Never underestimate the impact that your words can make.
Words can serve like fertilizer, encouraging a person to grow and blossom.
Words can also act like emotional “Round-Up,” causing a person to wither, shut-down, and never fulfill their potential.
What kind of words are you speaking into the lives of the people you love?
And what kind of words are you speaking to yourself? (Sometimes, our most condemning words are those we whisper to ourselves.)
Last week, I had an experience I hope I’ll never forget. I was at an inspiring retreat led by the organization Plywood People. (www.PlywoodPeople.com) I was fortunate to be one of 20 participants. Each attendee is pursuing a dream. Some starting non-profits. Some launching for-profits. All trying to make a difference with their lives. All trying to solve problems in the world.
We were in the midst of a sharing time in which each participant was talking about their biggest “ah-ha’s” from their time at the retreat. I had just shared some reflections. Undoubtedly, some of my own self-doubt was oozing through.
One of my roommates stood up, and spontaneously and publicly gave me an unforgettable gift. It was a word of life for me. It was a Giving Key necklace, and on the key was stamped the word “Legendary.” The night before, my new friend had watched the beautiful story that Jaye Watson of 11Alive did on my work. (Here’s a link if you’ve never seen it: http://youtu.be/-G0wiH9Ej9U ) My new friend believed in me and my dream…probably more than I believed in myself.
Do I feel legendary? Not in the least. But do I feel called to share the message of Leave Nothing Unsaid? Without question. Do I still dream of a national letter writing movement? Absolutely! I’ve seen the incredible power of this simple message that I believe God has entrusted me to carry. And do I feel inspired to grow into the “legendary” mantle? Definitely.
Earlier this year, my precious daughter, Anne, gave me my first Giving Key. It was engraved with the word “fearless.” I definitely didn’t feel fearless, and she knew it. But over the last few months, I’ve taken a few courageous steps that were definitely out of my comfort zone. My daughter spoke words of life and courage into me.
Next Thursday, November 20th, I will have another opportunity to practice “fearlessness” on my path to “legendary.” I’m scheduled to be interviewed on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on FoxNews. (2pm EST) Having the opportunity to share this message with a broader audience is truly an answer to prayer.
Who needs to receive a word of life from you? It doesn’t have to be on a necklace. It can be in a note. It can be on an index card. It can be spoken, but giving those words in writing allows the recipient something tangible for remembering.
Our words matter. A lot. Spend a few minutes today and think about the affirming words you can pour into the special people in your life. You’ll never know the impact that a few powerful and well-placed words can make.
(If you’re not familiar with Giving Keys, I hope you’ll check out www.thegivingkeys.com . It’s a beautiful business that is inspiring hope and reducing homelessness.The idea is that at some point, you pass your key along to someone else who needs to receive the word, to believe that the word can become true for them.)