Caravan Sonnet: From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week Four)

2/22/17

From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week Four)

Watching this precious scene between Elizabeth and Abigail as she handed out some of her first baked goods to the people of Hope Valley, I was immediately challenged by the truth of these words. Words have incredible power- to either or destroy or give life. The way that we speak to each other, the words that we choose to use, the type of words that we use to communicate with each person we encounter has such importance to each and every relationship that we have.

These past few months I have been really considering this concept in deeper and more significant ways. There have been times that I have had harsh words spoken to my tender heart and they have deeply crushed me. There have been times in these last couple of months specifically I have watched (truly in horror) at the way that we as a world have handled disagreements and used words to speak death to each other. Like many of you sweet friends, I have wept at the insensitivity of reckless words spoken to me and to others. 

But then... these past months I have also stopped and examined my own words that I use in different situations. While my heart would never try to be intentionally mean or hurtful, I am humbled to realize the way that I speak can truly have an impact on another human being. Recently, I have been so challenged to examine the words that I use every time I speak. Just like Elizabeth encouraged Abigail to reach for her dreams with her words, I want to give true encouragement in each word that I speak. Scripture states, "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24) These are the types of words that I always want flowing from my mouth as they come out of my heart. 

One of the ways that I have seen this beautifully modeled in my own life is through my precious grandmother I affectionately call "Ba". I mentioned in my devotional post last week that we live with my grandmother and to be frank she has gently influenced who I am becoming in significant ways through the way that she talks. 

Growing up I had always admired Ba, but now I truly am inspired by her. Her love for her family, her devotion to the Lord, her courageous heart that went back to school in her fifties, learned to ski in her sixties, took up dancing in her seventies, and her love for living life to the fullest are just some of the qualities I have always admired about her. A couple of years ago she suffered a bad accident and lost sight in her left eye. For many people in their eighties this would have been something that you could not recover from, but not Ba. Instead, everyone witnessed her grace and eloquence that she has always portrayed in every situation. She loves fiercely and I consider her to be one of my best friends. She is truly a remarkable woman with a love for life. 
And as I have lived life with her closely these last two years, I have come to admire something even greater about this precious woman, and that is the way that she speaks. She constantly speaks with life-affirming and redeeming words- to others and about every situation. She rejoices deeply with those who are rejoicing and weeps deeply with those going through difficult and hard seasons of life, spreading and speaking life-giving words into each and every situation. There have been many times where I have sat down and wept over different issues that have seemed impossible to me, and she gently and lovingly speaks life into the dark crevices that I may be tempted to speak death. 

When I have been discouraged or felt like giving up, Ba has continuously spoken gentle encouragement into my heart. I look back at so many situations in life where people would consider me "successful" and I see the gentle and wise encouragement that my grandmother gave to help me obtain that success. I think back and realize that without encouragement there are so many things that I never would have done in my life. Encouraging words change everything

The Message says Proverbs 16:24 like this: "Gracious speech is like clover honey- good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body." This reminds me so much of Ba. Her speech is not only good for the soul, but brings energy to every body she encounters. As I watch and listen, I have realized that I want my words to hold the same life-affirming and redeeming power. 

I may not know ever battle or trial that someone is going through that I encounter, or the depth of pain someone is going through, but my words may have the power to offer encouragement and change a person's story. Ian Maclaren, a Scottish author and minister, is widely credited to have said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle"The way that we talk to each other can breathe a different story of love, life and hope into the hard battles that other people are facing. When we speak with love and hope, we often can see the heart of a person better. We can embrace the people before us knowing that they are trying their best and rest in the positive truth that our words can impact everyone we encounter. 

I truly believe that we each can change things with our words, just like Elizabeth did in Abigail's life. I mean, y'all, can you imagine a Hope Valley without Abigail's Cafe?? I seriously can't! 

And then I stop. I stop short because I wonder and am challenged to consider, what "Abigails Cafe's" are in the dreams of those who are around me? Who needs my encouragement to chase their dreams? Who could be changed by my words? How could my community be changed by simply encouraging the dreams of those around me? 

This challenges me so deeply. I wish that I could sit down with each of you reading this and hear your stories. If no one else tells you today, know that I believe in your dreams and am encouraging you to chase them. You can do it!! 

So today sweet friends, let us see the people all around us who are hurting and are in pain. Our world is truly broken right now, but we can change that. Today, sweet friends, lets spread a little of Hope Valley into those before us. Let us spread the power of life-affirming and redeeming words to each person that we encounter. Let us spread words of encouragement and words of life into our world, knowing that our encouragement can change the lives of everyone we encounter. 

"Words kill, words give life, they're either poison or fruit- you choose."
-Proverbs 18:21, the Message-
Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

2 comments:

  1. I love this! Such a great reminder to choose my words wisely and try to be encouraging and positive always. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Thank you so much Lori for stopping by and taking the time to read and to comment! I was truly touched by your words!! I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and thank you again for your kind words!

      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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