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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Phone Talkin'

Has everyone heard that old statistic that men have something like 25,000 words a day to use and women have like 50,000? I have three times the average woman's number of words to use in one day. I like to talk; I'm chatty.

My theory in life is if it is fun for one person to do then it's tons of fun for more than one person to do together. Even chores can be fun...together. I am a social butterfly; I like people.

In January our pastor preached a series on disciplines of the Christian life. One sermon was about silence and solitude. Two disciplines I don't practice much. I asked God to train me to use both to become closer to Him.

One of my main prayers is that God will "hold my tongue." I hate that our words, spoken in a hasty moment, can bring death instead of life to those who hear them. When I get stressed at all, I talk too much. Hence...silence and solitude.

Remember this is January. I am also trying to morph into a real estate agent for a few hours a week. I already have "the list" prepared. You know the one. The one that tells God all the things I can give up in order to sell real estate.

You see, I am a very blessed lady. I not only have a fabulous family, I also have a support system of fabulous friends. This group of ladies pray with me and for me, provide companionship when I take my kids to activities and bring me Clorox wipes and diapers when my kids are sick. "The list" is comprised mainly of relationships.

God surely would never have me give them up! My lifeline...my friends.

Around this time my nifty, camera/cell phone broke, totally. I had to revert my service to an old phone Julia was carrying in her purse. It's like talking on a toy. I never hear it ring. It has no phone book in it. It's usually dead when I need to make a call.

Thus proceedeth life without the cell phone. That's okay, they're for emergencies anyway, right?

Then we lost one of our cordless phones. Things like this are common occurrences with a family of six. There is a big, black hole in our home. It has missing socks, shoes, TV remotes and a cordless phone in it.

That's okay. We have two cordless handsets because we know the reality of living in our home. We still had the remaining one. we guarded it diligently. We always returned it to its cradle. Still, it died.

Now we have no caller id and no way to answer the phone. No way at all. People can call. People can leave messages. We can hear the messages but we can't answer. We can't even return calls unless it's after 9:00 PM or it's a weekend. (I promised Andrew I wouldn't go over my minutes.) Even then, only if the cell phone is charged. When my precious friend, Hyeong-Sook, called, from Korea, I was totally helpless to our plight! Amidst the work, phone situation and craziness of Smith family life, I was disconnected from talking with any friends as much as I'd like.

Thank goodness for email...except that we just got a new internet server and I lost my phone book. Pages of emails of all those I love have been lost. Gone, totally!

I couldn't reach out to my friends at all. I had no time. I had no phone. I was disappointed. They were my lifeline. Would I drown in loneliness?

God's answer was a resounding "no."

Please do not misunderstand me. We need other believers. We need each other. I need friendships with other women, these women. I thought I could not victoriously survive without their prayers. Their prayers were my lifeline. Jesus is to be my only lifeline. My mistake was that I was allowing them to be a lifeline to Jesus instead of allowing Jesus to be my only lifeline to them.

I was discounting the fact that Jesus is praying for me. "Christ Jesus...is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." (Romans 8:34)

I was taking my cares to them because I was looking for a way to relieve my burdens. Jesus is the only one strong enough to carry our burdens and powerful enough to relieve our suffering. "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you." (1 Peter 5:7)

When we let others meet needs that only Jesus can meet, we will always be disappointed. When we place life in any other line other than Jesus whether it is friendship, marriage or the telephone line, we set ourselves up for disappointment. I was disappointed. "Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. Christ Jesus (is) our hope...And Hope does not disappoint us." (Isaiah 49:23b, 1 Timothy 1:1b and Romans 5:5a)

If we truly have Jesus Christ living in us, we should be free from disappointment. If we see the truth of Christ, we will see as He sees and desire what He desires. We will not have false expectations and we will not be doing anything other than what He would have us do. We will be free from disappointment.

It is in solitude I have been able to see His face more clearly because I am not looking at the face of another.

It is in silence I have been able to hear His voice more clearly because I am not listening for the voice of another.

It is in this place He can reveal the hidden motives in my heart, the idols in my life, the unhealthy ways I think and the lies I believe.

I am so much more free to say no to good, even Godly, things in order to bring silence and solitude into my life. I am so much more aware and confident of what God has called me to do. This is a good place to be...without a phone.

PS The reason these last few posts have been so verbose is because I have no other outlet for these thousands and thousands of words I usually speak on the phone!


Pam said...

Wow, Lisa - it's all been stripped away - no phone, no email... You might as well be on Gilligan's Island! I'm kidding of course. You struck a chord with me because I've always described myself as having been born with too many words. And yet over the years, through a move across the country, an oppressive bout of depression, caring (alone) for an elderly relative, something happened along the way and I couldn't talk anymore to the degree I once had. I think in my case it was a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion of sorts. I withdrew.

Sometimes we are forced into "being still" so that we may know God and hear His voice, and unfortuantely, sometimes even then I haven't listened. But I am aware over and over again that He IS faithful and that I take it for granted until put to the test. It is easy to talk about having faith when you never have it tested. But once you lose what makes your life comfortable, and you are sort of forced into looking, seeking, yearnig for fulfillment through the only available source (Him), ta-da! He IS faithful to meet our needs!

I just took up all this space -- see? I have way too many words!

lisasmith said...


I have your email address. Yours is the third one I have...Does that tell you how serious this is?

I'm finding the more life I live, the less I get to talk. I'm crazy busy caring for babies one day, the next my babies grow and start to talk themselves. I really want to be a good listener to everyone, but especially my kids. I want them to know I'll always listen.

This is probably one reason my phones keep breaking. They (phones) can certainly get in the way of me listening to my little ones, unfortunately. Just so God trains me to love Him more, I can take it!

And, as long as I have blogger to expend all my words... :)

Thanks for sharing.

Cherie said...

"In loss I rejoice, for what I have found."

JungWoo Hong said...

Hi, Lisa!
How are you?
I'm ok. I could hear your voice.
I was happy...
When I read your blog, I was crying. I missing...
How about your health? I worried.
I want to help you right now. you know my heart?
Even though I'am Korea, my heart is with you. I love you, my friend.

lisasmith said...


I miss you! Did you get my email? Call me.

I love you!

lisasmith said...

...and Cherie, I love your quotes. You always seem to have the perfect one.

Kathryn Berilla said...

I love that even without words, God still knows our hearts and we are in touch!!!
I love you my friend!!