The Power of Words

words1So many times I struggle with finding the right words for the right situation.  When someone has lost a spouse, a family member, a pet, a friend, it is very difficult to find the words to convey how sorry I am and how much I care.  Too many times, my day has been totally ruined by one word, or a series of words.  And then once in a while, much to my surprise and delight, just the right words find me at just the right time.

This week has been rough.  It has been an emotional roller coaster ride and believe me, I hate roller coasters.  My heart was shattered, my pride stripped and burned with a hot iron, and my spiritual life questioned.  I felt disrespected and abandoned.  The future looked bleak.  I was angry, confused, rebellious, and broken.  I felt like a fox with my leg caught in a trap and I was prepared to bite anyone who came close to me.

But then, an amazing thing happened.  On Thursday,  I entered the Fellowship Hall to attend a meeting and no one else had arrived but one pastor.  The first thing he said to me was that he had been reading over the notes from the last meeting, which I had written, and he told me how good he thought they were and how he appreciated me doing them.  Wow.  Talk about being knocked off my feet.  Not literally, but the appreciation was unexpected, nice, and boosted my feeling of self-worth a notch or two from the gutter it was laying in earlier.

That is not where the conversation stopped.  It was probably 3 or 4 minutes before another person arrived to the meeting and in that 3 or 4 minutes, that pastor said every word I needed to hear at that moment, on that day.  He was from another church and had not been in contact with me, so he had absolutely no idea of what I was struggling with.  But somehow, the brief conversation took a turn down the street I needed to travel.

You see, I was fully prepared to resign from that team.  My plan was to tell them that would be the last meeting I would be attending for this event..  And then, I was going to go back to my office and write my resignation from my job, having no other job lined up, and not knowing what I would do.

Within three minutes, I heard the right words, the words I needed to hear on that day, at that time.  God was alive and working through that pastor, and He was working in me.

A word can be tiny, but pack enormous power.  Simple words can mean the world to someone at any given moment, and complex words totally miss their mark.  Make no mistake, words can wound and maim.  They can bring the most powerful to their knees, and the weakest to destruction.  But they can also renew hope, bring understanding, and show caring.  We have the choice of choosing our words to either tear someone apart, or boost them up.  It’s important to choose wisely.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  For all of us, it is a constant struggle, if we really care.

The pastor was holding the door open when we were all leaving the meeting.  As I walked through, he shook my hand and said he would be praying for me.  Kind words spoken with meaning.   Knowing someone cared enough to pray, even though he still had no knowledge of what I was struggling with, only that I was struggling.  They were the right words for me on that day.  They were powerful.

words have power

How have words shaped your day?  Your emotions?  Your life?

Be kind to each other.

 

Blessings.

My Autumn To-Do’s

autumn-country-roadIt’s a new season, time for some changes.  Isn’t change a wonderful thing?  We can choose to change or not to change.  Or maybe I should be saying having a “choice” is the wonderful thing.  There are some things in life I love changing and experimenting with.  But there are others I don’t want to see change at all and do not welcome any sort of circumstance that tries to change them.  For instance, as much as I love technology and typing this on a computer, I still love writing with a pen in my personal planner.  Don’t make me try to stop doing that; it makes me a nervous wreck.  It might also be the obsessive compulsive in me but I can’t rely on just one of them, I need both paper and technology to keep me going in the right direction.

Almost every season, and sometimes every month, I make a To-Do List.  It’s sort of a bucket list, just in a shorter time span.  I make these lists in both my iPhone and in my personal planner so I will always have access to them.  Here’s what I have on my list for autumn:

  1. Keep making lists.
  2. Write down my weird dreams in a Dream Journal.dreamjournal4
  3. Attend a weenie roast.
  4. Visit a new produce market and buy an apple I’ve never tried before.
  5. Drive on the gravel roads of my old stomping grounds when the autumn leaves are in full color.
  6. Go to the lake on a sunny, warm autumn day to write poetry like I did in my teen years.
  7. Try out a restaurant I’ve never eaten in alone, just to prove I can.
  8. Go to one movie matinee and see a great movie on the big screen.  It’s been several years since I’ve done this.
  9. Clean out my garage.  God help me.  Please.
  10. Write, write, and write.
  11. Read, read, and read.
  12. Work on my fiction to make my characters more interesting; more quirky.
  13. Lose 20 pounds.  (I think I can, I think I can)
  14. Eat one piece of something pumpkin.
  15. Visit someone special to me.  I am so guilty of not visiting because I always feel awkward and uncomfortable in someone else’s home.
  16. Have a Golden Girls marathon for an entire weekend.golden_primary
  17. Make and keep an eye doctor appointment.  It’s overdue.
  18. Spend as much time as I can with Maggie outside while the weather is so nice.
  19. Go out with friends at least once.  I know I’m a loner, but I also love my friends.  It’s a hard balance for me.
  20. Find a covered bridge in my county and take pictures.  This has been on my list nearly every year and I still haven’t done it.
  21. Call my brother.  I have no idea why I haven’t.
  22. Find a dark chocolate that I like.  Oddly enough, I have read it can do good things for blood sugar.
  23. Read one book by an author I’ve never read before.
  24. Read one book of nonfiction.
  25. Write more on my blog.
  26. Take flowers to my family’s graves.  Flowers for autumn or Christmas are always nice and I haven’t done this in a long time.  Difficult memories, I hate cemeteries, but I need to do this.
  27. Teach Maggie to sit.  This will probably be my most difficult challenge.
  28. Stop being so hard on myself when I mess up.
  29. Forgive everybody everything.
  30. Stay away from people who deliberately hurt me.
  31. Vote for Hillary.

OK, I’ve shared mine, now you can share yours.  Do you have a seasonal To-Do List?

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Blessings

 

 

My 30 Day Blogging Challenge

I did it!  I’ve posted in my blog for 30 days straight!  I have surprised myself, I must admit.  Doing anything, every day, for 30 days is not something I’m especially good at.  So I’m doing a little happy dance right about now.

I’ve learned a lot the past month.  I’ve changed my blog to a wordpress.com self hosting site and learned a bit about the difference.  Links have been put in my posts from time to time, and I’m still in the process of learning.  I’ve learned about having a blogging calendar… who knew?

For each of the 30 days, I received an e-mail from Sarah giving me a tip or an assignment for the day.  There hasn’t been one single day that I have not learned something new and beneficial to my blog.  In our e-mail for Day #19, Sarah told us about calls to action, which I knew nothing about.  She said, “The very least you should ask for in your call to action is a social share.”  She’s right, and I did get more people sharing once I began asking them to.  Sometimes I forget; I’m still working on improving.  As an added bonus, I’ve met some great people who have terrific blogs of their own, and who I am hoping to continue keeping in touch with.  It’s been a great adventure, and I do plan on doing it again in a few months.

For now, I’m asking myself, “What next?”  I’m new at blogging, and the 30 day challenge has gotten me started.  Now, I need to think about what I want out of my blog, where I want to go with it, how much time am I willing to devote to it, and what I hope to accomplish.

My immediate plan is to use a personal planner to keep track of my posts, titles, and ideas.  There is a handy one offered online by WordPress, but I want to be able to carry this around with me in my bag and jot down things as I think of them.  Then, I want to be able to write posts ahead a week or two and schedule when they are to be posted.  Organize.  That’s my goal right now, to organize.

Oh, and here’s one of the best parts!  After 30 days, they don’t just kick you out on your own!  I’m welcome to stay in the group, and to also become a part of another group of bloggers who have completed the challenge, the graduates.  How cool is that!

I want to thank Kevin & Sarah Arrow for allowing me to participate in this challenge, and for giving all of us the opportunity and encouragement to improve our writing and blogs.  I’m looking forward to what the future will bring in my blogging career.

Blessings.