Mum's the Word

My eight year old granddaughter, Sookie, loves to write.  As a tot, she chose books over baby dolls and alphabet letters and flash cards over T.V. cartoons.

Sookie began writing stories in Kindergarten.  She illustrates, too, with her drawings.  She always includes herself in every picture.  I remember Christmas holidays when family members opened their neatly wrapped presents and unveiled a stapled-together story written by Sookie from the depths of her heart.  Misspelled words and heartfelt drawings always accompanied her distinguishable self portrait.

Sookie has it, the gift of writing, and reaches way beyond her years.  I can only hope discernment catches up.   It’s not easy to encourage a kid to write and then put the skids on how much to say.  Mostly, she does an outstanding job, but sometimes correction follows.

I remember the time she designed a sympathy card for the childless couple in our family who had to put down their beloved cat of 18 years.  Sookie wrote:  “I’m sorry you had to kill your cat, Auntie and Uncle.”

Our family loves Sookie and we know what she meant!

When a family friend, Betty, turned 95, Sookie made her a homemade card with flowers and a bright sun radiating with long rays.  And these words:  “You are a very old person.”

Betty, with her sparkling sense of humor, read that card over and over and chuckled and then commented:  “This card is one of a kind.”

Recently Sookie delved into fiction.  She whispered excitedly to her best friend on the playground about a story she created.  “Mr. Square-face sneaks into bedrooms of dark skinned children at night and eats them alive.”

The best friend had a meltdown that night.  You might have guessed it—she’s dark skinned.  Going to bed was not an option!

You know you’re in trouble when the BFF’s mom calls and says:  “I am not mad but we have to discuss Sookie’s stories.”

I’m like Sookie sometimes and I feel that God is speaking to me.  I saw a post on social media by a friend weary of all the political brouhaha.  She simply suggested that every post does not require a reply.  She’s right.  It is tempting for us who write to get carried away and throw in our two cents.  

“All things are lawful for me,
 but not all things are helpful;
 all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”
1 Corinthians 10:23, NKJV

The First Amendment gives me the right to my opinion, but God’s Word reminds me that my objective, to edify others, calls me to pause and maybe even refrain.  And not comment?  Aww.

What’s a strong-willed thinker to do?  What responsibility must I claim?  I’m learning that freedom comes from choosing wisely.  I pray for wisdom these days!

Can you relate to this?  Or is this lesson one for me and Sookie to meander through alone?


  1. Such a thought provoking post, Mary! I'm still laughing though at the "I'm sorry you had to kill your cat" line. Yes, writing takes discernment and that, I think, she will learn. Meanwhile, it sure doesn't hurt for her to have an editor before it goes out to the public. LOL I like writing but have found myself a bit stymied by what to write. Should I really write what I think knowing that it may not be looked upon favorably by all blog readers? You need to be true to yourself when you write but, at the same time, be sensitive to your readers and that takes Holy Spirit discernment. I love Mark Twain's quote. The problem is discerning which are the wrong words. Great post today, Mary.

  2. Sookie is adorable. Let her expres herself freely; she'll learn gradually to correct and censor herself.

  3. You're certainly not alone, Mary! At times it's so difficult not to be drawn into the fray. Discernment can be so difficult!

    In other news ... I haven't chuckled that hard and long as I did by Sookie's excerpts. Thank you for sharing these priceless bits and pieces!

  4. Oh no - not just for you. I try to just pass some of those political things by and carry on!
    I love Sookie's artwork and her stories too. I think your friends card is the best!

  5. I love Sookie's heart and art and writing :) At least she is making the effort to get her thoughts down on paper and to write words of "encouragement" to others. I'm sure in time tact will come with her words and she'll be a gifted writer :) (not that she isn't already :)

    Our pastor just began a series of sermons today on being around Crazymaker people and how to "handle" them. I think we'll be learning in the weeks ahead to do what he suggested when someone might say something that offends you. Take a deep breath and wait before saying a response and see if it is really worth engaging back in an argument. I think if we did that, there would be less of outbursts on social media :)


  6. Oh, my! She sounds like a little gem! It is so adorable how honest kids are! Thank you for the gentle reminder of God's grace to enable us to remain quiet when others are railing out. A soft answers turns away wrath...sometimes silence is the softest answer of all. I was SO sad to read your comment on my blog today and do trust Jesus to comfort you in what you are facing. I am praying for you, sweet friend, and sending you lots of love and hugs. ;)

  7. She is a precious little girl. What treasures her drawings and writings are. Wishing you a very nice Monday.

  8. Oh my! I LOVE your stories of Sookie! And no, you are not alone in your need to bridle your words. I think we all need a bit in our mouths (and our pens) to keep us in line with God's expectations.

  9. What joy Sookie gives through her words now. And she will for many years to come, I'm sure! My oldest daughter loved writing like that as a child. She wrote story after story. She doesn’t write much now, but even in her texts and emails, I hear that writing voice!

  10. The First Amendment gives me the right to my opinion, but God’s Word reminds me that my objective, to edify others, calls me to pause and maybe even refrain. And not comment? I totally agree with often we open our mouth and put our foot in it and hurt others when there is no value is doing so...good thought sis, good thoughts.

  11. Tender and loving drawings. Nice blog. Sorry for not writing well in your language. greetings from Galicia.

  12. Aww... Sookie is so adorable. She reminds me of some of my former students. Very thought provoking post.

  13. Oh my yes...I can relate. I am needing to do more choosing carefully and even at times refraining. Sookie is one adorable child and I love it that she has a gift for writing. In time she will choose her words well.

  14. Oh I do enjoyed this post . Sounds like that sweet girl is a chip off the old block as they say !!! She is just precious . Oh I just it that she likes to write . Cute about the cat 😂 Hugs and blessings , cindy

  15. A lot of wisdom in this post. Looks like your granddaughter got your genes!

    There was a time when I'd be the first to give my opinion and back it up with fact… but the fact is no one cares about facts these days… they live their lives based on emotions. That's why we have such a divide in our nation.

    When people believe that perfection can be had here with man made laws and rules… we may as well be talking to the rocks. I'm reminded we need to pray for God's opening of their hearts and minds… and ours with theirs.

  16. Hi Mary! Your Skookie is so precious (of course I can say that because she hasn't pointed out how old I am!). What a little doll she is in that photo you included in your post.
    There's no question that people 'overshare' their ideas and fightin' words on social media. Of course we all have our own opinions about things, and not everyone is going to agree with us. Learning tact and patience is something that's an ongoing process for many of us.
    I know I've said things I've regretted in the past...I guess I just hope that people have patience with me, as they hopefully do with your granddaughter. No one is perfect!

  17. Sookie is a darling. I love her writing, it is hilarious! She is just being honest! And as she grows, she will learn how to say things a little less directly, lol... yes, hard to encourage, and yet redirect.... without laughing of course! "You are an old person" oh that is priceless! And a great reminder for all of us to season our words with love, indeed!

  18. What you showed and what you said was a wonderful way to see and hear. Bless you and thank you!

  19. Precious girl! I think she is cute in all her openess. Honest!

  20. That's very heartwarming. So sweet.


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