Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. (Proverbs 31:26 NLT)
Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (Proverbs 16:24 NLT)
Kindness is something you hear about all around…social media, personal stories, even in tragic events. Most of us assume we’re kind. Question is…are we?
I had light bulb moment recently that made me ponder that question. It was a great moment of clarity, which was unusual since most of the time clarity comes from the rear-view mirror, not through the windshield.
I’ve hosted a Christmas Ladies brunch for over 10 years, and it’s always a fun and festive occasion. I have so many amazing ladies from all facets of my life, and it always strikes me how little time we get to see each other throughout the year. Some ladies I only see on Social Media. Although we laugh that another year has gone by and we haven’t seen each other in person except at this event, I sometimes find it a little frustrating.
The attendance has grown over the years, and many of the ladies don’t know each other. I remembered a time, many years ago when my handsome husband and I were married, how my dad stood up at our reception and introduced special guests who had traveled great distances to be there. He thought that since there were so many fascinating people from various chapters of our family’s history, it would be entertaining to hear personal stories of the people who gathered. And it was! I realized then…everyone has a story.
So, at my party, I follow my dad’s example and started introducing the ladies as part of the gift exchange. Each lady would take their turn choosing or stealing a gift, and I would say a few words and share stories about them as they did. I shared what popped in my head at that moment. Many of the women over the years have told me how much they appreciated what I said, and what I remembered about them. I love sharing those things because to me, everyone is special.
This year, with over 50 ladies still in attendance at the end of the gift exchange, a woman suddenly stood next to me. She pulled her shoulders back, stood up straight and said, “it’s my turn next!” and looked at me like she had great expectation about what I was going to say about her. I was taken aback. It struck me in that moment that we don’t say enough nice things about the people around us, nor do we hear many kind words spoken about us. I know as wives, business owners, moms, daughters, sisters, employees, friends, employers, grandmothers and granddaughters that we often have kind thoughts about the people around us. We marvel at a friend’s accomplishments, appreciate how well she overcame what seemed like overwhelming odds, admire how she carries herself, or even recognize something small that was overlooked, but still extraordinary. Oftentimes, we don’t take the extra step and say,
“Hang in there, you got this”
“You did it”
“You look great”
“That’s a great idea”
I greatly admire this quality in our Pastor Jude. He’s a great example of taking that extra step. He’s always encouraging to someone when presented with the opportunity and has a kind word ready on the tip of his tongue, like it was meant just for you. It seems to come to him naturally and I’m so blessed by it.
As summer kicks off, I want to challenge you to take the extra step like Pastor Jude, like my dad, and like we do at special events. When the opportunity arises, and the thought strikes you, give the gift of kind words to those around you. Your words may just make someone put their shoulders back and stand up a little straighter.
Lisa Schoeffler is a 3rd generation Real Estate Professional and owns a renowned, successful local business with her husband, Gary. They have one son, Rex (15) who is a freshman in high school. Prior, she spent more than a decade in high-tech marketing in the Bay Area, after earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management and a minor in Economics. She spent most of her childhood in Southern California and Washington DC, before relocating to the Bay Area and eventually settling in Ventura County. She is known for her contagious entrepreneurial spirit as well as her talent for entertaining, as her love language is food! To her friends, she is known as the one they can count on, as she always strives to be there for anyone in need.