James 3.

My mouth – the bane of my existence.  Some days I almost wish I was mute.  An interesting thing happened when we didn’t have internet… I had a little more time to read.  Imagine that.  I finally picked up C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, which we’ve owned for YEARS and read it.  Oh my.  It’s pretty amazing reading if you sit down and just read it.  A bit of an overwhelming thought too, knowing you’re tempted.  It’s one thing in theory, it’s another to read the book and think, “Hmmm… Me?”

But I got a very interesting tidbit out of it.

I’ve ALWAYS struggled with controlling my mouth.   The Bible says, James 3:3 “When we put the bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.”

How much more effective could Christians truly be if they could control their tongue?  Both in WHAT they speak, WHEN they speak, HOW they speak, and what they do NOT speak.  Ladies, you know what I mean by that last one.

And if we were to ONLY use our tongues for building rather than tearing down.  That’s one my sweet husband’s new phrases.  I do believe it came from one of Voddie’s lecture and I have to tell you, it smarts a bit to be asked by your husband, “Are you building up or tearing down?”  On the other hand, it is a little nice to have him concerned about my relationship with my daughter.   I can be critical.  Yup, it’s true.  I come by it honestly enough… whether by genetics or environment, I learned criticism and sarcasm QUITE well.  What can I say?  I’m an apt pupil.  That, however, doesn’t excuse an adult from choosing to say the wrong thing…  Be wary of making excuses for your sins.

The little tidbit was essentially – Don’t try to do things in your own power.  Why?  “Ya ain’t got none.”  (I be hometeached.)  I struggled for a long while with losing my temper and yelling, yelling, yelling.  And I said on a board, “I don’t get this.  God has really convicted me THIS IS A SIN.  So why hasn’t He taken it from me as I’ve asked and asked?”  And the response was essentially that if I’m convicted it’s wrong then I need to go on and CHOOSE not to do it.

Ah….  The little lightbulb in my head turned on and I said, “Well, there it is.  I can do all things through Him and I just have to pull up by my bootstraps and just not do it.”

The advice given me WAS NOT WRONG.  I want to be very clear on that one.  But, it WAS doomed to failure.  Because once I believed that I just needed to “just do it” I determined on my strength to complete the mission.  It was doomed.

We are to come to God in ALL things.  He wants prayers of praise and prayers of need and prayers of thanks…..  And we are to come to Him with our needs.  Does that mean He’ll grant those?  No.  Does it mean that He doesn’t expect us to put forth effort?  No.

But, and maybe the rest of you have learned this, it’s a two fold answer.  We are capable of choosing right over wrong through HIS power, not through our own.

In another book Lewis talks about temptations.  Not everyone is tempted the same.  He mentioned that he, himself, was not a gambling man.   For one who does not struggle with controlling her tongue, you may not understand this.  Your answer may well be, “Well, just don’t do it.  Close your lips.”  Let me say, it’s not that easy.  I’m very blessed in that I do not struggle with various issues.  I don’t struggle with stealing.  Lying isn’t much of an issue nor is gambling or alcoholism.  But I struggle very much with a critical spirit.  It has taught me to be humble a bit.  It has taught me to respect those things OTHERS struggle with.  But most importantly, if you walk away with this with one thing it is this:

You will never overcome your temptations on your own power.  You may in fact be able to stop an action, but I believe the temptation will truly remain a temptation without the power of God.  So, yes, it is good to choose good over evil.  But when you do so, do so in prayer.  It is a two fold action, never put faith in you.

And if this fascinates you, I think you’d really enjoy Screwtape Letters.

Going onto other business… I believe the Fed Ex man is NEVER going to deliver my package.  I think he/she is probably a nice enough person who has an addiction to pink yarn and the Magic Loop technique.  I have to say I’m picturing the FedEx person in their vehicle, at this very moment, knitting up a cute little pink cardigan sweater.  It’s now been eight days since it said it shipped.  It left Minnesota last Friday.  I’m trying not to cry.

On the dyeing front, thanks to inspiration from Abigail’s smock, I’ve decided to dye the baby’s yarn in lavender, purple, white, and aqua.  I have a new book on natural dyes and can’t wait to get started.  But this first time I’m going to go easy and sans mordants and just use Wilton food dyes.  Yes, I know, I’m a sellout.  You’ll have that once in a great while.

For those of you who are yarn addicts… I’ve found someone who sells undyed yarn, one skein at a time.  $3 shipping.  Aran BFL, superfine merino Cestari, yes, all of it. 🙂  And I’m not telling where quite yet.  She has six skeins of BFL Aran and I want three of them and I’ve promised myself to wait ’til Friday.  So I’ll let YOU know where it’s all at on…. FRIDAY!

I’m dying this weekend!  Hurrah!