Encouragement · Hope

Remember When “Your Mom” Was Your Best Comeback?

“Your mom” was a defensive phrase commonly used back in the day. It served to push back any further treading on one’s pride or feelings. Two words without much bite. Often, it was my only comeback, and I’m kind of wishing it could make a comeback. Strange thing to say, I know. But…if that was the meanest thing that came out of my mouth, that might not be so bad.

Some days I find myself in an offensive position…truly ready to attack. Perched and waiting for that one false move, so I can conquer what’s lying in the weeds. Other days, I find myself pinned under the hard words of a friend, stranger, child, or leader. Those are the days I long for “your mom” to make a comeback!

Words have staying power. The tongue is both a healer and a weapon of destruction. Only the giver of words knows the intent behind the syllables. The receiver can only imagine what was meant, and let’s be honest, we’ve mastered the ability to read between the lines.

Words have staying power


When I was younger, I could dish on someone in my life and it was acceptable, but if you started chiming in-I suddenly found myself turning on you. Ever been in that same place? If I was frustrated with limitations that harnessed my grand plans, you can bet I was fussing about it to one of my friends. It was my way of processing the hurt I was feeling, and in hindsight, it was part of my self-preserving {ugh}. Let me assure you of one thing, I wasn’t looking for anyone to agree with the slurs I loosely tossed out. However, on occasion a voice would stand on the shoulders of my rant and agree. {PS-I’m sorry mom for being stupid in my youth.}

That intersection of my thoughtless words and the agreeing voice was dangerous. I think I know why. It goes to the motive of the heart behind the words. When I fuss about someone, or something, I’m not necessarily trying to cripple their character. It’s usually a defensive posture to protect myself. It’s about the hurt I feel, and my attempt to reconcile the other person’s decisions, actions, or words.

When another voice chimes in with agreement, it’s a game changer. Why? If I’m upset about my child not taking responsibility for their actions, and you pipe in about how you think said child is a loser {you don’t have to use those words to imply such a message}, you’ve sucker punched my heart.

Think that’s a double standard? I would suggest it isn’t. The giver of words {in this case, me} knows their heart. While a frustration might be spoken, the heart behind the words is likely overflowing with love. Personally, I am highly protective of my people. If a friend starts chiming in, I don’t necessarily know what angle they are emerging from. Is it one of love, or disgust? Are their words trying to protect me or destroy my loved one? It’s a fine line, after all.

Listening is a lost art in this overly noisy world. We are living in the midst of a me-centered society. What’s new, though? However, what might change if we lingered in listening more than speaking? How might relationships flourish? What if we held our tongue about the opinion we have of someone’s child, friend, or even themselves?  What if we let the power of a healthy embrace speak the words so many hearts hunger for? Hiding behind someone’s smile may be a lonely, hurting heart.

Remember when “your mom” was your best comeback? Was that because we didn’t carry so much hurt and it really was the only foul thing we could think of? Maybe those were simpler times because we didn’t harbor painful memories. Was it that the years hadn’t taken such a toll and our hearts hadn’t hardened. Unfortunately, the outer armor on our heart serves to protect, but it also keeps us from engagement and encouraging others.

I want to avoid shrouding others with hurt and shame. I do. The indwelling of Christ in me makes this desire move from a thought to an action. How? By measuring my words carefully. What you put in, comes out. A good place to start is putting words of life and hope into our own hearts. Not some “I’m ok, you’re ok” jargon. That’s empty. Be still and let the Lord {who resides in anyone that believes} move. Then, let the overflow of your own heart splash off onto others!

“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45 (ESV)

3 thoughts on “Remember When “Your Mom” Was Your Best Comeback?

  1. This was beautifully convicting of my habit of letting the troubles of daily life spew forth like vocal vomit. Thankfully God does know my heart and desire to be a vessel of grace. Thank you for this, Alyssa,… inspiration right where I needed it right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Thank you for the reminder of the power of words…whether encouraging or condemning. Your post was perfect timing in my own life and struggle with words and actions.
    Thank you, A! I love you and and am thankful for your wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

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