Continuing the “Words Matter” Challenge

I know.  I’m SO behind, and the winners have been chosen.  But rather than skip the celebration, I’ve decided to go back to Day One.   The blog challenge question for Monday, March 7, 2011 was:

Is there a word that has changed, or could change your life?                                   What is it, and what difference would it make?

Hmm…  So many words have changed or added to my life.

I love you.

You’re a good friend.

Thank you.

But if I have to choose just one, it has to be………………FAITH. Faith to believe I can do all things through the One who strengthens me.  Faith to speak words that build hope, light, grace in my heart – no matter how many others are thrown to tear me down.  Faith to know if one door slams shut, there is another, more beautiful one opening ahead.

I am thankful for those who have spoken “You-can-do-it” faith over my life, helping me to let out hope a little at a time — like string to a kite soaring my dreams.  I wrote about one such person here —    Words that Inspire Breathe Life

I rejoice in moments when God has sent his “angels” to heal and restore hope… as I wrote about here– Light*posts – Part Two

But most of all, I thank Him for a mom who helped me to know I am never alone…and who showed me how to move out in faith.   One of those stand-out moments happened when I was only about ten… and continually reminds me how to overcome each time I fear…

“We’re going to study FRACTIONS starting tomorrow, class,” Mrs. F. decreed ominously.  “You may find them hard at first…sometimes they are confusing…but (warning) – you are all going to learn them inside and out.”

Her words struck as arrows in the pit of my stomach.  Visions of trains going 55 miles an hour on one track and meeting at a junction where another one was going 40 miles an hour and impossible questions about figuring the speed of collision spun dizzily in my head.  I was having enough trouble comprehending word problems.  Now there was something called FRACTIONS that even Mrs. F. called confusing!   Maybe… maybe mom would let me stay home tomorrow.  I’d never pretended to be sick before… but the way I felt now, I wouldn’t have to fake it.  Oh no… Oh no… played over and over in my head… through the bell to lunch… through the reading time I usually loved… past the nerve-jangling last bell.

At home, I dropped my head onto my math book, tears pooling.  What was I going to do? I just knew I’d never understand this new math.  And tomorrow was going to be my doom as mocking laughs surrounded my pitiful attempts…

Mom’s hand gently rubbed my back, lifted my head, smoothed my tears.  “Pam, what is it?” she asked.

All my fears spilled out like ink from my Schaeffer cartridge pen.  “I have to stay home, Mom.  I don’t know what I’m going to do…”  My voice shook.

“That’s just fear talking,” Mom said.  “You can do fractions.  I’ll help you get a jump on studying them tonight so you’ll be ahead.”

The calm in her voice rushed over me like a breeze.  Mom believed I could do it. She started by showing me eight pieces of a pie.  “If you take two away, you’ve taken away two of the eight, right?”

“Uh, huh…” I murmured.

“That’s two eighths then, see?” she asked.

We practiced until I understood more.  Still, going to bed, getting up the next day…fear crept once again into my throat.

Mom took my hand before I left.  “You’ve studied and you are prepared.  Now ask the Holy Spirit to take your fear and give you wisdom, Pam.  You won’t be alone, because He is your helper…  and I’m praying for you too,” she smiled.

Holy Spirit, help me understand… I prayed, as Mrs. F. took out her math book, picked up chalk at the blackboard.  I looked at my best friend Terri and read anxiety in her eyes. Help Terri, too, I added.   Fear fluttered in my stomach, but Mom’s words echoed in my thoughts.  I took a deep breath.  In my mind I saw Mom praying, and assuring peace settled on me.  Without thinking, I found myself listening to Mrs. F. – and getting it.  When, she turned to draw a pie divided into pieces, I smiled.  Mom was right…I could do this math… and I couldn’t wait to get home and tell her.

“What’s the big deal about FRACTIONS anyway?”  Terri leaned over to whisper, relieved.

I grinned back.   Nothing – when you knew you weren’t alone.

t_helper.gif (7493 bytes)

What word has changed YOUR life?

Before writing today, I read two inspiring posts you might enjoy about words… one from a “kindred spirit” blogger I didn’t know before this celebration of words http://www.clairesteaparty.com/when-someone-loves-you/ and another from my friend Lynda, at http://faithwriters.com/blog/2011/03/11/words-matter/
Check them out and enjoy!

I’d love to hear a line or two about your life-changing word, too.    Won’t you leave a comment?  🙂

©  Pam Depoyan

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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13 Responses to Continuing the “Words Matter” Challenge

  1. Alicia says:

    This is the second blog challenge post I’ve read that’s given the word “faith” as the answer. I’m starting to wonder if someone’s trying to send me a message…? 🙂 Great choice, and reasoning, Pam!

  2. Thanks Alicia, for your nice comment and for stopping by. Hope you come back again! 🙂 Yes, faith seems to be a word that keeps coming back again and again – trusting He is with us no matter what. God bless you in whatever way faith is needed 🙂

  3. Trust. I think that’s my word. You know how you can fall in love with words Pam don’t you? They have a life of their own. Thanks for your always life giving words. For me, right now, it’s trust.

    Have a good writing day x

    C

    • Trust… that’s another good one, and something we all need right now too. Yes, someone asked me yesterday when and how I started writing, and I had to say it began with a deep love of words even as a child 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Claire! Enjoy your day too!

  4. jeri says:

    Faith is a great answer. In fact, I hope one day it will be my answer. Until then, I would have to say the word “mother” has mattered most to me. I was told as a teenager that I would probably never be able to have children. Ha! I have given birth 5 times. Being a mother changed who I am.
    Excellent, thought provoking post. I found you through Carol Tice’s site. I’ll be back.

  5. Thanks for your lovely comments, Jeri. I’ve found faith is something that grows and grows, as God tunes our hearts to His more and more… the fact that you hope it will be your answer one day makes me think God is putting that hope in your heart to grow. 🙂
    He keeps bringing memories like the one I wrote about here back to me, reminding me of the seeds of faith he has planted and watered in my life throughout the years – I love to read of how He is doing that in other people’s lives too, so I hoped this story would ring true. I have not been blessed to be a mom – but mother is another important word to me because my mom was such a gift in my life. So wonderful how He’s blessed you in that way – despite someone’s well-meaning words of “reality” spoken over your life (the doctor’s), I believe God spoke HIS words of life within you and over you, making you a mom. I love what you said about the gift of being a mom. Thanks for sharing, and yes, do come back again 🙂

  6. Sweet Vanilla Angel says:

    Pam, the word hope is very special to me because here is an acronym that came to me one day… Heavenly Optimism Pilgrims Enjoy! When I think of the word Faith I think of what Corrie TenBoom wrote Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him. Another acronym I heard is Forsaking All I Take Him. I like acronyms. Oh before I leave I want to share one more quote about words… “Kind words may be free, but they give a priceless lift of spirit.” Thank you for all of your kind words throughout our friendship. Bye for now! 🙂

  7. Thanks, Angel… I like your acronym for hope and the quote about kind words. Thanks for all yours too – and especially for taking time to write them here 🙂 My prayers are with you all right now with all that is going on… Hope is a beautiful word to hold onto at this time!

  8. lolitavalle says:

    Yes, Pam. Maybe I am late for Fractions, but you can make a new Words Matter challenge at the present time, so that I can jump at the chance to think of a word that changed me back then when the days were new and words were confusing…. Ha ha ha…. (You gave me another glimpse to my own days at grade school). Way to go, Pam.

    I love your Mom, Pam. I wish I was in those kinds of situations back then. But tell you later about them. OK! It is always good to have a Mama who instills Faith in their children,,,,, so we are armed to chase after FEAR as fast as we can to box it on the face and see them fall every time.

    I know of a girl at present who is almost seeing the Nurse at the Clinic come Math time. She complains about stomach ache, headache and all the aches one can put a name on. The nurse started to be anxious about here and she sent her to the GC. And you know why she had all those make believe aches in her, she Fear MATH. So good that the counselor who is BTW a daughter of my office mate here (on her first Job from college), promised that she would sit with her every Math classes. She had her tutored and she is now coping well. Ok Math, come right on me and you will get a black-eye from me. I can handle you now!!!! (all mine imagination). Ha ha ha…..

    Pam, we need new challenges on words, please!

    • lolitavalle says:
    • Lolita… these “challenges” came from another site that celebrates “words matter” every year in March. I didn’t make them up, but I came in on it late this first year and just jumped in on a few of them. But maybe I should try and come up with some… 🙂 Have you noticed the “five minute friday” that Shelly links to? There are some nice prompts on there every Friday… I might join in on some of those.

      Yes, I can totally understand how that child feels. There were so many days I went to school with a lot of stomach problems. Her mom sounds like she is handling it well and also that God is helping. Math…anything that kids feel insecure about… they can all cause such fears. It always grips my heart to hear of kids going through that…

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