FROM THE EDITOR: Mind Your Mouth

On a morning in mid-summer, I found myself listing all the ways in which I was failing on that day alone. I couldn’t care for a flower plant well enough to keep it alive. Literally. It withered up, giving no explanation.

I couldn’t tend well enough to a tomato plant to support its production of tomatoes. Nine plants, really. Zucchini either.  

I allowed the shortcomings to take up space until my mom used her mom-words to snap me out of the doldrums, blaming the weather for the poor production. She did it again yesterday. “Maybe next year will be a better growing season,” she said. 

The blame I placed on myself a few weeks ago in the garden only led to more serious accusations in additional areas of my life, giving way to even uglier words spoken inside my mind, with my heart overhearing. 

I take responsibility. 

I know the arrows striking me are hurled by Satan. The words that become sentences that become paragraphs that become full-blown soliloquies are thrown toward me as though he’s feeding rat bait-tainted-birdseed to a sparrow. He knows his target. And the past few weeks have found me all too willing to be OK with wallowing around in it, eating a bite of the poison before manufacturing my own at pre-pandemic rates. To recap, I know the arrows, the lies, the hurt, the feelings of being a letdown, the repeated replay of my inadequacies — all spoken to me by the enemy. 

Yet I struggle in deflecting because I have a difficult time believing the suggestion is a lie. More times than not, I have a stack of evidence complete with witnessess willing to spill. 

As I considered this introduction, I wondered how to continue at this point in my story. What can I write believable to me and an encouragement to you? Let’s be honest, I have been stuck in the last paragraph for a bit.

Then, I heard this: No matter how truthful the lies feel or seem to me, no matter how well I argue the case, no matter how real it all looks, it still doesn’t equal God’s Truth. This is hard to write and much harder to believe.

The September issue of homegrown journal shares stories of the words out of our mouths and what the Lord does with them. How He delights in some and uses them to uplift us or others. How He decries others and whispers Truth and love in our hurt. 

Brave Reader, mind your mouth. Whether the words flow toward your heart or someone else’s, they are your responsibility. Choose care. 

Julie Johnson
editor in chief

COVER A birthday party at McDonald’s brought words of glee to our mouths in the early 1980s. Here, I am enjoying my fifth birthday with my Minnesota neighborhood crew: Vanessa, John, Karen, Jeremy, Bridget and the hat says, “Trisha.” Courtesy of Johnson family vault.

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