Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No More "Whatever"

 Today I attended the funeral of the brother of a dear sweet friend. I was under the impression that I was attending to support her in her loss, to help her through her pain. That, I’m realizing was only a small part. As hard as it is to attend funerals I am always touched by the pause that we take to celebrate the precious life that just left this earth for Home. It always helps me remember how short, fleeting and fragile life is. Each time I come away remembering how important my loved ones are and with a resolve to love them more, to love them better, to be kinder, slower to anger. I’m reminded that none of the day to day hassles, setbacks, or frustrations, matter. They. Just. Don't.

  However I still slip right back into the mode I promise myself I won’t. I go right back to feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, annoyed and negative. I go back to lacking self control and flying off the handle over nothing, instead of focusing on how precious my children and husband are. 

 Today the son of the man who passed away gave the eulogy and it struck me right in my heart.  He told us that the night before he lost his dad his dad told him how proud he was of him and how much he loved him. The young man’s response was "Whatever".  He told us how sad he felt that "whatever" was the last word he spoke to his father and how he wished he would have responded. He urged all of us to watch what we say to each other because you never know when the words you speak may be your last words or the last words someone might hear.  This young man shared his heart and deep regret over the fact that his last word to his father was “Whatever”. He said he will never forgive himself for that. {I pray he will forgive himself, because that is an incredible weight for a young man to carry and surely his father is looking down from Heaven, understanding and has already forgiven him.}

 The reason this young man’s words struck me so greatly is because the word "whatever" has become a word I use TOO often. I throw that word around to my kids and husband with the full impact of disrespect it can carry. I never feel good about it yet I keep throwing it out there. What’s worse is my kids have learned it and use it. Is that the attitude I want to have? Teach my children? Express to my husband? No! It took a young man’s words to wake me up today. The word "whatever" used with malice and disrespect is banned from my home from this day forward. No more "whatever". It’s not just the word itself that matters but the attitude of the heart that it exposes. It’s something I have been asking God to change in me anyway, but his words today reinforced the need. It will take a hefty dose of His grace to exercise self control, because I know as soon as life settles back in and the frustrations build I will struggle. But He is capable and I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

 I need an attitude change in many ways, but with His help and grace I can start with no more “whatever”. 

God bless,

 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24


  1. Thanks for nailing the issue - banning "whatever" and choosing to live life more fully through it all.

    1. Thank you Krista. It's not me though! I tell you The Holy Spirit has been working on this one for me. I am going to do a Novena to St. Terese of Lisieux. I need all the help I can get!

  2. Well said, Jen! I try to keep my words to my kids and husband kind and respectful, but boy when I am tired (which is a lot of the time) or overwhelmed, I know that it is only through divine intervention that I have not done more damage to our relationships. This is a great time to reflect on this son's words because although the thought of the holidays and family time gives me warm fuzzies, the reality of all of the activities, shopping, pressure to be super-mom, etc. can easily turn me into a "whatever" mom! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Julie,
    Thank you so much! I agree, this time of year can be so stressful. And yes, tiredness seems to be the worst for me. That's always an indicator. I appreciate your feedback. Praying for a peaceful Christmas season for us all.
    God bless~