patience and soft speech

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“Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.” Proverbs 25:15

patience and soft speech…

O man, do I need more of those.

It is both alarming and simultaneously natural, the extent to which my behavior is reflected by my children. It is neither subtle nor understated. No, it is as blatant as the voice I raise and the groans I make… coming out of the mouth of a little three year old. I once smacked the dinner table in desperation as OBrother sprayed yet another fist full of rice onto the floor and nearby walls. No sooner had the rice left his chubby little palm than he, too, was pounding the table with a scowl on his face.

patience and soft speech…

For me, bad days tend to spiral and good days tend to shine. I think I have figured out why, and this is it: my mood, at any given moment, is being absorbed and multiplied exponentially by 53 pounds worth of toddlers. At worst, they are the magnifying glass that takes the seemingly benign sun rays and turns them into fatal death-blows to the ant. If I feel like growling at someone (named OBoy) then someone feels like growling at me, and so it goes. But if I have my wits about me and I’m able to get down on their level and use soft speech, things don’t escalate nearly as often. If I am patient and wait out the 18 month old’s tantrum rather than engaging the crazy, he is able to recover much more easily. If I can laugh and take it in stride when OBoy asks me a drawn out ‘why’ question one more time, then he can laugh when his younger brother inconveniences him. At best, they are the projector lens that takes the smallest image slide and shines it, beautifully magnified, upon a much bigger screen.

patience and soft speech…

This is going to be my motto for a while. Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones. I want this not only for my boys to be able learn the right way to handle frustration and adversity, but for myself, too. Because heaven knows that what I dish out is what I’m served.

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10 Responses to “patience and soft speech”

  1. Tera

    Thanks for this, today Allison. So true, and so hard to remember. ‘Cause I’ve been trying to remember on my own, instead of calling on the Spirit for help.

  2. Tiffany @MomNom

    Such a good reminder. I feel like I am constantly praying to God for more patience, impatiently waiting on it to arrive. LOL

  3. Amanda

    Oh goodness, I need to bookmark this. I am constantly tested lately. We are in the midst of our (third) deployment. My three-year-old, unfortunately, is not handling it well. I pray for grace and forgiveness daily because I just feel like I’m failing. I needed to hear/read this today.

  4. tricia

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, mama. “If I am patient and wait out the 18 month old’s tantrum rather than engaging the crazy, he is able to recover much more easily.” <— YES. "Engaging the crazy" is going to become a household phrase around here. Thank you for this reminder!!!

  5. Rachel @ The House of Burks

    Oh yes, I am so scared of passing on my short fuse to these boys. Even just a simple “oh come on!” piping up from the back seat when a car doesn’t take off fast enough for my liking when the light turns from red to green is a reminder that little eyes are watching my every move, hearing my every word.

  6. Erin

    O Alison, I just love this post. I ought to get that quote tattooed to my forearm. You amaze me with your insight, writing talent, mommy talent and the ability to touch on subjects I feel so intensely. Makes me wish i was more than just a reader…Thank you, thank you!


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