Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where Did It Go?

I'm not much of a gum person.  Never have been.  And neither is Brett.  So how is it that all four of our kids have a gum addiction?  I would choose to enjoy a mint while my kids delight in chew, chew, chewing their cud, er ... I mean, gum.  They will actually set aside their hard earned allowance and all chip in for a package of Hubba Bubba or Extra.  Within a mere three or four days they have chewed their way through the entire package!

You know, I said "all four of our kids" when, of course, I mean just the three oldest.  Lydia is not quite of the gum chewing age.  She is still in the gum swallowing stage ...

Yeah!  Gum!
Chewing ...

Chewing ...

Chewing and drooling ...

Getting a bit bored of chewing ...

Chewing some more ...

Hmmm ... not chewing anymore.

Where did it go?!
Of course, this isn't the first time that Lydia has "chewed" gum ... but it is the only time I decided to document her attempt.  Frighteningly enough, she might very well have chewed consumed around five pieces of gum in her brief stint as a Hubba Bubba Babe.  That was when I decided to cut her off until she figured out this "chew, chew, chew, but don't swallow" thing that goes in her mouth.

I remember being told as a kid that any gum that I swallowed lived in my stomach for the next seven years.  I took that as a warning to heed.  Lydia seems to have taken that as a challenge!

I don't know about the validity of that statement.  In my now-adult mind, I would have to disagree.  I would imagine that those "accidentally" swallowed wads of Bubblicious and Big Red (blech!) passed out with anything else I intentionally swallowed.

I think that there are all sorts of statements and declarations that we hear growing up (and even now) that we swallow as truth.  Sometimes they are little "facts" like the dangers of making silly faces and getting our eyes and lips and nose stuck that way, caution about not going swimming for one hour after eating to avoid sinking like a rock or the risky behavior of playing with toads ... you'll get warts!  All untrue, mind you.  But as kids we hear these words being spoken by someone in authority, someone we trust and we accept them as truth.

While the above statements carry very little weight in the grand scheme of life, there are other "truths" that we might swallow as kids ... and even now ... that do have a lasting impact in our lives.  Which brings to mind another sing-song statement from my childhood, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Not true in the least!

I remember in the sixth grade a classmate making a cutting remark about my roundness.  That declaration that I was apparently abundant in size has lingered in the recesses of my mind ever since.  On bad days when I feel frumpy or lumpy, the trustworthy voice of Jesus is drowned out a bit by that careless question, "Why are you so fat?"  Five words that sometimes I can't shake.

Several years later, I can recall bumping into an old school teacher and enjoying their pleasant delight in seeing me ... and hearing, "What a lovely young lady you have grown into!"  I buried that sincere and generous greeting in my heart.  A beautiful truth worth taking in and allowing to echo in my soul.

I started my college career in the English department.  My passion for words and reading had inspired me to enroll in a variety of classes.  After that first semester and listening to more than one English professor describe my writing as "fine" and "a bit dull" I reconsidered spending the my next four years swallowing those critiques.

During this 31 Day Challenge ~ Mom in the Midst, I have been astonished and humbled by the sweet and generous comments.  Little bites that inspire and encourage me:  "gifted writer", "I look forward to reading these each day!", "you write such a wonderful blog", "I needed to read this today ... thank, you, thank you, thank you!" ... whew!  These are declarations I want to gulp down, devour and digest.

Some words we should swallow to feed our soul while others we need to evaluate, test for their trustworthiness and then spit out!

In the apostle Paul's first letter to Timothy, we see a glimpse into a similar battle his young disciple was enduring.  Three times in this one letter (and once more in his second letter), Paul uses the phrase, "This is a trustworthy statement ..." (1 Timothy 1:15, 3:1, 4:9 and 2 Timothy 2:11)  He had important truths to share with Timothy, but he wanted to make sure that his words didn't get lost in the midst of the many "facts" that filled the air.  Imagine the parchment rolled up and handed to Timothy, words he was longing to hear as he established and encouraged the young church at Ephesus.  As he unrolls the letter, it is as though Paul has highlighted the truths that he wanted to make sure Timothy read and swallowed.

One stands out to me in regards to the lies and half-truths we sometimes accept:

7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. (1 Timothy 4:7-9)

Seek what is trustworthy.
Sort out the myths and tales.
Seize the promises of God. 
Swallow the truth.

Day 6:  Me, Myself & I

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