My First Book of Words

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Last night Ray and I visited our daughter Mev and her family. I enjoyed our conversation around the table, playing with dolls on the floor with Clara, and holding little Wesley. Back home, I piddled around trying to get things in better order in the midst of continuing home improvements, while enjoying phone conversations with our daughter Bethany in Georgia and our son John in Missouri.

I also talked on the phone to my mother. She has been at our home most of the time since her stroke in June (see this blog entry). This month my brother and I are trying a transition–a week at our house and then a week at her house under his watchful eye. One of my earliest wonderings after she had her stroke was whether I would ever get to talk on the phone with her again. I’m so grateful that I can.

This morning I was standing before the bathroom mirror trying to get myself together for the day and remembered something I had forgotten to do last night–I forgot to write a blog for today! To those of you who are organized and read it early each morning, I apologize. I said lots of words yesterday, but I forgot to say some to you.

Do you have a children’s book of words around your house? I just went to our bookshelves and found two Little Golden Books about words. One was titled simply, Words. The other was Richard Scarry’s Best Little Word Book Ever. Little Golden Books published this shortened version of his classic Best Word Book Ever in 1992, almost three decades after the original book was published in 1963. I understand, sadly, that the newer versions are being “dumbed down” and are also being made more politically correct. I’m glad our children enjoyed an older version, and they did enjoy it again and again and again. I read that Scarry was pleased when his books got worn out and had to be taped together. Well, he would have been pleased with our copy.

Parents are excited when their child says his first word. When our son John was very young, I remember wondering what he would have to say when he started talking. That was about 34 years ago, but the way I remember it is that we were in my parents’ hometown about to pass under a traffic light, when John said, “Jesus.” I often think of that when I make that familiar turn.

The first words are special. It’s all those words we say afterwards that can get us into trouble. Words can help and bless and heal. They can mar and hurt and destroy. We must be so careful with the words we use when we speak to our children. I know a person who got upset one day, and the next day she said to her child, “I haven’t been that upset since I found out I was pregnant with you.” Ouch. Of course, those words can be forgiven, but forgotten? That’s not so easy.

God forgives and is the Master at redemption. However, I am very sad when He has to redeem my words. There are some things that should never be spoken. Maybe that mother was upset when she found out she was pregnant, but her child did not need to know it.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18, NASB

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  1. Proverbs 12:18 is one of several verses I have posted near my computer screen so that I can see them often throughout the day. I’m sorry to say that God has had to redeem my words (I love how you said that!) more times than I care to count. I like the illustration of how our words are like toothpaste — once it’s been squeezed out of the tube, it’s impossible to get it to go back where it came from.

    We LOVED Richard Scarry books in our house too! One of my oldest daughter’s favorites is a big Scarry anthology that was mine when I was little. And yes, it’s lovingly taped together! I look forward to sharing it with grandchildren someday. 🙂