Thursday, November 17, 2016

Little Words - Big Impacts (11/17/16)

It was only a week or two after I had turned 16; we were attending a friend's graduation party and I was holding the 3-week-old little girl, the child of acquaintances who were also there. She was so tiny... her little fingers curled up into fists, her little mouth yawning... so precious. As I cradled and murmured soft nothings to her, my dad told me, "You're going to be a good mommy one day."
I ducked my head shyly and thanked him, but inwardly my heart was beaming. Dad thought I would be a good mom someday... that meant a lot to me, even if he didn't realize it. He may not even remember that it happened, but I'll never forget it.

It was my first time presenting a leadership lesson, and as if that was not hard enough, I felt like God had called me to do one on suicidal thoughts. I struggled through it, trying to get a discussion going among the cadets, but it started to fall apart. I was so nervous about the whole thing that I had over-prepared by making 6 pages of different notes, so I was constantly flipping back and forth in my binder trying to find what I needed, which flustered me even more. Whenever I answered a question, I was afraid that I would take my own experience and assume it was fact, so before I answered anything I stuttered, "In my own experience..."
After what felt like an hour (but was closer to 15 minutes), it was over and I packed up my binder and gear to go home. It wasn't the worst it could have been, but it wasn't the best either, so I was a little heavy-hearted. Friends and fellow cadets congratulated me on my lesson (which heartened me a bit) and the father of my friend (who I had never met) came up and shook my hand, saying, "Thank you for putting a piece of yourself in that; it took guts."
Nothing could have meant more to me in that moment than someone I had never met telling me, "That took guts."

They are little words, little nothings... but they mean so much. I can find so many instances in my life when only a few small words were spoken, but they shaped who I am today. Times when I thought no one had seen a small good I had done, and a person would come up and say, "I saw that; you did good."
Honestly, it's very seldom that you find something more treasured than these little validations and appreciations. Be liberal with kindness; toss words of love like confetti into the hearts of those around you. Maybe it makes you feel awkward, but it can mean the world to the recipients.


  1. This is something I've also been thinking about a lot lately. It always makes me think of the Toby Mac song, "Speak Life". Thank you for this post, Lissie. It was so nice to hear someone else talk about this in their own words.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your own thoughts. :)