Tone of Voice

I have the happy blessing of being the daughter of a daddy who never yelled at my brothers, my mother or me. He never even raised his voice. That’s not to say that he wasn’t firm. He was.  I can remember him teaching us kids how tone of voice, despite what you say to an animal makes all the difference. Say sweetly to a cat, “You’re the most dispicable little cat on the block. I think you’re so ugly. Now go on and try to do something good once in a while,” all while keeping a sweet sing-songy voice and that little cat will just purr and rub against your leg taking it all in. Tell the same cat in hateful loud and angry tones, “I love you. What an intelligent cat you are! You put all other cats to shame, you’re so beautiful,” and watch that cat run away from you.

Of course, this won’t work for people. We know the words. Yet, the lesson is profound, isn’t it? We humans do respond to tone of voice. I want to share some Bible verses with you that will show how God wants us to have this loving expression in our tone of voice:

  • Proverbs 15:1 – “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grevious words stir up anger”.
  • Proverbs 16:21 – “…And sweetness of lips increases learning.”
  • Proverbs 31:26 – “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her  tongue is the law of kindness.”
  • Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer to answer each one”.

Our tone of voice can actually have more of an impact of our communication than the actual words we use. Have you ever said a short irritated, “What?”  when a family member is trying to get your attention for a simple question? I’ve done it, and I’ve heard other parents do the same thing. We don’t really mean the irritation that it communicates, do we? I’ve tried to correct that answer to my loved one that calls, “Mom?” or “Sharon?” That call may seem endless all day long, and I may want to just say with irritation, “Whaaaat?” and add the weary look on the my face.  That irritated tone conveys the message to your child or husband that they aren’t wanted in your life, that they are a bother. But, an uplifting, curious tone of voice, “What?” or “What is it?” or “Yes, dear?” would convey, “Come closer and tell me what’s on your mind. I’m interested in what you’re interested in. You are important to me.”

Don’t we want to be talked to with kindness? Of course! I’ve thought of how I would feel if my dad ever talked with an irritated tone to me, and I know it would hurt. So, the Golden Rule rules, again.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” ~Matthew 7:12 kjv

~Sharon with Mary

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Poem – The Day Came

Here is a poem that I wrote today to fill a space in the church bulletin I type. I like how it turned out. I do have to give Edgar A. Guest credit, though. I like his poetry – both the words and the iambic flow that his poems use. His work inspired this…

The Day Came    (by Sharon Smith)

The day came for them to go see where He lay,
On the day after Sabbath, with herbs.
But an angel came first and had opened the grave,
And told them, “Do not be disturbed.
Why seek you the living among all these dead?
He’s risen. Remember His words?”
And quickly they ran and with great joy they told
And all of humanity heard.

Seems to me the story shouldn’t end here, but this is all the space I needed to fill, and I wanted to keep the message short and thus, memorable. Hope you like it.

Sharon, with Mary

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Monday: Wash Day with housecleaning thrown in

Okay, Monday is the one day I get to stay at home all day, and I love it.

Nearly without exception, something interrupts that all-day status. This afternoon, there’s a funeral I will attend.

But before leaving, my eye is on house cleaning. Three hours today on the kitchen and decluttering the dining room. O yeah, three hours will just touch the hem of the garment.

Also, two loads of clothes and the folding and putting away said clothes.

I’m doing the intermittent fasting right now, just one meal a day for the next month. I am blogging that on blogspot if you’re interested: http://sharon-mydailyfast.blogspot.com/ I am feeling great, sleeping better, but it’s not always easy.

Just wanted to post my housekeeping plans for today here. It helps keep me going.

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First, do no harm

The first day of the forty day journey in the book, “The Love Dare” on learning to love your spouse, is to say nothing negative to or about your spouse – something like that.

How much good can be done by simply not answering back in a negative way? How much good can be done by simply not doing something negative toward your husband? What does this mean? Here are some suggestions:

  • stop remembering and mentioning negative things he has done in the past
  • don’t tell him of his bad habits
  • when he says something that makes you angry, just be quiet
  • don’t put something in his way simply to see him fail
  • don’t keep him from socializing with his friends or his family

These are just some suggestions. Every good gift comes from God. This gift of saying or doing nothing negative can be found in:

  • Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”.
  • Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still”.
  • Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive”.
  • Romans 13:10 “Love does no harm to a neighbor, therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law”.

One of the things the Hippocratic Oath says is “never do harm to anyone”, which I’ve also heard as “first, do no harm”. I pray we can at least, do no harm to our husbands, and even to everyone. This is more than a good idea, it is a commandment to those who are following God’s words, which Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

Today, this year, for all your years, at least, say and do nothing negative to your or about your husband. Improve your life and the world in this small way.

Sharon, with Mary

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2012

This year,

  1. I  will read the New Testament through in my Spanish Bible. Hopefully, I will learn Spanish this way.
  2. I have a verse a week to give me strength to deny myself and live God’s way. Week one’s verse: “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” ~Proverbs 24:10
  3. I hope to lose some weight, though I’m not expecting to lose the entire baggage of extra fat I’m carrying around with me. I’m shooting for about 70 pounds, though. Whew! That sounds like so much! Well, hello, it is! It’s all about denying myself and living for God, even in food.
  4. I will establish morning, evening and other house management routines.
  5. I will grow much of our own food and preserve food by canning, freezing, drying and root cellaring. Root cellaring is a new one to me, but I plan to at least bury potatoes and carrots in a galvanized lidded can.
  6. I will declutter the rooms in our house that are lived in. Only one room isn’t, which I’ll get to next year along with the barns and farm yard – that with Husband’s guidance.
  7. I will write more letters, send more cards, and not the email/facebook kind.
  8. I will prepare more meals at home and eat out less – ‘way less.
  9. I will sew more.
  10. I will do more in hand needlework, which by that I mean, quilting, knitting, tatting, embroidering and lucet cording.
  11. I will write on this blog more. 🙂

That’s enough. I hope your 2012 year finds you a better person at the end of it. That’s what we all plan to be in the beginning. This world can only be better when each one of is a better person. I can only improve me, so I’m praying I will be improved by the end of the year.

Sharon, with Martha

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For Whom Do I Work?

I ran across this passage as I was trying to find something else to do besides housework.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of inheritance; For you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23,24

Well, that verse just tore me up – I knew I wasn’t doing right by not taking care of the work at hand.

Here are some excuses for not doing the housework that this verse crushes:

  • Husband never rewards me for all the work I do: “from the Lord you will receive the reward of inheritance”
  • How can I work for someone who throws his clothes all over the floor?: “You serve the Lord Christ”
  • I am tired of trying to get the children to pick up after themselves: “You serve the Lord Christ”
  • How can I work for someone who yells at me? “You serve the Lord Christ”
  • I’d rather do church work than house work. “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”
  • Working at home does not have any glory: “You will receive the reward of inheritance”.

This verse brings on new life and new meaning to doing the dirty jobs of housework. It’s suddenly no longer “dirty jobs” anymore. Now, there is a joy in house work. We just need this daily reminder.

Sharon, with Mary

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Wishing and Doing

I dearly wish I could tell you about my lovely antique doily-clad living room or the lavendar scented halls or show to you a picture of my newly painted bedroom walls.

I can’t put those here because, well, I want them but don’t have them. They are not expensive things to acquire, either. However, I must confess the reason – my house is simply too messy to be prettied up. There it is. And why is that? I think the answer lies in the word of God, as all answers do, I have found. Proverbs 13:6: “The soul of a lazy man desires but has nothing, but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”

I have to admit my laziness. I asked my ever-busy grandmother once, “How do you keep from being lazy?” She answered simply, “I just get up and work it off.” Sounds simple enough. Those words of hers, 40 some-odd years since still ring in my memory as such astounding wisdom. I loved her so. Her house and gardens, in my young eyes were perfect and lovely. It wasn’t fancy, but I couldn’t imagine a nicer place in the world. Laziness didn’t make it so, either.

I got up this morning and got on the computer to talk to a family member on “skype”, so while I waited for them to get on, I decided to read a blog that inspires me. Her “lavendar scented home”, as she describes it sounds just lovely. I thought how I wish I could inspire you with such beautiful words. But, if I did talk about how wonderful it all is around my house, I would be lying. Can’t do that – not as the child of God.

I began to feel a little down because of it, but then, I realized that in my messy home, I am not alone. I think the hoarding shows could come here and find a new episode actually. And, why is it all like this? I like to bring up the excuse that my painful leg has caused this burden of clutter and need for serious cleaning to occur. And, that’s partly true. However, I have to own that I am usually just lazy. My mother says I’m not, and I like to hear it, but I do know the truth in my heart.

So, I’m presently working on being “diligent” so my family and I can be “rich” in blessings, and maybe not too poor in the checking account, either. Being orderly does save money. There will be no double buying because of not being able to find things. Late payments won’t incur the resulting late charges or higher interest rates.

I’ll tell you a few of my “dreams” to accomplish before the Christmas school break, which will be around December 15th or so.

  • Declutter and clean the first floor
  • Set in order the second floor
  • Dig my new herb dooryard garden to be ready for Spring

Those are just three things. Even those seem like a mountain. But, I think in four months, I’ll make great progress whether or not everything will be perfectly perfect. I’m looking for great improvements right now. The doilies and lavendar scents are on their way.

I hope and pray that you will dream of making a cozier home and then, go about doing the task of bringing it about. No one is going to do it for you. There are no fairies or brownies that come in the night to help you out. Forget about family or friends doing it all for you – they have their own lives. Get up and do some work to have a house that the children in your life couldn’t imagine a nicer place in the world.

Sharon with Martha

 

 

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