I’ve been to many funerals where I’ve wondered if the family spoke words of adoration over their loved one while they were still living.
Sadly, we often wait until someone is gone to speak praise about them. Oh, we might write encouraging notes, or say “I love you” or “I’m proud of you!”
But how often do we push pause and speak paragraphs of praise over those we love the most?
When my mother no longer knew me, or even her own name due to Alzheimer’s, I was speaking blessing over her one day. I told her what an amazing mother she had been: filling our home with her joyful singing, delicious meals, and compassionate love. She looked at me with a blank expression and said, “that sounds wonderful,” not knowing I was talking about her! Thankfully, I spoke much praise over my mother while she was still living and able to understand, but I wish I had done it more often than not.
My husband would tell you that his favorite birthday gift ever was when our family shared what he meant to us. Months before, our nest had emptied quickly when our two daughters got married just three months apart and moved hundreds of miles away.
Christie and Kelly Skyped their dad on his birthday and began to speak blessings over the father they adored. They thanked him for how hard he’d worked to save money for their college and weddings. They reminisced about their daddy-daughter dates where he’d take them hiking, four-wheeling, or dirt biking through our mountains. Both talked about how they knew what to look for in a husband because of how their dad treated them while they were growing up.
We all cried happy tears together as we celebrated the man we love so dearly, and when the call was over my Rick said, “best gift ever” on his fifty-seventh birthday.
What if we started a movement where we choose to speak blessing or praise over at least one person every day?
. . . over a husband who works so hard to provide for his family.
. . . over an elderly parent nearing the end of her life.
. . . over a single dad, telling him he is a good, good father.
Let’s take time to tell a middle-aged grandma she’s beautiful and a little girl that she’s brave. Marvel at a child’s artwork and a teen’s poetry.
And let’s not just praise those we know and love. What if we speak blessing . . .
. . . over a waitress who is busy serving too many tables.
. . . over a mom grocery shopping with three toddlers in tow.
. . . over a homeless person playing an instrument to earn some coins.
. . . over a pastor or priest who teaches every Sunday.
. . . over a teacher, crossing guard, or bus driver, thanking them for their service.
I wish I had given the gift of speaking blessing over my family and others more often over the years. But I’m grateful for the aha of Rick’s fifty-seventh birthday and hope to never forget.
Let’s start a praise talk movement together!
What about you . . . I’d love to hear ways you’ve found to speak blessings and praise over others. Or let me know how you plan to do that soon!