Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “Memories”

Hold Your Tongue

“Mariah, how many times did Mr. P. have you hold your tongue?”  “I don’t know, mom…there were too many times to count.”  We had a good laugh about that.  That image just causes me to giggle.  As a way of correction for talking out of turn, her 5th grade teacher would have the students hold their tongues.  You really wouldn’t wanna be sentenced to holding your tongue while you marched around the playground.   The public humiliation would be too much to bear…for everyone except Mariah.

Oh that we would learn to take a lesson from Mr. P. and hold our tongues.  Just as a bell cannot be unrung or a haunting image erased from your memory, words can’t be taken back once released.  I still recall some really stupid things I’ve said and the memories still cause me to grimace, like the time my husband introduced me to his friend, Percy and I said….(oh God, never mind…it was just too hideous for me to make forever public), but trust me, it was bad!  Just the mention of his name, threatens hives!  Words have power!  They can be regarded as weapons of mass destruction for the damage they inflict.  At the same time, they can be the encouragement a weary soul needs; the healing a bruised heart seeks.

I was recently prompted to talk to my kids about their words.  That teachable moment came as I was putting on my coffee the other day.  As I inserted the filter and measured the coffee, I was reminded of the importance of measuring our words; of filtering them through what I call our Holy Ghost filter.  I explained to them that they don’t have to say everything they think and when they do, they should imagine a filter fixed just under their forehead and above their mouth.  Anything that is not true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous or praiseworthy should stay right in that filter giving way to only all that is good.  They seemed to have understood the message.  Time will tell how well they put it into play.  I know it takes time and practice and much discipline, made easier as we make an effort to have our minds changed or transformed by the Word.   I’ll be as patient with them as God is with me.  Whenever I feel the need to “share,” I seriously hear God say, “Arlene, shut it.”  (That’s how He has to talk to me sometimes.)  Most times I listen.  Sometimes I don’t.  Thank God for mercy, forgiveness and Mr. P.  Now don’t forget to remember to hold your tongue!!

“Lord, may every word we speak be seasoned with mercy and laced with love and kindness; may be we reminded that death and life are in the power of the tongue and may we choose to speak words of encouragement, healing, life 24/7/365 plus one in Jesus’ name, be it!”


Remembering Miss Mary

I love a good prophecy…love a good word.  I don’t chase after them though.  We’ve all heard of folks who run from meeting to meeting hoping to be spotted and called out and given a word.  I learned early on to file those away.  I don’t disregard them…no, not at all.  I’m just really careful not to adjust my life or position myself in such a way to force a word given to come to pass.  I figure, if it’s God, it’ll be good and in time it will come to pass without my assistance.  I learned that long ago from Miss Mary and so today I’m remembering Miss Mary.

One of my first spiritual mothers was Mrs. Hopkings.  She was quiet and strong, full of wisdom and she could lift the roof off with her prayers.  I called her one day for prayer.  I was due to return to work after maternity leave and I was sad and broken at the prospect of leaving my son.  I was a mess and needed some encouragement.  After we spoke for a while, she asked me to hold on while she added her prayer partner, Miss Mary to the call.  They prayed for and encouraged me tag team style and at the end of the conversation, Miss Mary told me that soon I would be home for good to care for my son.  I hung up from that conversation filled with peace, strengthened and encouraged.

I returned to work just fine and 16 months later I was on maternity leave again and this time, just as Miss Mary had said, I did not return to work.  Months later I was at Miss Hopkings’ birthday party and seated behind me was a beautiful older woman dressed in african garb.  I was instantly attracted to her.  We spoke for a long time until dinner was served.  As I ate I looked around for Miss Mary.  Surely, she had to be present.  After dinner, I asked Miss Hopkings for her and she laughed and said that I had been talking to Miss Mary the entire time.  Of course!  I went over to Miss Mary and took her hands and introduced myself to her.  I introduced both my children and told her that I was at home with them now, just as she had said.  Her eyes filled with tears and she spoke such beautiful words over me and my children.  We exchanged telephone numbers and Miss Mary became my spiritual mother.  We began a phone affair, encouraging one another, sharing prayer requests and praise reports.

During one of our last telephone conversations, Miss Mary began to speak into my life.  I was sweeping the kitchen floor as she was speaking and it was the strangest thing, but whenever she would have a word for me her voice would change…everything about it…the tone, the volume, its cadence…and I knew to stop and listen.  This time I stopped, grabbed a pad of paper and sat down and began to take dictation.  She stopped abruptly and instructed me not to write down what was being said.  I was startled and looked out the window half expecting Miss Mary to be outside looking in.  She said that I would remember exactly what she said as it came to pass.  I did just that and have marveled through the years, as much of what she said has come to pass in my life.

Today I’m remembering Miss Mary…that powerhouse woman of God…so tender, so wise, so strong, full of love.  Here’s to you Miss Mary.  I can’t wait to tell you how spot on you were!

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