“Mom, Dad really annoys me.” Katie said this morning as she ate her oatmeal at the kitchen table.
“He talks in the car when he drops me off at school. I don’t think he knows the no talking rule that you have in the morning in the car. He kept bothering me about my Geography Fair Project and I didn’t like it.” (there was a lot more to this but I began to tune it out because I really didn’t want to hear it this morning).
Because today is Ash Wednesday and along with my normal sacrifices of eliminating facebook and fasting once a week, I have added in a gossip policy; I had to think this was the perfect moment to teach Katie about the dangers of gossip (oh yeah and me too).
This Lent my gossip policy is whenever I hear someone start to gossip or whenever I start to gossip; I come up with something positive about the person I am about to dismantle.
So when Katie woke up and began her rant about her father whom I love (but also could see where they would get on each others’ nerves on the morning commute), I stopped in my tracks.
“Katie, when you say something about someone else it is called gossip. When you talk about a good person and make me feel like they are bad it is called gossiping. I would prefer that you talk directly to your dad about this problem and remember that he is my best friend and a good man.”
“I know, Mom, he is good, but he made me mad.”
“Exactly, that is why you are talking bad about him. We do that when we are angry and it is wrong.” (Oh man is it wrong – and I have done it thousands of times).
I had to smile at God this morning because He blessed me with a valuable lesson this Ash Wednesday morning. Lent is a time to sacrifice but more importantly to change. I need to change my way of speaking. I need to change my attitude when I am angry. I need to change a negative into a positive.
Change is hard, but it is what we are called to do during this 40 days of Lent.
Many blessings on your own journeys during Lent!
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”