Tag Archives: encouragement
When is the last time you stopped to consider the words you speak? I think about it quite often. I have witnessed the power of the spoken word and how it can lift someones spirit or tear them down. I have seen the crushing blow of a parents angry words to a child over a missed pitch in a baseball game. I have seen a beautiful vibrant woman turned into a sad shell of herself due to the constant insults leveled at her by her husband. I have also witnessed a husband lose his sense of self-worth because his hard work goes unnoticed by his family. Then on the other hand, I have seen tears replaced with laughter, desperation replaced with hope. I have seen anger replaced with peace, rejection replaced with acceptance. I have seen a lost soul find their purpose. All because of the spoken word.
This week one of my young volunteers lost his life in a horrific accident. As you can imagine the family and everyone who knew him are devastated. When the Pastor met with the family the grandmother recounted a story of how one particular person had spoken words of encouragement to this young man while he was volunteering and the incredibly positive affect it had on him. “Her words lifted his spirit!”
Every conversation and interaction we have is an opportunity to speak hope into someone’s life. Recently, Toby Mac released a new CD, Eye On It. There is one particular song that I listen to almost everyday on my to work…Speak Life. The lyrics remind me that I have the power to speak hope, love and life into someone’s world…
“It’s Crazy to imaging that the words from our lips as the arms of compassion. Mountains crumble with every syllable. Hope can live or die. So speak life. Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted. watch them come alive as soon as you speak love, speak hope, speak life.”
What will you do with your words today…tear someone down or Speak Life?
Have you ever watched a silent movie? I recently “watched” a movie on a plane flight. I really did watch it…I chose not to pay for the movie so I was unable to hear the sound. The movie was 1,000 Words starring Eddie Murphy. In the movie Eddie’s character discovers he only has 1,000 words left to say before he dies. So this got my wheels turning and I have been thinking about it for weeks.
Have you given much thought to how many words you speak in one day?
One clinical study has concluded that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day and men speak an average of 7,000 words per day. Now before I head off on a rabbit trail let me just say that there are plenty of opinions about these findings. But let’s just go with it for the sake of this post.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of talking…This has me wondering… Are all of my conversations necessary or are they idle chatter? Are my words cruel and demeaning? Or are my words sweet and life affirming?
What if my words were limited? Not just my spoken words but my written words as well. Would I be so quick to speak? Would I waste my precious words on cursing or gossip? Would I choose my words more carefully? Speak more sweetly? Make the most of every syllable I utter.
How creative would I become in order to conserve my precious allotment. How many non verbal ways are there to communicate with people in my life.? A smile or laughter is universal and conveys joy and happiness. A hug can express more sympathy or empathy than any number of words and I have found on many occasions it’s all that’s necessary. A thumbs up will let someone know that they are doing a good job. A wave says hello or goodbye.
I know my words carry a lot of weight…My words can build up a life or tear it down! I have a choice before I ever open my mouth…I can choose tasteless bitter words that cause hurt that cuts to the bone… or I can choose words that are tasteful, full of sweetness, wholesome and kind. Words that will enrich the life of the person on the receiving end. My words should breathe life and offer hope. The words I speak should drip of honey and bless the ears that hear them.
Now with all that said, I don’t always think the most positive things but I do try to check what comes out of my mouth before its too late. Words are one thing you can never take back no matter how hard you try…apologize you may but the words will always be there lurking in the memory of the person who was on the recieiving end. Every time I get behind the wheel of my car I encounter someone who challenges my positive thought process. When I have to wait on hold for an unmerciful amount of time only to be transferred multiple times or have my call disconnected leaves me fuming and mumbling under my breath. When my favorite sports team systematically implodes I find myself screaming at the television giving the coach a much-needed talking to. And more times than not I find myself speaking negative, less than re-affirming thoughts into my own life when I am tired and frustrated or feeling a little bit sorry for myself.
Back to the “silent movie”…Eddie’s character became very creative with non-verbal communication…especially as he came closer and closer to the end of his life. Not one of us knows the day or time that we will breathe our last breath…isn’t that reason enough to be more cognizant of the words we speak. What kind of legacy will your words say about you? With that in mind, I am much more thoughtful about all the yada yada yada in my life…how about you?
Margin is the space between your load and your limit.
Mindfulness is the quality of fullness of attention, immediacy, non-distraction. In that sense, it is the key to life. Without mindfulness there can be no margin.
The following is an excerpt from an article written by Rick Warren…
“A lot of people are on overload and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics:
- People now sleep two and a half fewer hours each night than people did a hundred years ago. You’re sleeping less than your grandparents did.
- The average workweek is longer now than it was in the 1960s.
- The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes us three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.
- We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are busy or who are not answering, five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.”
Having margin in my life means I have time to cherish loving moments with my family. Living without it means we say the words “I love you” but we do not follow them up with loving actions.
Margin in my life allows for moments of pure joy to seep into my soul and fill me to overflowing. A marginless life means I settle for moments of momentary happiness, usually gone as quickly as they appear.
Margin allows for moments of absolute stillness…listening to the small quiet voice guiding me through my life. Life without margin looks more like chaos…cluttered office, overflowing laundry baskets, dishes piled in the sink, lack of sleep and late for everything.
Living a mindful life allows me the opportunity to slow down and address situations that are out of my control, usually because someone else lacks the margin in their life. I have the time to think, re-evaluate and make educated adjustments. MY Life without margin begins to feel hurried and harried and filled with stressful moments. I feel like Alice’s White Rabbit…I’m late…I’m late…for a very important date…no time to say…hello, goodbye…I’m late!
Being mindful of my need for margin allows me time to fill in the gap when and where it is needed. A stress filled life will limit my ability to be spontaneous and help out when the opportunity presents itself. Living a life with margin begins to feel like the life I was created to live…
When my life has time I have self-control - margin limits the frustrations that happen in life because there is no margin for error
From the same article:
Dr. Richard Swenson, MD says this:
The conditions of modern day living devour margin. If you’re homeless we direct you to a shelter. If you’re penniless we offer you food stamps. If you’re breathless we connect you to oxygen. But if you’re marginless we give you one more thing to do. Marginless is being 30 minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were 20 minutes late getting out of the hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse. That’s marginless.
Margin, on the other hand, is having breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month, and sanity left over at the end of adolescence. Margin is grandma taking the baby for the afternoon. Margin is having a friend help carry the burden. Marginless is not having time to finish the book you’re reading on stress. Margin is having the time to read it twice. Marginless is our culture. Margin is counter-culture, having some space in your life and schedule. Marginless is the disease of our decade and margin is the cure.
If I am not mindful of the moments that make up my life… I will miss out on all that makes life worth living…
Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.”
If I am too busy to look up and witness the beautiful blue sky… how will I know when it’s raining?
If I am too busy to look into the eyes of a friend…how will I know they are hurting?
If I do not laugh at myself…I may take myself to seriously.
If I do not consider others…who will consider me?
If I…do not find the margin in my life…my life will become a series of hurried and harried days on end…I will quite possibly find myself chasing my life instead of living it!
To recognize the need for margin is the my first step to making the adjustments…I have been making a few changes and I am now enjoying my new-found margin.
Rick Warren sites four benefits to building margin into our lives; Peace of Mind, Better Health, Stronger Relationships and Usefulness in Ministry. To read the article in it’s entirety…Four Benefits to Putting Margin in Your Life…go here!
What does margin in your life look like?
This post is part of theBlogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge. Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “M”
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24
The State of Texas is experiencing the worst drought on record. Lakes are drying up, wildfires are raging, farms are turning into dust bowls and cattle ranchers are being forced to sell their livestock due to the lack of hay.
I have watched the cracks in our yard grow deeper and wider. And despite our best efforts to water our lawn and flower beds the weaker plants are dying off. I have also watched several brown patches in our lawn spread like a cancer. The fern that grows on the oak tree branches has appeared to shrivel and dry-up beyond any measure of hope that it will return.
Everyday we pray for Rain. We pray expectantly. We pray without ceasing. We watch the skies. We rejoice as the rain clouds appear. We fall silent as they disappear without dropping a trace of rain.
Then just this week we were blessed with 2 days of rain. Mind you it wasn’t very much rain. Just a 1/4″ each day. Oh but what that 1/2″ of rain has done for the flowers and the grass and the fern in the oaks. The flowers are blooming, the brown patches in the lawn have new blades of green grass springing up and the fern has been resurrected. Even the birds seem to be singing and rejoicing because they know that their needs have been met.
I have been experiencing my own personal drought. As the earth dried up so did my verve for life. I began to lose interest in several of the things I enjoy doing. Writing this blog, collecting junktiques, working in the garden, pulling the pesky weeds and even cooking in my beautiful kitchen.
Then it occurred to me this morning as it has on previous occasions that just as the rain fell and began to renew the plants and animals, so had God renewed my spirit. It seems that as the rain fell it literally began to wash the dust and cobwebs from my spirit. I rejoiced in the smell of the wet earth, the puddles on the drive-way and the cooler damp temperatures.
God showed me that no matter how bleak things may seem HE is always at work, working things out for those who believe in HIM.
No matter how much watering I do on my own it will never be enough. I have an inherent need of Gods renewing spirit. He sends it in different ways every day. We just have to learn to recognize it when it shows up.
It comes with the refreshing rain after a long drought. It comes with the bright sunshine after a torrential downpour. It comes in the encouraging words spoken by a co-worker. It comes in the comments of my blogging buddies. It comes with the development of a new friendship. It comes in a hug from my 22-year-old son. It comes in the knowing wink from my husband.
God knit me together in my Mothers womb and knows the number of hairs on my head. I am wonderfully and beautifully made to be exactly who I am. He designed a plan to prosper me and not to harm me, a plan to give me hope and a future. He sends people into my life to help me grow and become the Girl he designed me to be. Ultimately my life is made up of my own choices, but when I make choices that are with-in Gods will for my life, I am Blessed beyond measure and my cup is filled to over-flowing.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Good, Bad or Indifferent this is who I am and this is my life! Most days I think I am better than bad, less than good but never indifferent about the things that matter in life.
My life is not filled with death-defying feats or exceptional talents. I am simply a regular girl with hopes and dreams of a simple life. A life filled with faith, hope and love!
Yes I get off track and my compass does not always point north. My mind gets cluttered with all of the junk in the world and I struggle with everyday stuff. I am often saddened and confused by life’s tragic events. I want to help but feel helpless.
This blog is about the People, places and things that give me hope and inspire me to be a better me.
Every life is a story and every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Every story contains context, conflict, decisions and resolution.
Once I realized that my life was a story I began to wonder about things; will I make better decisions, will I worry less and trust God more? I wonder will I be a better listener and a better friend, a better wife and a better mother. Will I share Jesus with others, or will they see Jesus in me?
I wonder if I will laugh more often, love more deeply and will I live life to the fullest? I am wondering about my life story but I am not worrying about it. My life story may not be filled with exciting world travels or death-defying feats. It may be that God has planned for my life story to be one filled with lots of normal everyday stuff.
I know God has written into my life-story that I would be a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother, an encourager and a Christ follower. I do wonder what else He has planned for my story. But I am content because I know the beginning and I know the end and I know who wrote the story line that goes in-between and I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing story.
Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- cookin’ up a little family tradition… (nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com)
Try practicing a Random Act of Kindness…
at least once every day…
you know what to do…
just do it…
make a difference in someones day…
Yippee! Woo hoo! Yes! It’s finally here! It is my one year blogoversary!
There were moments when I thought this day would never come.
I began blogging a year ago more out of curiosity than anything else. Then I ended up using my blog to chronicle the experience of moving from our family home of 12 years, into a 26′ travel trailer while our dream home was being built. I did it, I blogged my way through.
Although I hoped my friends and family would read and follow along on our journey, I secretly hoped that a few strangers would find, read and be encouraged through my blog.
What actually happened was that more strangers than friends and family read and follow along. Instead of being the one to inspire and encourage, I am the one who is inspired and encouraged by the friends I have made and the blogs I follow.
I have never considered myself a writer. But I do love banging away at the keys and there is such a sense of accomplishment as I pour out my thoughts, add a few pictures to help tell the story, spellcheck it, re-write a line or two and hit the publish button.
There were days, weeks and months when there were very few if any comments. But I kept plugging away. I kept searching for other bloggers who were looking for cyber-friendships. I knew I wasn’t the only one out there that was in need of inspiration and encouragement. I knew YOU were out there.
I am looking forward to another year of blogging, new friendships and experiencing life to the utmost, eagerly reaching out without fear for newer richer experiences.