when tired is talking loud

Posted: February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’m tired tonight.  Really, really tired.  The kind of tired where I just want to curl up and cry, not because anything in particular is wrong, but just because I am at the end of myself.  The kind of tired that pulls my shoulders down into rounded position and the corners of my mouth down into the most stubborn of frowns.  The kind of tired that pours down the back of my neck into my spine and sucks away at my will to remain upright. 

I’m tired for GOOD reasons, I missed a lot of sleep over the weekend, in the midst of spending time with my son.  I caught a lot of stuff up over the weekend that I was WEEKS behind on.  I had a few  really fun things to do outside of home in addition to all that at-home work, so it was a hustle-all-the-time sort of weekend.  Not really *resting* at all for me, and that’ll pile up and catch me on a Monday pretty much every time…and then tonight, I needed to take care of several things tonight in preparation for much-loved company coming later this week. 

I am tired for neutral reasons.  Work, which is always too intense on Mondays, was even more so today (challenging in a GOOD way, but it’s still hard when the piles keep getting higher instead of going down, you know?)  I needed to do laundry and get groceries tonight, which is a lot to manage on a tired and overloaded Monday (but what a blessing, to have the funds for groceries and nice clothes to need washing.)  Being sleep deprived this morning meant I didn’t run, which has made me more tired and less mentally clear all day.

I am tired for icky reasons.  My car went to get its tires balanced today, and came back reporting that it needs 4 new tires.  I worked on my tax returns yesterday, and what I thought would be maybe a $600 refund looks thus far like it will be a $400 payable. 

I’m just tired, okay?

When I’m this tired, my emotions try harder to get hold of me.  I feel sad for silly reasons or no reasons at all.  I get irritable at people for being the same way I love them being when I’m not wiped out.  I feel the tug on me to get offended at things people say or do.  I am very tempted to complain about any part of life that isn’t going exactly as I wish it might. 

Perfect timing, then, that God has brought me recently to about multiple unrelated events and teachings that all go back to this bit of sage advice that I’ve known for a long time now: 

Don’t let your feelings determine your vocabulary.

When we hear the words “spiritual warfare” we tend to think of exorcisms and dramatic prayers.  And sometimes that’s what it is.  But sometimes the most fierce spiritual warfare there is consists of:  I will not let my feelings determine my vocabulary.  I will not complain, will not pick a fight, will not get choose to be offended, will not engage in a speech of self-pity. 

I like being 46 (hey – 47 in less than a month!) and no longer 20-something.  I appreciate that experience and pain and consequence and redemption and exceedingly abundant grace have taught me enough to understand this is one of the more important among all the great life instructions for me to follow. 

Just because a giant grump comes shuffling up and tries to eat my day, that doesn’t mean I have to say what it says.

Just because some obstacle I can’t yet see over or around has risen up in my path, that doesn’t mean I have to tell the story as if it MUST inevitably end badly. 

Just because an emotional funk makes me want to be snarly amidst a conversation, that doesn’t mean I can’t choose to be reasonable. 

Just because offense lifts its head and tries to assert its right to be heard, that doesn’t mean I have to play along. 

Just because I’m so tired I just want to lay down and cry, that doesn’t mean I have to take the “feel sorry for myself” option. 

I really don’t. 

That freedom is beautiful.

And I’m pretty sure it’s a slap in the face to the enemy of us all, who works overtime to trip me into doing regrettable stuff when I feel like this.

It’s bedtime, and all I gotta say about THAT is THIS:  tonight, the victory points go to GOD and no one else.

On that note, I think I’ll get some sleep.



  1. Stacy says:

    Oh Karen, you have a way of writing EXACTLY what I need. I know I need to practice not letting my emotions control my vocabulary. It just seems like I don’t realize I’m even doing it until it’s half way done. Like I don’t even realize my vocabulary has been affected until it’s too late. How can I catch myself earlier? Ugh! I’m so bad at this.

    • karen says:

      Yeah we all have that struggle of not knowing we are doing it! What i have found, Stacy, is this: we get it in stages. Like, first, I could only see it AFTER and so then I’d go to God and really repent, say I was so sorry and ask Him to please fix this in me, and tell Him that I promised to be willing and cooperate as He did. And then after awhile, I’d notice it when I was most of the way through doing it, but I’d stop RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE – in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a word, even…the very INSTANT that I noticed. And I’d really repent and tell God I was so sorry and thank Him that He was fixing me. I’d try to speak a truth out just as loud as I had been speaking out my crappy emotional BS. And the more faithfully I did that, the sooner and sooner in the process I’d be able to see it and stop. And now…SOMETIMES…I catch it before I do it at all. I feel it coming and I stop and repent of even the THOUGHT of going there. I tell Him I’m so sorry for my attitude and ask Him to fix it in me, and meanwhile I promise to shut my mouth if the only thing that will come out of it is the emotional BS. He’s working it out in me, bit by bit (bit by bit seems to be a big thing with Him, though of course we want instantly and totally LOL).

      So! You’re on the journey. He’s working it out! It’s getting better. 🙂

  2. there is so much here that is amazing and, for me, read a little too late.

    on the other side of the decision to NOT let feelings BE my vocabulary is this:

    If I don’t say it out loud it will continue screaming in my head so, knowing it’s a risk I’m going to say it out loud BEcause I KNOW so well from past experience that I can’t wash my clothes at the same time I am wearing them.

    if you can find my Gratitude for you in that, you are indeed a wise woman!! xoxo

    • karen says:

      I hear you Currie, and I didn’t mean to suggest AT ALL that we can’t say we are feeling something. What I was referring to is the acting out on what emotions try to trip us into doing. I think we sometimes HAVE to say what we are struggling with.

      It’s just a good and growing thing when we don’t grab others and take them down underwater into the drowning place where we are, in its midst, if that makes sense?

      love you!

  3. Cindy Maynard says:

    Okay! God has done it again. Went and spoke thru you to me! This very thing “Don’t let my feelings determine my vocabulary” was what He focused my heart on during yesterday’s altar call. And I took it and laid it at his feet. I don’t want to sound like a broken record of “poor pitiful me, who is struggling with this or that” and then letting the whole world know. Because when I do that, in a negative manner, or in a grumpy state, is it coming out of the overflow of my heart? Quite possibly. So my mouth needs to reflect the trust in God that my heart has, period. No excuses. Thanks for being His vessel.

    • karen says:

      I’m so glad, Cindy, that as He works on me, the sharing of that journey touches you. This is why I do what I do. Praying for you as you work that out – one of the hardest battles there is! HE CAN DO IT IN YOU!!

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