Once upon a time, twenty ladies of all ages squeezed into my little living room for a "purse party" (that's what my hubby calls them). These women sat on folding chairs or on the floor as they chatted and laughed, their heads of blonde and gray bent over colorful catalogs. They ooh-ed and aah-ed over their favorite prints and bags as they munched on the snacks and mini-cheesecakes that I quickly whipped together.
To kick off the party, the sweet consultant had each of the gals share something that they appreciate about me. One by one they looked me in the eye and spoke such lovely words to me, about me. Words that filled up my heart until the tears pooled and spilled over.
It was something else. I had never before experienced something like it.
These women are all friends of mine. I know that they like me and enjoy our time together. But to hear them say the things they appreciate and love most about me? That was completely wonderful and overwhelming and humbling. Truly, it was. I'm not used to being the center of attention (in fact, being the center of attention makes my palms sweat and heart race), but I loved it. How could I not?? I felt special and honored and seen. After they had finished, I made my way through the crowded room hugging and thanking them all for being so amazing and generous.
That day was years ago. And I still think of it often. That day is a reminder to use my words often to thank and uplift others. I don't mean small-talk or random compliments, but rather the I see you and I appreciate you and these are the ways God uses you in my life type.
Words are powerful. Sometimes we abuse them or withhold them. We grumble. We complain. We can be careless with words or cut with them. On the flip side, we can also show big, beautiful love with them. They can be healing and inspiring. They can protect and grow and open doors.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~ Proverbs 16:24
So today share your loving words freely, dears. Get on your cell and call up that sweet friend to tell her exactly why you love her. Or if you live close enough, drop by with a coffee so you can give her a hug and tell her face to face. You'll bless her, I know it.
Carry it on and share those kind, thoughtful words with your husband (or wife). Mama or dad. Brother or sister. Your neighbor or co-worker. Your teacher or pastor. Or anyone you wish. Surprise them with a string of sentences that will fill them up, reminding them that they are celebrated by you.
And adored by their Savior. Because as much as you appreciate them, there is a God who loves them higher and wider and deeper.....and His words and love are what matter the most.
Forget about having a big speech prepared. Don't let fear of it being awkward or out-of-the-blue slow you down. Just share your heart and the words will come. Cut them loose and let them soar, landing on the ears of those who need to hear them. I promise they will be shiny gifts that will make someone's day. Or week. Or year.
So go on. Scoot! There's so much loving to do.