Saturday, June 12, 2010

Am I "Mouthy"?

Old blog, new look. I liked the old one, but I’m one of those people who likes to change things up sometimes. You’d never know that by visiting my house. Once a knick-knack finds it’s spot, it’s there until it petrifies. (With the exception of Christmas decorating. We still haul out tubs of snowmen, villages, elves and Santas to sit anywhere we can stuff them. Then, usually before Baby New Year can change his diaper, they’re all back in the box and shelved while the knick-knack resumes it’s rightful spot.) But, blogs are meant to change and perhaps right along with their blogger.

Looking at the title, I still like Wendie’s Words. I’ve always been a fan of cheesy alliteration. Just give me a few minutes and I can come up with a string of words for any letter excluding X. The Lettering Lady from La Grange. I rest my case. That silliness aside, I began my morning thinking of writing. I think about it a lot, but seldom engage in it. So, with some trepidation, I bowed my head to ask for direction in my day. The words of Psalm 19:14 took hold. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Where did that come from? Why did that pop up? I continued as if on autopilot, “May the words of my mouth...” Or, maybe “May the words on my paper...” What I write matters. If to no one else, to God. I’m not looking for a following for this blog. But, I am looking to please him.

Words hold power. We’ve all experienced the joy of positive words and the hurricane force of painful words. I wonder, however, if we need to be reminded of this truth in light of today’s “social networking”. I admit I”m addicted to Facebook. It’s so easy to keep up with your friends and even those you’re mildly acquainted with. We can see pictures of the latest vacation, graduation, baby and even dinner entree. I know when many are in need of prayer or simply bored. We send birthday greetings and post words of encouragement. We even ask for advice on where to buy the best or who to call for plumbing. Yep, Facebook can be a great way to keep up.

Keeping up can also be viewed using a smudgy film. I’m sad to say that some of my friends have seen the dangerous side of networking. Oh, not the scary stalking stuff we hear about on the nightly news - and that IS dangerous. I’m talking about posts. Among your 647 closest friends. I’m reminded of the preschool song I taught my kids with the words, “Oh, be careful little mouths what you say.” When you hit “comment”, the words are out of your mouth so to speak. Oh, sure, you can go back and remove them, but in that split second, who saw them? Usually, we leave them alone and go on. There those words sit. Someone wise pointed out that there is no tone to posts or emails. No facial expressions or ways to interpret. So, Facebook Friends, “Be careful little posts what you say.” Before you post, take a minute to ponder all the possible ways it could be understood and ask yourself if this needs to be out there. As Psalm 14:19 reminds us, we should strive to be pleasing in His sight. The last line of the preschool song assures us that when we are careful, we can know that “the Father up above is looking down in love.”

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Feels Like a Summer Night

There's a feel to the air that I can only describe as summer evening. As an adult, I know it's humid and we complain about it being hot and sticky, but I remember as a kid heading outside after dinner and feeling that night air.

The sun is out, but lower and slower. The intense heat turning in for the night. My collie, Lucky, no longer pants but lies still beside me while I sit waiting for the other neighborhood kids to be released from eating one more bite. They head out the doors ready for last games before being called in for baths and turned down beds. We can hear Mrs. White chatting while bouncing in a metal lawn chair. Mr. White, in a short-sleeve shirt as thin as a lady's hanky, drinks from a beer bottle and mops his forehead. Next door, we hear the "snip-snip" of manual hedge trimmers as Mr. Colette manicures his living fence. Back doors are open and the sound of clinking dishes being rinsed of suds mingles with the voices of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

Whirring bike wheels spin closer and soon, there are half a dozen Schwinns lying on the lawn while we sit in a circle voting on our last game of the day. Kickball? Cops and robbers? Pitch a few? Kickball wins out and we begin picking teams by playing hot-potato. Divided, we begin and circle the bases. My mailbox is first base. I never stop at first and often round third for a home run. Darkness quietly wraps around us as lightening bugs dance and a chorus of creek-side croaking begins. We can barely see the ball as it bounces toward the next kicker. Suddenly, the sound of a dinner bell breaks the air. "Hey Joe, it's your bell," the first baseman hollers. Joe waves and heads through the back yards. With that, one by one, the signals from other bells resonate. We wait it out until the last players are forced to take the ball home and wait for tomorrow.

Mr. Bubble fills the old tub and cotton pajamas wait. The window is open next to the twin beds and the attic fan plays a sonata of rattles drawing a breeze across my thin cowboy blanket. After "Now I Lay Me" and kisses from Mom, my little brother is soon breathing deeply in the bed beside me. When I'm sure Mom and Dad are downstairs, I switch on my flashlight under the covers and read adventures of Beetle Bailey, Little LuLu, Casper, or Archie. The fan rattles a lullaby and I feel the flashlight being pulled from my hand. Snuggling deeper under my covers, I faintly hear the crickets as I give in to deep sleep. Dreaming of tomorrow and the wonderful adventure of simplicity.