I like to speak them, I like to write them, I like to read them, I like to hear them.
I use them a lot, I give them a lot, and I absolutely find that my heart can be crushed the hardest or brought to life the quickest through the power of words.
Proverbs 15:4 reads, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushed the spirit.”
Proverbs 18:21 reads, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 43.
My family who loves me and knows me well did all sorts of amazing things for me. They gave me the day off, friends cared for my children the entire day, I got a massage, I went shopping, they took me out to dinner, and then had dessert back at the house. That was all wonderful and lovely, but the gift that meant the most was a beautiful garland of words sharing how my family feels about me. It took my breath away. It made me cry.
I felt loved. I felt known.
(This gift was beautiful crafted by the hands of my son’s girlfriend Amy. I love her as my own, and some of the sentiments below are hers as well.)
The 43 cards read:
1. You take my breath away.
2. You send me encouraging texts.
3. You are great with words.
4. You respect your children and take them seriously.
5. You are steadfast- loyal in the face of trouble and difficulty.
6. Your eyes are sparkly blue.
7. You are a good friend.
8. You are fun and you know how to make special things feel special.
9. You are an advocate for orphans.
10. You are darn cute.
11. You are a woman of honor.
12. Your love for your husband is fierce.
13. You have a great sense of humor.
14. You are the best friend ever.
15. You are shockingly beautiful.
16. You are tasteful.
17. Your heart beats with the Spirit of Adoption.
18. You are stunning.
19. You are the problem-solving queen.
20. You never give up.
21. You make me feel like I can do anything.
22. You are courageous. Probably one of the most courageous I have ever seen.
23. You are a servant.
24. Everything you touch, you make beautiful.
25. You are compassionate.
26. You made me part of your family.
27. You are selfless.
28. You give me good ideas.
29. You are one hot momma.
30. You understand beauty.
31. You are a storyteller.
32. You are wise.
33. You are a protector, but in the most beautiful, gentle way.
34. You are a great peanut butter and jelly sandwich maker.
35. You are uniquely funny.
36. You bring deep impact.
37. You choose love over convenience.
38. You’re one smokin’ hot nurse.
39. You’ve shown me a side of motherhood that makes me excited to be a mom.
40. You’re a soft place to rest my head when life is stressful.
41. You are the best mom ever.
42. You are the best wife ever.
43. You are a real rockstar.
Every night before my husband and I fall asleep, I say to him, “John, tell me how you feel about me.” I started doing it years ago, and I have never stopped. It’s not that I don’t know, it’s just that I need to hear it one more time. Sometimes his response is a sentence, sometimes it is several minutes. It doesn’t matter, the words breath life into my heart. They have become my good night kiss.
I share this gift with you not to “toot my own horn” at all. I share it to remind each of you how important it is to look into the eyes of the ones you love and tell them how you feel about them. I lavish my family with words because I know the power of words on the human heart. I can see it in their eyes, and I watch the impact on their hearts. It was the very WORDS of our CREATOR that gave each of us life. It is WORD that sustains us and keeps our hearts alive. Is it any wonder He declares to each of us that there is power to bring life or death in our words?
Find someone to day and speak life into their heart. And bite your tongue the next time your words may cause another pain.