09 September, 2011

Words...

... they're powerful, they're life changing, they're important; they can have a profound impact.

When I sit down to compose a blog post I endeavor to communicate what is on my mind. Somedays I write my thoughts, dreams, hopes and inspirations, more often than not I show a current project and talk about progress (or lack thereof). Sometimes I use this forum to share a tip or a snippet of wisdom that I have gleaned. Once in a while I chronicle the steps along my life's journey of faith. It all comes down to words, I toss them out with not a whole lot of thought as to where they land... like scattering seed; some may be blown away, some may be gobbled up by the birds (or heaven forbid, my nemesis: squirrels!), and a few may find fertile soil and take root. Last December I asked for prayer on behalf of Paula. I didn't know Paula personally, she requested prayer through an e-mail. She explained that she read my blog and had made some notes on thoughts I had communicated and written them down in her journal. She was facing surgery and stood in need; and so, we prayed. We prayed some more when her husband sent a follow-up e-mail explaining that the prognosis after surgery was not good, the cancer was a particularly aggressive form and that radiation and chemotherapy would soon begin. And so we prayed, here, again.

I learned yesterday that Paula lost her battle with cancer on Sunday, yesterday was her memorial service. I have copied the note received from her Pastor.

Dear Mrs. Goodneedle,

My parishioner Paula has been following your blog for a long time. I
looked back from December and noticed that you asked for prayers for
her from your readers. What a gracious thing to do! I felt compelled
to write to tell you that Paula died on Sept. 4th after a 12 month
battle with cancer. Please know how much you impacted her life during
that time. I will be sharing a quote at her memorial service today
from your blog that Paula wrote in her journal: "As children of God
aren't we all a little bit of a scrap quilt?...." I guess we never
truly know how much impact we have on someone else. We simply plant
seeds of God's love, and He takes it from there. Thank you for
sharing not only your talents, but also your faith with so many.

Sincerely,
Rev. Mary Jo Bray
First Christian Church
Wauseon, OH

Thank you for your prayers, thank you for stopping by from time to time to read, thank you for your words. Don't ever ignore the powerful impact that words can have. Our words matter. It isn't important if they're spoken or written, prayed or sung; it doesn't matter if they arrive in a card, an e-mail a phone message or a blog post, our words can have a profound impact. How will you scatter your words today? Where will they fall? Think about it, I know I will be; please join me in prayer for Paula's husband and her family through these difficult days.

Life is Good!

20 comments:

paula, the quilter said...

This is a wonderful post and my heart goes out to Paula's family on the loss of their loved one. I, too, am careful of my words.

Connie said...

AWESOME

Becky G said...

Oh my. Just now, I stopped.
In my constant striving, I forget what is True, what is important. Your lovely post has brought me to a standstill. As people, as children of God, we are connected in many ways, sorrow & grief are certainly two ways. I pray for Paula's family, that they will feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
As to the power of words.... I am reminded of Genesis: God spoke & creation came into being. And John: In the beginning was the Word...
Peace dear one.

Salem Stitcher said...

I'm sitting her in my little cubby - you know where - in my section of heaven on earth - tearing up. Your words and then Becky's words in response to your words are causing me to stop in this chaos and thank God for the wonderful life I have and pray for peace and comfort for Paula's family.

JCnNC said...

What a wonderful and powerful post today - thank you so much for sharing this with us. Prayers and heartfelt thoughts go to Paula's family and friends, of which there must have been many. Judy C in NC

thesewinggeek said...

Our words are like the seeds in the sowers parable...
We don't know which ones will grow, be blown to the wind, and which ones will be choked and not grown.
Thanks for the reminder of the importance of words.
I often when my children were small remembered to send a note, card, call, meal etc That stopped for the most part when certain life events happened.
Thanks for the reminder...
Will pray for Paula's family. I lost my best friend two years ago and still miss her. Even though some good things have come about though her lose. Friendships I would have not had.
Wonderful post....

Beth said...

That was a thoughtful thing for her pastor to do for you! I often wonder if any 'seeds' I plant grow up! You got confirmation! Just goes to show you that our opportunities to serve others are all around us. Makes you want to keep your eyes open, doesn't it? Bless your words and prayers.

*karendianne. said...

What a wonderful experience you're sharing. I love watching the way your life comes back, full circle, to wrap you in love. It happens. You give out into the world with no expectation and it comes back stronger than ever. Over the years you've given me many moments of light and numerous reasons to smile. As for words, I often think of what I say. I believe in supporting and lifting up. I try always to do my best in that category. I want people to feel better for knowing my heart. So it sometimes all comes out. In a note just like this. You are a link in my circle and I will light that link up in prayer today for Paula's family. In kindness & love, *karendianne.

Janet O. said...

Mrs. G, what a lesson you and Paula's pastor have taught us today. Thank you for weaving your quiet, simple faith into your writings. It lifts us, comforts us, and reminds us of God's wisdom and love. It is so easy to lose sight of what really matters as we get caught up in what feels important at the moment.
Will definitely offer prayers in behalf of Paula's family. I lost my best friend in May and I still miss her terribly. Her family feels the loss immensely, but they also feel the warmth of the prayers of so many who loved her. Prayer works!

Bonnie K Hunter said...

This really touches my heart. Many prayers to Paula's family.

Bonnie

Trudi said...

You words, as always, are inspirational :) Thnk you for sharing them with us. I thoughts are with Paula's family at this difficult time of loss. Blessings to you Mrs G. x

Quiltdivajulie said...

Like the ripples in a pond, we never know how what we do or say will affect another person. And on days like today (here at work, where things are tense to say the least), it feels wonderful to be reminded of the essential goodness we each have the power to share.

Hugs, to you my friend - and prayers for Paula's family.

Lindah said...

Such an inspiring and encouraging post! How thoughtful of Paula's pastor to contact you, and of you to share with your readers.

I want to say, too, that the words of your lovely commentors have brought blessing to me, too. The quilting/blogging community can be a tool of blessing around the world.

KaHolly said...

Wow. I am speechless. My thoughts will be with the family and with you. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful but sad story.

julieQ said...

Thank you dear lady for this wonderful post...and I sit still...and I pray. It is sad, but a celebration too..another angel in heaven!

Ancestor Collector said...

What a beautiful post, one that brought me to tears. I pray for Paula, her family and her church family as they grieve her loss. We never know what impact our words and actions will have in the world. Your words reached farther than you could ever have imagined when you started your blog several years ago. I'm also touched by how caring and considerate it was of Paula's pastor to write to you. She knew that you are truly a Child of God and are a blessing to others, even to those who have never met you. Grace, peace and love to you, my dear friend!

MARCIE said...

Very touching. Your words carry such a sweet spirit of peace to those with ears to hear.

Barb said...

Mrs. G, you are truly a blessing to so many, and the words you share always bring positive thoughts and meaning for me! Often many smiles at the antics of your grandchildren or your own quilting woes! I think I will now take more time to drop a note to a person, or a church member that I know is in need of good words and prayers! Thank you for helping me to know "it makes a difference"...and I will pray for Paula's family!

LizA. said...

What a powerful, touching story. Sometimes you never know how many others are touched by your words or actions.

Jean said...

Prayer is a powerful thing... it can bind us together as a quilt... that we may be comforted by the great Comforter.... How sweet that Paula's pastor wrote... I'm sure that your words were a comfort to her and her family and friends as final words were said in her behalf. Keep up the good work and good words! As it is said.... "Let Your Light So Shine".