Words – they have power.

I don’t know if y’all remember my post a few months ago about how I felt like I had no voice. It’s funny. I kind of still feel that way, even though I can see evidence of how women are being encouraged day in and day out by something I’ve posted on social media. Sure, it’s friends I’ve made being an author and with Vox Dei, but it’s someone. And that’s all that matters.

Friday night, I was headed out with a friend from church and her friend (my new friend) to watch a movie. (War Room is HIGHLY recommended if you want a deeper, more meaningful prayer life or marriage.) We were almost to the theater when I noticed a Twitter notification on my phone from my awesome book manager, Becki Brannen.

The tweet read:

See how uplifted a girl two states away simply by showing Shining Bright http://t.co/Z4gjeKPLNg

Well, completely clueless, I clicked on the link and followed it to my publisher’s site. An author, Amy McCoy Dees had written a blog post for that day. As I read through it, I was in awe. Was this real? Had someone actually written this post? About me? I was in tears at how my words had impacted someone.

But then I realized something, it’s not about me. It’s about this girl who needed encouragement, reassurance that she was beautiful. It was about how I didn’t give up when I felt like it so many times. It’s about how one story could make one girl have a newfound confidence. It’s about learning to love yourself enough to share your story and encourage others. It’s about God using me to reach a child who needed help. It’s about words and how powerful they are.

No. This story isn’t mine. It’s all of ours. It’s about finding our voice and learning to love ourselves for who we are. It’s about being confident in your own skin. It’s about not giving up when you can’t go any further. It’s about encouraging others and not tearing them down.

textgram_1440868661

Words can tear you down or lift you up. I’ve been on the receiving end of both, and I’ve given both. I’ve torn people down, but I have to change that now. I have to be better. I choose words that give life, not death.

Today, you have the power to change someone’s life. What will you choose?

Amy said this in her post, “To me, Emerald Barnes is much more than a writer. She is an encourager, a mentor, and an empowerment to these young middle school girls struggling with body image issues.

To my young chorus student, she is a hero.”

I don’t see myself as a hero, but I do know that if I hadn’t posted what I posted for Amy to see, this young woman might not have any confidence at all.

Please take a moment to read the article here.

Maybe, just maybe, you can change someone’s life, too.

#MarshmallowGirls

I was reading through a Buzzfeed article the other day about a Japanese magazine called “la Farfa”. The editor-in-chief said, “We don’t promote losing weight or gaining weight, because there are women that look great regardless of what they weigh.”

Oh my gosh. I love that! It is exactly what I’m trying to say. It’s not about the weight or size of someone, it’s about loving yourself and knowing that you look great. Now, if only the US would do this. Maybe I should start my own magazine… hmm. Something to think about. ;)

You know what’s even greater than the message they’re trying to send? The term they’re trying to put in place of “fatty”. Marshmallow Girls. I’m a total marshmallow girl! How great does that sound? It sounds all cute, sweet and fluffy.

But, really, this is a huge thing in Japan. Why can’t more countries celebrate beauty in all sizes and forms? I mean, I’m not blind to the fact that there will always be people who have different opinions, but I do love the fact that more and more people are accepting themselves. (Which I’m sure I’ve said before.) It just warms my heart to know that there are people out there trying to break down the walls and accept themselves for the size they are.

So, to all the marshmallow girls out there. #youarebeautiful