Monday, March 5, 2012

Like Honey

I've been trying to use local honey lately. My oldest has seasonal allergies so I hear that is supposed to help. She usually enjoys it spread all over toast for breakfast.

And ever since a recent tea party at her friend's house, she's been asking for tea with her breakfast as well. Another opportunity to sweeten with native honey.

Besides the fact that local honey is supposedly better, I like to support the local guy. My last local honey had come from Hartford Farm & Garden. I ran out after the garden shop was closed for the season so I checked their sister gift shop, Sparkleberries, which is open year round, but I came up empty. Thanks to a bunch of replies to a solicitation I posted on Facebook, I found out about a local apiary super close to my house that sells honey in every season. Sweet!! (Pun intended.) And not long after that one of my best friends called me one evening to say she just happened to be in a shop and was staring at jars that exact local honey. She delivered two jars to me a couple days later.

Well, last week after the typical honey-on-toast breakfast, the girls and I gathered at the table to do our morning devotions before we started school. It led us to Proverbs 16:24, "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Boy did that come at the right time! My girls have been talking so nasty to each other this past week and my middle child has been especially sassy with me. Lots of bickering, screaming, selfishness and dishonoring bad attitudes around here lately.

So after reading and discussing with them as much as I knew about sweet words benefiting the soul and honey's benefits to the body, I came up with an idea. Every day I will evaluate each of their speech at lunch-time and at the end of the day.  If I notice "sweet talk" throughout their morning, I will reward them with a big spoonful of honey. And after dinner (or at some point before brushing teeth), I will evaluate and potentially reward their second half of the day the same way. Every time I hear one of them starting down the "it's MINE!" road or throw back a "no its not" to me, I ask them if those words are sweet like honey. I don't expect perfection, but a trend in the right direction.

I wish I could say I've been spooning out a lot of honey this past week but I have not. (Although my middle girl did admit -- while flashing me that sweet & innocent little grin and batting those long eyelashes -- that she'd been sneaking and sticking her finger in the jar I'd left on the table.)

Don't let that look fool you! She can be SO SWEET but equally sassy.
Of course, like any scripture that I try to impress on my kids, it usually comes right back to me. God has a sense of humor like that. I've blown it a lot lately too. When their back and forth heats up, I chime in even hotter.




Has my reaction been sweet to their soul? Healing to their bones? Not always! I decided to look at the rest of Proverbs 16 and pulled out a few more nuggets for myself:
v21: "The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction."
v23: "A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction."
v32: "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city."

Oh I've been a warrior, ready to take this city by storm all right! But my unpleasant words (and tone) are not promoting instruction. If I'm not patient and exhibiting a controlled temper, how can I expect pleasant words from them? 

James 1:19-20 tells me that "everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." And I am reminded that I am the first Bible my children will ever read. I've had to apologize to them (and God) for my outbursts. Satan tempts mom too. God forgives mom too. Mom can claim God's mercy and grace too!

So on to more tangible treasures...I've had this cute little honey pot for years. I probably paid under $1 at a yard sale for it, though its been so long I don't remember.

I'm tempted to take it off this shelf above my stove where it just collects dust and actually use it instead.

Does anyone reading this know anything about keeping honey in a container that's not airtight? Any issues? Does anyone have any information from trustworthy sources about the legitimacy of local honey helping allergies? And does it actually cure the allergy or just relieve the symptoms? I would like to learn (and teach) more about that. I appreciate any feedback on this topic.

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