I feel like I haven’t written in awhile. Except I have. I literally write almost every day. Not all of it is noteworthy or in this case, blog worthy. I have half written ideas, notes, thoughts, cards, lying around everywhere. So, I guess I feel like I haven’t posted anything in awhile. Which I haven’t.
I love words. I always have. The spelling, the way we use them, different meanings, they’re so fun to me. Probably not everyone agrees, but I definitely think so. I love people who speak English as their second language. They make me see our words in a whole new way. People always ask me if I speak a second language and I always say no (because I don’t)
But, I feel like understanding English as a second language should count as my second language. Am I right? When I get my nails done, I always leave there knowing their complete life story, so that should count for something, right?
I met some friends in Jordan and they all speak Arabic with English as their second language. I was messaging one of them and I used the word obvious. And he said he had never heard that word before, so he wanted to know the exact meaning and how he could use it and wanted to hear me say it so that he could get the right pronunciation. Which probably wasn’t right because I will admit that I might have a slight accent. But, he got the idea.
I really like finding and using words that second language speakers haven’t heard or used before. It’s an especially proud moment when they later use the word I exposed them to in a conversation.
One of my Korean friends in college pointed out to me that I said the word hopefully a lot. I used it in a sentence one time and she said, I’ve noticed you use that word a lot, so I’m going to start using that word too. How strange is it that a word you use completely unconsciously can become associated to you specifically by another person? I guess if I’m going to have a word associated with my pattern of speech, hopefully is a good one.
We are what we do repeatedly, but I think we also are what we say repeatedly. The words we use, the things we speak, that all matters.
I read one of my posts out loud recently as a summary of our work with the Syrians. It was weird for me, more than I thought it would be. As I listened to the story being told first hand, I wrote notes so that I could write about it later. The woman telling the story didn’t make me very emotional. Writing the post didn’t make me emotional at all. But, something about reading the words I had written out loud, hearing the words spoken, got to me. It made me see the story in a new light.
There’s a verse that I love that says: our mouths speak from that which fills our hearts. (That’s the Brittney version. To read the Jesus version, check out Matthew 12:34 or Luke 6:45)
To me, that indicates that what I say is reflective of the condition of my heart. Which means I need to pay attention to what I say, to how I speak, to the words I use.
Because forget about sticks and stones, words have the power to hurt. They also have the power to heal. To encourage. To shine light in dark places. So, choose your words carefully and think before you speak.
(If you didn’t understand my last reference, it’s okay. You’re just not as hip as me. It’s fine. Don’t worry. I’ve got a picture below that will fill you in.)