Thursday, August 31
Words of encouragement
If you can't tell already, my love language is "words of encouragment". "Sticks and stones" don't hold a candle to what a mean-spirited, cruelly-aimed word can do to me (or aimed at one I love)(or even one I don't love!). A kind word can alter my perception of the entire day, an ill-spoken word can derail an otherwise great day.

Not that I live for other people's words; as God is continuing to transform the way I think, process information, and view people, He's also redirecting my focus to hear what He has to say about me; how He already views me. I'm a princess in His eyes and that's pretty doggone good.

That being said, an older friend of mine shared something with me this summer that kinda blew me away. He's in his 70s (older???) and we served together on Young Life's adult committee. Bob and his wife, Helen, are two of the most gentle souls you could meet, they're "who" I wanna be when I grow up :). They love their babies and grands (and great grands?), they're active in serving others, and they're still teachable :). They often look like "Jesus with skin on".

Apparently, years ago (and I do mean YEARS, we've lived in Tennessee over three now), I complimented him and told him he looked nice in a particular shirt. When I was in South Carolina for a visit, I ran into them; it was great to hug their necks and catch up a bit. Before I left, Bob told me, "I still wear that shirt you told me looks good on me." I have no idea what shirt he's talking about...but he STILL remembers. From a casual word of encouragement, he was influenced and sees himself differently, favorably because of something I said.

You KNOW this isn't about me patting myself on the back for uttering a kind word to a friend--it's well beyond anything self seving. It IS a fantastic reminder about both the power of influence we all have on those within our "sphere", and encouragement to choose our words carefully. I don't have to look any further than here to realize how powerful words are, and how I need to exercise discernment in what I say. I'm smiling as I recount for the umpteenth time what I tell my children frequently, "THINK before you SPEAK!" (okay, practice what you preach, practice what you preach!).

There is no way of telling in advance what's going to "stay" with someone. I wonder what my tongue has done both ways--positively and negatively. Perhaps it's best not to know. Especially where my kids are concerned, my husband, those closest to me.

I'm glad I ran into Bob for a number of reasons, but most of all, for him to "teach" me one more time :).

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, August 31, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (18)


18 Comments:
At August 31, 2006, Blogger Cheeky said...

I remember things like that....

 
At August 31, 2006, Blogger willowtree said...

This post struck a chord with me. I agree totally and just to prove it here's the reason you've had funny posts to read. Without it there would have been nothing.

When that was written I felt like I was just wasting my time because I'd check the comments every day (ok every few minutes) and nada. Then this, and the rest, as they say, is history.

 
At August 31, 2006, Blogger Swampwitch said...

"...to the world you may just be ONE person ...but to ONE person, you may be the world...

Your comment about your friend's shirt meant the world to him.

 
At August 31, 2006, Blogger Karmyn R said...

Oh Robin - I wish I had read this two hours ago instead of now AFTER I tongue-lashed my son... I didn't say anything too horrible, but still, when I am upset and not thinking clearly, things said make huge impressions on the young mind.

Words of encouragement - why do they have to be so hard to remember?

 
At August 31, 2006, Blogger Pamela said...

It's speaking "life"

...BECAUSE it is just too easy to speak "death" as you said, with the tonuge... a weapon of mass destruction

 
At September 01, 2006, Blogger Michelle Pendergrass said...

That made me cry Robin. For a couple years now God has been on me to put away this ugly tongue I stick out all the time.

There was this elderly lady at church that everyone "warned" me of because she was supposedly mean. I hugged her every week and told her how pretty her earring were or her jacket or how lovely she looked in a particular color. She smiled so beautifully every Sunday when we walked in and jumped to her feet to hug me. She started bringing my son little presents and getting hugs from him too. (Like you said, this is NOT for a pat on my back) I'm crying now, just praying that what I said made her feel better. We don't go to that church anymore and I miss her. :(

I know that what some people said to me nearly killed my spirit. We are so careless with some of the most potent and powerful things this world has.

 
At September 01, 2006, Blogger Debs said...

Words are a very powerful thing. Use them for good or evil, it is up to us. I want and hope to use my words for "good". I am sick of evil.

Thanks Robin the foot pic ;)

 
At September 01, 2006, Blogger Karmyn R said...

Holy Smokes Robin!!!!

Okay - I had to comment here because I didn't know if you would go back to my flipflop spot -

That picture was NOT there when I recommended the site. NO SIREE - when I read your comment, I quickly checked and was qutie startled myself. I'm not missing my husband THAT bad!!! (well, maybe I am, but I won't admit it! HA HA!!)

And yes, I have come across a couple of bad sites while surfing - and I always think about the young kids blogging away.

 
At September 01, 2006, Blogger Barb said...

One of the very best sermons our pastor ever gave was on this very subject. One small act of kindness or saying a simple but kind thing to someone can have a huge impact on them. I know how it makes me feel when I'm on the receiving end so I try to be a giver at every opportunity.

 
At September 02, 2006, Blogger Mert said...

Oye, I know, I get into this rut where everything I say is negative. It's hard when you're saying all day, "stop, don't do that, why can't you listen..."

Words are very powerful, they can literally make or break a person. I've seen the destruction my words can create. Thinking of what could be makes me desire to be the brand spankin' new creature that I am... But not without first giving the old me (that is clinging to my pants leg) a good kick in the head. :O)

BTW, thanks for the scripture, that was a real spiritual punch in the kisser, lol!

 
At September 02, 2006, Blogger e-Mom said...

Right on. Excellent post. Our words are so important, and we all need encouragement. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue..." (Prov. 18: 21) Self-control in the area of speech is the hardest--especially for women.
We named our daughter for its Biblical meaning, "sweet speech, sweet as honey." She's lived up to her name, so far!

Two more things. I haven't forgotten about your meme tag.(Remember?) Working on it...

Also, Young Life committee? No kidding! My husband and I met at a YL camp called Malibu (as leaders) many moons ago. Check out my new bio--with the same YL link you posted. A koinkydink???

Have a wonderful weekend, Robin. Hugs. *-)

 
At September 02, 2006, Blogger Robin said...

Hey guys, I'm out the door...literally, but faithful blogger than I am, I just had to tell you "bye" and I so appreciate your comments; welcome Barb, I think you've been here once before, but it's good to see you again (I've enjoyed your blog). Mert, I'm glad you're visiting regularly:).

The rest of you guys, SORRY, we're headed out and b/t that and me feeling like crap, I just haven't gotten around quite as much :/.

But in my best Ahnold voice, "I'll be baaaccck" (next Tuesday).

Happy weekend gals & guys!

 
At September 03, 2006, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Thank you for this wonderful reminder of the power of words. I know that I have wounded people esp ones that I love with words. That will be my motto for the week-"think before you speak". A lot could be solved that way.

 
At September 03, 2006, Blogger Jennifer said...

Great story. I try to be careful with my words, but we also need to be liberal with those encouraing and affirming words.

 
At September 03, 2006, Blogger Cathy said...

Robin - Another timely post. I have a sharp tongue and it is a constant struggle to keep it in check. Thanks for helping keep me in check.

 
At September 03, 2006, Blogger owlhaven said...

great story and reminder!

Mary, mom to many

 
At September 03, 2006, Blogger eph2810 said...

What a powerful post. Yes, the words that sometimes leave our lips can be very hurtful. But as of lately, I also have noticed that the words we write on our blogs can be hurtful to others. We can not explain very easy what we meant writing it as we can with words we speak.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom on encouragement.
I have never checked my love-language - maybe it is time :)

 
At September 04, 2006, Blogger Biker Betty said...

Good morning fellow Blogging Chick. Kind words do go a long way. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is:

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
Proverbs 16:24

I have it marked as a reminder to myself to watch what I say. Thank you for your wonderful post. :)

 

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Married to my college sweet-heart :)...three GREAT kids I'm not selling to the circus today...I LOVE to laugh (& smile often)...love to read & cook, hate to shop (unless the store is very small and doesn't leave me dazed and confused). I'm scared of flying so although I'd like to travel more, I don't.

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