What I Learned from a Doll – Proverbs 18:21

I held the covers over my head and turned the bright cell phone away from my sleeping husband. In a breathy voice I recorded my thoughts, watching to see if Jerry might stir. He’s a man who can sleep through branches scraping against the roof and our dog’s barking, but apparently not a whispering woman in his bed. Rats.

That killed any chance of keeping track of my thoughts while in bed. From now on I would have to leave the room to record the stories that come in the night.

doll eyes. alexas_fotos .free pixabay

I’d put in my order that day, for copies of the book, Jesus Talked to Me Today: True Stories of Children’s Encounters with Angels, Miracles, and God, which includes my story about a doll I carried in my pocket and how I learned about Jesus through her.

In the night I found I have another doll story to tell.

The other doll

My 8″ Betsy McCall doll was very talented, able to sit upright because of her bendable, lifelike knees. She was dressed in the TV Time outfit, a cute teal jumper and blue pants. I looked forward to coming home from first grade and posing her on the dresser in the garage, where we admired each other and shared our secrets.

One night I had a nightmare about her watching me from her perch as I teased her about the hinges in her knees. She smiled. Emboldened, I mocked their ugliness, and though her expression didn’t change, she lowered her chin and tilted to one side. Then, like a marshmallow melting on the end of a roasting stick, she slumped over.

My words had destroyed my friend

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV).

My precious doll disappeared from my life. I don’t know what happened to her, but I have no memory of playing with her after that dream. The lesson endures, however, and I hope to never forget the image of how my words affected her. I don’t ever want someone damaged because of something I’ve said, even in jest.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Looks Don’t Kill, Words Do – Proverbs 18:21

I had a nightmare about how my mocking destroyed my friend, and the image of her suffering is with me to this day. It opened my eyes at a young age to the power of words.

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“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV).

In first grade my best friend was an eight-inch Betsy McCall doll. She had dark hair like mine, and a cute little outfit consisting of a pinafore over cropped pants. Her most remarkable feature, however, was her jointed knees which enabled her to sit naturally. I liked positioning her on the edge of my dresser as I got ready for school, where she could admire everything I did.

In my dream she is perched in her place, her head tilted, as usual. She looks at me sweetly, but I am making fun of the hinges in her knees. I laugh at her, telling her she’s ugly, and she slumps and caves into herself, right before my eyes. She keeps her sweet expression, but the damage is done.

Exercising the power of life in my words

This week I am making headway repairing cracks I caused in a relationship because of something I said years ago. The damage only recently came to my attention, and thankfully, understanding followed. Jesus made it clear I am to love my neighbor like I love myself so my efforts to mend the relationship are entirely worthwhile.

The Amplified Version says,

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words” (Proverbs 18:21 AMP).

I’m looking forward to enjoying the fruit of gracious words.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

What I Noticed at my High School Reunion – Proverbs 18

At my 40th high school class reunion this summer I observed how nicely some of my classmates had mellowed with age. The things that were important to us a few years ago just aren’t so much anymore. We’re less concerned about non-essentials, and I think we’ve become better listeners.

Never Stop Learning

Hopefully, we put foolishness behind us as we grow older. According to Strong’s Concordance the original meaning of fool is a person who is stupid or silly. And Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines stupid as showing a lack of the ability to learn and understand things.

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used with permission bradimarte.stockxchng

“Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions” (Proverbs 18:2 NIV).

“The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives” (verse 6-7).

“From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (verses 21-22).

One thing I like about harvest time is having plenty to share. The satisfaction I feel when I’ve given someone just the right words is priceless.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis