so, sometimes i’ve wondered, why do i have to say things a million times?
even in the midst of this family fun portrait session… i had to repeat myself ALOT
“don’t throw it right in her eye” “no, we don’t want to just pour it on his shirt” “you can’t have the green, it’s your turn to have the purple”.
usually, it’s alot more important than that
“you have to leave your phone in the kitchen when you go to your room”
“you have to eat that weird thing you ordered that we knew you wouldn’t eat”
“you have to be nice to her, she’s your family… the only people that have to love you”
“whose day is it to take the dogs out?”
“put your clothes away (that we washed and folded for you, and placed in a neat little stack”
“don’t wait until the last minute to tell me you need to bring 36 banana cranberry muffins to school tomorrow”
you know… that kind of thing. i have to say these things over and over and over.
once, i was complaining about this to my mom… she said, “well, robyn, how many times does God have to tell you things?”
because God has to tell me things, many times over. he repeatedly shows me that i should listen more than speak. he constantly reminds me that kindness and love should be my first response. he perpetually is forced to show me that he really truly does love me, even in my human grossness. God has to tell me lots of things lots of times.
that’s why, when parenting, or leading others, or just doing life… we have to say things over and over.
the thing is – that we all have to be reminded of what God wants us to know. as a parent our job is to teach them what he wants us to teach them, even when they tire of hearing it.
if i had a dollar for every time one of my kids said to me “why does everything have to be a lesson?” then i would be able to self-publish and fund multiple writing projects. i would be able to hire a songwriter to write a musical with me. i would be able to send all four of my kids to the college of their choice(guided by us of course). the point, of course, is that i’m often trying to show them the bigger picture and reason we need to learn from our experiences.
in the training, however, it is crucial to continue to be trained ourselves. it is important to read, seek wise counsel, pray, ask, learn, look for mentors, submit ourselves to learning… so that what we say and teach has eternal value.
this extends to our words of love. we need to hear it … alot. and we need to say it… alot. do you ever tire of hearing that you are loved or appreciated? i know that i don’t. it fuels us, helps us propel forward. same is true with everyone… so i would encourage you to:
repeat yourself, when you come in love. squelch it when you come in condemnation.
repeat yourself, when you are sharing about God, squelch it when it would shame Him for you to say it.
repeat yourself, when you are teaching a crucial truth, squelch it when you are using truth to discourage or demean.
repeat yourself, when you are pouring out forgiveness, squelch it when you are harboring resentment.
repeat yourself, when you are adding, squelch it when you are subtracting.
i realize this is many ways to say the same thing, but by virtue of the point in this post… it’s necessary.
for each person will read and interpret each phrase personally and differently.
at the risk of rambling… i’ll go on to what this makes me think of just now. i have made it my mission in life to tell the eternal story of Christ in as many ways as I can possibly tell it. I have joyfully submitted to a ministry where I get to write content every week that will point kids to Christ. I get to tell the same story in a thousand ways. Fortunately it is a story that changes lives forever… and there is no end to the ways that God wants us to share about the gift he has for us, if we will only believe what he says… to us… over and over and over.
with that said… i’ll continue to find NEW ways to repeat myself when I have something of eternal value to say, and squelch myself, when what I would say would harm the cause of the believer.
i have been told, at times, that i need a little more sweet tea in my voice. then today i heard a sermon where i was encouraged to be who i am, because God made me that way, and not try to be someone else. somewhere in between is the place where i am who i am, drenched in sweet tea, and i continue to repeat myself in new ways to fulfill the mission before me. telling others, including my own kids, repeatedly, about a God who loves them to distraction and wants the very best for them, but only in Him will anyone find where joy resides.