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Words Matter

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We started homeschooling this Fall. It may actually be the death of me. One day I decided to have her write out the alphabet with upper and lowercase letters. Three hours, lots of nagging and tears, later, she was finished. THREE HOURS!

It has been fun though watching her make connections. That you can put all these letters in different orders to actually create words. Sometimes she randomly calls out letters and asks what word that makes. But she’s learning. That’s what is important.

Words matter.


We read and hear words through our lens of the world. You and I can hear or read the same thing and yet it can mean something completely different to you than it does to me.

A simple sentence or even a word can bring people to tears.

But they can also build up walls.

Words are powerful.

Simple words can evoke emotions and memories that have been hidden away for years. Memories that you completely forgot about until that moment when you hear the word.

Saturday night I had the privilege to listen to Jeremy Courtney from Preemptive Love speak to a roomful of 400+ people gathered together at Allume. While I loved all the speakers this year, his words connected with my heart.


As he recounted his time overseas, his words made my heart smile. Sitting with old men in a coffee shop. Drinking chai. Visiting a mosque. Chatting with Imams in his city. The community and the open arms of his neighbors.

His words made me remember.

I hadn’t forgotten. Not really. Maybe gave up? Shifted my focus? If you spoke with me ten years ago, I would have told you that I would be there too. Maybe not that country, but definitely in that region. With those people. They’ve always had my heart.

Even in the States when I see them, I walk closer. Position myself so we will pass paths. I make eye contact, and smile. I so want to invite them over for tea, but I’m always afraid my words will be awkward so I say nothing.

But maybe my words could make the difference.


Moses felt the same way. He told God in Exodus 4:10, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

Sound familiar? Me too!

Do you know what God said?

Exodus 4:11-12 tells us, “Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

God will give us His words.

Those words of His will touch the soul in a way that only His words can. That’s what happened on Saturday night. God spoke through Jeremy Courtney and touched souls.

Including mine.

Those words led to these words:

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.28.15 PM

And I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

All those words lead me back to these words:

be still letterpress

I need to be still and know that He is God. In a world that is so very busy, sometimes we just need to stop the crazy and be still. Listening to His voice as we read His Word. I need to trust Him and He will direct our path.


What’s your word {or phrase}?

{in}courage is giving a reader a chance to create your own word. YAY!! How amazing is that?! The winner will receive a $50 credit to create their own word. The possibilities are endless. Truly.

*only US residents are eligible to win.

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Linda Manns Linneman

Wednesday 26th of November 2014

Words can either hurt or build up. For some reason many people do think before they speak. This can be very harmful to a person. I really enjoy listening closely to people and ask God to help me speak just the right words in response. Thank you so much for sharig this

Linda Manns Linneman

Wednesday 19th of November 2014

I always try to pray a quick prayer when I know I am going to be talking to someone. I pray every day that god works in me and thru me each and every day. I always want Him to be speaking through me. I really appreciate this article. Thank you so much for sharing

Sherry Keef

Monday 10th of November 2014

I have said this many times in my life, You and I can hear or read the same thing and yet it can mean something completely different to you than it does to me.


Tuesday 4th of November 2014

Whitney, This is a beautiful post and it was a much needed reminder. In the unknown, the business, and the struggles of life in general I need to be still and wait on God. Thank you for that. ~Lovelle from DaySpring


Wednesday 29th of October 2014

Finding you from the (in)Courage link up -- how have I never seen your blog before?! Love your words and your heart. Keep writing + waiting to see what God has in store. xo