I was at a store the other day, a little frazzled trying to get things situated this week. I was carrying some heavy worry for a couple of my kids. I was worried about the minutia of the holidays pressing in. I was tired.

And around a corner came a little angel.

In the form of a kind woman.

She gave me such a sweet compliment right out of the blue, that felt so genuine and just at the time when I was sure needing it.

My scowl from the burden of the tasks at hand changed instantly. My heart was lighter. And I told that kind woman that she made my day.

Because really, she did.

It is amazing what a few kind words can do. Even from a complete stranger.

At that same store, as I was waiting to check out, there was an employee trying to direct the line. She asked the man in front of me if he was paying with cash or card, to which he said something unkind under his breath and huffed away, ignoring her efforts to help navigate.

Oh he was probably having his own bad day. Who knows? Maybe his sweater was itchy. Maybe his dog was sick. Maybe he was lonely. But the countenance of that poor woman trying to help fell. She looked at me, slowly shaking her head and explained she was simply trying to be kind.

I was so glad I was able to share some kind words with her and let her know she was doing a great job, already buoyed up from the kind woman over in aisle C.

As I walked out into the Fall desert sunshine I thought about how powerful words are.

They can lift or they can tear down.

And we get to chose how we use them.

On this, the eve of Thanksgiving, I want to challenge us all to be watchful of our words today.

Find a way to use them to build. To lift. To love. Right now. It can take two seconds to build with words.

Send a kind text of gratitude to someone you love. Use someone’s name. Look for the good in those around you and give a sincere compliment. Tell the cashier who is working holiday hours to serve you that she’s doing an awesome job. Call someone you have lost touch with.

Share the best kind of words.

Because they matter.

And I’ll do the same, dear blog readers. Thank you for being here. Thank you for making me think. Thank you for building me and loving my family for all these years. I am very thankful for you.

Sending over lots of love this Thanksgiving!

Love, Shawni

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  1. I like your blog in general, but also because it feels like you’re a friend that writes e-mails. I believe you have Google ads (which I don’t see on my phone?), but other than that you’re hardly ever shilling any products (and if so not with some fake story about them). I don’t know why you actually have a public blog, but it seems that it’s not about money and I enjoy it more because of that!

  2. Loved this, Shawni! One of the pieces of advice of I often like giving to newlyweds is to leave no kind word unsaid to each other.
    Thank you for sharing this important message! <3 Miss you, God bless! 🙂

  3. This is so true. I had similar experiences recently. I was in the line putting my stuff on the belt and the manager in Safeway was ready to bag and was speaking to the other two checkers in the area. She said someone had called in sick and then she said “But that’s okay. We’re going to make do. I’m going to be a peacemaker, we’ll get through it.” (this was the beginning of the week of Thanksgiving and they were slammed.) I got unexpected tears in my eyes as I thought about how often I’ve gone into Safeway and heard this cheerful managers uplifting words that she shares regularly with people and realized I’d never told her Thank you!! When I got up closer I shared my gratitude with her for what she said about being a peacemaker and how I’d realized I never had thanked her but how much I appreciated her cheerful, edifying, supportive nature every time I’d been in the store. She said she needed that that day and appreciated it. It made me so thankful to ponder on people who make a difference. Then just after Thanksgiving I had an experience where a man yelled at me because I started backing up and didn’t see him in my blind spot though I was looking behind me. I went very slowly and was grateful he alerted me that he was there and was horrified and in shock. I rolled down my window and apologized and thanked him and he said “No you’re not! You’re not sorry” and proceeded to mutter something about being a 2 year old. I was a little rattled up by the whole experience but felt robbed by that man taking ownership and labeling whether I was sorry or not by his own perspective, rather than understanding what happened from my perspective. I understood why he was worked up though too, and as my husband pointed out, “aren’t you grateful he alerted you right away that he was there, rather than not saying anything!?” YES! Grateful for people who communicate mercy and goodness and for the gift Jesus Christ is, who is the perfect example of love and support. Thanks for sharing your post! I’ve been pondering on those same things this season!! Thank you for sharing your light and kind words with others too!!

    1. Oh I loved this so much. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Everyone has a story and everyone needs some gentleness and grace in their lives. I’m so glad you shared these examples which will help me navigate more situations like these as well. Happy December!

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