Faith, God's Love

Note: When Words Matter

Meme with the word, "Note" super imposed on a journal with words on it

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

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I don’t know when I fell in love with notes. As a girl, I wrote notes to my father, often accompanied with my attempts at drawing pictures. Every time I walked into his tiny office, my notes adorned his plywood walls. My words meant something to him. And his valuing my words meant the world to me.

Words have always mattered. As I grew into womanhood, I found great pleasure in writing letters to people. Penpals during my school years. Friends in other parts of the country as I began a new life at a college far from home. To friends in other states as I began my life as a military wife.

A greeting card with a butterfly on it and the word, "Grateful."

Hubs and I met before the age of cell phones, and long before text messaging ever became “a thing.” Our letters to each other were pages long. Since we lived in different states, our love affair took flight with written words. I still have every letter, every note he’s left—on a bathroom mirror, on the kitchen counter, in an anniversary card, or sent with an order of roses, or in my suitcase—stored away in a special place. 

Maybe it’s because I’m a words-of-affirmation girl that written words speak to a deep place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I love written words so much that I find meaning when I read my hard copy of my Bible. I highlight, write out thoughts, and highlight some more. There’s something peaceful about opening a new Bible and making it my own through the marks I imprint on its pages.

Image of the Bible verse: Zephaniah 3:17—"The Lord your God is in your midst; A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

God’s word was probably first shared orally and then transcribed onto parchment. And even after many centuries, His written words have stood firm. When I sit down to spend time reading God’s love note to His creation, my heart thrills when He speaks directly to something in my life through His word.

Certain psalms have become prayers for unsaved loved ones, for my heart, for my husband’s daily challenges, for our boys. I’m learning more about the people God included in the Bible. And when He reveals aspects of His character to me? I, of course, scribble notes in a special journal. 

a bible with the pages forming a heart

As much as notes from people mean (and to this day they touch me), God’s word—living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword—speaks the most intimately to my heart.

When I pray before I begin reading, God has a way of personalizing His word to the message I need to hear at that very moment. For the exact situation I’m walking through. 

His love notes, in the form of 66 books, speak life and truth to His children. They remind us repeatedly of how much He loves us. They remind us how we should live in this ever-darkening world. They share His perspective and offer reassurance when everything in life seems to shift or fall apart. 

A Bible with a key on a chain laid across the open page

God’s words matter more than anyone else’s, because they’re penned by the One who knows us best. Our Father knows our strengths, our passions, our weaknesses, our brokenness. But, we must seek Him and be intentional in getting to know Him.

When we do, He uses His words to steady us when the winds of circumstances blow hard. 

A picture of an open Bible, a red mug of coffee an a lit candle.

He tempers our passions, our thoughts. And He shapes them so we glorify Him as we live out what He’s created us to love doing and being.

He strengthens and equips us in our areas of weakness so we can be strong . . . in Him.

And He mends our broken places. He doesn’t always give us complete healing the way we expect. But the Lord heals the lies we’ve believed, the wounds inflicted, and the memories that have crippled us.

When we seek God . . . 

When we understand how much His words matter . . .

When we come to the place of clinging to Him for our every breath . . .

His notes come alive, filling us and reminding us how much we are loved.

What about you? What verse or passage in God’s word speaks love to you? What is your love language? 

Click to Tweet: His love notes, in the form of 66 books, speak life and truth to His children

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

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32 thoughts on “Note: When Words Matter”

  1. My favourite verse in all the Bible
    opens Psalm 144,
    because, you see, my only reliable
    love language is war.
    God didn’t make me for the quiet
    grace of holding hands;
    I am formed to stop a riot
    in brutal distant lands.
    People think that I’m reserved,
    but you should know without being told
    that to keep my life preserved
    my heart is set to ‘cold’.
    And perhaps, when all the killing’s done,
    I’ll learn to laugh, and to have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never read that verse in the context you shared it. But, it makes sense. And I really like the verse that follows it, reminding us of Who loves us, even when our fingers are prepared for and carry out acts of war. I continue to pray for you, my friend.

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  2. Words are one of my favorite love languages as well, Jeanne.
    This summer, we have resurrected our couples journal in which we write to one another and then hide it somewhere to be found. I hope we can maintain the practice.

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    1. If we lived closer to each other, I’d invite you to coffee, Michele. We seem to have so much in common. I love that idea of a couple’s journal. That would be fun to start with my husband. It’s never too late to begin a new tradition. 🙂

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  3. Jeanne,
    My love language? Like you, I’m a “words of affirmation girl.” Words have always spoke volumes to me as have words that were withheld. When my husband and lived apart before we were married, we emailed each other. There is something powerful in reading someone’s words that are written especially for you. I’ve saved all his emails. God’s Word speaks to me all the time and I love that His word is alive. One year a passage will speak to me in one way. The same passage read months or years later, speaks a renewed message to me…always just what I need to hear. I need to remember that human words are NOT truth and to not take them as such. Only God’s Holy Word is Truth. Enjoyed this post…
    Blessings word-loving friend,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, I understand both sides of the words spoken . . . or withheld aspect of our love language. You’re right. There is something powerful about reading words written especially for you! I love that you still have all your husband’s emails! I’m like you, as my seasons in life change, God’s word, and their application, seems to shift somehow to fit the current season. I LOVE how He does that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

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  4. What a blessing those letter will be for your grandchildren! I know I am thinking way in the future, however I’ve seen lately the importance of generational stories even when they may not be full of escaping wars and moving across continents. Just every day stories. I love God’s word for their stories too. Right now studying mainly in Joshua and Exodus, and learn so much about God’s promises and faith. My love language is gifts in the sense of the gift bearing the thought of knowing who I am–to be known and the comforting thing is God does know us!

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      1. Thanks, Yvonne! Physical touch is such a personal love language, isn’t it? I’m always a little bit amazed at how God has created each of us so unique yet with common needs, if that makes sense. Thanks so much for stopping by! It’s nice to “meet” you!

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    1. Lynn, I hadn’t thought about how valuable those love letters may one day be to my boys. I don’t know if they will ever truly value them (they are male, after all), but maybe if I ever get granddaughters, they would love the “romance” of it all. 😉 I used to say I was all five love languages, but I guess the language that means the most is the one that speaks most personally and shows thought, as you shared about gifts that reflect being known by the giver. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, friend!

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  5. Isn’t it wonderful to think that God himself would pen not just a note – or a letter – but an entire book for us? To show us how much He loves us and to create communication with Him? I, too, am a words-of affirmation girl….and what a gift of words our Bible is!!? (I wish I could say I was also a saver of notes, letters, and words written to me through the years!)

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    1. yes, Jennifer. It’s nothing less than amazing that God penned an entire book/series of books for His kids to have and to remember His faithfulness and love for us. And, as you share, it opens up avenues of communication and intimacy with Him. I’m always happy to meet other words-of-affirmation girls! 😉

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  6. My love language is, touch, but my spiritual gift is exhortation which needs word along with touch. Even before salvation people would come to me with their problems because I was an encourager or so they would say. I read a lot of self help books, lots of words to help one get out of a pit. Why, because I lived in an angry emotional pit growing up and without word from these books I would have emotionally died in the pit. The word my alcoholic Dad use for me and my family was PITIFUL so that, “WORD” had cut a deep grove in my heart. When coming to the Lord I then begin to think of myself as a child of the King, not the child of my earthly father. Self help books can do a lot but Jesus can heal a deep grove that could be come a lifelong word to describe this women. All His Words have a power that heals, comforts, grows, and helps us become like Him. This is a great post. Wonderful encouraging words filled with truth and wisdom, thank you.

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    1. Betty, what an interesting combination of gifting and love language God has given you. I imagine He uses you powerfully in your exhorting. I am sorry your father did not see the treasure that you are, but what a beautiful testimony you have to be able to see how God raised you out of that pit. It truly is amazing how, when He uses new WORDS to define us, He transforms us as we believe what He says. I am so blessed you shared a piece of your story here, and the truths as well.

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  7. i’m a words of affirmation girl, too, jeanne. so your post has hit home for me.

    i didn’t realize how much the writing of words would matter til after a few years of blogging. and then journaling. now i don’t know what i’d do without these graces …

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    1. Linda, there truly is something about the power of writing words in our blogs, and in our journals and our other endeavors. I have found some of my blogs have helped me process some of what we’ve walked through in the past year. I’m with you…so very thankful God has given us the capacity to pen our emotions into words that find their way into journals or our computers.

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  8. I love this: “God’s words matter more than anyone else’s, because they’re penned by the One who knows us best.”

    And God is the source of healing and truth. Great words here! God bless!

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  9. We are kindred spirits! I love notes, written words, letters, and God’s written Word. I have also kept love notes from when me and my husband were dating. And even my kids’ notes and handwritten cards to me when they were little. So thankful that while these notes from our loved ones are super special, God’s love notes to us are over the top because He knows us best as you so beautifully state!

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    1. I always enjoy meeting a kindred spirit, Karen. 🙂 I have some of my boys’ notes hanging on my wall in my project room. They are sweet reminders of the ties that bind us, especially on days when words are thrown around harshly. I’m with you, so thankful for God’s “over the top” love notes written just for us!

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  10. I also am a words of affirmation girl followed by quality time. My mom taught my brothers and me at a young age to begin writing notes and thank you notes were at the top of the list. I also save notes from special people.

    The best notes ever are those from God. I feel like He wrote Psalm 139 just for me. Thanks for these words today.

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    1. I am not surprised to read that we both share this love language, Mary. 🙂 Quality time is up there for me too. I love that your mom taught you and your siblings to write notes and thank you notes. We’ve done the same with our boys, and I try to be good about writing them too. In part, because I want the boys to see this example, and in part, because . . . well, it’s offering gratitude in words. 🙂

      And wow, I think Psalm 139 is my most favorite of all of them.

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  11. Oh I love this. I’ve been using the SAME BIble since the 80s, sometimes I’ve had it rebound, sometimes I did it myself with duct tape. I love to look back and see the passages I marked or highlighted, sometimes with dates. Verses of sorrow, verses of joy, verses reminding me of God’s providence. The interesting thing is, with most of the ones from the 80s, I can’t remember what I was going through at the time. Which is cool because it means He brought me through it!
    Hope you are having a good summer with the boys.
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. Kathy, wow! That’s a long time to be using the same Bible! Though I don’t use it much anymore, I have my same Bible I’ve used since high school. It has highlights and notes from those years. I still have a Bible I bought for myself after I graduated from college, and I use that. But right now, I’m using a journaling Bible some friends gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago. Each is a different translation, so it’s fun to be able to go back and read the different translations. And remember seasons of my life from some of my notes. And I love your perspective of not remembering some of the hard seasons because God brought you through them! That’s beautiful, my friend.

      We are having a good summer, thank you. I hope you are too.

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  12. Words do matter! I fell in love with my husband over text messages and letters… and God’s love is evidenced in the words He’s given us in His holy Bible!

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