“Do I have something to say? Do I have anything to say?” I keep asking myself that question as I sit in this quiet house. For these precious hours I have refused all tasks and distractions to attempt to find the answer. Do I have something to say? I think I have loved words all of my life. I love how they feel on the lips, how they look on paper. I love reading rhyming stories to my children because I love the cadence of the words. When I was in high school, I would write pages and pages, journals on journals of words, verses, poems, thoughts. I would spend hours upon hours with Elizabeth Barret Browning or LM Montgomery or Ralph Waldo Emerson. Back then I thought I had something to say.
Others thought I did too. My literature professors would praise my writing and my interest in all the words. Obviously my family thought I “had a gift.” Words were a big part of my love story as well. I loved a boy from childhood who wrote songs. One day he wrote a song for me and I lived on those words. I wrote mine back and we had a shared passion for pretty words. He sang some of those words at our wedding and that seems like a lifetime ago. Most recently, a ferocious man of God, and one who hears from the Holy Spirit in powerful ways said to me, “You will write some things that will really do well.” We had never met.
So what then will I say? Here I am, a blink out of diapers and nursing, about to have all 4 children in school at least a couple of days a week. Life is fuller than ever and time is a precious commodity but everyone can walk, and eat, and manage the bathroom on their own. So I sit at this desk and say, “Do I have something to say?” 39 years of living, 16 years of marriage, 4 lives I have birthed, surely there are some stories in all of that. Surely there is some wisdom gained, some bumbling to share, some failures to confess. Maybe. Will anyone read these words? Will anyone need them? I’m not sure that is what matters.
I think today all I want to say are Words That Matter. Life is loud. Life here on my little Ranchito in West Texas is very, very loud. I sometimes feel like my days are rollercoasters. I get up in the wee hours just to relish the silence, the flicker of a candle, the miracle of a sunrise, Jesus, THE Word. It is like I am strapping in for the ride, making sure that I am harnessed in before we are out of the gates, making sure I am grounded before I am not. Then they all get up and it is kisses, and waffles, and shoes, and school, and hurts, and joys, and friends, and activities, and schedules, and groceries, and prayers, and laundry, and dinner and bed….. And noise.
My son literally cannot walk into a room without a sound effect. I think it is his spiritual gift. It started before he could talk and was birthed from his passion for airplanes. 10 years later he still has one in hand at all times and I think has made a decade-long, continual jet noise. My 6 year old daughter got a karaoke machine for Christmas and let me know just this week, “Mom, I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!!! A rock star!!!” Obviously. I have a ballerina who is serious about her training and needs to have whatever piece she is currently dancing on her IPOD so that she can practice in the 15 seconds a week she is not at the studio, you know practicing. And I have a 5 year old little boy. Is there any creature on earth less quiet than a little boy? This does not even mention the dogs and cats and chickens and my husband and ESPN! (Thankfully the bunnies are pretty quiet).
So somewhere about 4pm the rollercoaster is at the peak, you know? The slow, clicking climb has reached its pinnacle and I wonder if the harness that felt secure at 6am will hold. And I hold on and dive into the beautiful fray and remember that there will be another silent morning and sunrise. But, in all the noise of my life, of your life I’m sure, of our culture and world, don’t we simply need a few Words That Matter? Not idle chatter that drains, or noise that deafens, or voices that distract, but real words. That Matter, that build, that encourage, that bring life, that focus, that refresh. It really is amazing that words can do all of that. As THE Word says, “how delightful is a timely word,” (Prov. 15:23), a honeycomb even, bringing healing to the body (Prov. 16:24).
Maybe I do have something to say. Maybe I can carve out a moment here and there, whether it be on the slow click upwards, or on the rushing decent down to look at the harness, know that I am held, and let that give me the courage to say Words That Matter.