Poorly Peeled Potato Phobia by Alisha Ritchie

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 | 5 comments

Poorly Peeled Potato Phobia by Alisha Ritchie

Our words have the power to build someone up or tear someone down. Harsh words can wound the spirit, even create a phobia related to the criticism that lasts a lifetime. My guest, Alisha Ritchie, shares encouragement we all need from time to time.



2MefromHim Devotional

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 16:24 ESV

I can still remember her sarcastic words like it was only yesterday.  My friend’s mom walked into the kitchen, saw us peeling potatoes, and then spoke to me, “Who taught you how to peel potatoes?  You’re wasting half the potato.  That’s just horrible.”

To a twelve year old just trying to help out, those words were traumatic.  My feelings were hurt and I no longer wanted to assist in the kitchen.  Even now as an adult, every time I peel potatoes, her words echo in my ear.  I have never fully mastered the culinary skill and would even dare to say I have a potato peeling phobia.

Words can either be used to build someone up or tear someone down.  As a mother, I realize this is especially true with my children.  I have the power to be an encourager or one who dampens the spirit of my kids.

It is easy to speak hastily, not thinking about the effect my words will have on those whom I dearly love.  When I am rushed, I tend to be short fused and impatient thus making me more likely to spout off words that are less than encouraging.  Other times, I’ve had a bad day, with problem after problem piling up on one another, until I’ve had enough, and speak cruel words to my family.Poorly Peeled Potato Phobia 2

In Proverbs, I am reminded my words should be as sweet as a honeycomb, building up the soul and body.  I am inspired to think about how I speak to others, especially my children, and to use my conversations with them to show love and grace.   After all, I would be appalled if years down the road, my children blame me for using harsh words with them, which caused the development of a ridiculous fear such as my potato peeling phobia!

Today, choose to use your words to breathe life and sweetness into those who will listen.  Ask God to provide you with willpower to tame your tongue in trying, difficult situations you encounter.

“Lord, thank you for Your many blessings and the ability to communicate with the people I love.  Guide my words so that they are encouraging and pleasing to You.  Help me use my speech to point others to You and Your unfailing love and grace.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Copyright by Alisha Ritchie, January 22, 2016

Alisha RitchieAbout the author: 

Alisha Ritchie is a wife, mother of two wonderful children, Physical Therapy Assistant by profession, and dedicated church member and Sunday School teacher. She resides in the small town of Stanfield, North Carolina, where she enjoys writing, spending time with her children, and ministering to others through her work and small group Bible studies. You can read more of her writing on www.christiandevotions.us.


  1. I can relate to your comments about the potato peeling, but from a different angle. I was about five and had a new dress that someone had made for me. My mother had curled my hair in almost ringlets. I thought I was sooo pretty. I remember twirling around in the kitchen at the old farm house. But one woman there in the kitchen, turned when she heard me say “I’m pretty.” In a stern voice, she said something like, “Pretty is as pretty does, and earlier you sure weren’t acting so nice.” That told me I wasn’t pretty right then. I never said those words, again…never felt inside that I was good enough. I felt like she had told me I wasn’t pretty. Then what was I? That remark stuck with me and as silly as it seems now … I know how it changed how I viewed myself. She wasn’t a mean woman, and I know she never knew what it did to me–it was an old saying. But I struggled with how I viewed myself. But it went beyond “pretty”. If I couldn’t accomplish such and such … I wasn’t good enough. 🙂 I was terrified of getting up in front of a class, because I’d “be seen”. It’s hard to explain. But I never used that saying on my daughter! Ha.

    • Oh that is so unfortunate that you’ve had to deal with the consequences of those words for so long! I guess the important thing is to remember to use our words wisely and to focus on how God sees us- beautiful, forgiven, and loved. Thank you for sharing your story with me. Blessings to you!

  2. So true. Words we hear can have a lasting effect. Good and bad. Enjoyed this article.

  3. Thank you Jo Ann for your encouraging words! Blessings to you!

  4. This is so true, words can have an unbelievable effect on us

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