Posted by: Robin~AllThingsHeartandHome | January 13, 2009

Living My Legacy~Part 1~Controling my tone and my tongue

After my post last week on the Grocery store trip that changed my life, Erica said this: “…could you continue this post with a series please of how you have made this part of your life? How do (I) do this especially as a mom to little ones?”

It’s more like this, how do I continually live the legacy I want to leave? If I don’t live my legacy with intention, I’m still going to leave a legacy, just not one I want to leave.

I went back and looked at my journals and writings from 13 years ago. I’ll tell you that a tendency towards the negative and being a pretty uptight person, I took three steps forward and two steps back. I noticed in my writings the biggest and the first area of change for me was my mouth! Here is a bit of an affirmation I wrote for a church newsletter around that time…

     The air seemed thick enough to cut. Weighty and suffocating, the tension permeated a perfect early Saturday morning. Mike and I were spending time together. We needed to catch up. Time to relax and enjoy one another away from the kids. Time to talk. But talking was where this problem started.

     He was wrong. I was positive. I tried unsuccessfully to hide the emotion behind my first reaction, but in a matter of moments I erupted in a self righteous tirade. Things went downhill from there. Another beautiful opportunity for closeness thrown carelessly away.

     The next week as I was having my devotions, I read the story of Jesus’ arrest in the book of Matthew. Unsuspecting, I read this: “…one of Jesus companions reached for his sword drew it out and struck the servant…”  It was one of those moments when the words came into such focus that I knew God wanted to say something to me. “…put your sword back in its place, Jesus said.”

My mind flashed back to the Saturday before when I reached for my sword with Mike. Wounding him with my sharp tone and biting words.

This is the first thing God worked on with me. I remember asking Him to prick my heart every time I spoke with a harsh tone or used negative words. That’s one prayer He continues to answer to this day. I also sat Mike down and told him I was struggling in this area. (He wasn’t surprised!) I asked for his forgiveness and asked him to please remind me when I slipped. He still gently (and not so gently) reminds me when I fall into this old pattern. Thankfully he doesn’t have to do that as much anymore.

Probably most of you reading this don’t need it! But when I started living my legacy the first thing to go was the harsh tone and the negative verbiage.

Please note; I’m still quick on the draw with some super sarcasm but not in a mean way.  I need to tell you that because God didn’t ask me to become completely quiet and docile for the love of Pete. I’m still me.  He just tempered me a bit. Love to you as you live your legacy today!




  1. Keep writing. I’m learning good stuff. My mouth–my mouth. Words begin with thoughts and thoughts comes from the heart. Uh-oh.

    Such a GREAT POST, Robin.

    BTY, I now have glass jars in my pantry. A mini-you.


  2. Ooops. Thoughts COME from the heart!

  3. As usual, well written and full of good stuff. I just listened to a Pastor Pete sermon on my iPod yesterday where he said, “Oops, I don’t know where that came from!” like someone had said something mean. He followed it, in his own ‘voice’ with, “I do. It came from your heart.” That verse always gets me. Thanks for adding that Julie.

    Live Your Legacy is such a great title, Robin. Do you keep a list of great titles, just in case you want to write magazine articles or name book chapters? If so, this should go on that list. If not, what’s up with that? You should have it in a folder or a 13 year old journal which you have indexed for quick reference. Please!

    You never cease to amaze me! I am so glad you blog. Thanks for sharing your writing with us for F-R-E-E!!!

  4. You know just what to say. I too have a quick mouth, cutting at times. It scares me that I am that way. I will be putting this on my list of things to work on. Your writing is great! Keep ’em coming.

  5. You guys are so right, words come from thoughts and originate from the heart…have you ever said words that should be perfectly ok but with a hateful tone? Tone is BIG for me 🙂
    Anita…thank you for encouraging me with writing. I’m so looking forward to Pastor Pete’s new series about fear being paralyzing to some people…I think that’s my issue with writing. I’m stuck~
    Amy, thank you for admitting you struggle with the same thing. Sometimes I think I’m the only one! love love love

  6. Good morning Robin,

    As usual your message is touching my heart. I too have said words in a hateful tone and crushed the spirit of the one I was speaking to.
    Sometimes it is hard for us to see ourselves as others see us. Your message has been like looking in a mirror at myself.
    Hopefully I can begin to temper my words and tone with love. Thank you for writing these thoughtful messages.

  7. Between you and Gitz, I hardly know what to say. I’ve said before what a great “mommy mentor” you are by reminding me of the actions I need to take to make precious memories with the boys. And now comes the powerful reminder that I also would do well to remember to temper my tone and voice and words sometimes. Blessings sweet Robin!

  8. Man, I love you to pieces.

    I love that you have a journal from 13 years ago. Wow. Me, not so much… but I’m pretty sure anything I said 13 years ago wouldn’t be worth revisiting.

    This post encouraged me in a way you probably didn’t intend, but I just got my new chronological bible that you read in a year (it tells you what to read every day)… I’m going to get caught up so it’s like I started on the 1st. I’ve never really sat down and read the bible, (I know… go ahead and gasp) I just know the Word from the readings at Mass. Anyway, I want those moments of God pricking my heart like He did yours. I’m so anxious to get started.

    And as far as our friendship, you’re leaving a beautiful legacy with me.

  9. Robin,
    I just found your blog…through Gitzen Girl’s blog I think….anyways…your posts really hit home to me! I’ve wondered at times how my family might feel if anything happened to me. Like you, I want them to think of me with a joy instead of a relief. Thank you for your words.

  10. Gitz my sweetie… I’m praying for you as you embark on this journey with you Bible reading. I can not wait to hear your insights~

  11. Robin,
    You have touched my heart once again.
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  12. Hey girl! Found your blog through Facebook and I am so impressed with all your organizing!! When we get back to the States, I would LOVE to get all those glass containers and be that organized!! I can’t believe you and Mike will be grandparents! And the girls are so beautiful, but I would expect nothing less. Thanks for your insight into leaving a legacy. Sometimes the stress of relationships here leaves me crabby with the very ones in my home that God has blessed me with. What a foothold for the enemy to steal away precious time! I only have another couple years with Caleb, and I hope to make them the best…filled with laughter and guidance with an ear for listening and respecting his feelings and choices. Thank you, again….and I am so glad that you are using your gift of writing and homemaking to encourage others in the Lord! Hugs to all!

  13. Thank you so much for continuing and making this a “series”! It blesses me. I am really trying to work on this. The past few months my verse has been “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.” Prov. 10:11
    Especially with my husband I can be so bitter and harsh. Then with my boys, you hit the nail on the head, it is often my tone. And they repeat it back to me.
    My brother used to call it the silver-tongued savage. So thank you for the reminder to keep the focus where it should be:)

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and writing with us. I am learning so much from you and this was just one more thing that truly spoke to my heart. I need to work on this same area – I loose control of my tongue sometimes (and tone) and then feel awful about it. Thank you for sharing your struggles and showing us that we can change and leave a wonderful legacy!

  15. Hi! Now following you on Twitter, I wanted to check out your blog. I am really impressed with it and this post. It really spoke to me and helped prompt me that I have some things to add to my 09 goals. I look forward to your tweets!

  16. […] we talked about Living our Legacy, I told you the first things I had to work on…my tongue and my tone!  It’s almost […]

  17. […] because I believe that’s what we are all doing whether we know it or not. The first post was: My Tongue & my Tone. The second was Time with God. This one is: Me and The Husband…Best […]

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