My husband tells me I speak in “to do” lists. He points this out in the middle of
a conversation during dinner. I am explaining how I got the recipe for the
lemon chicken we are eating from a cookbook we purchased at our favorite
bookstore. However, it was difficult to find something suitable. Most of the
recipes just aren’t our style, too many require such items as cans of soup,
and we like to cook with fresh ingredients.
My suggestion is to remove it from the closet shelve, which is bending from the
weight of the cookbooks crammed on it. We need to sort through these books
by mid-summer, I say, for that is my timeline for a yard sale.
My mind is filled with projects and soon they are on the tip of my tongue
forming sentences that sound just like the lists I keep in a notebook at my
desk. The garage needs to be better organized. I have plans to build
a system of wooden shelves so plastic tubs can be accessed easily. Extra
blankets and sheets, paper products for backyard barbecue dinners,
tablecloths and decorative items like candles, boxes of DVDs, and
seasonal clothing can be stored there. We have a small house, not
much storage space.
But my husband’s comment stops my never-ending listing of the things
we must do. It passes through my spiritual heart like the electric
current of a defibrillator. It seems to be the jolt I need.
Is my life a chore? Those done and those left to complete? Jesus tells us
that what is in our heart is what flows from our lips.
“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew
I desire my life to look, to be a certain way. Well organized cupboards,
for example. And so, I strive. It is no wonder I feel like I am on a
treadmill that has no “stop” button to push. As lists grow longer, the
treadmill speeds up faster and faster.
What can I do to improve my conversations at the dinner table?
Step back and stop being so controlling. Filling every minute of the
day with tasks to shape and mold my life into what I think it
should be. Perhaps I might make time to read a book for pleasure;
go someplace without a shopping list or an agenda; learn
We are not one-dimensional human beings. Yet sometimes we
appear so. Whenever we become consumed with one aspect
of our life we need to look up, look outward, and look around
to see what else God has prepared for us. What rules over us,
shapes our day, consumes our mind in place of God? The
idiom “nose to the grindstone” comes to mind. According
to thefreedictionary.com, it means “to work hard all the time.”
It references “tools that must be continuously sharpened” and
is a phrase that has been used since the 15th century.
I want to broaden my topics of conversation and am grateful
for the heart check God provided at dinner that night. What
I talk about is the very thing that is on my heart.
Contemplate your Ways:
1-What comes out of your mouth? Most of us probably don’t
know, so take time to listen. Do you talk “shop,” living from
one purchase to the next? Or “work,” because you are consumed
by a career track?
2-How does the influence of your daily Bible reading impact
your conversation? Do you talk about what you read? In
Deuteronomy we read that God wants us to commit
wholeheartedly to the commands He gives us.
Deuteronomy 6:7 “Repeat them again and again to your
children. Talk about them when you are at home and
when you are on the road, when you are going to bed
and when you are getting up.” [NLT]