lesson (as an introvert who doesn't have a problem in saying too much) is to speak with intent and with blessing. Saying "Have a good day," "See you later," or "How are you?" have little meaning. So, I'm asking myself, "What if I got rid of those meaningless phrases and said things that matter?"

"May you discover the blessings of this day."
"Our visit was a blessing for me; I hope we can do it again soon."
"What has God been teaching you today?"

It's really a shift in thinking. Or maybe just thinking instead of reacting, instead of saying what we say out of habit. So I know I won't get there right away. But I'm thinking about it. And I have a six-year old who will remind me when I have said something I don't actually mean.

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