This past week was the most chaotic, insane, exciting and rewarding weeks I’ve had in a long time. My sons’ school Christmas program was this past week and I was a part of the committee that helped organize and direct it. It was a total blast and something that invigorated me and tapped into my creative side, but was also completely and utterly exhausting. Haha.
Somehow, between all of the rehearsals and late night prep sessions, I found time to have an epiphany as well. Impressive, I know. 😉 I guess maybe I shouldn’t say epiphany as it was really just me being reminded that many of those cliche sayings we all regurgitate all of the time actually have some truth hidden in them.
Before I get to the actual eye-opening moment, let me give you just a little backstory. I have insecurity issues. Nothing major or life shattering, but enough that I often don’t feel confident or beautiful or like super-mom. Occasional acne, uneven skin tone, extra “mama” weight and crazy hair can often get the best of me and make me feel less than glamourous. And dealing with these insecurities on a semi regular basis has caused me to perceive myself a certain way.
For the night of the performance, I took a little extra time to beautify and was feeling pretty in a “not even close to a babe but this is at least better than the sweats and greasy hair I usually sport” kind of way. I arrived early and was floundering around (I imagined it was more like floating around but who am I kidding, I was floundering) trying to ensure everyone was getting into costumes, that all of my needed props were backstage and that I had all of the instructions I needed from everyone else.
As I tracked down our Music Director to receive any last minute instructions, she interrupted me and said , “I’m sorry, but you are just stunningly beautiful”. Y’all. I didn’t even know how to react. I’m fairly certain I stuttered a little, muttered a thanks (oh God at least I hope I said thank you) and moved on with our planning. A short while later, another mom I hadn’t seen in a while stopped me as I was flitting around and also told me she thought I looked beautiful that night.
Moms. I promise you, I did not look that amazing. Trust me. It’s not like I had miraculously lost 20 lbs, got liposuction, had my teeth whitened and had professional makeup done all in one night (gee wouldn’t that be nice). I did curl my hair, but beyond that, I’m telling you, I looked nice but not supermodel status. I figured either these women were trying to be really kind or I really need to reassess how terrible I normally look. Hahaha.
But whether I looked beautiful or not really isn’t the point. The point is how them saying I did made me feel. How did it make me feel to have those women tell me I looked beautiful that night? Well, it made me stand a little taller. It gave me the confidence to smile and look others in the eye as I walked past. Hearing them compliment me, literally made me feel like I suddenly became more beautiful, even though nothing had changed in the past ten minutes. And what’s crazy is that this feeling has lingered.
It’s been days and I still smile thinking about it and I’ve felt much more confident from just those two instances where someone gave me a confidence boost. And this made me realize something. Words truly do hold the power of life or death. They influence the way we think and how others think. How often do we try to teach our kids to be kind with their words and tell them how their words can hurt others or lift them up? I mean, we obviously believe this is true, but we forget to apply it to our own lives. When we think of it in our adult world, it becomes just another cliche saying. Just another “speak life” meme (Thanks Toby Mac). A great idea to share, but are we actually acting on it?
Words truly do hold power. Just a few kind words from some fellow moms have made me feel amazing the past few days. So this in turn got me thinking about how I use my words. Am I using my words to lift others up? Am I using them to tear others down? Or am I being silent and keeping my words to myself?
Some of you may say, “Hey listen here Molly. I know what you’re getting at and I don’t really say bad things about anyone else”. Well that’s great ladies, but do you say kind things about or to them? We have the power to turn someone else’s day or week around with just a kind or encouraging word spoken. We shouldn’t keep that gift to ourselves, but we should be sharing it.
After experiencing the power and influence of those words spoken by a friend, I no longer want to keep that to myself, but I want to spread it. I want to support those around me and lift their spirits with a kind compliment. And I want to encourage you to do that same. Don’t keep that super-mom power to yourself. I think we could all use a little encouragement. So be purposeful. Seek out opportunities to raise someone else’s spirits and arm them with confidence.
“ The tongue has the power of life and death…” Proverbs 18:21 NIV
“ Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24