It’s a funny thing.  I can pen my thoughts decently.  I can sing better than the average Joe.  I can play music with the best of them, but the hardest thing in the world for me to do is to have an average, everyday conversation with someone without tripping over my words.

I’ve pondered this often because it is perplexing to me.  In school, I excelled in my studies.  My brain tells me that I have a lot to share but my mouth chooses to be an observer (unless, of course, they push a hot button of mine during the conversation!)

The problem with feeling uncomfortable with verbal conversation is that it is easy to often be misunderstood by others.   Perhaps I appear aloof and indifferent, when in fact I’ve heard everything that has been said.  Sometimes judgments are made that really aren’t fair; but it’s OK. It has given me a chance to learn how to forgive.

Time can be a gift.  Time has allowed me to be comfortable with the person that lives in this body.  There has also been a nice consequence of this awkwardness I live with daily.  It allows me to accurately recognize who my true friends are — the ones who will take the time to try to understand what I meant before judgment is pronounced and pounced upon.  Those that love me — quirks and all.  They are indeed valued and loved friends, and I am thankful.

The other benefit to this slightly crippling feature is that I have the ability to use my mind to think deeply….and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.  Maybe if my mouth were wagging constantly I’d never use the brain cells that God gave me.

In my analysis of the situation, it often feels like my brain is racing faster than the words can come out of my mouth.   While I wait for an appropriate place to interrupt, I’ve already made a list of 5-10 others things I could add to the conversation.  It’s better just to think about those thoughts.

I’ve finally figured out that the most probable cause of this inconvenience and annoyance is that my own parents did not have frequent conversations with me as a child.  They took good physical care of me but rarely had the time or inclination to really talk with me.  Children are like sponges and perhaps conversation is like practicing piano — you’ll never really be good at it unless you practice with people who know how to converse well and with intelligence.

If I could encourage any young parent out there — speak intelligently to your children — on a very regular basis.  Engage their thoughts — their mind — and their mouths.  Train them to respond kindly, respectfully and appropriately.  Teach them deeply and not superficially.  Give them your time — your thoughts — and your words.

There is no better gift….spoken by someone envious of that gift.

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6


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