You can’t live with them.
You can’t live without them.
There’s something irresistibl-ish about them.
We grin and bear it because the nights are long.
I hope that something better comes along. 
I know…I know. This tune from Muppets is totally and completely about a broken heart, and love, and all that gushy stuff. BUT…the last few weeks I can’t help but sing it to myself throughout the day. And I’m singing it about WORDS. yes, you read it right…WORDS.

So, in case you are new…I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. My 3 year old talks constantly…and you think I over exaggerate…I literally mean constantly. If she is awake and there is no food in her mouth (and sometimes that doesn’t even stop her) she is talking.

Then there is my one year old. Although his sister had MANY words at 12 months, he makes it a point to not use words. He gets out momma and dadda and drink when he wants to. His form of words right now is screaming and squealing as communication. So for him it is an utter begging of “please use your words! PLEASE use words.” I know you know what I’m talking about. The type of screaming and squealing that makes you want to put a fork to the ole eye.

So there are my polar won’t stop using words, and the other won’t start. It literally causes me to chuckle as I write this. God has a funny sense of humor. The annoyances of the use of “words” in my house is as if my kids were NOT 3 and 1….but 13 and 15. I mean, seriously just think about it. One teenager talks about anything and everything…with all the emotion that follows. The other one…won’t talk about a thing…and instead screams and “squeals” about everything they want or don’t want. (Now do you see why this muppets tune plays on repeat in my head.)

While my life in the Nest is without teenagers at the moment, sometimes I can close my eyes at the dinner table…and listen…and yep…it sounds like having two teenagers at the table. Even in the little things, it’s like the good Lord knows how to keep me on my toes in terms of what life with “teenagers” could be like….a joyous albeit sometimes slightly annoying cacophony of noise.

As I sat in the beautiful silence rocking my son to sleep tonight, I thought about words…my daughter’s abundance words…my son’s “style” of words. I thought about God and how sometimes he must just may want to tell me to “zip it” and just listen to him. You know how it is…sometimes our prayers become so many words and jumble that we forgot to stop and breathe…let alone listen.

Other times, in my tough moments, I thought of how God must think of me…and be wishing that I would just use my words and talk to him. Those moments when I throw a fit about something I want or don’t want or don’t understand. I bet God is saying “use words and just talk to me, and I will help you.” Sometimes I must act like a three year old…or one year old. We’ve all been there.

In my earthly life it may be many (many, many, many ,many) years before I have that beautiful balance of words…moments of silence, moments of productive, good, non-annoying words. But in my spiritual life, this is something I aim to practice in this new year. I want to practice making my prayers not just rambling and talking…or go the other way with just whining and complaining.

I feel that most of us go through seasons when we just have to practice praying again. I don’t think I’ve always been a “bad prayer.” I think I just lost focus on making it more than what I have to do. I think I need to remember what it is like to feel like using words in prayer is something I need to do.

Amanda Shaheen
The Sparrow’s Nest Housemom