Those Wicked Kissing Cousins!

     I’m fifty-four years old. Most of my hair is gray. Dani says it’s silver, which sounds a lot better than gray, but she loves me and I think her opinion may be biased.

     The point is, I’ve lived a relatively long time, more than half a century in fact; and I’ve learned some things along the way.

    

     For example, avoid saying, “I’ll never”. Really, just avoid it! For example, “I’ll never steal.”, and then your kids find the pen from the dentist’s office in your purse (oops!), or they see you fail to return the extra change the cashier mistakenly put in your hand.

     I’m also thinking about using the term “I’ll never” in other areas of life. Like “I’ll never have a Facebook account.”  (The laughter you hear are my daughters and friends who heard me say that particular little “I’ll never” many, many times before I opened my Facebook account.)    

     How about, “I’ll never have a reptile living in my house!”.

    

     Those are the “I’ll never”s that we should avoid. They’re the kind of “I’ll never”s that cause you to have to eat your own words somewhere down the line, and believe you me, those sorts of statements are not pleasant tasting.

     More to the point, I feel sad when I hear gals utter “I’ll never” followed by words like –

  • put my kids into a public school
  • take a job outside my home
  • wear pants again
  • vaccinate
  • medicate my children with Ritalin

     I’m sad because they just cannot know the future. They’re relying on their own wisdom and strength and they have absolutely no idea how God may change their circumstances, or their hearts. It’s okay to plan on not doing any of those things. The danger, I think, comes in the saying of, “I’ll never”.


     “I’ll never” has a wicked “kissing cousin” named “I always”, that brings along the same sorts of problems. “I always” will inevitably have at least one exception because God sends circumstances our way that we weren’t expecting.

  •       “I always lock the door when I leave the house”, except for that time that your hands were full and you meant to go back and lock up after putting your things in the car, but then the kids started arguing. By the time you got them settled and buckled, going back to lock the door had completely slipped your mind.
  •      “I always cook from scratch”, only to find yourself in a season where buying bread, instant mashed potatoes and boxed macaroni & cheese is necessary.
  •      “I always obey the traffic laws”, and then your son-in-law calls for you to please come because the entire family has been in an accident, totaling their vehicle, and they’re an hour’s drive away, and you drive like the wind to get to them.

     Let’s be careful with these two phrases, I’ll never and I always. They smack of pride.

     God grows us in ways that we cannot anticipate and often in ways that we’d not have imagined in our wildest dreams. Our lives change with the years. That’s a good thing because it usually means that we’re growing!

     I used to cling tightly to my own lists of “I’ll never”s and “I always”s. They felt safe, but that safety was an illusion.

     As I began to release my grip on those wicked kissing cousins “I’ll never” and “I always”, and the ugly pride that was at their root,  it was then that God began showing me the beauty and richness and magnitude of His grace.


     His grace was always there!

I just couldn’t see it because I had those I’ll never – I always blinders over my eyes.

     Are there any “I’ll never”s or “I always”s in your life that need to go?

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27 

Be Sociable, Share!

21 comments to Those Wicked Kissing Cousins!

  • **stifles the maniacal laughter over Facebook**  You look kinda scary with those post-its… 😉

    I’ll never put my kids in a public school though.  Not ever.  Not for anything.  Oh… ummmm…

    Well, I always make sure that my kids are perfectly behaved!  **snort laugh**

    Here’s one that can be true though!  I’ll never have all of the laundry done!  So there! Phhhbllllt! 😉

  • Hi Cheryl,

    Thank for a wonderful post. It sure gave me food for thought. You are so right we don’t know what God has plan for us.In this season I am doing things I never thought I would.

    Have a wonderful week end

    .Elizabeth

  • Such a great post. So often I get caught up in this.  One of my biggest character defect’s is perfectionism….for myself and others.  I struggle with this and so often find “pride” creeping in. 

  • @The_Botzy_Blog – Smarty pants! Yes, you will have all of the laundry done. It might only last for 30 seconds, but you will have all of it done.

  • What a great post!  Those “kissing cousins” are dangerous! 
    I try to not use them because it is so true that we don’t know what God has in store for us!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  • Very wise words…I think it is easy for young moms, and some not so young, to hang on to those “nevers” and “always”, but life has a way of brining reality with it.  None of us know what God has in store for us or our children and while we need to have ideals and a plan, we need to keep God as our focus and not our agenda.  Just as we who have had a good dose of reality would like to have grace and understanding in our current and on going situations with hyper active children, rebellious young adults, girls we are allowing to go to college, etc., etc. we too need to be extending grace to those who have been allowed to stay in that seemingly idealistic place, even when they may be looking at us and wondering if we did things *right*.  There seems to be a lack of grace from both sides…so in the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

  • this post is *so* right on, cheryl.

    been there done that and **i’ll never** do it again.right.
    jAne

  • @eightisnotenough –  Amy!!!!  I can’t agree with you more! 

  • I try to remember James  4:14 when I find myself wanting to talk in absolutes.

  • I’ll never use “I always” and I’ll always remember not to use “I never”

    Loveyoume

  • I know of one “I’ll always” that I can say:  “I’ll always cherish the memories I’ve had with my kids at home.”  I may not always remember them when I’m much older, but I’ll always cherish them.  :0) 

  • I think the longer we live, this is one of those truths that become apparent.  God laughs when we say… never!

    I must admit being brought to Facebook last year kicking and screaming but Stephanie enticed me with pictures of grandchildren only posted on Facebook.  I just “liked” Copperswife.  🙂

  • Hi Cheryl, so glad you are back to posting and hope all is well. I think you made some really great points in your post, but I have a question. How do you balance your thoughts here with having standards? Not that you always fulfill those standards, but that you are susposed to try. I mean, I may say I will never commit adultry and could be tempted, but I would do everything in my power to flee any temptations and have standards in place for my behavior and the behavior of others so that I do not even allow myself in a circumstance that that could happen. I mean there are some absolutes that we should just go ahead and set ourselves that we are willing to die over, no?

    Thanks!

    Ace

  • @FormerlyAce – Absolutely we are to have standards, and those should be Biblical standards. Where we need to be careful, though, is in taking the prideful position of saying “I’ll always” or “I’ll never”, because we are not perfect. No matter what sorts of “standards” or rules we set for ourselves, we can do nothing outside of Christ. Statements like “I’ll always” and “I’ll never” indicate that we can do something, anything, on our own merits and strength. 

  • Thank you for this great and timely post!  I was thinking that there are some “always” and “never” that we need to remember but they were said by Jesus so He will always follow through.  “I will never leave you or forsake you” and “I will be with you always even unto the end of the age”.  

  • @ServingHim79 – Absolutely we can count on Jesus! What He said, He will do. My imperfect, fallen, sinful self, however, is not so trustworthy.

  • @copperswife – I agree and understand. I think this is the hardest part for me in my journey right now. I spent a lot of time with pre-conceived notions before I got married, BEFORE I had children, before I began to homeschool…etc and I see them shattered all the time. I guess I am just getting more concerned because a lot of people who are claiming to be Christians are also encouraging others to shatter other notions..I won’t mention any because I don’t want to start any fights. But that is where I am coming from. I think that as a 20 year old women you say “I will never have a child who has a tantrum” and as a older Mother you simply say to that person with the child throwing the tantrum “Hang in there, we have all been there!”

    I told my Husband the other day that I remembered the post you did on how people will see Will acting a certain way from his condition and make assumptions. We had an older child throwing a fit in front of us. Instead of judging, your post came to mind and I said….the benefit of the doubt is better than judgement. Only God knows what is going on here so I will pray for them.

    So I get your post, I wouldn’t have gotten it not so long ago. Still, many Christians seem to be losing it (the Biblical Standard) but I get that you didn’t mean that.

    I have a new email, I have to shoot you an email. Lots of updates. Glad to see you are doing well hun!

  • @FormerlyAce – Hang in there, Ace. God is faithful!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>