Incredible power

Magnet message 2012

I posted these word magnets in our kitchen after Jeff’s diagnosis in 2012.
They have been there for us to see every day since.

“Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, and they can make people’s hearts sore.” – Mardy Grothe

Never underestimate the effect words can have, for better or worse.  The Bible’s book of James (chapter 3) is one of many sources of wisdom that remind us of the importance of guarding what we say.  One reason I tend to prefer reading and writing to most live conversation is that it comes with a sort of “time delay,” which enables me to be a bit more cautious.

Written words have an additional benefit: they can be available to be read and seen again and again.  That’s why posters, signs and Pinterest sites are full of inspiring quotes and witty sayings with which we decorate our homes and our computer screens.

Today, I encourage you to find a few ways to post some inspiring words where you can see them often.  You can do a simple Google image search and come up with all kinds of ideas.  Letters and cards from loved ones, magazine clippings and even catalogs can provide you with plenty of material to make yourself a small index card or larger collage to feed your mind with helpful and uplifting thoughts.

So if you thought words were just for books and blogs, think again!  Use words to light up your living spaces and bring a smile to your face, or strength to your spirit.  Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments, or send a photo of a memorable quote that you have posted somewhere in your home or office, and I’ll upload it here.  You can email it as an attached file to

Let’s surround ourselves with words to make our hearts soar!

One year ago today:

The most powerful drug


  1. I will paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, when commenting on the power of the written word:
    It enables one to communicate with the dead, and with those yet unborn. The few words I can see written by my grandfather are precious to me. With similar power, I wrote a letter to my oldest grandchild before he was born,

    • Eric, I love that quote. It’s funny you would mention Abe Lincoln this morning because late yesterday I just wrote a post with a quote by him (which you’ll see in about two weeks 😀 ) I hope you will leave lots of writing for your grandchildren and their grandchildren to read. I wish we had more from our grandparents. I wrote to both Grannies regularly but only a reltively few of their letters have survived the years. However, I have never and will never throw any of them away. It really is wondrous to be able to time travel through the written word.

  2. I regularly peruse Google Images for inspirational quotes. Some, to incorporate into my blog or Facebook. Most, are just to inspire me. Thank u for sharing this post.

    • You’re welcome! I am always delighted by how much is online, and some of the quotes have such beautiful artwork with them. We are fortunate to have the words of so many wise, witty and inspiring people available to us so easily. Thanks for being here with us!

  3. Julia, good morning. Powerful words to live by. 🙂

    • Thank you Merry! I need to remember them more often. Some of us need to say more (to make hearts soar) and some of us need to say less (to keep from making hearts sore). I think I tend to err more on the latter side, though we can never say too many encouraging words.

  4. Susan

    Yes, We Can!

    • 😀 😀 😀

  5. Julia, I can imagine those words you chose and placed in a prominent place must have been fuel for your soul, time and again! Years ago I had 6 letter magnets, for my grandchildren, on my refrigerator. G (Grayson) H (Hewitt) B (Brighton) E (Emmaleigh) A(Alston) and A (Autumn) in birth order. One day I came in and they had rearranged them to spell “BE A HAG”. 🙂 We still laugh about it, now that they’re much older.

    • Sheila, I love this story! It’s going to be one of those family tales that lives on. Thanks for sharing it!!

  6. Patricia

    And the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14 ESV
    Emphasis mine. It always comes down to this. I’ve been amazed my whole life at the power of words. I think they are the most powerful force we have.

    • Patricia, I was just musing on that very verse recently. It seems to be one (as with so many others) that I understand more deeply as time goes by. In library school I remember being immersed in the study of books and their history, and I felt it was remarkable that God chose to reveal himself in a Book of books! Words, being intangible and symbolic, are a fitting reminder that the most real and powerful things are not seen with the eyes.

  7. Words are powerful. Sometimes I send text messages and emails to myself. Then I read them a day later and soar!

    • Hey, that’s a great idea! I think journals are a sort of time-delayed letter to ourselves, but so often we write negative things in them. Maybe that’s why gratitude journals are becoming so popular. I never thought of sending texts and emails, though. A good way to remind ourselves of what we so easily forget.

  8. Larry

    Pr 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. This is a constant reminder that not in what we trust but who we trust makes all the difference. Fear replaces our trust or faith and should have no place in our lives.

    • Larry, thanks for sharing those encouraging words. Fear can indeed be a snare, especially when it erodes our strength and faith. I think fear is the underlying reason for so many problems in this world. It took me a long time to realize how many of my own bad habits are essentially rooted in insecurity.

  9. Really encouraging words. I have given up reading many of the blogs I once used to visit regularly after realizing they were full of negative feelings – why add more when I have enough of my own? It is not that world is an all-positive place but in this case I surely have a choice. Wish you all the best, Julia! And thanks for keeping this place so wonderful for your readers.

    • Bindu, I don’t blame you for giving up the negative blogs. I’m lucky to have rarely seen any that weren’t mostly positive. I guess I typically follow people I found who visited here, so it’s sort of a screening device. 😀 There will always be difficulties that we cannot avoid, but life is so much happier when we don’t multiply them by talking about them. I appreciate so much your presence here and your encouraging words!

  10. Amy

    I have recently fallen in love with a character named “Grumpy Cat”. I find her to be very reflective of my personality. I keep several little photos around. You can find some photos of her at I always smile and that gives a lift to my day. Hope all is well with you. Love, A

    • Amy, thanks for sharing my feline alter ego here. I had thought that I needed to feature her in a post. We have so enjoyed the book by her that you gave us. To be a kitty cat she surely does remind me of lots of people — especially myself! But she doesn’t remind me of you, I think you are far more cheerful than she is. It’s nice to channel her attitude once in awhile, though. 😀 We are doing OK but really need to have a nice long chat to catch up on everything. Hope you and your family are doing well too.

  11. I don’t know if you have had time to watch, ‘Who Do You Think You Are’. They are constantly referencing original documents or diaries written centuries ago. It absolutely blows my mind that there are original baptism records, handwritten, dating back many many centuries. Or a diary of a soldier written during the civil war. Even the ancient Egyptians recorded their history for us to know today. It’s really amazing what the ability to read and write brings to ones life. Simply opening a book can take you to distant worlds in the future or on an mysterious adventure, how awesome is that? I think literacy is maybe the most valuable aspect of a civilized world. Writing brought our little group together too! Now that’s something to cheer about 😀 xoxox K

    • I have never watched that show, but if I ever start watching TV (which I might do if we can stream it or watch it on DVD like we do Downton Abbey) I will certainly want to watch that one – it sounds like just what I would love. Sort of like “Antiques Roadshow” for genealogists. It is quite amazing how many records are still available to us, and increasingly, many of them are online. Whenever I stumble on a good database of original sources, I have to tear myself away from spending hours there. YES writing has brought so many people together online! Whenever I get upset at the thought of how many people never pick up a book or write an old-fashioned letter anymore, I remind myself that blogging and social media have prompted some to write who might never otherwise do so — and made it possible for us to find friends all over the world! A kind of wealth our ancestors could not have imagined.

      • True enough, I mean, I was texting Fran in Tasmania this morning……how wild is that? When I was a kid, it might as well have been the moon. Far, far away with exotic prehistoric mammals. That’s all I thought I knew. Turns out there’s fun and funny girls living there with the dogs and crazy stories, just like everywhere else. I’m hearing that silly “Small world after all” in my head. LOL.
        I need to make more time to read novels. I admit, it takes me forever because I’m usually on-line reading blogs, chatting with friends and such. I should join a book club. Alys is in one and she often recommends a book they’ve read. Are you in a book club J?
        Yep, put ‘Who do you think you are?’ on your list. You’re spot on, part antiques road show part genealogy. Amazing finding your history back hundreds of years. I think you’d love it too. xoxoxo K

        • I need to get back over to Fran’s blog. In fact, I need to get back over to LOTS of blogs. I have been extremely time-limited yesterday and I feel so out of the loop. After being in touch with people all over the world it feels a bit claustrophobic to be stuck 100% in the immediate environment. Shades of Star Trek! It really is a small world, though. Military families learn that early on through all their frequent moves, since people are basically much the same everywhere. I’ve never been in a book club though I would like to have time to do it someday. As a librarian I have always been in touch with books and reading, even when I’m not working in that profession (I spend lots of time in libraries and always have). One day if I live to be old enough perhaps I can stream all the good shows I missed 😀 ! Assuming streaming is not obsolete by then.

          • LOL, I’m sure they’ll come up with some newer, faster way of watching show’s we missed….probably a direct download in to our brain…I hope we both live longer and prosper 😉 wok

            • Ooooohhh, there’s a scary young adult novel about that, called Feed. If they ever come out with a brain download I think I’ll have to decline! Live long AND prosper is great – either one without the other, not so much. Here’s hoping we read back on all these thirty years from now and smile. 🙂

  12. MaryAnn

    What a great quote about the power of words to make hearts soar or sore! I want to choose “soar”, but I know sometimes the other “sore” happens. So, again, you give us great goals.
    The kitchen magnets you display are tremendously powerful & encouraging!
    My walls are laden w/ quotes. My favorites are:
    “As for me & my house, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15; and
    “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up like eagles” Isaiah 40:31, on a plaque with an eagle flying over the mountains.
    This song is a fav of mine, also.
    And “Peace is seeing a sunset & knowing Who to thank”.

    • Mary Ann, the verse from Isaiah is a family favorite, especially with my sister who has faced almost as many medical trials as Matt has. I am a great believer in tapping into the power of WORDS to express truth that will strengthen us. We are well advised to “write it on the doorposts of our homes.” 😀

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