The Words of My Mouth

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I went to elementary school when little girls still wore dresses. We didn’t carry backpacks, but I did have a book satchel in the first grade. It was held shut, not with velcro, but by two little buckles. No velcro on our shoes either. They had buckles, too, except the ones that had shoe strings. We wore our little leather shoes for a long time, and if they began to wear out, our mothers took them to the shoe repair shop (called the shoe shop in my family) to get restitched or to have new soles put on them.

Our teachers began the day with a devotional. When I think of classroom devotionals, I think of Miss Martha Adkisson, my fifth grade homeroom teacher. I don’t really know why hers stood out.

I never heard anyone call her Miss Adkission, by the way. She was always Miss Martha. In first, second, and third grades, I had Mrs. Massey, Mrs. Powers, and Mrs. Smith. Then in fourth, fifth, and sixth, it was Miss Flossie, Miss Martha, and Miss Burnetta. Miss Martha wasn’t married, but Miss Flossie and Miss Burnetta were. I don’t know exactly who decided who was called by a first name and who by a last name. That’s just how it was at my school.

Praying and learning Scripture in school was just how it was, too. Somewhere along the way, not in Sunday school, but in public school, I memorized:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart,
Be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14, KJV

To me those words sum up so much of the life of a Christian. They recognize who is our strength and our redeemer. They reveal who we are trying to please. They show that we need help. I don’t know about you, but I need help with my mouth and heart most of all. Maybe that’s why I never forgot.

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