Wonderful Words of Life Experiment

"I like to think of words as little pieces of mental Velcro we all go around sticking to the world."
Michael Yankoski, The Sacred Year 

A couple of years ago we travelled home from vacation along I99. Janis (my sister) lent me her library book.  It was called, Change Your Words, Change Your Life, by Joyce Meyer.

With a title like that I was hooked.  Who doesn’t want to change their life?

I was inspired as Joyce shared stories of the impact that our words can have upon others, even complete strangers.

Everyone in the vehicle was getting hungry so we decided to take a pit stop for dinner at the Cracker Barrel.  Don't you just love their biscuits?  A basket full of warm biscuits and I'm a happy camper!  (once again, I digress!)

As we waited in line and throughout the meal I noticed that the hostess personally ensured that every customer was warmly welcomed and attended to throughout their visit. She truly did an ordinary job in an extraordinary way!

I felt “the nudge.”  You know the one … where you sense that God is wanting you to do something that sounds completely crazy and potentially embarrassing.  I could almost hear Him taunting me... “this is your opportunity Nicole…go and tell the hostess that she is doing a great job.”

My introverted side was quick to talk me out of it.  You have got to be kidding … that is ludicrous … I’m not doing that.

The other part of me loved the anticipation of the challenge to see how it would turn out if I did approach her.  After all, if I looked ridiculous what is the likelihood I would have to see her again?

I know … sounds very spiritual.  Don't judge!

As we were leaving the restaurant I quietly approached the hostess to thank her.  I explained that I had noticed how her customers light up with laughter due to the kindness and warmth of her attentive service.  I expressed that she is truly incredible at her job.

She looked stunned that I would take the time to say those things. Before I knew it, she had wrapped her arms around me.  She told me how much that meant to her and then she hugged me tight again.  

That night I felt like I had been the one to receive the greatest gift.

It was powerful to witness how a few simple encouraging words could have such a profound transformation on the countenance, energy, and joy of a hard working southern hostess.

Even as an introvert, I have to admit what a sheer delight it was to receive a hug with such gratitude from a complete stranger.  What a high!

When I left the restaurant I was beaming and she was beaming.

This story reminds me of the power of words.  That our words are conduits of God's light and life.

The exchange of light through a simple kind word or action is also what connects and unites us together as one in Christ.

Through the hug of a complete stranger that night, I felt like the world was a little smaller.

As I shared in my rule of life, I have been practising the discipline of daily examen this year.

I pray at the close of the day and ask God to examen my conscious and unconscious thoughts, words and actions. Most days I beg for Him to be gentle as I cannot bear the truth of what is exposed deep within me.

Since I had been reflecting upon the power of words, I decided to ask God to examen the recent words of my mouth.

I am ashamed at the thought of the missed opportunities to bring words of life to those in need.  I am grieved for the times I have left others wounded or crushed by my careless words.

Word of caution... (pardon the pun!) when partaking in the discipline of examen...it isn't pretty! 

Having the motives of our hearts exposed is an enlightening, yet truly humbling process.

Through my personal time in daily examen this week God revealed that my words far too often come with condition instead of freely given like Christ.

God helped me to see that I am quick to be wounded or feel slighted if I am not thanked, acknowledged or admired for my words or acts of kindness.  My words came with a hidden condition!

If words stick like Velcro, as the quote above suggests, then I want to make sure the words I use are going to reflect and spread the light and love of Christ, unconditionally! 

Daily Examen:  

I urge you to find a quiet place this weekend.  Have a journal with you.  Spend time in prayer with each question.

Do not rush through this process.

Begin by giving God permission to examen the words of your mouth.

Trust that what God brings to light is for your benefit. 

Ask God to bring to mind the conscious and unconscious words that have grieved His holy spirit and that have wounded His loved ones (this may also include yourself).

Was there a situation this week that words were best left unsaid?

Have the words I used this week been edifying?  Have they built up or torn down?

Have my words been used to complain or contribute?

Have my words been used to gossip, blame, criticize, protect or defend myself?

Have my words reflected your light?  Have my words put out your light?

Feel free to use this refrain...

Father forgive me, thank you for setting me free.

Ask God to reveal the motive and intent behind the conversations you have had this past week?

Have I used words for my glory or for yours?

Have I used words to draw attention to myself?

Have my words been true or have I spoken in order to be liked, thanked or admired by others?

Have my words come with condition?

Write down and expose the secret motives of your heart to His light.

Father, forgive me.  Thank you for setting me free.

Give God thanks for bringing to light the things you need to change.

Ask God if there is someone specific who needs a word of encouragement today that you need to call or reach out to?

Write down anyone who comes to mind.

Ask Him for an opportunity to share words of life with those you meet along the way this week.

Ask God to put a watch over your lips.  That He would replace your thoughts and words with His thoughts and words.

Ask Him to give you help to speak only what is true and good.  That words of life would come forth from your lips.

Spend some time pondering and praying through this verse:

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."
~Psalm 19:14

Write down any thoughts or words that stand out to you as you meditate on this passage.

Now go and spread words of life and light to everyone you meet!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by to make this castle your home!


  1. Reading those questions I felt an inner "ouch," and then another, and another. And that was just considering today--which is only half over. I've copied and pasted them onto a word document to reflect upon. I obviously need them.

  2. My inner ouch was also very painful through this exercise, but I am trying to remind myself and trust that God desires to bring it to light in order to make us like Him. So I am trying to thank God even for the ouches!!!


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