Words. I take them to heart, typically. I mean, words of affirmation has always been one of my top love languages, and I’m a writer. I like to encourage other people, because I like to receive love that way, as well. I mean, when people don’t say anything encouraging, I guess I try to let it roll off my back. But….that is MUCH easier said than done (it’s still a work in progress). In my small group on Sunday, we read all of James 3. It’s a short chapter, but we went two verses at a time, with much discussion and talk interspersed throughout our time together.

I don’t usually read scripture that’s in a blog post if it’s too long, so I won’t copy/paste James 3:1-12 here. Some of the biggest things I got out of it: The words we say are either a blessing OR a cursing; it’s black and white (there is no gray area). A fig tree can’t produce olives, a spring can’t produce both fresh water and salt water. Us, as humans, are the only creatures that can produce both life AND death at the same time (with our words!). James even goes as so far as to compare our tongues to fires, like the fires of hell! Matthew 15:18 says, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart.” Uff da. I’ll admit, marriage has made me more careful with my words, especially at home. As a med school wife, I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do to “support” Dr. Wile E. Coyote in med school, like everyone said was my job. I even freaked out a little bit because I just needed to know what that looked like. But then I realized, that I could just be me! Every time I encourage Doug, I see how my words affect him. If I’m crabby and in a pity-party, it’s a good thing he’s there to pull me up. And vice versa. If he’s in a pity-party about this or that, I take it upon myself to pull him out and give him a smile and a laugh.   Words. Get ready for some examples (because I like thinking that way).

Image from http://evanmoneyleadership.com/change-your-words-and-change-your-life/  (This is a good blog read, too!)
Image from http://evanmoneyleadership.com/change-your-words-and-change-your-life/
(This is a good blog read, too!)

While touring the Vatican with my family this last December, I rented a wheelchair (which was smart, because I wouldn’t have been able to do all that walking, especially because we’d seen so many Italian things already!). Every time we would get to some stairs, we’d turn around and backtrack until we found a lift that could get me in the wheelchair on another floor. To get to the Sistine Chapel, there was a very slow lift that could bring a chair down. The security on each end of the hall would halt all traffic for the wheelchair to get through, and then they would go again until another wheelchair came by. We had to wait a while for the lift, and I was just looking around. My sister, Laura, spoke up. “Anna, don’t you DARE feel bad about being in a wheelchair. None of us mind, really! Anna? Don’t you dare.” How did she know? Of course I was feeling bad! About how much strength it took Dr. Wile E. Coyote to push me up a ramp, or the fact that we had to backtrack so many times!? But Laura was right. Why should I feel guilty about having to use a wheelchair, when it was such a benefit? Yes, I hated it. I’ve always hated wheelchairs, because my dang pride is so big, and being in a wheelchair admits defeat. But really, it was the best thing. No, I wouldn’t have been able to walk the whole thing. Especially after all the walking we had already been doing that week, and all the walking that we still had to do in the upcoming week of our European vaca! Laura’s words meant a lot and did a lot for me.

The encouragement that Dr. Coyote gives me when it comes to my Mary Kay business is incredible. He believes in me when I have trouble believing in myself. I love the encouragement I get from my friends who are also in Mary Kay, as well! God is using Mary Kay to teach me MANY things. This includes the power of words. If I tell myself that I’m going to advance into this next leadership position, I will. But if I tell myself that I can’t do it, I paralyze myself and I won’t be able to do it. (Good thing I’m going to, anyway!)

I meet my friend Erika for coffee every Tuesday morning. It is SO uplifting. We tell each other about how our weeks are going, and then we’re just there for each other. I love our Christian fellowship, where we can just speak life to each other! I am always open to having coffee dates with more friends, they just have to respond to my text messages….. And when I tell somebody “We should get coffee sometime!” I am not one of those people who says it and then thinks differently. When somebody says that to me, I immediately want to put it down in my datebook. Because I LOVE talking with someone one-on-one. It’s where I THRIVE!

Words. Chatter. Emails. Letters, even. Love them! I am intentional about my relationships with people. God has been telling me this week that I need to focus more on relationships with people where I live, in Eastern KY. See? Even he says encouraging things to me.

How have words positively affected you? I’d love to hear some of YOUR examples!

Check ‘Yo Self. And SMILE.

It always interests me and yet annoys me at things we say about people driving in other cars down the interstate, people sitting at different tables at restaurants, people behind the register, and in general, just people that we don’t know. Those we have never seen before and never will again. We automatically make judgments about those whose stories we know nothing about. I fear the judgments being made about me at times. I have a limp, and I can barely move my left leg properly. When I meet someone on the sidewalk: Will they stare? Avoid me? Awkwardly look at me, see my limp, and look away? Ask or assume what’s wrong? When I pull over to the side of the road and stop on the interstate so that I can listen to a job being called and type in numbers on the keypad (substituting): Will those who I just passed wonder what happened, if only for a fleeting moment? Will they think to themselves, “Why did she pass me so quickly if I’m just coming back now to pass her? What was the point?” And I really appreciate those who I pass (while my car is on cruise a few mph faster than them), who will speed up to pass me, and everyone in the vehicle glares at me as they do so. I have heard many rants and observed for myself how putting a cash register between two people changes the attitude of a customer to one of entitlement; and giving the cashier attitude is what they deserve, because they weren’t allowed to budge in line or their card was rejected.

I confess that I, too, am an avid maker of quick judgments. I assume a motive of why a person is driving way faster than anyone else, and I write it off as them being idiot drivers. What if they are rushing home because of an emergency? What if someone in the car is in need of something immediately? There are so many judgments that I used to be so quick to make, but am working on. I would judge those unmarried and living together, those who have children out of wedlock, those who are homosexual, those who have three or four spouses and/or many kids, each with different fathers or something, among other things. I am very traditional, and have all those traditional values. But I DON’T KNOW THEIR STORIES. I don’t know why somebody is like the way they are, and it is wrong for me to assume and degrade a person for an action I only see from the outside. I don’t know WHO they are, so what right have I even to judge? When someone asks for my opinion, I may give it. And I have opinions about those I’m close to because I know them well and I care about them. I try to understand, and I fully support my friends and family, with whatever choices they make.

Words mean a lot to me, so when someone says something unkind or not thought-through, I am hurt by the comment. But when a stranger compliments my lipstick or says a kind word, my day is made.

I challenge you to be more conscious of how your attitude and words may affect other people’s lives, if even in a moment. To make this world a better place, it starts with US and the million choices we make every day. Pass on the positivity! Have you sent a smile to someone today?



1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”


Beauty: The 7 Wonders of the World

Beauty is defined by dictionary.com as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).”  To end the class I took for j-term, we looked at apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narratives.  We read The Road by Cormac McCarthy and watched Children of Men, among others.  The commonality in all the apocalyptic narratives is the lack of beauty; lack of hope.  The road is bleak and full of violence.  The narratives end in the death of an important character.  What do you find beautiful?  I have listed some things (because I love lists a lot) that I find beautiful.  These are what I consider the “Seven Wonders of the World.”  I also commented on them.

7. The human body:  It seems that people are always trying to improve their bodies.  And yes, they should be taken care of.  The body is a temple of God.  But can you pause a moment and wonder about its complexity and utter beauty?  God paid special attention to it when he created it, and breathed life into humankind, unlike every other creation.  Whoa!  And it’s just beautiful.  Some of my friends to use the excuse when they’re looking at somebody attractive that they’re just “admiring God’s creation.”

6. A smile and laughter: It is amazing how a simple smile can brighten a day.  Laughter, too, is something beautiful.  A real laugh, not just a polite laugh.  Both smiles and laughter are encouraged daily.  Find something to smile about every day!  They’re beautiful!

5. Art: Beauty can be found in the paintings and sculptures of artists.  A theater house, a cathedral, the pyramids?  Beautiful.  Beauty can be found in the art of creation.  A Midwest sunset or sunrise?  The Colorado Mountains?  Simply beautiful!

4. Words: I am quite taken with words.  They are simply a different medium that artists may use.  A poem, a novel, a journal– beautiful.  The most beautiful words ever are found in the Bible.  And if you don’t read directly from the Bible everyday but only read people’s comments about what is written in the Bible?  You should check it out!  Because, yes, beauty is found there.  (It’s the word of God!)

3. Music: Music can be found in many things, not just a college band playing great music (I say that as we leave for tour today).  The music of nature, the music of the soul, the music of praise to the creator of all.  I can’t even express in words the beauty of music.  It is found everywhere!  Sound in general, really.  God SPOKE the universe and everything else into creation.  Sound.  Music.  When a parent reads to their child before bedtime, music.  Spoken word; daily conversation.  Music.  Beautiful.

2. Love: Without love, I don’t think there would be beauty.  Love is beautiful and it ultimately points to the most beautiful being in the universe: God.  His love is infinite and beyond understanding.  And he gave us the ability to love, as well.  Love in relationships between a parent and child, relatives, friends, significant others, and so many more.  God’s greatest command is to love.  He has given us this beautiful gift.  What more can we do, but pass it on?

Beautiful Cross

1. Christ: Christ is the ultimate beauty and love and sacrifice.  All the other beautiful things are found in him.  Christ paid the penalty for our sins even as we were his enemies.  He loved us THAT MUCH. It blows my mind every day.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19)

Where do you find beauty?

Anna 🙂


A Fascination: Words

Thank you, Lord, for words.  They fascinate me though they’ve been there forever.  Seriously, you used words when you spoke all of creation into existence.  (And SPEAKING creation into existence?  Sound fascinates me, too.  But more on that later.)  And analogies are cool, like an ice cube.  I like using them and it makes me smile when others use really good ones.  I just re-read this blog of mine, and it made me smile inside, like when one is so excited about something, but she’s in a public place and would look like a fool if she shouted out.  (That actually happens to me a lot.)  Words are great.  Like when a word sounds like another and causes momentary confusion.  “What? Your pants are on fire, so you have to go to the mall?”  “No. My uncle’s gonna retire, so we’re going up north in the fall.”

It really does bother me when someone texts me and uses grammar and words all wrong.  For example: “r u comin to” or “why u going”.  There are a few things wrong: Punctuation.  It is a part of this language, is it not?  Grammar.  It, too, is a part of this wonderful language.  Unfortunately, many are forgetting a concept they never quite cared about in school.  Now, I don’t mind abbreves, I think they’re fun (see here), but using letters instead of short words is a bit…I don’t know…annoying?  I confess I am one to uses full words in all my texting.  Instead of sending a question mark when I am asking, “Huh?” I will send a text that says, “Question mark?”

I love codes.  It’s like throwing a loop in the system we call English and adding an extra step.  I not only enjoy converting letters to numbers, but I like pictures and symbols representing letters.  They’re fun.  My sisters came up with a code once using a tic-tac-toe board and a giant “X”.  I use that code quite frequently.  I don’t think they use it anymore, but I do!  I love writing coded messages, though I don’t do that much anymore.   This is my favorite code…can YOU translate?

Along with my fascination of words, I like to write.  And, you know how I briefly mentioned my fascination with sound?  I am, after all, an unashamed music nerd and a music major.  Well, I’m better at dialogue than descriptions.  I just realized that the other day.  But, I am developing my writing on the side of all other business of my life.  I actually started a story this month that wasn’t of my typical sappy writing style.  I have discovered that when you’re writing for Jesus, you can write lots of different ways!  (Action is fun to write, and to read.)

Alright, so this was a rambly-type blog, touching on a few different things, but focusing on one: word fascination.  No, I don’t use five-dollar words in everyday conversation, and I still have trouble spelling, but words are pretty cool.

I think this is the start of what will probably be a series of blogs, just because I’m fascinated by a lot of things.  I woke up this morning, and I’m like, “Thanks, God, for words.  They’re cool.”

=)^2 smiling squared, Anna

What kinds of things fascinate you?