As I watched someone in church today let out a big YAWN (without covering their mouth) which of course, is contagious, I couldn’t stifle my yawn—but I DID cover my mouth! I covered my mouth because whenever I yawn, I hear my high school dance teacher Virginia McDonald’s voice, “Always cover your mouth when yawning in public!” She taught her students much, much more than dance. She also taught us etiquette and poise. I was so scared of that woman, but I will never forget some of the things she taught us—she had a great influence on my life.
“Don’t speak with your mouth full. Don’t cross your legs when sitting in front of people. Stand with your shoulders straight. When in doubt follow the lead of your host or hostess. Take a gift when invited to dinner. Don’t interrupt others while having a conversation. Always say thank you, and be grateful for what you do have and don’t waste time on what you don’t, as well as many, many others!”
It made me think of all the other voices I hear in my head.
I read the book “Dave at Night” this week, by Gail Carson Levine who is the author of “Ella Enchanted.” My daughter recommended it, but warned me I would need a box of Kleenex. I actually needed two, because it’s the story of an orphan, and for me “Dave” was my father, who really did grow up in an orphanage. Orphan stories always have a common theme running through them—nobody wants them, and they are always told how worthless they are and that they will never amount to anything. Boy, do I relate. I was raised by a grandmother who was orphaned by the time she was seven. She grew up as a “poor relation” and I’m certain she was fed all those lines—which she then passed on to me! I’m amazed at how often those old negative voices still try to haunt me, but we don’t have to be an orphan to feel inadequate. The world is filled and her cup literally runneth over with negative messages for any, and all, who will listen and entertain them! The negative voices who keep trying to convince us all, that we will never amount to anything—that we cannot possibly accomplish this or that.
Thank Heavens for the best voice in my head!
Thank Heavens for the voice of the Lord! Which I KNOW, though it’s a still small voice, can override all the other voices vying for attention in our heads and hearts, and saying, “You are my daughter and I LOVE you. Hang on. Keep trying. You’ll do better next time. I adore you! Your presence (while we are in prayer) makes me so happy, thank you for visiting with me today. Please come again tomorrow. When you get homesick, come to my Holy Temple and there I’ll give you rest and there you can remember my promises! This life is only for a little season, and then I will hold you in my arms again!”
I think Heavenly Father also wants me to show my consideration for others (which is really what good manners are, according to Mrs. McDonald) by covering my mouth when yawning in public, but so much more importantly remembering that truly, “I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me!”