Chronic illness, faith, family, hope, encouragment, life

“Potty Mouth”

Okay, I know you are wondering about that title. But I am raising 3 boys, ages 14, 12 and 10 so they are constantly providing me with inspiration, in all sense of the word. I absolutely adore my boys. They are wonderful young men who love the Lord and they love their Mom. I am blessed. BUT, they are boys. So therefore, I live in a houseful of males who do the typical male “things” like burp and pass gas and then laugh hysterically. They are also never shy about sharing the need to advertise a bathroom visit and when they need to go. I will admit that on some days I have to give in to the humor and add my own comments. (Hey, I also grew up with two brothers, so I’m definitely used to the gross stuff). So anyway, today was one of those days. The boys and I were joking around about something and they were really picking on me so I laughingly told them “Oh you guys are full of poop”. Well they roll right on with the comebacks and one of them said, “you know, you’re right about that MOTHER” (I know it’s going to be good when I hear “Mother” instead of “Mama”). But do I just keep my mouth shut? Nope! I asked him THE question: “Why”? So he proceeds to tell me about his need to go to the bathroom ALL day and he thinks it’s just going to start coming out everywhere. SO GROSS! Then he asked me, since I’m a nurse, “Well, what would your diagnosis for that one be”? Without a thought, I answered “potty mouth”! For some reason, this was also hysterical to them but of course, it got me thinking (no, not about poop) but about the things that do come out of our mouths. (I’m talking words here so don’t think I’m that gross). Of course, that is what most people think of when they think about “potty mouth”-usually when our kids say a “bad” word, etc. But honestly anything negative or hurtful could be considered potty mouth. After all, what’s really the difference? When we say things to others that hurt them what does that say about us? The Bible tells us that what comes out of our mouths is really just the overflow from our hearts. (HUGE difference from what my son said, right)? But what a fitting example. If you have things in your heart that are not so pleasant, you tend to spread that around with little things called words. But those words sometimes have more power than Duke Energy. A few harshly spoken, bitter words can tear down a person like nothing else can. On the flip side, you can also build up a person with sincere encouraging words or just a tiny compliment. It means so much more than people realize when we use our “potty mouths” or when we choose to have goodness in our hearts so that it “overflows from our mouth”. What does this have to do with chronic illness? Quite a lot. Everybody needs kind words and encouragement but I’ve found that when you have a chronic illness and each day is different and often a struggle, those kind, encouraging words turn into motivators for us. Sometimes I can be having a really crappy day (no pun intended) and a “potty mouth” can bring me down even lower than I already was. Especially for people who don’t understand it. They say things like “oh, just deal with it” or “it must be nice to be able to nap during the day”, etc. Do I really want to be in this situation? Did I choose to have a condition that took me from being an on the go, always busy, there for everybody type of person and turned me into the exact opposite? Of course not! But people have a hard time relating to things they don’t understand I guess. That’s why I truly want to change the way people look at chronic illness and those affected by it. Because, believe me, it’s not just the sick person who suffers. It’s their entire family. But I’ll save that for another day. But you know what? I’ve found people in my life who know the value of those encouraging words and they pick me up when I’m having a bad day. Sometimes, it’s those words that are lifesavers to me, better than anything modern medicine can provide. So, if you have a chronic illness, or if you don’t, surround yourself with the encouragers, not the “potty mouths”. It will eventually rub off on you and you will find yourself encouraging others, too. Just think what the world would be like if we all did that? One of the best ways to get yourself past potty mouth and to that place of encouragement is through Jesus Christ. If He reigns over your heart, then you know good things are going to spill from your mouth and affect those around you. And if you do find yourself in a potty mouth kind of mood, do what I told my son to do today: Get yourself to that bathroom and get rid of the gross stuff clogging up your body, or in this case, your heart. In other words, get on your knees and cry out to the One who will always encourage and uplift you and can cure that potty mouth quicker than any laxative 🙂

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