Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chai Tea or Tai Chi?

When my husband and I go to Starbucks I usually let him order his chai tea. It's too easy for me to slip up and say, "I'd like a tall tai chi with milk and sugar. Then I get the, "Say what?" look from the barista.
You see, I have a relative who practices his tai chi each morning, and the word just flows from my mouth habitually.

It's like that with the names of my children, too. The name, Ian, flows out of my mouth when I mean to say Garrett or even Kiri. Or visa versa.
These household words flow from years of use. They have achieved, as they say in the education world, "automaticity."

We gain automaticity with thousands of small and gross motor actions: tying shoes, braiding hair, driving a car, saying "please" and "thank you."
I thought about the other vocabulary words that have achieved automaticity in my mouth:
"Good heavens! (I got that one from my mother.)
"Warsh rag" (That one came from my Iowa-born grandmother. I learned, with much practice, to exchange that word for the more genteel "wash cloth.")
"Don't even go there."

There are other words and phrases that I'm working on so that they flow from my tongue just as automatically:
"I appreciate you."
"You just made my day."
"Sue" or "Bob" or "Melissa" or whoever it is that you just met.

Wouldn't it be great if kind words just poured off our lips, habitually, like healing waters?

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind words cheers him up." (Proverbs 12:25)


  1. Great post, Dena. A good reminder to use kind words. You really are a talented writer.

  2. Thanks, Nancy. My own words convict me and remind to keep a tight rein on my mouth.