Last week, a good friend of mine called one morning.

No particular reason except to say I was being thought of at the time.

My friend went on to give me one of the greatest gifts that day… words of encouragement and support for what I do as a mom and with the farm.

It wasn’t a long phone call – a few moments perhaps.  But moments that stayed with me the rest of the day and made me smile.

Those kind words lifted my spirits, gave me strength in decisions that had to be made, and best of all, let me know that I meant something to someone.

And what was the cost to my friend?

The breath to speak those words and the courage to act on what the heart was prompting.

Why is it we’re often afraid to say a few kind words to others?  Those kind words are a gift from the heart, wrapped in love.

And the ripple effect of those words is endless.

I know I spoke more kindly to my children, looked for opportunities to boost someone else’s spirits the way mine had been, and was grateful to have a friend who took the time to share kind words with me.

So unexpected, unpretentious, so heartfelt.

Since my children were small, I have worked with them on finding something good to say to others. We practice in the check out lines at stores.  I’ve told them, even if it’s just that you like their necklace, tell them so and watch…

A smile, eye contact, a kind word, and then – the transformation of the face behind the counter.

It’s fun and it costs us nothing but the breath with which to speak the words.

My mother in-law gave me this advice early on when my children were young…

“Cyndi, you’ll have to say ‘no’ so many times to children that you must constantly be on the look out for the opportunities to say ‘yes’.”

I took this to heart and worked at it, often turning a negative situation into a positive so I could say yes.

I try to take this same approach with others.  Why is it we find it easier to be critical instead of uplifting?  Instead of speaking something that would tear down a person, I try to find something positive to lift them up.

Yeah, it’s a little intimidating and makes me feel vulnerable but I like the results.

And if the kind words are scoffed or ridiculed, I know that person really needed them!

But that rarely happens…instead, there is a softening in the person’s countenance and a genuine smile lights up their face or a thank you is spoken.

All people, no matter the age or status, want to know that they matter…

And a few kind words can fulfill that wanting.

I know because my friend gave me the gift of encouraging, uplifting words and it made my day.

The cost of the gift?  The breath of life and a voice to speak…

What a difference those words made for me.

Thank you, my friend.