Sunday, January 30, 2011

Words can Hurt......Really!

I have struggled on whether to share this post or not but finally decided that perhaps it may help someone else who may be undergoing the same type of experiences I have, because I don't believe for an instant that this is just something  I have undergone but that it happens to others as well.

Recently I was hurt by someones words to me. These words were spoken to me not due to something I had done or said but because they were angry about a particular situation, and so used that opportunity to say something that obviously had been on her heart. Now perhaps I am being sensitive to this and perhaps I should not dwell on this but I guess over a period of years this particular person has continued to say these type of remarks to me and mostly within our home and while visiting.

The type of comments are rather personal and deal with her opinion of how I especially, (because it must be me, no one else in our family has an opinion that hasn't come from me or could possible be the source of the problem except me,) am the reason that we have these issues that relate to our home, how our children behave or the seemingly useless things I do with my time, like making crafts etc. Here are the 'treasures of my heart' that I have been hurt with.

I have in the last week finished Arwen's Cross stitch (as you would know) made Arwen a late birthday present, which was  a little dolly and was about to embark upon some knitted hearts to share with my family for Valentines day. When once again the comments about 'the useless things that I make and how they only find themselves on the floor'. That really I should be using the money spent on these items to make worthwhile items like clothes and knitting garments instead of these 'waste of time items'.

I have over the time of our marriage taught myself any of the homemaking skills I have developed as  well as making the majority of home decorating and crafting items for our home.
I well remember the reason I started making items for our home stemmed from the lack of money to decorate and then using the skills I was developing to bring beauty to our home. So I believe I have been thrifty in using these skills to beautify our living space and family life. I have not had comment from my husband or children to indicate they are displeased with what I do.

I admit I have never been a great 'sewer of garments' and only now am I starting to knit and crochet some things, with great difficulty I might add actually, as I tend to forget how to do some part of both these skills. So I have never attempted any large projects, probably as I have no real ability or confidence to do this. My sewing skills for dress making are very limited but I have made some lovely clothes over the years and am trying to teach our girls the basics, even with my limited time and skill level.

However I have been proud of the homemaking I have achieved and the fact that my husband and children all  enjoy the little extras I create, whether for birthdays or feast days or just because I want to make something for a child's enjoyment that brings me a sense of fulfillment and joy.

This then begs the question...Does it mean that because my creativity and/or skill does not make it into 'the big leagues' that I should not use the creative  aspects of my homemaking that I believe that God has given each to each of us to make our home and life more beautiful? I don't believe so!

We have children that are tremendously creative. Each and every one has many gifts that in different ways bless us with what they create.  We have some beautiful artists, storytellers, woodworkers, felters, musicians and sewing/knitting/crocheting people BUT never, not once have I asked them to not use these gifts for the purpose they would like to or to not be who they are.

I have encouraged them in their arts and crafts, I have helped them to the best of my ability and when that isn't enough we source out other resources. I am always open to the children wanting to expand their creative abilities and use new materials or just some other skill they are interested in learning.
I would be so devastated to learn that something I had said would make our children think that I did not appreciate their handy work or the time and effort they had put into the work they had produced.
This is important to me. This I believe can scar a persons creative ability or even their very self confidence. I would never want that on my conscience, believe me!!

I would also like to say that I wouldn't like anyone to look at my own efforts that I may share here in this space and feel that they could never achieve anything creatively. Creative ability is in everyone and I believe it just needs tapping to be found and used, not only for our own benefit but also to the glory of the God who created us and gave us that ability.

Why would I go to such elaborate lengths to tell you about my sadness and upset, that I have experienced yet again from another.

Because our words can and DO hurt. Our words are an overflow of what we think and especially in times of crises I have found that the true feelings of others are actually 'uttered into being.'

I have always been a firm believer of the bible quote~
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8

I cannot believe that if we dwell on this verse that a lifetime of negative comments and words will be any ones fate. That if we follow these words as a guideline that the people we interact with will ever have reason to doubt we are true children of God.

So many times we have the opportunity to honour this verse but for what ever reason we CHOOSE to say something that will... 'just put that other person in their place, or we believe we say it for their own good.' But I would challenge you and myself that mostly if you NEED to say something like this it is not for the other persons good but for our own SELFISH reasons.

I would also like to add that mostly when this has happened to me in this particular circumstance, that the hurt is like a reopening of an old wound. it hurts no matter how many times it has been said or how long since it  was said last.I have found that even though  the words uttered are about things I have treasured in our home and in my heart that the best way to deal with this is to SAY NOTHING. 

My gosh it is hard and yes I have not always done this, and yes I struggle with the feeling of  unworthiness that comes from the uttered words and then the asking of myself 'why does she say that to me, why can't she compliment me on anything I do'.

However perhaps this experience can be used to for good.......yes I do try to think that. I try to remember  these experiences when I talk to my husband, to my children and to others. I have over the years tried to encourage others in their tasks,vocations and to look for the good in others. I try to build up and not tear down and most of all I try to remember that the WAY I SAY SOMETHING can make all the difference as well. 

The way I speak is just as important as what I say. I think this is self evident but I have to remind myself that speaking in a polite and soft way with a gentle heart  creates a much different response from the listener as well as to my own expectations and that it really is very important to speak in this manner.

Am I perfect, the Lord knows I am not but I also believe He knows my heart and He knows my intent and that I strive and long to become more like Jesus each and every day.

I have also been dwelling on some words of advice I received today "to not let your happiness come from other peoples opinions of you but from the Lord. To dwell only on the Lord and his love and opinion of you" and while I do believe this it still does not stop the hurt, and I still struggle with the ongoing hurt of the uttered words.  But to know I am doing and being who I can be through the strength of God is a comfort to me, and I am trying to dwell in His love and care.

I hope and pray that even though this was a 'non happy' post that it in some way speaks to your heart and that in doing so it will help you to reach out to those who you love and know and encourage them in your own way.

But remember~
Words can hurt or words can build up......which will you and I use!!

Blessings to you and your homes,


Nadja said...

Oh, Gae, I am sorry you have had to suffer at the lack of tact of another. People say such unkind things...sometimes unwittingly, sometimes out of envy and sometimes with real "malice aforethought."

Words certainly do wound, and sometimes scar. I tell my children that if they have nothing nice to say, to say nothing at all. When asked an opinion, I always try to be honest, but never without tact and always seeking the good, if I can find it. The Lord said that it is not what we put into ourselves that defiles us, but what comes out.

As for making "useless" things, what wqould I tell my children about their creations? Few have much use, and yes, I do occasionally have to weed through and save the best and discard the rest, or I'd be up to my neck in things they made for me! But the joy is in the creating. It is a natural outpouring of love and of our being made in the image of God.

Here is an old post of mine that doesn't say it very well, but makes an attempt to explain this desire to create beauty:

JOYfilled Family said...

thanks for sharing your test in humility - From the desire of being praised ...From the fear of being ridiculed ...That, in the opinion of the world,others may increase and I may decrease ...

You did the right thing, and sometimes the most difficult thing to do, remained silent.

St. Francis de Sales, oro pro nobis. (1.29)
"Some say it is unreasonable to be courteous and gentle with a reckless person who insults you for no reason at all. I have made a pact with my tongue; not to speak when my heart is disturbed."
~St. Francis de Sales

rox said...

Oh Gae I so want You to know You are truly my one extra special Mum who actually helps me feel I am just fine the way I am as role in homemaker.
Gae It is so hard to heal from words.
You know the type of abuse I survived and when speaking on abuse I tell people the hurtful words said on purpose were just as damaging type of abuse .
We are intelligent educated individuals we know in our minds even to know better then beleive those harmful lies etc. but it takes far more time to heal in the heart and true belief that those words are not true comes from belief of the heart.
Gae it does hurt and you are doing exactly what & how He asks us to heal from pain . to acknowldge it and to be open to healing and knowing that healing takes time with Him
Gae I have some catholic Mums who judge me very harshly , they have said mean things about me and gossip between each other about me .
I have cried from the harsh and harmful things said and the shunning that has happened .
God merely asks me not to focus on them thinking I'm not good enough or catholic enough He merely asks me to be open and honest with Him in my struggles within my faith and catholic religion .
I am not to retaliate or write mean & harmful things back.God showed me that often when people speak badly like that and it is just not true and there is no proof .Those people actually feel that way about themselves and in fact can be jealous of our relationship with the Lord or family .
It was true Gae while I feel imperfect and am constantly falling I am trying to be open about . some try and hide it and make the outside look all perfectly catholic.
I can see the difference Gae ! I can see your inside and outside true & real.
I am ever so Thankful for You & the few ladies who offer me true friendship in all my silly failings etc.
Gae do not let people fool or trick You . The gifts You pass on to your children in being who You are is of the utmost value !
Gae think of all those children who do not have role models like Yopu ! often having to wait until adult hood to have beautiful relationships etc. and sometiomes very often it is to late . so many adults wander the world without knowing real love .
Gae it is a mean and nasty trick trying to eat at you and the devil loves it. He wants us to have little bits of doubt & fear because then he feeds it with all kinds of situations etc. even letting oter people be used as his tools .
Gae remember You are God's tool and You are doing His work ! You give so much to so many .
Thank You Gae ☺

Mrs Evans said...

Oh, I am so sorry you have had a "tongue lashing". I know very well those can be painful. I dont think you are being too sensitive, because I believe in this harsh world there are too many people who are "tough" and look at all the harsh words that fly around now. :( I think your work is beautiful, and your children will be inspired by the way you create things just for them. Creativity is not supposed to be boxed in, otherwise it loses its point, which is to bring something NEW and LOVELY into the world. It doesnt matter what you make, after all, but why and who you made it for. Just as a scribbled crayon drawing of a now long grown child is a true treasure to a mother, your bits of prettiness will always bring a smile and warm hearts to those lucky enough to receive them. The Lord himself has given you your gifts of creativity for a reason, so anyone who calls them foolish is themselves pretty foolish. God Bless you, and your talents!!! Lots of Love, Shannon

Gloria said...

Oh Gae, I am sorry that this person has hurt you. I have realised that people will say things to hurt though, to hide their own jealousy. You have something going that this person wishes they had. Weather it's that they wish they were creative, or had time to be, or had a loving family surrounding them, or whatever the case may be, they want what you have and they can't have it and so they say hurtfull things to you to make themselves feel better. So sad for them that they cannot be thankful and use their talents to glorify God instead of using them to hurt others. I love that you have turned this to the best that you can.

Nissa Gadbois said...


I'm so hurt for you. Keep making your world beautiful - and sharing with the rest of us. Because your love makes OUR world beautiful. <3

Sarah Harkins said...

I don't understand why someone would say such things to you on not one occasion but several. These people obviously have a problem being overly practical and forgetting that it was God himself who spent such time making the world not only practical, but beautiful. Glad you are getting over those strange people's strange way of thinking! I love your family's creativity and admire everything you guys do. I can tell your children will look back on their childhood as a happy, joyful time where they gained priceless knowledge from their loving mother.

Gardenia said...

hello Dear Gae, well, I certainly would be distressed myself about this, and I laud you for the way you are hadling this matter, with introspection and reserve. without knowing the person of whom you speak, my first blush reaction is that she (if it is a woman) is jealous of you, or perhaps your large family, or your family life -- envious of how you are living your life with faith and peace. Sometimes people try to bring us down when they themselves are miserable about their own situation. I'm sure you've thought of all this, but just wanted to let you know my thoughts. blessings,

Vellvin said...

Don't worry Mummy.
God gave you those gifts for a reason.
Just as he gave me my particular gifts.
God loves what you make and he loves you Mummy and so do I and Kynan, Braedon, Autumn, Eden, Saxon, Rogan, Moran, Myffwyn, Corbyn, Arwen, Daddy the baby in heaven and the baby that is on the way will/do love what you do.
Family is the most important thing in the whole entire universe besides loving and serving the Lord.
I love you Mummy,

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

Wow, some people just have caustic tongue's. I'm sorry that you have been on the receiving end of one such tongue.

I am not crafty. Not at all. But you know what? I Love home made items and I think, that I would prefer to receive a home made craft more so than a home made dress or skirt. Why? Because I can buy those things but I can't buy the personalised, craft things which are made with love and emotion and can last a lot longer than a clothing item.

Lovely post Gae...

Kendra said...

I'm sorry you've suffered at the lack of someone else's politeness. It stinks and it's always harder to heal those wounds then others. Have you ever read Heaven at Home? It's all about making our homes havens to come home to, decorating them and livening them up so that our husbands and children want to return to them. I'd say you've achieved that goal! :)

Angel Wings and Apron Strings said...

Dearest Gae,
how I admire your self-control and graciousness toward this nasty and bitter person.
You certainly have a hairshirt in this 'friend' and her unwelcome words!
But maybe your itchy days should come to an end now.
If she is not a close relative who you must have constant contact with, it may be best to sever ties with her.
She brings hostility into the sanctuary of your home and does the Devil's work for him by sowing seeds of guilt and unhappiness.
She obviously causes stress to your family by disrespecting your home, husband and yourself.
You have behaved in a godly manner and have shown great virtue by your quiet response to her insults. By this you have taught your children a powerful lesson in christian humility and grace.
But I am a bit concerned for them and their emotional coping skills regarding this woman.
My own sons went through painful experiences because of comments made about them or us as a family, coming from a person visiting in our home.
We tried to be charitable and christian during this trial but our boys eventally became depressed and angry and spiteful toward the 'visitor'. What hurt them most was the nastiness verbalised against us, their parents!
We had to stop having contact with him.
You are your child's world - holy, beautiful, safe, and admirable.
No one has the right to destroy their joy in you!
Personally, I would not tolerate this woman's emotional abuse any longer.
Perhaps she needs to read this post and the comments to see how damaging her attitude is to her own soul and to tender hearts.
Gae dear,you are a wise and gentle lady and I know your deepest desire is to be Christ-like and loving.
It seems to me that you have been a beautiful icon of Jesus in this ugly situation!
Those who know you, know that His Spirit reigns in you and that all the beauty you create for your beloved family is but an expression of God's love for them through you!
Don't let anyone or anything mar that beauty :-)
much love in Jesus..Trish
ps. Your lovely Vellvin is so right - family is the most important thing besides serving the Lord.
Keep serving dear lady :-)

Anonymous said...

hi Gae

Do you have to have that person visit you at all or do you have to see her. Why have such a person who likes to be negative about what you are doing in your crafts around at all. People often say negative things because it reflects what they feel about themselves but they project it onto you to make them feel better. I am blunter than you possibly and I tell such people to mind their own business and avoid them thereafter.

I was late to sewing as well and am now only getting into crochet. Don't let silly people spoil what you enjoy as there is enough negativity in the world as it is. I you and your family are happy that is all that really matters. Some of those books about setting boundaries are worth a read if you have to deal with her on an ongoing basis.


Our Cross Stitching Home/Historie/One of God's little Princesses said...

Gae, so sorry you had to expereince this. I always tell our children that the memories they will cherish when they're grown will not be of toys and trips to exciting places but about the times we spent together, reading, singing, making things. Your children will have a godly and living heritage to share with their children--and they will be able to pass on the same values, including the immeasurable joy of making things, to their families. The Lord made you and has placed in your personality wonderful gifts.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I recently found your lovely blog and appreciate you so much. Just look at your beautiful family and let nasty words and sentiments melt away. "He who angers you controls you." Could this person be jealous of you? I have had this happen to me all to frequently (from family) who do not agree with homeschooling, catholicism, the bread I bake ... you name it! The best thing is silence. I took me a long time to learn this. Remember you are loved.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for posting this. I am saddened that someone who came to visit your LOVELY home said such things. Perhaps, they don't realize what they say is critical, they might indeed think they are being helpful?

However, if this person has said it again and again and it's obvious that it hurts you, then maybe it be better that they don't visit.

I haven't met you, but by your blog it seems you are sooo encouraging to your children and that you craft from the heart for the heart!

I have been critisized too for other things and I have to tell you it really stopped me in many of my projects!

Just recently a friend made an offhand remark about my large really hurt my feelings for days. I pray for her, but I have indeed avoided her because it created such hurt feelings in my soul. I don't think I ambmature enough (like St. Therese who sought the company of a disagreeable nun) to handle it.

Never stop your love for making lovely things for your home!


Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

I'm so very sorry that you have suffered this pain once again at the words of the same person.
You are right...words can and DO hurt...very much, at times.
I think it helps to understand...that often when someone seems bent on picking at our way of doing things...or stinging our hearts with words they know will hurt...that the speaker is usually harboring somewhat of a hidden jealousy, as well. There is something in you or about you...that "she" wishes she had, but doesn't...and sometimes...they fear (incorrectly so) that because this gentle beauty and creativity in YOU is so obvious to others...that the LACK of it in HER must be, as least that is how she might perceive it.
Your creative gift...GOD-GIVEN...for beautifying your home and treating your family to unique and wonderful little a HUGE inspiration in my life...I would NEVER want you to be ANY different that who you are...a devoted and loving and CREATIVE wife, mother, and teacher who so greatly blesses all who know her and to whom I am very grateful for I know that I am a better wife, mother, and teacher because of what I learn from YOU!


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