Words Matter ~ a group writing project

It all started with a conversation on Facebook. A small thank you note, really, for an entry someone I have never met wrote about our family. Her response took me a little off guard.

“Gosh…you mean I MATTERED?”

And that got me thinking about all the notes and cards and emails we’ve received. So many start with, “I don’t know what to say . . I wish I had the words. . .I know nothing I say can help. . .” But they do.  I read them. Late at night, when I go in his room and he isn’t there with his knees tucked under him and that little tush in the air, I read them again. And Saturday nights, when my thoughts start racing and it seems like all the world is crashing in, I read them yet again.  Sometimes it is specific words and sometimes it is the volume of responses, but they are not lost on us and they are all so very appreciated.

Words matter. Every day we have the opportunity to speak thousands of words into the lives of those we love: children, spouses, parents, friends and even strangers we run into on the street. Every day, thousands of words are spoken into our lives. Sometimes they build up and sometimes they tear down, but always they matter.

So with that in mind, I decided to start my own little monthly writing project: Words Matter. On the second Wednesday of every month, I’ll put up a post about words and how they have impacted our life and I will include a linky for anyone who wants to participate. I’ll leave it open for a month so you can join in any time.

So start thinking about words — the ones which heal, the ones which hurt and the ones you wish had been said — and come back Wednesday to join in the discussion on just how much they matter.

I even made a nice little graphic for anyone to use, but WordPress keeps converting the code on me when I try to put it in a post. The code in the sidebar appears to be working, but if you have difficulties, let me know and I’ll email the code or walk you how to include it on your blog.

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33 Responses

  1. I’m glad that your readers words have helped you, and I want to remind you how much your words matter to us. Your writing is beautiful, and we’re so thankful you share your memories of your beautiful boy with us.

  2. Yes Meghan, great point. Ditto that Dana’s words that matter to us too. That was my thought exactly reading this post!

    Dana, its not just what or how wonderful I think you write that draws me to you and your family, it’s your thought process: so seemingly unselfish, striving for good, looking for hope, uncompromisingly your-own-self and a heart full of balanced love: not at all harsh, angry in right, good and appropriate doses (but it moves you to good, too — not to more anger or a bitter place) you do not seem overly-indulgent but seem to have a soft kind thoughtful of others gentle love.

    Even your Words Matter idea, you do not draw the words to just yourself, it seems you bring them in for a time, mix them around in your head and soul then look for ways to put good back out there with a special touch for those you care about…

    At least that how it seems to me…. 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it– to tell my story– but now I see God giving me this little push. Words DO matter. They can heal or they can kill the spirit. And my story begins with words that sparked action. *Deep breath*. Okay, I’ll do it.
    Dawn recently posted…Christian CrackMy Profile

  4. Hey Dana,

    You are so right about words mattering. What you say, or don’t say does matter.
    As a Mom who lost a child she never knew your words mattered to me & spoke to me…thank you!! I related to what you have said, even though our circumstances are entirely different.
    I would love to say I am sorry about your loss in person & give you a great big hug (these things were what mattered the most to me), but I guess a virtual one will have to do {big H-U-G}.
    The Words Matter Project will be great 🙂
    Joscelyn recently posted…More on loosing weightMy Profile

  5. words do matter! you are so unselfish in your quest for surviving your loss. i “found you” a couple of months ago and was so amazed at your strength, your character, your willingness to throw it all out there. and i hear you… i’ve listened… i’ve gone back to the beginning to catch up with everyone else in “knowing you” thru this life you have shared. i, too, believe your new idea of sharing words is great. you astound me, yet, again.

    thank you for the invitation<3

  6. I love this. I look forward to seeing how God uses this spark. And thank you for reminding us of what we should already know as Christians…words do matter. Praying for you and yours.

  7. I think this is a wonderful idea!!
    I also wanted to tell you that I grieve your loss with you. There are days that I can’t stand the heartbreak you are experiencing and I have to grieve without checking your blog. I feel bad for that and I feel bad that you don’t have that option. I want to take away your pain, I want my grieving to lessen your grieving. I want all of your joyness and normalcy to be with you instantly.
    You have come into my heart in your time of saddness and my heart feels blessed to have you in it.
    I pray for your happiness and comfort!!

  8. Dana this is a wonderful project…it will help you and others tremendously. I’d like to join as I am able.

    Haing lost a child myself..I clearly remember the day..the WORDS…the looks and my own thoughts. I now know what some WORDS that truly do mean a lot to you. NO words make you think people really don’t care of understand your need. Even with no loss…WORDS can do so much for people.

    I read your own words expressed here and am amazed at your ablitilty in your loss to share so much of your heart and life. It is good. Down the road…this will help someone else in their deepest need. Believe me, I know.

    Your post are precious…touching…and minister. Keep looking to the LORD..he is our joy and strength…and COMFORT. You WILL see you little one again…PRAISE GOD for this PROMISE.

    God bless you each day with renewed strength and courage..

  9. Words matter so much.
    I know that some people don’t know what to say, and are afraid they will start crying and make the grieving person start to cry, so they say nothing. That hurts the most. When my little grandson died, my mother-in-law said nothing. She didn’t send a card, she did nothing. That really hurt. Crying with a grieving person is okay. It shows you care.

    You write beautifully, from the heart. You are definitely touching other people’s hearts, mine included, and hopefully, you are beginning to heal your own heart.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

  10. Dana,
    Thank you for this, I needed this right now as I’m grieving over a dear friend who is dying and may even be gone by the time my post publishes itself tomorrow. It was a great way for my to say goodbye to him….

    Oh yes, the code is not showing up correctly on my wordpress blog.
    Rose recently posted…We are doing school todayMy Profile

  11. I LOVE THIS!!! Words do matter. You know the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” How far from the truth that is. I use to say that all the time growing up and then just ponder what I was saying. I did not know the Lord then, so I believed that must be true. But is just wasn’t. You are SO right- we can build, bring healing, etc. with our words. Or, we can tear down. This really hit home for me. Our words have the power of life and death. And when I wake up tomorrow, I am choosing to speak life to those around me and build up their spirits. Thank you for ministering to me again when you are going through the most difficult pain I can imagine. Much love to you!! Know I am praying for you and care SO deeply.

  12. There’s some irony here in discussing words matter. I posted a comment quite a while ago after thinking a long time about what to say. Then I checked back a few times and you hadn’t answered. So I decided you probably didn’t like what I said. I should have left out the part about this or worded that differently. (I know that’s silly and probably wrong. It’s just that insecurity in the back of my mind.) And you say in this post that all these posts, even the ones that start with, “I don’t have a clue…” are touching. So I’ll rest in the hope that maybe my post was encouraging. Better than silence. I didn’t post for the purpose of getting a response, and you can’t answer all the comments (like fan mail!). But I think for everyone who posts, there is a desire to connect with you and experience fellowship and encourage you and take away some of your pain. Like I said before, I carry around a sting in my heart every time I think of you and pick up my little guys, etc, and as you heal, I do too in an odd way. If you’re having a difficult day, then I share that emotion, and find comfort in hearing about your healing. In a way, I heal too because I’m hurting from your pain. That’s what it means to share one another’s burdens–not necessarily an effort we make (in the sense of an active verb), but something we experience in the process (in the sense of an emotional state).
    Ruth Mann recently posted…Crimes against Domenic JohanssonMy Profile

  13. Thank you for sharing, Ruth. And yes, all of the comments left here have helped. Responding to all the comments/email I have received has been difficult, and not just due to volume. That has dropped off, but I still have hundreds in my email box just sitting there.

    I don’t know how to explain it exactly, but it is similar to by inability to deal with the sympathy cards early on. A lot of them sat unread for a time, and I haven’t finished responding to them, either.

    It took me almost three months to even leave a note for Tracy (linked in this entry). She isn’t the only one by far who touched us deeply by their words. But I remembered where it was posted. There is so much that has been said, but I was (and am though not as thickly) in a fog.

    I’m sorry to have hurt you. Please know that there are times when I just can’t deal with any of it and that has nothing to do with anyone else, what they have said or how they said it.
    Dana recently posted…Words Matter Breaking the silenceMy Profile

  14. I want to thank you Dana. You touch my heart in such an amazing way with the depth of emotion that pours out in all the words you write. In my dull and dormant heart you’ve relit a fire. Your grief and sadness has reached beyond this weary heart in such away that I cannot describe. Somehow, unaware I had lost my confidence in how to share experiences and compassion with others through my writing. A renewed desire is starting, and a need to writing again is stirring inside me. Writing had always meant so much to me. I had forgotten how it helps me to unravel the utter desolations that cannot be voiced in any other way. Writing allows me to explore all the ponderings in my mind, and brings tears to my eyes as the brokenness in my heart heals. I had lost sight of my Lord’s magnificent purpose in my life. I pray for you and thank the Lord for connecting us.

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