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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Who Adds The " R " ?

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Smith from
Last week, I went to the eye doctor.  I was on my last pair of contacts and they were on their last blurry leg.  I was desperate and I knew it was time for an overdue check-up and some fresh, new, non-itchy contacts.  By now you know about me and my white-coat-syndrome, so you know that this little trip wasn’t easy.

However, if I didn’t want to be sporting my coke-bottle glasses from the 90s, it was time.  The Bible verse that gave me the courage to push past my racing heart was Philippians 4:13 – “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.”  ALL things...including a quick trip for contacts. 

I felt like my prayers were already being answered in the waiting room.  A wave of calmness flowed through my body and I knew God was listening.  I also did something for the first time on this particular visit, and no, it WASN’T that I ran out of there with my arms wildly thrashing and flailing in the air (however, when my nerves get the best of me, it has crossed my mind before…).  When I filled out the paperwork, I wrote something that I have never written before on “official” paperwork.  In the little blank by “Occupation,” I filled in a six-letter-word…writer.

For some reason, putting that down in ink made my heart feel so full.  I realize that typically an occupation means a job, place of employment, or profession and is usually a paid position.  However, in my mind that day, occupation meant a vocation…a calling.  So, I went with it.  For several years, I had written stay-at-home mom, and heaven knows I didn’t get a paycheck for that.  Well…not a typical paycheck…I got paid with copious quantities of love, dirty diapers, boo-boos, and naptime snuggles, and I treasured it all.  So, I went out on a fervent limb and wrote “writer” this time.

A couple of years ago, I wrote this paragraph in a blog post:

When we follow a burning passion, transitions can be made.  We make them happen.  From “I like to write” to “I’m a writer”, “I like to run” to “I’m a runner”, “I like to paint” to “I’m a painter”, “I like to teach” to “I’m a teacher”, “I like to dance” to “I’m a dancer” and “I like to build” to “I’m a builder”…it’s our choice.  It’s up to us to add the zeal that adds the “r” at the end.

Last week, I added the zeal that added the “r”.  It felt purposeful.  It felt good.  It was something so simple really, but it made a big difference in how I viewed myself and my goals.

And, you know what?  My precious eye doctor read over my paperwork and asked me about being a writer.  I admired her for being so attentive to the little details.  In that dimly lit exam room, we had such a wonderful discussion that I almost forgot about being Nervous Nellie!  I told her about my blog and my writing plans and she listened intently.  Then, she told me about her daughters getting older and going off to college soon and I eagerly listened to her as she shared.  My decision to add the “r” was an amazingly encouraging step for me in many ways that day.

One of the first things I ever wrote about was…well…words.  You’ve probably heard many of these clever sayings before, but here’s an excerpt of an old blog post:

I love words.  I like the fact that words can be tricky.  For example, how does a “fat” chance mean the same thing as a “slim” chance?  And why is a wise “man” not the same as a wise “guy?”  Has anyone ever found the “ham” in a hamburger yet?  I’m still looking for an “egg” in my eggplant.  And then there’s “there,” as in, “They’re” going “there” “their” own way.  Whaaat?!  Now, “read” what you just “read” one more time – whew!

If writers “write,” why don’t authors “auth?”  If “teeth” is the plural of tooth, why isn’t “beeth” the plural of booth?  And what about one goose, two geese?  Does that make it one moose, two “meese?”  If there’s one mouse and two mice, shouldn’t there be one house and two “hice?”  Why is something “extraordinary” the total opposite of something extra “ordinary?”  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck COULD chuck wood?  Why do we drive on the Parkway and park on the driveway?  And how is it that sometimes noses do the running, while feet do the smelling?

Along with liking wily little words, I love the fact that words can inspire, give hope, encourage, and show love.  I know that most people will forget the actual words we say, but they will never forget how our words made them feel.  Here’s to choosing words that make our friends and family laugh, smile, and eager to be the best version of themselves. 

I have to giggle at some irony though.  Last week, I confidently put “writer” down on paper and this week, I had a bit of writer’s block when trying to write this post.  So, the caveat is this…even after we embrace the “r”, it doesn’t mean it will be roses and peaches…and that’s okay.  Always go back to the source of your passion.  For me, it is words.  I read over old posts and remembered that it was indeed “words” that ignite the fire within me.

Words can encourage and be uplifting.  Words can change things.  Words can also discourage and tear down.  Words can be sharper than any knife and terribly hard to swallow.  Let’s remember to choose words wisely…and find our filter…if they need refining.

I love these quotes about words:

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’” - John Greenleaf Whittier

“Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.”  - Natsuki Takaya

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. - Audrey Hepburn

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. - Robin Williams

Here’s to finding and embracing the passion that adds the “r”.  Who adds the “r”?  We do.

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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