We began the One Good Phrase series ten months ago, when I was thinking more and more about the power of words in my parenting. I’d taken on a few of Sarah Bessey’s phrases she had shared on her blog, especially her use of “We use our words to love each other.” I’d been using that one for a year with my boys and had eventually added, when my boys were pounding each other, “We use our hands to love each other.”
I believe that our words have power and that’s why I love the liturgy in the church. I love claiming words together, holding tight to creeds as we move–generation after generation–through time. And I was wondering: What are the people I admire repeating to themselves and the people in their lives?
I have loved this series for the sheer beauty of these good words and, of course, for getting to hear from writers across the spectrum in the Christian interwebs I run in. I also got to have both my brothers contribute to this series. Now if only I could get my mom on board!
So, without further ado, here are the first several months of our Good Phrases…
Seth Haines kicked us off with Peace of Christ be with you always, how “the peace of Christ is the great equalizer for all followers of the Way.” Megan Tietz thought back to her sorority days and how these words have stuck with her all these years: Secrets don’t make friends. “The insidious nature of secrets are that they are almost always rooted in shame,” Megan wrote. Joy Bennett worked through the possible challenges she may face with her children, and how, still, she promises them she will love them, No matter what.”
Ed Cyzewski kept that theme going. He wanted to remind himself during “the most frustrating, helpless moments” with his baby that: Daddy loves you. And Christine Gough added the simplicity and power of her similar phrase, God loves you and so do I.
Tamara Hill Murphy thought about God’s sovereignty and our responsibility (and what life has taught her about sex) in You trust God to keep you safe at night, but still you lock the doors. Preston Yancey considered boundaries, relationships, and grace with People show you who they are.
Amy Lepine Peterson made me cry with her beautiful post about her father’s prayers for her as a little girl: And joy deep down inside. Erin Lane wrote about her life’s big decisions and her mother’s constant reminder that Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
My brother, Jason Boyett, asked his kids What song would you like to sing? And then they actually sang! (It was real cute.) Kristin Tennett remembered that mercy comes again and that “ God is a God of redemption, of sunrises, of new creations, and of the manna we need for each day,” in Tomorrow is a new day.
Helen Lee shortened her phrase down to two letters, reminding her kids to keep a P.A. (Positive Attitude). Tanya Marlow thought about the destructive idea she learned from childhood piano lessons that she should always perform perfectly. She shared about how she’s learning that, even in her lack of perfection, she should Do it anyway.
Sarah Bessey spoke to my mothering circumstances when she shared about helping her kids and herself gain control of their emotions with Calm your heart. (“Calm your heart” has become such a part of regular life in my home that my son now says it to me when I get upset as well. Love.)
Leigh Kramer wrote about her challenge of making friends in a new place and her mom’s words to her younger self: Conversation is like… Addie Zierman thought about her questions of how to raise her sons in a faith she is still making sense of in her beautiful post, God is here. (Something I’ve added to my mix of phrases I use with my kids.)
Mihee Kim Kort wrote about the longing to belong and the power of the truth that, “We’re all different. We’re all a little weird.” Be different. Annie Barnett reminded me to look at the choices of others–even the hurtful ones–with grace, in Everyone is learning. (I love that phrase.)
Katie Noah spoke directly to my spirit with her lovely post about the possibly of believing in Jesus, despite All kinds of doubts. I wrote about loss and the pain of living in this world and the reminders I need that the pain of this world will be undone: All will be well.
Part 2 (the last few months of posts) coming tomorrow!