I have never met a stranger. Since birth. My mom says I was a big talker from the beginning. Talking for a reason, to make a friend. I made friends everywhere I went, the store, vacations, of course-school, church and really everywhere. I see myself in my children who also do the same. There is no ulterior motive and never has been. This is not to say it went without rewards. People often show generosity to people who exhibit friendliness. So occassionally being rewarded as a child by some doting adult-type simply because I was outgoing probably cemented being a "chatty-cathy"-I am too young to know about these dolls but I was called this frequently so I must have just missed them. (My husband had two very serious relationships with two different Cathy's-not sure if it was c or k, and ended up marrying a "chatty cathy" with a good friend named Kathy who babysits our little darlings-funny huh?)
SO, all of that to say I am positively a motor-mouth. I love to talk. I love when people talk to me. I love to read, I love to write. I love words and spend hours looking at them, saying them, laughing at them.
Today, however, as I spoke up in Sunday school class and said, "Do our church services and traditions please us and our wills or are they pleasing to God and helping to do his will?"(probably alot less clear than that!) during a conversation about the will of God, hubby, who was in class with me today totally died a little inside. He believes in the smile and remain silent principle. Later he told me how mean-spirited that sounded towards our church and what did I even mean? I found this very troubling because I was not being critical of our church specifically, but churches generally(myself included) that get lost in programs and such instead of God's plan as I understand it-of reaching the lost. I spent the rest of church feeling like quite a failure because, clearly, I am not an effective communicator. I don't always come across with what I am trying to say. My friends have learned my personality and my bluntness and know "what I really mean". My husband, not so much. There are other people who I know don't like my company because of that bluntness as well. They don't "get" me. Perhaps this is why I love blogging so much. It is an opportunity to expound upon who I am and what I believe without dominating a conversation(which I try really hard not to do but I KNOW that I do). Even with blogging though, it happens. People read something one way, I didn't mean it that way. It happens with the spoken language as well. It is troubling. I want to be a better communicator. Speak clearly and not be vague or unclear. I don't seek to criticize but I do seek to make things better-push things to the next level-be more intense. It often comes across as just critical. Sometimes, it probably is and might be the heart of a comment if I am honest with myself. I know today that it was not. I think our church earnestly seeks to do God's will.
I try really hard to not only listen to what someone says but also what they mean by it. What is the motive behind it? Do I disagree or agree immediately or do I need to give it some thought? I like for my opinions to be challenged and I like to challenge the opinions of others (Iron sharpening iron). I like to test for soft hearts or concrete ones with no room for change. I like to really "get"(understand) someone if at all possible. I don't automatically love every one I meet, but I still love finding out all I can about them and seeing what makes them tick and marvelling at the way God made us all so completely different. I am fascinated with people. To the core, always have been. I love making a stranger my friend. This is how I share the gospel, the good news. I actually had the nickname preacher for a while in 4th grade because I really want everyone to know about Christ and go to heaven. To me it is like a cure for cancer and I can't keep it to myself. God and Jesus have always been the best thing that ever happened to me. His people have been really good to me my whole life. I very seldom come across that way though, why is that?? I know my heart, why do I come across so different?
It breaks my heart that my hubby was offended by my comment. It breaks my heart that I offend him nearly every day and I am not certain that he seeks to understand me because I offend him too often. I wish he talked more and allowed me more insight into his world and his perception. Nothing frustrates a blabbermouth more than the strong silent type-or passive aggressive as I refer to it. This too shall pass and most assuredly, this too shall come around again!! Some of you that know me best can definitely read into this that I need some feedback. I LOVE criticism in the form of constructive. This usually involves criticism that is truth. I can take it and would probably grow from it. Fire away.
**Have I mentioned I hate word verification??