Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Good Word

image courtesy of photobucket.com
Proverbs 12:25 - Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (ESV)

I have an acquaintance who never fails to compliment me on some aspect of my attire.

 
Now, this might be a normal occurrence for many of you, but as I have never been accused of being a fashionista, it’s a rare event for me. She doesn’t gush or tell me I look like I’ve lost 30 pounds (which, while it would be nice if it was true, hasn’t happened yet). She points out simple things like “I love your necklace” or “that sweater looks great with that top”. As I am slightly paranoid about most of my outfits (unless my sister picked them out), I can’t help but be gratified.

It may be shallow, but I like a compliment.

I’ve had several people who have recently provided a word of encouragement at just the right moment.

A random comment at Bible study from someone, telling me how much she enjoys the blog – I didn’t know she’d ever read it – made my day.

Another friend just today added an encouraging comment about my writing to the end of a non-writing related note. There’s no way she could have known that the summer schedule, while fun for me and the kids, is brutal to the writing lifestyle I’m attempting to carve out for myself. But her words were soothing to my anxious spirit.

And then there’s the priceless moment when someone tells me I’m doing a good job as a mom. Especially when it comes on a day when I’m feeling like the worst mom on earth.

I’ve been wondering how often I fail to encourage someone because I’m too busy to pay attention, or because I assume that they are so put-together, so confident, so sure, that anything I might say would be meaningless. When, in reality, there is no way for me to know what’s happening behind closed doors—what frustrations or fears they are facing—or how close to the breaking point they are.

And I wonder, as someone who is rarely at a loss for words, if I shouldn’t do a better job and use my powers for good. I’d love it if when people walk away from me, rubbing their ears because I’ve been talking for fifteen, twenty, OK, fine, thirty minutes straight, they walk away with a glad heart because my words weren’t self-absorbed and self-focused, but were a message of encouragement, soothing to an anxious heart.

Father, let it be.
Reactions:

6 comments:

Marilyn Shipe said...

Good thoughts! I'm right there with you on giving and receiving encouragement. We all need it! You know Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Golden apples in a silver picture! That must be the epitome of beauty in God's eyes I suppose. Keep up the good blogs!

Amy said...

I always feel encouraged after we talk - which is usually just slightly over 30 minutes ;]
Too bad I can't do the cross out thingy on here (and italics).

Kelly said...

Well said...a small kind word can stick with you for so long. I need to be better at this.

Saw what I think was Emma's picture from the conference this weekend. Did you go? How was it?

Kelly
mom to AnnaKate

Lynn said...

Marilyn - Thanks for the kind words!

Amy - More like 60, or 90, or 120!

Kelly - Thanks. Yes, we did go and it was fantastic. Such a great opportunity to meet other families. And so strange - in a good way - to see RTS sweeties around every corner! We need to chat - any chance we can get together before school starts??

Blayne said...

Hi Lynn... I just read your blog and have to agree, I think everyone enjoys a compliment... but so few have the gift to do so easily.

I just sent a link to the devotional to a good friend of mine... I think it will be a blessing to him and the words he needs to hear. I've still got one devotional left... I will post it next week... so if you have some more it would be great to have.
Take care in God's love,
Blayne

Anonymous said...

A good friend complimented me one time about my high Cherokee cheekbones. Just a little thing, but I've never forgotten it. It doesn't cost a thing to share a kind word. Love, Mom