Marriage, Series, When There Are Words, Words

Words: Speaking Words of Affirmation

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I am beginning a five week series on the power of words. We have all been impacted by the words of another. Some words have imbued us with confidence, while others have deflated us. We are created to be communicators. So, when there are words, how do we use them well? 

Let’s explore this over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me and add your thoughts to the conversation!

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My husband knows me well. He knows my love language. He knows what fills me. He knows I love words.

I may have had a significant birthday over the weekend.

Yes, I turned fifty. I realized I can’t call myself a girl anymore. And yes, I have done that on occasion. But, I digress . . .

My husband. He talked to me in April and said, “I have been thinking for the last year about how to celebrate your fiftieth. I thought about a party. What do you think?”

 

I thought it sounded fun, but what if no one came? May is such a crazy-busy month with the end of school, sporting events and the following end-of-season parties.

And graduations. Lots of graduations.

I confess, I endured a fearful few days wondering if anyone would have time to come celebrate . . . me. And was it self-centered to want to have a party to celebrate fifty years walking this earth?

 

We planned the party together. The time, date, who to invite. The food. Hubs sent out the electronic invitations to close friends, and I tried not to think too much about it.

We celebrated on Saturday. And my husband surprised me. Since he was the one who sent out the invites, he (obviously) controlled the wording.

I watched as people surreptitiously handed him something. A folder from this person, a rolled up piece of something from another person.

We talked. We ate. We laughed.

When he felt the time was right, he presented me with a gift.

 

Inside the pages of the scrapbook were words. Encouragement from friends. Fun memories. Pictures of times shared together.

And lots and lots of love.

My husband told me later he put that together because he knew it spoke my love language: Words of affirmation. Can I tell you that I about cried? I felt so loved.

Words are such powerful things. Sounds put together to convey meaning. For those whose love language is words of affirmation words have incredible strength in cementing who we are and what we believe about ourselves and our relationships.

 

He and I have learned to speak each other’s love languages (his is acts of service). And the scrapbook he created out of love for me filled in empty spaces in my heart.

That he went to the trouble to ask people to take time to write words, to share memories, to add pictures (and that they would do this!)? This spoke deeply to my heart.

When there are words on our hearts, in our minds, on our lips, we have incredible power. We can build another up with what slips from our mouths, or we can tear each other down. We can speak words of life (have you heard Toby Mac’s song?), or words of death.

 

We—each of us—have the power to use our words for good. To speak words of kindness and truth and encouragement over those who inhabit our spheres.

May we use them to breathe life into those around us, rather than to steal it.

What about you? What is your primary love language? What has been the most (or one of the most) impacting things spoken to you?

Click to tweet: Words are such powerful things

Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday  and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkUp

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38 thoughts on “Words: Speaking Words of Affirmation”

  1. Great post, Jeanne, and a belated Happy Birthday!You can still call yourself a girl in my book; that is a matter of attitude and not a calendar.

    With my attitude, that of a delinquent seventeen-year-old, I figure that no matter how old I am I’ll die young.

    I may be one of the few people around without a real love language. I like doing things for others, and what is done for me I try to appreciate with a full heart.There’s no ‘special’ category. This may be a byproduct of having to be very self-contained at an early age. Happiness and self-worth had to come from within.

    The most impacting thing spoken to me was said by Barbara. She said “I do” on August 9, 2002.

    And she said it again, on Jene 24, 2004. There was a divorce between those dates.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/05/your-dying-spouse-313-now-is-all.html

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    1. Andrew, I like your philosophy of not letting a calendar dictate how old I feel. I was telling my mom recently. I feel 25, but my body’s definitely feeling closer to 50. 😉

      Those two words are so powerful, aren’t they? I’m sure you two have done a lot of living and committing to each other in those thirteen years since the second “I do.” I’m praying for both of you as you live out the for better and for worse aspect of marriage vows, my friend.

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  2. Happy Belated Birthday, Jeanne! I love the scrapbook your husband created for you. That is such a beautiful, thoughtful idea. I think words is one of my love languages too, as well as quality time. Words certainly have great power, for good or for bad, but a simple word of encouragement can make a massive difference.

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    1. Thank you, Lesley! My husband was so sweet. I will be holding onto it, oh, forever. 🙂 I’ve told my husband that my love language is all five. 😉 But, words of affirmation is my primary one. I love time with others too. You’re right, a simple encouraging word makes a world of difference in a person’s outlook.

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  3. What a truly thoughtful gift!
    Love languages have been revolutionary in our marriage as well. It really makes a huge difference to love the other person in a way they understand it!
    Happy birthday! 🙂 Stopping by from #TestimonyTuesday.

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    1. Rebekah, understanding each other’s love language has been foundational in our marriage too. My hubs and I read the book on a cross-country move during the second year of our marriage. It really helped me understand him, and myself, better. Thank you so much for visiting!

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  4. Happy Birthday, Jeanne! This was such a special gift to receive for sure! I was blessed by your words, the photos, and the love expressed in this post! May the love and joy continue throughout the year. Fifty looks to be beautiful!

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  5. Happy Birthday! May God’s blessings abound all year through! What a beautiful and thoughtful gift!

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  6. Oh I love this!! I did this for my daughter’s 18th birthday and created a “Blessing Book” for her of everyone’s word’s of affirmations, and it was such an amazing gift both for her and for me to see how beautiful and profound words can be.

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    1. What a beautiful gift for your daughter, Crystal! A Blessing Book. I’m going to have to consider this for our boys as they reach 18. It may not have the same effect, but maybe there’s something we can do/have others contribute to that will be meaningful to them. 🙂 I love that God allowed you to see the things He did as you compiled everything. 🙂

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  7. I am a words of affirmation girl too. Your husband knows you well. You received the most treasured present-a scrapbook filled with words. I hope your birthday was amazing. I’m so glad you are part of the 50 club with me. I pray you enjoy many more years of birthdays and beautiful words of affirmation.

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    1. Wow, another thing we have in common, Mary. 🙂 And yes, that scrapbook is definitely a treasure. It was an amazing birthday. We’re in a club! Yay! 😉 Thanks for your kind words, my friend.

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  8. Happy Birthday, Jeanne! I have a hard time believing you’re 50. 🙂 I love the photo of you in your excitement. What a thoughtful gift your husband gave! And yes, words are such powerful things! I’m looking forward to your series. Love and hugs to you!

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  9. Jeanne, my eyes started watering the first time I read this, and now here they are doing it again. 🙂 What a treasure your husband gave you! Mine did something similar when I turned 40 (no party, but lots of lovely notes). The best part was that he did it all without my knowledge … I was completely surprised! Happy belated birthday, my friend! (And by all means, if you want to call yourself a girl until you turn 90, you go right ahead!)

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    1. Awwww friend. How fun that your husband did this for you on your fortieth. 🙂 There’s something deeply special when a loved one gives this sort of a gift, isn’t there? Have a great weekend!

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  10. 50, well that still makes you a girl in my eyes!
    Your husband’s gift was a truly personal and loving reflection of the place you hold in his life.
    hapPYBirtHDAyjeANNe

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  11. Darling one–I’m so sorry that we weren’t able to join you on your special day! It was so fun to read your recap though. You are loved! 🙂

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  12. Such a sweet present! Happy Birthday! There are so many verses in the bible that speak on how important it is to speak words that build and edify, not cut and condemn. There is a Canadian Christian band called Hawk Nelson that also has a great song called Words that you may want to check out!

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    1. You are right, Lynn. The Bible has a lot to say about words! I didn’t know that Hawk Nelson was a Canadian band! We love them. And that song is one of my favorites. I think I need to play it for my boys (and for myself) as a reminder. Thank you so much for mentioning it!

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  13. Jeanne, beautiful. If I lived close, I would have been there. You and I are so much alike. Words of affirmation … yes, my love language. I’m learning to let the harsh ones roll off my back, and I’m so glad I’ve finally gotten there, even though it’s taken all my life. The sweetest words … a good friend once told me that I was real. That meant so much … I’ve always remembered it. Hugs to you. ❤

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    1. I would have loved to have had you join us, Shelli. 🙂 How fun that we share the same love language. I still have to make the deliberate choice to let words roll off of me. I haven’t yet mastered that skill. Hugs back, sweet friend!

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  14. Absolutely beautiful! You have an amazing husband and it’s so evident God put you together to share His love with each other and others. You are a blessing Jeanne!

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  15. Jeanne,
    Welcome to the 50+ club!! What a wonderful party your hubby put together – a wonderful memory to last a lifetime. I wonder – do all of us who write have “Words of Affirmation” as our primary love language. I sure know it’s mine!! Even my son who has hated to write from day one knows that Mom loves words in her card – and yes they always make me cry lol. There is so much wisdom about words in Proverbs and James in the Bible. Our words wound and they build up…so powerful they are. Looking forward to your series. As a gal who has always sought affirmation in words, I’ll be anxious to see what you have to write and say.
    Blessings and Belated Happy Birthday again,
    Bev xx

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    1. Thanks, Bev. In my mind, I don’t feel fifty…..You bring up a great question! I, too, wonder if all writers have “Words of Affirmation” as their love language. 🙂 God did an amazing thing when He gave us words for communicating, thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂

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  16. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).. Words are the very essence of God. How nice to have so many of them tucked away where you can read them again and again.Birthday blessings preserved!

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    1. I love your thoughts, Shirlee. About words being the very essence of God. I hadn’t thought about words in that way before. I’m so glad you shared your insight!

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