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Thursday, May 17, 2012

words don't die.

     It was one of those days. One of those days where everything seems to go wrong. From the moment my feet hit the floor that morning and I realized I'd missed my alarm clock and slept late, the day just felt off. I'd like to say I'm always put together, on time, and perfectly coiffed....but that's just not true. In all honesty, the words "frenzy" and "running a hundred miles an hour with my hair on fire" are more accurate at times. And honestly, as the day went on, I was not feeling that great about life...or myself. Earlier that morning, I found time to put on a little eyeliner, throw on a wrinkled maxi dress and let my hair air dry on it's own (never the best choice.) As the day wore on, I became more and more discouraged with life. I promised to always be honest with you gals on this blog, and so that means I'm not one of those bloggers - you know the ones - who have the perfect outfit on at all times, complete with red lipstick, a Chanel bag, and Tiffany's earrings - the perfect car, the ideal life, and (somehow) a bank account that always comfortably allows for fancy dinners, shopping sprees, and a myriad of weekly exotic outings. I'm just a girl who deals with daily life stuff - sometimes not all that glam or fab - and who looks for the good and make the most of every situation.

  But by mid-afternoon that day, the rose-colored glasses I try to whip out in times like these (not to be in denial, just to make sure I see things through a positive perspective) were no where to be found and due to a combination of having a lot on my mind, being weary, and fighting discouragement, I had to do something. And when push comes to shove, what's a girl to do? Go to Starbucks, that's what! Because, just as Mr. Hugh Grant's friend tells him in Notting Hill: "Shall I go get a cappuccino? Ease the pain" - a little coffee (or tea!) always helps one's state of mind.

  Walking in to the coffee shop, I got up to the counter and ordered my favorite iced tea. And as I fumbled haphazardly through my purse, brushing back a stray strand of unruly hair from my face and sighing, the girl behind the counter who took my order smiled kindly at me. And then she said, "You always look so cute! You just have the prettiest hair and I love your style. I always think you are so pretty when you come in here." I was frozen as I handed her the $3 and .55 cents. Tears threatened to flow, and all I could do was quietly stand there and say, "Thank you...thanks girl."

   It was just short sentence. A few seconds of conversation. I quick exchange. But you know what? It changed my entire day. I'm not just saying that, either. I walked outta there feeling like a new woman (and it wasn't because of the tea, although that has been known to happen.) Uplifted and encouraged - just because someone took the time to speak a few kind words to me. That sweet girl at Starbucks could have just said "Thanks, have a great day" or taken the money and said nothing at all. But she didn't. She took the time to say something nice to a complete stranger (well, actually not a complete stranger....does it mean you're addicted when your local Starbucks people recognize you??) and she changed my day.

  And it got me thinking, the rest of the week, about the power of words. The sheer power one human being has over another just by speaking words. It's incredible, really. And as I thought about it, I began to think of moments and times in my life when words were spoken to me - words I will never, ever forget. Words are powerful. Words are life-giving, like I experienced at Starbucks. But words can also hurt and sting, words can stay with you for a lifetime. And they can even shape and define the very people we become. When spoken, words cannot be taken back. If hurtful, they can be forgiven. But usually, they are never forgotten. I began to think about words in my life - defining moments when words were spoken that I will never forget.

   I'll never forget the words my precious dad told me when took me aside on my 16th birthday and said I was beautiful and that God's plans for my life were really big.
  I'll never forget the words my great-grandma wrote to me in a letter a few years ago before she died, words of love.
 I'll never forget one night in college, when an immature, selfish boy said something that hurt me - and one of my best girl friends hugged me as I cried and spoke sweet, encouraging words.
 I'll never forget something hurtful someone said to me just last year - it seared my heart and cut deep.

"The tongue has the power of life and death."
-Proverbs 18:21

  Words have power. Growing up, my mom always reminded us - "God spoke the world into existence, just using words alone. Words have meaning."

"And God said, 'Let there be light.' And there was light."
- Genesis 1:3
   There are times in the past when people - even friends very close to me - didn't understand me, didn't take time to use their words to ask me what was going on in my heart, didn't take time to use their words to find out why I acted a certain way, why I made certain choices. Instead, words were used to tear me down - to judge, to gossip, to shame. It taught me a very acute and painful lesson - to not only use words to encourage others, but also use words to get to know their hearts. To not judge just by outward appearances, choices, or even attitudes - but to dig deeper and talk - to sit down with someone you don't understand, someone you're even hurt by - and lovingly, graciously put aside judgement and really ask them to use their words to share their heart. In times I've chosen to do that rather than lash out in judgement, slander or gossip with my words  - I've often found there's more to the story, more to a person's heart and actions than just what is seen. If people in my life in the past had taken the time to know my heart, alot of hurt could've been spared. And I want to be one who gets to know others' hearts. For, as the Bible says - "For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." - Luke 6:45.

  I know I've been the one who's hurt others at times. I know I've hurt others by careless words. And I wish I could take them back. Realizing the power of words as I get older and have moments when words uplift like that sweet girl's did at Starbucks, I am drive to be more careful - more thoughtful about my words. I want to use the power my words have to give life, hope, love, and encouragement to the people I meet.

    So, at the end of last week - I found myself on the other side of the "Starbucks situation." And I had a choice to make - a choice to hold my words of encouragement in or use them to build someone else up. At a little tiny See's Candies shop in by the sea in Los Angeles... I stood at the counter across from a weary woman who wrapped up chocolates and responded to questions of annoyed customers. As she numbly rang up our order, I took the opportunity - I knew it was there - because I knew that look on her face. The same look I wore just days before as I stood at a different counter. I seized the moment, "You have just the prettiest smile," I said - "And I love your headband." She lit up. And she smiled so wide, she laughed. Her whole demeanor changed, the next minute I spent across from her she smiled and said, "Thank you...thank you." And it reminded me of someone else I know....just days before.

  That, my dears, is what passing it forward looks like - not only did my encourager earlier in the week speak life to me, but the very act of encouraging me inspired me to lift up someone else!

  Words bring life or death. They can uplift or drag down. And they live long past the moment they are spoken - they live forever in the mind and heart of the one spoken to...and they can even inspire one to do good.

   Let's use our words in a purposeful way this week - to uplift, bring life, encourage, and inspire. You never know where a little word will take somebody. It could be the one they remember the rest of their life. And that, sweet friend - means something.

Outfit Stats:
if ya care

Top: Boutique in LA
Necklace: Forever 21 {gift from L}
Belt: Thrifed
Skirt: upcycled dress//Angl
Watch: Michael Kors


Just a reminder:
The Giveaway winner will be chosen this Friday - if you haven't, go enter- last chance!


  1. What a great post - so thoughtful.

  2. Such a great post! Perfect reminder that our words are truly powerful, and we really never know what our words can do to another person: they can do harm, or do good. Thank you for that reminder! I appreciate your genuineness!

  3. Isn't it amazing how words can have such a powerful effect on our lives. What a humbling experience for your day to be changed by a sweet little comment. I love Proverbs 18!

  4. Not a surprise that this post is beyond wonderful :)
    This one really hits home for me, because God has really put it on my heart to STEP OUT of my comfort zone and encourage people.

    Not just any people...but strangers. I'm not one to make casual conversation with the person standing behind me in line at the grocery store or to say something extra to the cashier at my favorite store. I'm not rude, but more shy I guess.

    God has really been urging me to break out of that, because like you said a few small words can change a person's day...a person's life even! It's my job to let them know that they do have worth & purpose!

    I love this, "You never know where a little word will take somebody. It could be the one they remember the rest of their life. And that, sweet friend - means something." SO TRUE, GIRL!

    Love you,'re such a beautiful person!


  5. This post has such an amazing and true message :) I think we can sometimes tend to just throw words at people without realising the effect that they have. I am so glad that you passed on the encouraging words- I'm sure that lady was so grateful!

    Say xx

  6. Oh my dear sweet kindred spirit. WOW... this post describes my entire thought process these last couple of days... to say the least, they have been frazzled, frizzy, and frustrating. :) But words have a world of influence on our lives... and they should be used carefully and for the best of ourselves and others. :) Thank you for this post and for your email last night. I needed both. Love you!
    P.S. I came to Starbucks this morning (in Barnes and Nobles) for the precise reason that you described above. :) And here I sit... watching the bachelorette and sipping chai tea latte. hugs!

  7. Such needed words of wisdom. Thanks, girl.

  8. Wow what a great post and shines so true! I loved the verses you found to incorporate with the message. :-)
    Its amazing how much technology grows the more lonely we are in real life social relationships. We all should take the time and encourage strangers.
    When I was visiting my folks back in fl, a little girl standing in the parking lot said to me you are really pretty. :-) I cannot tell you how that made my day and I had no makeup on either so I felt unpretty. Lol
    Great post my dear. :-)

  9. oh honey, this was just AWESOME. Thank You for writing it! It is so true. Words are so powerful. And random compliments or acknowledgement are so easy to give.. thanks for the reminder!

  10. God has really burned James 3:6-12 in my heart this week.

    "By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony into chaos, throw mud on a reputation...this cannot go on..."

    (The Message)

    <3 We've had a similar week, it seems :)

  11. wow...your words are encouraging today-the words we write and the words we say have very powerful effects and I am so encouraged by your obedience and humbling spirit.

  12. It is amazing what a simple conversation can do if we step outside of ourselves and take the time to notice others! In James 3, he is not kidding when he talks about the power of our words!

  13. What an extremely true post. How often I have regretted words said-or unsaid and been hurt by the words of others. What a great reminder your post is of just how powerful words really are!!

  14. i am loving this, and really needed it this week! i think when we humble ourselves before God, He opens up doors like this for us. you seriously made that girls day! and she made yours! it's amazing what happens when we can stop and just SAY something nice :) love this post!

  15. Your so beautiful.Your heart is in the perfect place whether you believe it or not. There are so many people including me that read your words and are profoundly moved. I love ya E!

  16. This was right on! I cannot agree with you more..words are truly life and death and a kind word does untold wonders! Such a great story, Erin! I'm going to take the challenge and pass on some kindness in my day! :)

  17. Words mean so much and I wish people would recognize this. Everyone has a voice and if we all used our words to spread positivity and kindness, the world would be a much happier place. It's amazing how a few kind words could change yours and other persons day. Goes to show us all how powerful words can be.

    btw, I agree with the coffee shop girl :)

  18. What a wonderful post! Thanks for being real :) Its not always easy to wake up and be 'perfectly' ready! Great post!!!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this. It reminded me of many times in my life.

    It's really thought provoking to think of how much the words of complete strangers can mean to us.

    When I was in high school, I worked in retail, and one day, my cat died, and I had to go to work that evening. I was devastated. Apparently, the look on my face told my story, and I will always remember one woman who came in and looked at me with such compassion on her face. I don't remember exactly what she said, but I do remember that it was very kind and gentle, and people in retail don't often hear such words. And I really do remember that lady every time I see a cashier, and I try to be kind. I don't always succeed, but I try to. This one woman has influenced probably thousands of interactions in my life.

    You really have me thinking with this one. Thank-you for that :-)

    And if that's what you look like on a bad day, you should see mine!

  20. Beautifully said! It's something that I've learned from some of my closest friends that have helped me with since I've known them that I want to do to my friends and others (encouraging).

  21. you have no idea how much I appreciate this post. Recently my husband and I made some changes in our life and a lot of people didn't like it or understand it and rather than sit down and talk with us about the 'why' they chose to automatically assume that they knew our hearts and motivation for the change we made and said very hurtful things in a very public way.

    We all need to be careful with our words.... and purpose to say things that will help not hurt.

  22. can I say... love love love your blog! new follower and big fan. mer @ &

  23. it is powerful how a few words can make someones day. love your outfit - you look beautiful!

  24. I totally agree with the Starbucks woman. You are beautiful, Erin...inside and out. I hope you have a fantastic week! :)


  25. So beautiful Ms. Erin! It's so true. I thank God for the power my words can have because they can make someones day. Yet at the same time it can really hurt someone. I've been on both sides of the spectrum and I know how it feels! But this was a beaaaauuttiifuullll reminder! xoxo

  26. these words have power, Erin. oh, you are so wise, & i am so thankful for the opportunity to learn from you! I love James 3:10 - "Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." I use it as a reminder to choose my words carefully and deliberately, because they can, and often do, make all the difference.

  27. Words, words, words. They do have such power and you have used them wisely in this blog post :) I like having the challenge to watch my words and use them for the powers of good (and God!) this week. I am not very good at choosing my words deliberately. I hate the feeling that I might have hurt someone with a careless word, as I myself have been hurt on occasion. Ouch, that thought stings.

    Thanks for the pep talk- as always!!

  28. This is something I've been pondering as well recently. Words are indeed powerful, it's amazing what happens when you take the extra few seconds to send something positive to someone else! New follower here, I'm loving your blog!

  29. your really an amazing person, this was a beautiful post! When my friend lost someone very close to her, I tried my best to be there for her. I feel like something as simple as "I'm here if you want someone to talk to" can really make a friendship stronger :)

  30. i was trying to hold back the tears while reading this. so powerful. it's true, words are never forgotten... and have so much death or life in then... they steer our ship, and can steer someone elses.
    thanks so much for the reminder erin..

  31. Beautiful post! Your blog is wonderful.

  32. Wonderful post! Thank you. It is so easy (at Lear for me) to forget the power of words thanks for the reminder! =)
    Alesha <3

  33. so beautiful honey! and oh how true you are! Words are so powerful, whether they are meant as an encouragement or a tear down, they truly affect the person they are being spoken to! I think that cashier hit the nail right on the head, you are adorable :)

  34. Maxis are so in.
    And I love this post. So encouraging...


sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.


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