The Power of Words

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This is a throwback to a hike that taught me a meaningful lesson I’ve carried with me ever since. ⠀

Our short trip started off rough. Earlier that day, my 3-year old, Ellis, was getting frustrated with putting on his shoes. I was getting frustrated too. As he wailed in anger, I finally snatched them out of his hand and said, “I’ll do it because you obviously can’t handle it.” Dad of the year, am I right? ????⠀

Fast forward to the trail: Ellis trips on a root and falls for the 100th time. He’s crying and his knee is red. He’s DONE. As I encourage him and attempt to get him to keep going, he looks up at me, tears filling those brown eyes. He cries. “I can’t HANDLE IT!” in defeat and despair. ⠀

Guilt and shame crush me to the core. In an instant, I am reminded of my words to him. I hug him and tell him, “You’re the strongest boy I know. You CAN handle it. “You can handle anything!”⠀

As we move forward, Bobbie and I continue to encourage him. “You’re doing great! You’re so strong!” Interestingly enough, he doesn’t trip anymore. In fact, he takes the lead, wanting to be first. He repeatedly tells us, “It’s slippery.” “Be careful!” “You can do it!” ⠀

That 3-year old led us up that mountain that day. The pride he felt at the top, the self-talk he practiced up that trail, his internal voice were priceless developments. I am so thankful he is bigger, stronger, and more resilient than my comments made in a bad moment.⠀

What are you speaking into those that you love? As I learned, it’s never to late to speak love, grace, and strength. Negatives can be turned into positives in a matter of moments, and as a brave little boy showed me, they can become strengths. Be intentional in what you speak into people because, whether intentional or not, they might just become that exact thing!⠀

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