I joke about all sorts of things being my love language: flowers, dance, cookies, etc. Ya know, anything beautiful. Or yummy. Being a die hard romantic those things do speak to and for me, no doubt about it. But my real love language is words. Shocker, I know.
It's how I express my heart, share my affection, affirm the people close to me. It's why reading and writing take up such residence in my world. It's the simple way I let people know I'm thinking of them, praying for them. It's why I love hand-written cards and letters and make it a point to send them often. And it is, without question, the single greatest way I receive love. Want me to feel your love or appreciation?? Forget the presents or quality time or grand acts of service... just tell me. I'm not kidding. A blog comment does wonders for this girl!
The simple truth I'm meditating on today is this: share gracious words freely. Give them generously. Rather than just thinking it, I want to be quick in offering sincere affirmation, always:
- the simplicity of letting other moms know I admire how attentive they are with their children.
- telling my husband I appreciate his incredible work ethic and how hard he works to provide for us.
- sharing with the familiar cashier at the grocery how their warmth and ever present smile never fails to encourage me.
- voicing to friends how they inspire me with their love of reading, their dedication for growing their own backyard gardens even when there's nothing yet to show for it, their transparency and honesty, their songwriting abilities, the way they're quick to repent when they've caused an offense, the way they love and serve their spouses... the list goes on and on and on.
It could be just about anything, anytime, anywhere, to anyone. Gracious, generous, always sincere. Never flattery, but earnest and genuine. Heart spoken.
Words are powerful beyond what we can even fully comprehend. I still remember negative things other kids said to me decades ago in elementary school. You never forget those wounds. They leave scars. But I also remember the teacher who affirmed my writing in the fourth grade, the stranger in a wheelchair who called me talented, the little boy who brought me chocolates every Valentine's year after year because he said I was 'pretty.' You never forget those words, either. You carry them with you, for decades, often for a lifetime.
Gracious. Gracious words. May we all offer them generously. May we inspire, encourage, affirm. May we heal.
How do you practice offering gracious words? What specific words, negative or positive, have impacted you over the years?