My oldest daughter is home! We picked her up at the train station last night. She’s been at university this semester, and I haven’t seen her in two months. I feel like my family is complete again.
And so in honour of her being home, I thought I would tell you a story about her.
When my younger daughter Katie turned 15, Rebecca, 17 at the time, made her cry. It was a beautiful moment.
Rebecca wanted to get something for Katie for her birthday that would be memorable. And so she sent out a Facebook status saying, “if you could describe Katie in one word, what would that word be? Make it good, because I’m collecting them for her birthday!”
She hid the status from Katie’s account, and from a few of Katie’s close friends where she might see it (she sent them private messages instead), and then let the responses roll in.
She had over 50.
And then she created this “scrapbooked” picture, writing all the words out.
Here are just a few of those words:
Inspiring. Fun. Godly. Beautiful. Fun-Loving.
For Katie’s birthday the four of us and my mother and Keith’s parents went out to dinner, and we gave her her presents. She received a brand new computer from her father and me (she needed it for school). She was thrilled to bits.
But when she opened Rebecca’s gift, which cost a grand total of $10, her eyes welled up with tears once she realized its significance. “Who send words in, Becca?” she asked. “What did Jillian say? What did Gab say? Which words are from Micah?” Throughout the evening she peppered Rebecca with questions. And between bites she’d reach down and glance at that frame again.
It was such an amazing thing to know how all of her friends saw her, and to see that she was so admired.
Do we realize how powerful our words are? Do we realize how much praise can mean to a person?
When was the last time you gave your husband praise? Or your kids? I’ve been convicted lately that while I say “I love you” a lot, I don’t actually tell my family members WHAT it is I love about them. And after seeing the power of words on Katie’s birthday, I’m determined to change that.
Christmas gifts don’t always have to be expensive to be meaningful. Maybe you could take Rebecca’s idea and run with it yourself!