Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Naggy" and Bossy

Have you ever thought you had at least one area of your life pretty much under control only to discover that you couldn't have been more mistaken?

We were coming to the end of our visit with the grands. I was sitting at the large kitchen table (large is the only size that will do when you have five children) with my grandson as my husband walked by on his way to put something in the car. "Why don't you grab the suitcase as long as you're going out?" I helpfully suggested.

My grandson looked at me with one of those worldly-wise smiles teenagers tend to give their elders and said, "You're so bossy and naggy!" We both had a good laugh at my expense, but his words left me feeling a bit unsettled.

I thought about his little jibe for days afterward. Is that really the way I sound Lord? I thought I was just being "helpful." I began listening carefully to my own words, and while J. may have said made that comment in jest, I realized there was something about them than rang very true.

I seem to be forever saying things that begin to sound a bit more like orders than "helpful suggestions." I like to be organized and have a plan (some might say I tend to be rather controlling), and since my husband is with me all the time he gets the "benefit" of hearing me verbalize those plans....often. I'm beginning to cringe inwardly every time I hear myself sounding, for all intents and purposes, like a little drill sergeant.

Those verses in Proverbs reverberate in my head:

"It is better to live in a corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman." Proverbs 21:9
"It is better to live in a desert land, than with a contentious and vexing woman." Proverbs 21:19

I am tempted to make excuses; argue that I'm not being contentious. Perhaps not, but I have been naggy and bossy, and it is just as unpleasant. And, come to think of it, I can be rather argumentative - in a "pleasant" sort of way you understand.

My grandson preached me a much needed sermon - succinct and to the point. I'm asking the Lord to help me - to put a guard on my tongue. I've also apologized to my husband. I would so much rather have this said about me:

"She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
Proverbs 31:26

"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3


Picture: my wise grandson


  1. Preaching. to. the. choir. Linda... once. again.

    And once again I'll say it!! How do you DO that??! So very often I've told myself those very same words-- I'm only being *helpful*-- yet I've never taken the time to *really* consider otherwise. Isn't it funny... out of the mouths of babes... short, succinct, powerful.

    Thank you, my friend, for always keeping it real... for sharing your journey as so many of us are walking that. very. same. road.

    Blessings to you today, and well-wishes for a lovely, lovely weekend!

  2. I get this, Linda. The ABSOLUTE worst was watching a video of me with the children one Christmas morning decades ago. I was horrified to hear my voice. Horrified. My poor kids. I had to go and apologise to them, and they didn't have a clue what I was talking about, but still. Very unsettling.

  3. Oh, Linda. It's just so hard to keep still when we know the *best* way though, isn't it? ;-)

    This is perfectly timed for me.

    And thank you for your kinds words this morning. I do appreciate you. (And that lady? She scared me...)

  4. Oh, to see and hear ourselves as others do ... and then change!

  5. Ouch! You got me that time! DC has even chastised me a bit recently, in regard to the kiddoes. It's hard when they don't "jump and say how high"!

  6. A good reminder for me as well. I think it's something that most women can relate to. I love those verses--great ones to meditate on. Thank you, Linda!

  7. How hard it is to see that our well-meaningness feels different to those on the receiving end!

    Hats off to you for taking it on the chin.

    There is something very relaxing however (once one gets past the old habits that we Mom's have) about just letting people do things their own way. :-)

  8. oh, out of the mouths of babes...leave it to kids to be painfully honest!