The Wise Woman Speaks

Photo by Nara Osga

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

When I was a kid—thin-skinned and therefore (at least in my mind) always getting picked on—my mom taught me a little ditty she hoped would help me deal with the drama: “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words can’t even touch them.”  

I have since learned that yes, words can’t break your bones—but they can break your spirit. They can’t touch your body, but they can touch your heart. “Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs,” said British politician Pearl Strachan Hurd. Such is the power of words. They can harm or heal, uplift or crush, help or hinder.

And the thing about words is that you can never take them back. They may be patched over, hidden or forgotten, but they will always leave some mark. I remember when The Hubby was still The Boyfriend. We had a bad breakup; he said some of the meanest things that had me sobbing for hours. Of course, we’ve grown up since then and decided we couldn’t live without each other and I eventually married him. But sometimes, when those words cross my mind—not like I purposely dredge them up—there’s still this little pinch in my heart. I’ve forgiven him, and I don’t hold it against him, but what he said still affects the way I sometimes feel about myself.  

Also, don’t you feel that some people are a chore to be around? Usually, these are the people who keep complaining, worrying or who never have anything positive to say. Sometimes they are funny, I have to admit. Their sarcasm can be entertaining, but it does wear you down eventually. Same goes for those who constantly gossip (though I confess to indulging in this too) or backstab others. Somehow, talking to them can bring you down.

I’ve learned that whatever I am holding on to affects the things that I say and the way that I say it. When I feel optimistic and happy, so are the words I speak. When I’m stressed or in a funk, my words can really hurt (I regret this the most with my daughters; I can only pray that the mark my hurtful words leave won’t be too severe).

It reminds me of that verse from Matthew 12:34, “…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” You’ll know what you have in your heart and mind by what you say. So the tricky part is—what do you fill your heart with? Sure you can edit your speech, but your unspoken words still reflect what you truly believe.

I constantly need to pray that my words will be as author Stormie Omartian  puts it, “words that bring life”. I pray that the overflow of my heart will be good, pure, righteous and noble things; things that are of God. I pray that my words will uplift, encourage, comfort, heal, build up and bring truth.

Will you pray with me on this?

 Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than him. – Proverbs 29:20



  1. After reading this, I felt that I just had a devotional time with God. Great post, Rhee. Our children are the usual targets of our words because they’re there. All we could do is pray, pray, pray for us and for the little ones that our words will heal and bless and not the other way around.

  2. Great post Ree! I too struggle on this. Sometimes, it’s more on the actions — when my son wants me to play, read, and do all other things, when I’m just too tired or lazy. And I feel guilty that I don’t always have the patience with him. sigh.

  3. Hi Rheeya, I also have the Power of the Praying Parent. You were the one who inspired me to buy the book. Thanks! It has been a daily (almost) ritual of reading and praying for my children. We stumble in being parents everyday but it is with God’s grace that we bounce back. I would like to share this blogpost about being an abiding mom vs. supermom

  4. Thanks Mel. We really do have to cover our kids (and ourselves!) with prayer. But also God gave me a word–Luke 12:25–that I shouldn’t worry too much also about my parenting. I guess we really have to depend on Him as we try to do our best as mothers. Hard balance no?

  5. Lyra–my perpetual struggle. Me over others (including The Hubby). I would rather read or sleep or do my own thing sometimes than read to Raine or play with Breeze or spend quality time with The Hubby. It is a real struggle, and I always pray that God give me the desire to serve The Hubby and my kids, and that I feel the joy of serving and pleasing those I love. Hirap talaga.

  6. Kat, I’m glad that the book has been of great use to you. Have you checked out Praying Wife and Praying Woman too? I alternate the three of them. It’s true about God’s grace helping us be the best parents we can be. Somehow, in my mind at least, surrendering them to God helps ‘negate’ (for lack of a better word) the mistakes that I will make as I try to raise them to be godly children. Thanks so much for the link to Abiding Mom vs Supermom. It makes me realize how hard I try to be supermom, when really, I should just abide in God. Thanks a lot.

  7. hi Rheea!

    a friend reco’d the praying wife, woman & parent sometime ago, but i was always too busy to look for it 🙂 peo reading on your post tonight, i will pursue looking it up na nga 🙂

    praying for you and with you too! *hugs*

    Bless (n@wie sis)

  8. Rheaa, I seldom post comments when I blog hop, but I felt like telling you to keep on inspiring people. May God continue to bless you and use your blog for His glory.

  9. Bless, thanks for dropping by. I do hope you find the Power of Praying books–they’re really a blessing, and a big help when you’re at a loss on what to pray for exactly, and a guide and motivational tool when you really don’t feel like praying.

  10. Irmee, thank you for dropping by, and for taking the time to comment. 🙂 And most of all, thank you for the encouragement.

  11. marie bustamante says

    will definitely pray with you, rheea. and i’ll probably live by luke 12:25. i guess it’s normal for parents to worry about their kids but sometimes i overdo it. 🙁

  12. marie, thanks for praying with me. and yes–it’s really a hard balance to strike, worrying about your kids and doing something about it, and leaving it all up to God. parenting challenges!

  13. Hi Ree,

    I felt like I was reading about myself when I read this post.

    Between me and my husband, he’s more prone to lashing out and most of the time, he says stuff that really hurt. The mean words he’s said ages ago still haunt me until now.

    I, on the other hand, tend to go tight-lipped which drives my the hubby crazier and end up saying more mean things just to get something out of me. Haha.

  14. Hey Lia! Thanks for dropping by. Yeah–that’s the hard thing about harsh words no? The effects are so long-lasting.

    I also find myself doing that–going tight-lipped, or sometimes just changingthe subject or walking out when I don’t like what The Hubby is saying. Not a good way to handle conflict! ;p

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