Tag Archives: words

What Is Within Us Is Who We really are. 

Over the past two years whilst my body has not been working properly, I have had to learn that what’s inside me, who I am within, is far more important than what is seen on the outside. 

On the outside my body is currently broken and debilitated by my spinal fluid leak. But I am increasingly learning that it’s what is on the inside that truly counts. 

So even though I am currently struggling to change the limitations of my physical body, I know I can still develop the person on the inside of me, whatever is happening on the outside.

This means focusing on feeding what is inside of me with good thoughts, words, inspiration and ideas. Having the wisdom to know how to cultivate the good parts, then allowing the positives (as well as the stark reality of the difficulties) to break out through my writing and in my communication with others.

That is why words are so precious to me. 

That is why writing is a wonderful gift, because it allows me to try to express the inexpressible. It allows something of what is on the inside to break out to speak and connect with others.

Last night, I was trying to describe to my husband Matt how, whilst my body is stuck lying flat nearly all day, it feels like what is deep inside of me keeps intensifying. Even the pain and struggle of this season fuels this ball of passion inside of me, a force that I want to be characterised mostly by love, compassion and grace, and yet still have the rawness and reality that comes with our natural human weakness. And I have certainly become more aware than ever of my weaknesses over the past two years.

I believe suffering brings a whole host of deep feelings inside of us. Some are good; it can develop more humility, more understanding of others pain, more compassion for those hurting, more personal resilience and strength. But on the not so good side; suffering can also draw us inside ourselves, we can easily become self absorbed and left sinking into a pit of self pity and despair that becomes extremely hard to climb out of.

All extremes of feeling and thought come at me daily. Some days and sometimes it takes all my might to redirect the negatives. Sometimes it feels almost impossible to stop them overcoming me. I can have many moments of tears and emotional/ mental exhaustion.

Yet I know I have to fiercely guard my heart and mind and protect what is inside of me. Every day I have to choose carefully what to fill my mind with. Every day I have to be ruthless in taking control of my thoughts. Every day I must make myself see the beauty and wonder that is still always around us.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” – ‭‭A Proverb‬*

I must keep choosing to see outside of myself and look at how I can contribute positively to the world around me. I must stir up the wonder of what is inside of me, until it breaks out in and through my words and actions in the form of love, grace, compassion and fighting with, and for justice for, other people.

For me what is inside is intrinsically linked to my spiritual faith. You cannot separate the two. That is what inspires my many words!

It is through spiritually inspired words, thoughts and ideas that I feed the good parts of what is within. It is only in and through my love for God and other people that I personally can and will find a way to live like this, for as long as I have to. It is God’s Spirit that lives on the inside of me, that is at the heart of the ball of passion and love that inspires and creates the words that I speak and share.

It is God who leads me through this dry and desolate land and helps me to change the way that I think. Through His words, truth and other people’s wisdom, kindness and love, I can cultivate what is on the inside of me so that the good stuff can grow.


Some people must wonder how I can still love and trust in a loving creator God, when I am stuck with this cruel debilitating physical condition. But for me, I just don’t know how to live without him. I have wrestled through many questions and thought through the whys, as I wrote about in Why Me? The Soul Destroying Question.  And yet sometimes we have to just let go of the whys and instead focus on what we do know.

I know more than ever that God is alive within me and that he fills me with his peace and love. Even while there is seeming desolation on the outside….

Deep within me there is a whole other world. 

I want to discover more of the incredible beauty of that deep potential within me. A place that has been made raw and real by suffering and pain. And yet a place that is made beautiful and tender by unconditional love. So that I can dive even deeper inside me to find what can touch another deeply inside of them as well.

I don’t want to settle for just surface connection with others. Instead, I want to reach out and connect with another’s heart. I want to honestly meet them there, in their deep reality of both joy and pain.

So I need to do all that I can to keep being filled with inspiration. One way I do this is to read various ‘devotions/ inspirations’ on my You Version Bible app each day. Those words of inspiration by various authors, when added to the truth and beauty of Biblical words, feed my spirit and soul and re-balance my thoughts and emotions.

Some days when I open my Bible app to read God’s words, I am like someone who has not eaten for a while, desperate for some sustenance, craving more deep satisfaction.

I can often wake up in the morning and suddenly remember the reality of my current life and discouragement and despair can begin to try and seep into my mind and heart. It’s then more than ever that I know I need some deep inspiration from God to hang my perspective on again, as I start my day.

“But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!” – ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭20:9‬, The Bible

When I take the time to invest in filling myself with good words, they increasingly burn within me. They are like fuel that keeps the inside aglow. It’s only if I put the right inspiration within me that the right inspiration will come out of me.

I really do love and value words so much.

  • Because words are what connect us all together.
  • Words are what communicate from what is within us.
  • Words are what encourage and inspire us in the hard times.

So I have decided that whilst the never ending battles continue on a physical level, I want what is on the inside of me to tell a very different story. An adventure that probably won’t be seen much from the outside. But if you listen carefully you will still hear something about it. As I use words to attempt to describe to you what is truly going on deep within my soul.

 “You cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burning within your own.” Eleanor Doan


*Proverbs ‭4:23‬ ‭The Bible

To read more about my story of living with a chronic spinal CSF Leak click here.

Here is a brilliant 2 min animation about Spinal CSF leaks.

For more information about spinal CSF leaks please see the UK charity website at www.csfleak.info or the US charity website at www.spinalcsfleak.org.

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What You Say Flows From What Is In Your Heart

Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa

Have you ever wondered what is going on in someone’s heart? Who they really are and what they really think?

One sure way to work it out is to listen to what they say! What words come out of their mouths? What words do they write down/ type and share day after day.

In the Bible Jesus said…

“What you say flows from what is in your heart.” – Luke 6:45*

He is explaining that our words are connected to what is going on inside us. They are connected to our true hearts.

Yes of course we can pretend or say things we don’t really mean. But if you spend a lot of time with someone long term and listen to what they are saying, you will soon begin to get a picture of what is going on in their heart.

But the same is true for us! Have you ever stood back to consider how your own words paint a picture of what is going on within you?

Is your heart….
Tender or hard,
Loving or hateful,
Understanding or judgmental,
Forgiving or revengeful,
Sweet or bitter,
Cold or warm,
Kind or unkind,
Humble or proud?

heart shaped  in sand

Love is one of the main things that should show through your words.

If you love someone with your whole heart, it should be obvious in the way we speak to and about them.

I personally believe love resides in our hearts like a beautiful song. If our hearts sing with love, our words should sing with that same love. And everyone should be able to hear the song of love in and through our words.

That’s one of my personal goals in life – for my words to sing with an otherworldly love that can only come from knowing the unfathomable unconditional love and grace of God.

If I am truly in love with God, and desire to love others wholeheartedly, you will hear it in the way I speak, write and act.

“When you know how much God is in love with you then you can only live your life radiating that love.” – Mother Teresa

When you fall in love with someone, you can’t stop thinking about them. You constantly want to talk to them. You desire to be with them. You will find yourself wanting to tell others about them.

Love is such a powerful and all consuming force. And yet we can get so comfortable in our love for others, that over the years it can wain in its intensity. That’s when the cracks appear. Our words get a little harsher, a little less patient, more critical, more negative, less understanding, more self focused.

We convince ourselves that this is the other person’s fault. Perhaps if they were more lovable and loving it would be easy. Maybe if they weren’t so infuriating and selfish we would have more positives to say.


“Love resides in our hearts like a beautiful song.”


But what if we turned that on its head a moment and thought…

What if the problem is not mainly ‘the other,’ what if our main problem is our OWN hearts? If our words are becoming overly negative what does that say about what is going on inside us? What does that say about the quality of our love in the first place?

True love is not a fleeting emotion!

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:7‬ *

Love to me is ALWAYS unconditional. It is selfless – thinking of the other first. It is patient and kind, persistent and persevering. It’s full of grace. It is not easily angered, proud or self seeking. It covers over faults and loves regardless of weaknesses.

The challenge for me is that if that is the love I believe is in my heart. That love should then be revealed and shown through my words and actions.

Do my words sing with the love that I say is in my heart?

What do my words say about what is truly going on in my heart?

That’s a challenge to me. I certainly daily make mistakes. At times my words can be too harsh – especially to my family or when I feel particularly ill or get very tired. But I do want to do better, I can always be more positive, patient & understanding, even when exhausted and in pain.

Maybe we could take some time to consider that this week. Try and listen to what you say. Think about why you speak like you do.

You never know, you might discover that too many of your own words are negative, critical and hurtful. We all have ways we can improve in our communication with others. We can all be more kind and understanding. We can think more about how we can treat others as we would want to be treated.

What do your words reveal about your heart?

“What you say flows from what is in your heart.” – Luke 6:45

“Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange.” – Maria Popova


*Verses from the Bible

Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword

WORDS are sometimes easy to say.
Sometimes they are hard.
They can be too many.
Or too few.
They have the power to WOUND.
And the power to HEAL.

How do you use your words?

Each of us have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to words.

We can be GOOD with them.
Communicate well.
Inspire, encourage and build others up.

Or we can be BAD with them.
Communicate badly.
Say the wrong thing at the wrong time and hurt people.

Communication isn’t always easy or simple. We ALL get it wrong at times, both intentionally and unintentionally. We can say too much or we can say too little.

It is not always easy to get right and even when we think we have, we can find that someone heard it all wrong anyway.

We know that good communication builds strong relationships and bad communication can tear them apart. But it isn’t always simple to navigate and it certainly takes a lot of wisdom.

Words can sometimes fly too freely from our mouths. It is not until later on that we might realise we didn’t think long or hard enough beforehand about how we communicated them. We gave too little thought to their consequences.

An old proverb says:

Thoughtless words can WOUND as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭12‬:‭18.‬ The Bible)

Can you relate to that Proverb?

I know I can.

WORDS copy

I can remember one time during my first or second year at secondary school (age 11/12). I had a friend that I would sit next to in my tutor group. We used to spend quite a bit of time together in and out of school. Then one day another friend told me that on that morning, as I came down the path towards the classroom, someone said “Becky is coming” and this girl had apparently responded, “Oh no, she is so annoying, I can’t believe I have to sit next to her.”

Someone I thought was my friend didn’t like to be with me.

Those words hurt.

They attack your confidence and your trust.

Our words matter.
They are not easily forgotten and cannot be taken back.
Badly spoken words can wreck relationships and hurt others.

We cannot change what we have said in the past. We also cannot change what others have said to or about us. But we can choose to use own our words differently, both today and in the future.

We can turn the tide and use more thoughtful and wise words to HEAL others.

Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can HEAL. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭12‬:‭18‬. The Bible)

I have been thinking about how wise and thoughtful words can heal and how can we use them more. Here are some of my conclusions.

WORDS scripture copy

KIND WORDS BUILD PEOPLE UP
Using kind words can have more impact than you can imagine. In the same way that we remember words that hurt us. We can also remember significant kind words, especially when they are given during a difficult times.

I can remember times when a short message on a card or a text has meant a lot and held much significance.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa

ENCOURAGEMENT COUNTERACTS CRITICISM
We all face negativity and criticism. It seems all too easy for us and others to complain, moan and point out all the faults in what others do. In a world that can often hear a lot more negatives than positives we desperately need people who choose to encourage. Who are thankful and appreciative of others. Who choose to see what is right rather than just what is wrong.

“Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.” -John Maxwell

BELIEF RESTORES HOPE
Expressing your belief in someone can restore their hope and vision for the future. People find it all too easy to pull one another apart but the words ‘I believe in you and what you are doing’ can be life changing and counteract discouragement and disappointment.

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” -The Bible: (Proverbs‬ ‭12‬:‭25‬)

KIND WORDS ARE GENEROUS
We often think about generosity in terms of money or gifts. But we can also be generous with our words. Offering someone a kind word, compliment or encouragement can be a form of generosity because it puts that person first and shows that you are thinking about them. It takes time, effort and humility to reach out to someone with kindness.

One of the best gifts you can anyone is encouragement. If everyone received enough the world would blossom beyond our wildest dreams. – Nicky Gumbel

WRITTEN WORDS CAN BE HELD ON TO
When someone writes thoughtful words down for you, you can re-read them, hold onto them and treasure them. I am sure many of us hold onto particular cards and letters with messages that really spoke to us at that time.

These can be invaluable during difficult times in our lives. They remind us that someone, somewhere does care.

USING KIND WORDS BLESSES US TOO
When we give a gift of kind words to others we find that we get blessed too. Good communication builds strong relationships with others. It encourages others to use similar words back. It helps us to feel good in sharing them. We get the focus off ourselves and think about how we can help another and that always helps us to feel better too.


The Proverb is so true. Thoughtless words DO wound deeply, but thoughtful, wisely spoken words DO heal.

Good words not only build others up but they can also heal the wounds inflicted by other thoughtless words. That is why our words are so powerful. They really can change lives.

Would you rather be a person who wounds or one that heals?

I know who I would rather be!

Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange. – Maria Popova

How do you think words can heal? Do you have any examples from your life?

Pressing on…..Regardless. My journey to starting a blog in 2015.

It’s a new year. A new day. A new season. What will it bring? What changes will evolve or be thrust upon us this year? What new challenges will we face? And what new adventures shall we embrace?

At the start of 2015 I have decided to put to paper (or I should say screen) what I have felt for a while in my heart. I am going to start to write. Everyone who knows me well knows that I love words. This is because I believe that words are powerful.

Words have the power…
to uplift,
encourage,
inspire,
motivate,
and touch people deeply.

Words can also….
take away,
hurt,
damage,
control
and wound people deeply.

Words, whether used rightly or wrongly, are powerful. So at the start of 2015 I have decided to start writing. This year that ‘writing’ begins in this blog.

I have been considering doing this for a couple of years. But when I have thought it through I have usually dismissed the idea asking:

Who am I to write?
Who wants to listen to what I have to say?
What am I going to write about?
What if no one reads it?
What is the point of writing if not to be read and heard?

However, then as we approached 2015 I felt that prodding again in my heart. To PRESS ON REGARDLESS!

writing

Regardless of:
Who wants to listen.
The impact quantified.
The applause given.
The approval gained.

Because none of that is important. (It feels important at the time but the importance gained is only temporal). When your heart says write. You should write. When God says write, you should listen, and respond…… Regardless!

Because life is not about:
The approval gained.
The applause given.
The impact quantified.
Who wants to listen.

It is about following the still small voice in your heart that knows you better than you know yourself. The one who knows the future panned out for you. Who created you for a purpose. The author of life. And the architect of words.

So in 2015 I choose to write. And primarily I write for an audience of one. Because that is what is right. Because that is all that really matters.

And yet….
If anyone else is inspired, encouraged or challenged by these words. Let it be so. I write because this is who I am. I write because this is who I was created to be. And in 2015 my resolution is to write.

Regardless of the ifs and buts.
Regardless of the results.

So today, I invite you & others to join me on this personal journey of courage (it is taking a lot of that) as I explore life with words, thoughts and observations. As I attempt to somehow convey some of the complexities, perceptions, questions & thoughts that fly around my mind.

I do still hope that some of you might connect with the words. Be inspired. Be encouraged. And maybe at times even challenged.

And if I do look for a response – let it be this: That you will also find the courage to pursue what is impressed upon your own hearts. Regardless of the ‘results’.

writing