Hello My Somedays!
This week I want to tell you how grateful I am for people who know how to use their words well. It might surprise you because I’m a writer, but I don’t always use my words as well as I should. But Katie, you say, you’re a good writer! What do you mean you don’t always use your words well?
Here’s what I mean. In the beginnings of my search for gratitude this month (because, let’s face it, you cannot cultivate a grateful heart in yourself in one month), I have discovered something I already knew but don’t always like to admit to myself: I am a whiner. A complainer. And sometimes, just view life through this increasingly negative lens. For instance, it took a force of will and constant niggling reminders from God to be positive about the weather this week. Here in Northern Pennsylvania we experienced the coldest Thanksgiving we’ve had in a very long time, so when my friends texted me “Happy Thanksgiving” wishes, I forced myself to add to my reply: “It’s gorgeously sunny here!” But I could not have added this gratefulness to my replies had God not given me a lesson on using my words well this week.
Our attitudes influence so much of what we say, and what we say–our words–influence the attitudes of those around us. A grateful attitude cannot come from a negative heart, and negative words will never produce a grateful attitude in others.
This week God put a different co-worker with me at the credit union branch where I work, a lady I had never worked with before, but who I knew from others was a fellow believer. I always enjoy working with new people because I enjoy learning about them, but unfortunately this month and this week especially I have been out-of-my-mind busy at my job. One of my favorite negative thoughts to think about work when it’s out-of-my-mind busy is: “I am SO over this day.” Followed by: “I’m ready to go home. Is it time to go home yet?”
This week was a short week. I only had to survive (notice how poorly I am using my words) until Wednesday. Wednesday was the craziest day of all. I found myself constantly apologizing to this new co-worker: “I’m so sorry you had to come down here when it’s like this. I feel like I haven’t even had half a minute to enjoy you.” To which she replied: “Oh, It’s no problem.” And it wasn’t a problem for her because her heart was in the right place.
When people came to my window and said: “Fine thanks, how are you?” to my greeting, I could just manage a, “Good. Thanks.” But this new co-worker of mine demonstrated to me and to all of the people who came in a truly Christ-like heart. “Well, we’re just having a WONDERFUL Wednesday,” she said to everyone who asked. Toward the end of the day when things were getting really hectic for me, she was still saying it. It’s a WONDERFUL Wednesday. I stood at the copier behind her for a moment and thought, “Oh my word, Lord. I am so thankful for this lady. Almost anyone else, me included, would be crying about how sideways this day has been from minute one, but she’s telling everyone this day is wonderful, and SHE MEANS IT!”
I don’t know if I would have gotten through that Wednesday without this woman who knew how to use her words well. Obviously, she’s further along on the gratitude maturity journey than I am, but it made me think. I KNOW the power of words. They can heal. They can hurt. They can build up. They can tear down. They can influence others for good or for evil.
Gratitude begins when we change how we look at things. Don’t look at what’s lacking; see what’s there. Gratitude can change the people around us when we learn to use our words well. Instead of saying, “Oh, it’s so cold!” We say, “Look at that sunshine.” We’ve completely redirected the mind of whoever we’re talking to, especially if they’re like me and wishing for an opportunity to look on the bright side. Instead of saying, “When is this crazy day ever gonna end?”, we call it wonderful, and go home, send others home, knowing that it was.
I am so grateful for people who know how to use their words well.