The Power of Words

I watch the scene play back in my mind like I'm sat in front of a movie screen. I, a young teenager already in bed, hear the key turn in the lock and the familiar creak of the door as my parents return home. I can recognize my mum's approach by the sound of her footsteps on the wooden floor, gently she pushes the door open and her small frame enters my room. "All your teachers say you are doing well," she says with her smile, the one I know so well, the smile that can still move my heart. She places herself on the edge of the bed, getting close so I can hear her quiet words. "Your art teacher says you have real talent." She pauses, the smile still traced on her lips, watching my response. I feel that glow on the inside and it's almost awkward to receive the praise but I store it away like a treasure in my heart. The words are a promise and a gift, a hope and an identity given. The power of words.
I am all grown up now. I am a mother, my life is full of laundry, bills, dishes, and little boys hugs. I do not spend all day as an artist but I do still love to paint, draw and create and I have joy and confidence when I do it. I feel like it's a part of who I am. It became my identity when I was a teenager through that one single sentence and it never left.
What if she had never shared that with me or if someone told me "You're no good at this"? How would that have impacted who I am? How I see myself? What we say to children, to these little hearts forming, really matters.
We have two little souls entrusted to our care and I am reminded how much difference it makes to spend that time encouraging them, to feed them with words and actions that help them to have joy and confidence. All this pondering started yesterday when I watched this wonderful video from Wess Stafford of Compassion International. It reminded me that there are millions of opportunities in life to make a difference in the life of a child and all it takes is a minute.




OK, it has to be said, I really, really like this man. I have read his first book and was completely captured by the message so I am unashamedly marketing his new book called Just a Minute. If you are like me and you really want to make a difference I know this book is going to inspire and challenge.

Knowing what a difference words can make, for good or for bad, makes me want to listen to the hearts of children and take that time to let them know they are precious, loved and have amazing gifts to share with the world. We can make a difference with the power of words and all it takes it a minute.

Comments

Just a Minute didn’t just touch my heart, it stirred me to action. It’s a great collection of stories of pivotal moments when someone spoke a word of encouragement, or noticed a child, or named that child’s strength—and the results lasted forever. After being inspired by these stories, I decided it wouldn’t take much for me to offer that kind of encouragement. I have been much more intentional, since I read this book, in slowing down a little, making time in my life to give love and attention to children--my own teenagers, a friend's preschoolers, even children I don't know but happen to encounter in my daily life.
The JustaMinute.com website has a place where you can tell your story of key moments like the one you shared here. You should put yours on the site, it's very encouraging! (at http://justaminute.com/#story )

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