Musings From A Musical Mind

Learning To Shut Up

This is not an easy story to tell.  I’m ashamed of myself to tell you the truth – and like you – I’m on a journey.  I hope this helps someone today – to see that it’s always better to HOLD YOUR TONGUE.

Last Saturday I went with my husband Greg on a day adventure and road trip.  He had a burial service and a wedding on the same day – which seem to happen quite a bit to him.  I enjoyed playing with my iPhone in the lobby of the funeral home while he and the family went to the graveside (did I mention it was raining?).  I was happily minding my own business when a lady who worked there came in and saw me sitting in this big lobby all by myself and said in a rather loud voice to a co-worker – “what is she doing there?”  Now I suppose it was the way she said it that was the most irritating – and made me want to say something snarky – but I held my tongue.  The co-worker who had seen me with Greg before the service and had no doubt put two and two together and was not alarmed that I would choose to be in there – out of the rain.  So she began to explain it to the woman who just entered the building.  It was quite amusing to me – I mean after all – I was just sitting there!

I told Greg as we were on the way to a small town near Mt. Rainier – for his next gig – a small country wedding.  And began a topic of great discussion – and much chuckling 🙂

The wedding was supposed to take place out-of-doors – but with the cold and rain – they had to go to Plan B – indoors at this quaint little country Inn.  It was simple and beautiful with about 50 people – small and intimate.  The wedding was upstairs and I remember walking up and being greeted with a friendly smile from the DJ.  He was behind a table of equipment and a sound board and was playing some really nice classical music as everyone was getting into place – setting the mood.  Ahhhh – so nice. There was a very pretty young woman with pink streaks in her hair – she appeared to be helping him at the table.  She also smiled at me.  I smiled back – isn’t life good?

The wedding was short and sweet – there were several toasts to the bride and groom by family and friends – some lights snacks served – and about an hour and a half to wait before a formal seated dinner downstairs.  During this time I thought I would look on Planning Center – an app for my iPhone that has service plans for a church service – and my husband and I were leading worship the next morning – and sadly I had not entered the songs in yet.  I thought – I can do this right now while we wait!

I had not counted on the DJ (remember the smiley and happy guy that greeted me as I climbed the stairs?) playing 70’s music (the hard stuff) REALLY LOUD.  I normally love 70’s music and I’m so-so tolerant of loud music – if I don’t have to concentrate on a task – but it was impossible with loud music BLARING.  There was only that one room to wait in.  The only rooms downstairs were the restaurant and the little store.  I knew I would have to get out of there – our truck in the parking lot was not an option due to the limited WIFI range.  I was NOT in a good mood – I had a mission to complete – and this guy WAS NOT helping me.  So I told Greg – I’m going downstairs – this is ridiculous!  Grabbed my purse and iPhone and moved quickly to find the stairs – right by the smiley DJ guy.

Now at this moment in time – I remember exactly what I was thinking.  And it WAS NOT nice.  I was horribly inconvenienced.  My head was POUNDING.  The music was BLARING in my ears as I walked closer to the stairs where the HUGE speakers were located.  It took every ounce of self-control in me – NOT to scream at that man – or at least voice my displeasure at his insensitivity to MY needs!  I mean – COME ON – doesn’t he care that it’s this loud stuff that can give me an unbelievable headache?  Doesn’t he care?

But I checked myself – and walked down the stairs saying nothing.  But I probably didn’t smile back at him – I don’t remember.  Boy was I mad.  Downstairs there was NO WIFI so I couldn’t complete my task without going back upstairs and I was determined NOT TO.  So I stayed down and waited it out for a little while – what seemed like forever – my feet were killing me and I needed to go find a place to sit.  So I went back upstairs – greeted by the smiley couple and stuck it out – until it was time for dinner.

Now here’s the really interesting part – and the most humbling for me.  We had name tags every one of us – assigned to a table.  Greg and I found our names at a cute little table by the window and had NO IDEA who the mystery people were that would be sitting directly in front of us – the table was very small – and it would be necessary to get really cozy with the other people sitting there.  No one came.  We thought we would be at the table alone.  And then it happened.  The smiley DJ and the pretty young woman with the pink hair – walked over to our table – they were our table mates.  They were friendly, courteous and fascinating – telling us story after story about their very fast paced lives – and during the meal I felt like we had made some friends.  They were half the age of Greg and me and it didn’t seem to matter.  We found common ground with music and sharing our lives and experiences.  I’m so glad they didn’t know how mad I was earlier – that would have been – well – can you say – AWKWARD?  I know that instead of making friends that day – my behavior and attitude would have been such a turn off to this young couple – our conversation would have been strained and I would have been humiliated.  Not exactly the example of Christ in my life, right?  Sometimes it’s just better to hold in.

Boy am I EVER GLAD I had learned early on in my life – okay – in more recent years to SHUT UP.  It is not always what I have done – but when I’ve had many things go sideways in my life because of my BIG MOUTH – I always think twice – when it would be the easiest thing in the world to just LET THEM HAVE IT!

When was the last time you kept your big mouth shut?  When was the last time you didn’t?

God Bless

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Comments on: "Learning To Shut Up" (20)

  1. If you read my most recent blog, you saw how I kept it shut most recently. It was actually easier than I thought it would be. A year ago in the same situation, I would’ve lit that person up. Humility, understanding and grace will change a person.

    I’ve also discovered when I open my big, stupid, male mouth, nothing good ever comes out of it.

    Great story, Cindy.

    • I totally agree. Humility, understanding and grace DOES give us a different perspective and will bring change – especially to us. Thanks Ray – I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey and what has happened inside of you as a result.

  2. Cindy, I have had to hold back anger and wrong words many times, but honestly, I’ve always had more trouble expressing it when it needs to be said. Times like you describe you have to let it go, but I used to hold my tongue even as people did things destructive to themselves or their loved ones. Not so good! But the Holy Spirit is really great at leading and breaking down our barriers and comfort zones. Great story. Thanks!

    • Thanks Jason and welcome to my blog site – I think it’s your first comment here 🙂 I’m glad to hear I am not alone with thoughts and words that I’m thinking. But like you – I’m reluctant to sometimes “go there” as far as confrontations go – and I’m much better when I can think of things to say later. But it sometimes is a gift too – because I don’t often have to take back some words said in anger.

  3. I usually bite my tongue but there are times where I feel the “right” to belittle someone because they have offended me or disturbed my peace. Then I realize that that behavior is selfish. I don’t get special treatment! No lollipop for Moe because he’s Moe. No, he gets to wait just like everyone else.

    • I agree with you Moe – we feel we have the right – and HOW COULD THEY? It’s our sense of entitlement – and I”m loaded with it – glad I’m not alone. NO I don’t get special treatment either – except that I have a really nice husband who DOES treat me like a Queen 🙂

  4. My character, Foot in Mouth Man, sticks his foot in his mouth monthly on my website. His misadventures resonate with so many because we all put our foot in our mouth at times. Always a great reminder to think first and be gracious before speaking ill. Great post, Cindy.

    • Thanks JoJo – I remember your little character that’s always getting into trouble – that’s trouble that I will do anything to avoid – but it’s SO HARD sometimes!

  5. Cindy, This was great! I’ve had to bite my tongue (literally) so many times I have teeth imprints on my tongue!! I’m always glad I held my words. Thanks for sharing this and for being genuine. I have to remind myself, that just because I think it, does not mean it needs to be said!

    • Thanks so much for coming over to my blog site, Karen! I appreciate the encouragement and support! It’s hard to hold in sometimes – glad I’m not the only one!

  6. I am not a pet person. I often make jokes about them being a waste of money and time. My friend said “I wish they had a seperate vet for cats and dogs. Those cats are killing my allergies.” Then I said, “well you know what I think? I think they should just let em all die.” It was a joke. A bad joke, but it gets worse. He was there because his dog had to be put down. He had that dog for 12 years. I felt stupid. So as you can see I put my whole leg with my foot in my mouth often.

  7. You know, to be honest, I do pretty well at holding back and “holding my tongue”. I’m pretty good and staying quiet when I need to.

    However…. when I get defensive, or feel like I’m getting attacked, I can say things I shouldn’t say. That is when I need to heed my own advice and ‘hold back’ a little bit.

    Thanks for sharing, Cindy!

    • I think we all feel like that when we’re attacked – I know I do. It’s so hard to hold back sometimes – and yet I know I need to work on that. Thanks for your encouragement Dustin – I really appreciate it 🙂

  8. Years ago, Joyce Meyers said in one of her sermons that her mouth was her gift but also her sword. I have been told more than a few times by people that I had said jus the words they needed to hear. I have also been in situations where keeping my mouth in delayed talking mode would of been better, Like you Cindy, I have really worked on keeping my self in check and giving myself the grace to keep quiet,

    • I fight with the same things – great encouragement and great cutting remarks – sometimes I’m not good at either one – but I’m trying to get it right 🙂

  9. Great story…..way to be transparent and humble, Cindy!

    • Thanks for coming over to my blog and leaving a comment, Justin! I appreciate the encouragement 🙂

      • Ya, know – my word that I’m living by this year is “Listen”. I chose that word because I have a hard time taming my tongue! Also, I tend to miss certain pieces of information that I should be receiving because I’m too busy thinking out loud.

      • Yeah I agree. I’m trying to do that too. My husband and I have both done a lot of listening to each other the last 2 1/2 years and it has really helped us. That “thinking out loud” can get me into trouble too!

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