Sunday, June 24, 2007

something new

I really admire Montse. She is out there in Nevada on an alfalfa farm with her six girls and little baby boy and by everything I know of her she seems smart, funny, and beautiful. She is also a woman of great faith and she inspires me.

I won't embarrass her with further tribute, but I had to give credit where credit was due. She is the reason I'm starting this SMART Habits Saturday. (I know, today is Sunday, but yesterday was a long day with no computer time.) I've really enjoyed reading her posts about the good habits she is working on, and I've felt inspired to begin my own journey to smarter habits. Heaven knows I need to. I was trying to think of what smart habits I already possess. I quickly came up with regular flossing. I also never go to bed with dirty dishes in my sink. I do exercise regularly, but I don't know if that counts because I would be a danger to myself and others if I didn't! I seem to require a lot of physical activity every day to stay sane. Anyway, besides those few, I honestly can't think of others.

Sow a thought and reap an act;
Sow an act and reap a habit;
Sow a habit and reap a character:
Sow a character and reap a destiny.

~William Makepeace Thackery

It was a struggle to narrow it down to one smart habit to begin with. There are so many I'd like to try! However, for firsts, I decided to go with developing clean speech. Now, that may surprise you. You probably don't know me as a potty-mouth, and in fact I'm not a potty-mouth. But I do use swear words. {cringe} Not the heavy-duty ones that are edited (or used to be edited) from network t.v. Not even the second-class swears that are fairly mild. I managed to get rid of those a few years ago after my four-year old walked down her preschool hallway shouting "D---! D---! D---!" at the top of her lungs. No, I couldn't blame J, because he never swears, blast him. See! There I go. I have my own special set of swears that, at times, I do use liberally. Hey, cut me some slack. I'm a girl from central Maine.

No, I would not excuse myself, nor have others excuse me. Maybe you wonder why I would care about excising mild epithets from my speech. The other day, the topic of swearing came up on a car ride with the kids. I think Marcus was asking if a certain word was a swear. I said that it was, and he was never to use it again. Lidia piped up, "That's one of Mom's swears!" Georgie replied, "No. She doesn't use that one. These are Mom's swears..." and she proceeded to list them. I felt really bad. I don't want to be known as a swearing mom. Also, I feel like even these mild swears show a lack of dignity and restraint in my language. The language we use is so powerful. It says so much about us.

In July's New Era, a magazine for youth of the Church of Jesus Christ, Elder Tom L. Perry, writes a brief article entitled "Thy Speech Reveals Thee." It's not online yet, but eventually it can be found here. He says, "Our speech reflects the kind of person we are, exposing our background and our way of life. It describes our thinking as well as our inner feelings." Also, "Many times in our effort ot refrain from improper speech, we find words to substitute. Sometimes they are so close to vulgar phrases everyone probably knows that we are substituting words and have not really improved our vocabulary." Ouch!

"A good man out of the good treasure of his hear bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh" (Luke 6:45, my emphasis).

Every week I'll be adding new habits and giving an update on the ones I'm working on.


Montserrat said...

Can you see me blushing? Thanks for your kind comments. :D

This is really a great habit to work on. We've had little parrots repeating the words we say around our house too. Sometimes it really shocks me. Do we really talk like that? Always room for improvement that's for sure.

Have you read this speech by Elder Douglas Callister? Your Refined Heavenly Home It's excellent! Real food for thought.

(If the link doesn't work you can look it up at

Calandria said...

thanks for the link! I started reading it and it looks to be very inspiring.

Daisy said...

I stopped swearing when my young kids started echoing me. Now my friends and coworkers know me as one who "never" swears.

sippinghotchocolate said...

good for you. :)