Friday, January 11, 2008

The Power of Our Words

Yesterday, I was having one of those mornings where I just didn't feel attractive. Maybe it was the fact I went to the gym in grungy grey sweats. Maybe it was the fact I went out in public with no make up and without a shower. Maybe it's because the gym has unflattering florescent lights and mirrors EVERYWHERE. It might have been that I bought my sports bra 10 yeas ago and it pushes all my fat up to my neck and out the sides (how's that for a visual picture?). Maybe it was because my "gym buddy" can lift more weight than I (I can out run her on the treadmill though HA HA HA).

As I came home I contemplated the Cheetos in the pantry (a very rare treat in our home). It's funny how feeling bad about yourself can make you eat things that you don't really want. By the grace of God as I was reaching for that 2000 calorie bag of fried orange goodness, the phone rang.

A friend had called to ask a question, but during this quick conversation, she managed to get in that someone had said I was pretty. It was just slipped into the conversation, and she went on to talk about.... well I don't know, because in my head all I could hear was "I'm pretty!" over and over again. My friend had no clue what an impact she had made on my day. On a normal day... it wouldn't be a huge deal, but today, those where the magic words I needed to hear!

As I hung up the phone I had the sudden desire to take a shower, put on my make-up and dress nicely! Those Cheetos had lost their appeal (I mean really, who likes Cheetos?). I had a little more pep, held my head a little higher, and smiled!

What power our words have! This little 2 second comment changed my entire day.

When I was first dating my husband he gave someone a compliment I will never forget. We were sitting next to an elderly woman and he turned to her and told her she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Now keep in mind he was only about 18 at the time, and said it with all the sincerity in his heart. Can you imagine how this made her day? Not only that, but it made me fall more deeply in love with him. To this day, he rarely comments on other people's beauty (just mine or else I'd hurt him), but when he pays a compliment of any sort, it makes me fall in love with him all over again. Our sincere compliments don't only bless the receiver, but those around them, and especially the giver! (Hey, he got me out of the deal!)

Who knows what the impact of our positive words might have on someone. Maybe it will get them to take a shower. Maybe it will change their lives. Some kind words from a stranger created the momentum towards my personal walk with Christ. I'm sure that person had no idea what a powerful vessel they were for Christ when they uttered a few simple comments to me, but they were INDEED life changing.

I encourage you all to go out and bless someone's socks off today! It's so easy, it's silly we don't do it more. Just open your mouth and let God speak life affirming words!

I'd love it if you would share a time words affected your lives for the good!

....Beautiful words stir my heart.... Psalm 45:1

The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain... Proverbs 10:11

Gentle words are a tree of life.... Proverbs 15:4

Gracious words stream from your lips.God himself has blessed you forever.
Psalm 45:2

The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain. Proverbs 10:11

The words of the godly encourage many. Proverbs 10:21

*My next post will be about Gossip, and my own personal struggle with the negative power of my words. Should be painful... but good.*


javamamma said...

'gentle words are a tree of life'... Youch. I had a bad morning in this realm. My words to my 4 year old before preschool were opposite of gentle. The prompting I felt to pray for an elderly gentleman in the coffee shop went ignored. God is speaking to me big time today and it doesn't feel very good.

Chelle said...

Wow, what a great post, Karlie!!!

And your sweet. Definitely a keeper. :-)

Kimmie said...

I know if I say your beautiful now it won't count right?

Well, I will wait till you don't expect it and I'll drop it then, okay?

I can so relate, the mirror is hard lately. The wait on our adoption is so looonnnng and wondering if I will be the oldest mom to fly to Guatemala to get their baby...someday. Having the flu didn't help, but wondering when I will stop feeling old and tired.

I will take your scripture (and post) to heart and make sure I build the other women in my life up.

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Emily said...

totally awesome post! You truly ARE beautiful. Remember that picture that your daughter took of you and you posted it? no makeup? you got a zillion comments on how pretty you are.

Anonymous said...

This was good to read. When you stop and think what makes or breaks us, it is more-often-than-not the words we hear. Words of kindness and praise have literally put springs in my step, and then there are those that send me to the pantry before I know what's going on... Thanks for sharing your wisdom - it's done me the world of good today... Naomi

Stacey said...

Karlie, I hear you, I really do. This resonates with me. I was at Blockbuster tonight and several of the women there were so young--and I'm watching them thinking, 'oh my gosh, I'm not young anymore!'. When did that happen? And I'm thinking I need to learn to love how I am as I age, but it's so hard!

I have heard, however, that a vote for Mitt just might slice ten pounds off and reduce wrinkles by 22%. I'm not taking any chances, I'm just saying.....(hehe!) xo

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

True sincere compliments are so precious, but so many people are not willing to give them. I have my opinions as to why, but that would be a post, not a comment.
Looking forward to your next post. I am sure I will identify, as usual.

carrie said...

It's so true. A heartfelt compliment sticks in your head for years.

Gayle said...

I'm so guilty of keeping my good thoughts to myself for fear that strangers will think I'm weird. I think I'm just going to pick a day and speak every good thought and see the results. I have this feeling it's going to bless me just as much as it will the person I tell them to.

Thanks for the reminder, you beautiful woman, you!

Halfmoon Girl said...

Great post. Words are so powerful. I never have bought the old "sticks and stones" rhyme. I love it when my husband tells me I am beautiful, though to be honest, he is a man of few words, so sometimes compliments can seem to far in between. My mom is so affirming- she tells me and my sis how beautiful we are and what great mothers we are. She IS a bit biased, as is my hubby.

YOU are beautiful. Don't forget that.

candi said...

Great post!! I recently went to buy beer for my beer bread and I got carded!!! Greatest day this year!! I will definitely be paying more attention to what I say to people.

PS just for the record I took the candidate thingy and I got Romney too. With Huckabee less then one percentage point behind him. For me it boils down to one professes Jesus as Lord and Savior and one doesn't!

Anonymous said...

Words really are powerful! I have been "saved" by kind words MANY times. I have also hurt and been hurt with words.
I recently had a "father" come up to me and tell me that his 20+ daughter said she is going to start coming to church now because of the kind words she heard from someone- she feels accepted!