Your Voice Matters

I know what it’s like to choke back the words that rise from my guts – for all kinds of reasons. I know what it’s like to hush myself or BE hushed by someone else. Sometimes I hold back because I assume others will judge me in the same way I judge them. Gut-check! Let’s all agree not to do that, shall we? Let’s strive to look deeper than the surface of what people say to hear what they’re really trying to say.

Your Voice MattersThere are certainly times when holding back is wise, but friend, what you have to say is important.

I ran into some deep friends this weekend who shared various thoughts about what I’ve been writing and their own experiences. Their words stirred passion in me to say what I want to say today and ideas of what I might want to say in the future.

We can do that for each other. We can stir up wonderful things…

If we don’t hush.

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to cry

The pain throbs deep and doesn’t subside

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to leap

The joy flips you over and you only tumble

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to think

The curiosity bubbles and hope only fizzles

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to preach

The passion is fire and doesn’t inspire

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to speak

Justice rolls like a river and is only a trickle

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to care

Your love soothes and and moves and is sadly unused

With silence

Speak from your guts. You’ve got them. What do you want to say?

Would you consider signing up for blog updates via email and sharing this blog with your friends? Thank you. You matter here.

Here’s why I say what I say on this blog: About The Blog

Here’s what one of my sweethearts wants you to know: What You Can Do Today

About #heatwave2015: Warmth For Cold Hearts

What YOU can do Today – for your Sweet Hearts

She was upset. Really upset.

I was calm. This time, I was calm.

Earlier that day I determined to start a heatwave to offer Warmth for Cold Hearts around me and so I was focused and ready for this little tantrum. This was one cold heart that I’d been concerned about for a while. And the tantrum was an opportunity to warm it up.

What are you upset about, sweetheart? What has made you so sad that you feel you have to yell at me? I can’t stay in the room while you are yelling, but when you’re ready to talk about what you’re sad about, let me know.

After a few minutes she was ready. There were tears. And indeed, she was really and understandably tangled up inside. The conversation went on for quite a while – way past my usual “I have to leave the room at 8:00” time. I didn’t get the laundry put away that night (OK…the laundry still isn’t put away three days later!) but I’ll tell you what DID get done. Thaw. The cold hard heart before me warmed quite a bit after I explained why people speak harshly (because they’re actually sad or hurting) and why some people are sad and hurting a lot (because they think they need to do something or be something to be more valuable).

Why can’t you just tell them that?” she asked.

Through my many, many tears and while she gently rubbed my back I said:

I can try to live it. And I can write and teach about it. But I can’t promise that anyone will take what I say and apply it to themselves. So we pray and we treat people with respect and love even when they are harsh with us.* We see tears where there are harsh words or actions and we remember there is sad or pain under that anger. We offer Love whether it is accepted or not.

Friends, I ask you: How might this apply to you?Ignite

  • Is there a sweet heart that is longing for you to hear that you can cry in front of them instead of treat them harshly?
  • Does some sweet heart feel torn and anxious when you worry about how much you are worth to the world – to them?
  • Who is angry around you and really just needs someone to see underneath the anger – to breathe LIFE and LOVE to the deep places inside of them?

Today. Do it today. Don’t let another day go by without offering warmth to a cold heart. You might be amazed at the fire that ignites inside of you.

If you find this post helpful to you, would you consider following this blog via email? Find the “Follow” button to the right or at the bottom of this post. Thank you! 

*Sometimes loving and respecting someone else means we must withdraw from their presence so we do not feed their hunger to dominate and control. Just as I left the room when my sweetheart was directing her tantrum at me, sometimes we need to leave the “room” when others direct their anger toward us. I do not intend to suggest that anyone stay in an abusive situation. There may be a time to come back and listen, but sometimes we need to leave to let the other find out how sad they really are.

Links to more posts on this topic:

Warmth For Cold Hearts

The Thrill Of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Warmth for Cold Hearts

“In other news…tomorrow is Monday and the first weekday of February!”

My sister’s Facebook post at the end of the SuperBowl got me thinking. It sure seems like there’s a lot of crummy going around lately. Illness, cabin fever, unmet New Year’s expectations, people attacking other people, people ignoring people attacking other people, and lots and lots of snow…Not to mention Valentine’s Day – the annual troublesome reminder of the loneliness most people feel. February is the longest shortest month of the year: 28 days to remind us of how alone and crummy and cold we feel.

It seems that everywhere around me people are hurting. And sometimes the hurt turns into rage or deep sadness. It’s all incredibly discouraging. But sometimes a miracle happens. Sometimes people take their pain and turn it into something much more powerful than retaliation. They turn it into love.

This morning a high school friend posted this video. It inspires people to take cyberbullying and turn it on its head. It reminded me of the Coke commercial from the SuperBowl last night about making the internet happy. (Both are worth watching – click on the blue words.) And I thought:

In other news…Today is Monday – the first opportunity of February:

  • The month where we take negativity and turn it on its head.  
  • The month where we offer kindness when we feel unkind.  
  • The month where we forgive instead of holding grudges.
  • The month where we offer connection in the midst of our own loneliness. 
  • The month where we offer love to warm cold hearts.

Now that I think about it, we started on Friday night when eleven 2nd grade girls came over to participate in “Kick the Winter Blues Frozen Sing-A-Long Party.” The goal? Relationship-building and letting go in a safe and fun environment where every girl knows she’s loved and no girl feels left out.

Frozen Party I don’t know if we accomplished the goal – the only real indication I have is the jumping and smiling and singing and not-wanting-to-leaving. A teacher even stopped by to soak in some of the sweetness!

Maybe, just maybe, a few hearts were warmed Friday night. Maybe they’ll pass on a little heat this week at school. Maybe they’ll know where to come in the future when they feel cold.

Work. School. Home. It’s a tough time of year, all around. Instead of complaining about it and hunkering down for a long winter’s nap as I’d like to do, I made a decision. It’s time to take drastic, proactive measures. It’s time to get creative and intentional about offering warmth to my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, teachers, and random strangers. If I’m not proactive, February has the potential to bulldoze me and everyone I care about. I’m just not going to let that happen.

So here’s the deal. I’m going to be tagging photos, links, observations and warm inspiration with #heatwave2015 this month on social media. Would you like to join me? I’m totally nervous that no one will respond! But you know what? I’m gonna lean into that and offer it anyway! Let’s spur one another on toward love and good deeds, shall we? If you have any hot ideas about what people could do, share them below or on social media #heatwave2015. If you are interested in spreading the idea, share this post and explain what it is or what it means to you.

Let’s create a heat wave that warms cold hearts this February!


Facebook Page: Andrea Joy Wenburg

Twitter: @AndreaWenburg

Pinterest: Andrea Joy Wenburg    Board: #heatwave2015

Instagram: Andrea Joy Wenburg

For more information about my own thawing heart:

Frozen Top Ten

“Follow” Live and Love Deeply for more encouragement and challenge. Thank you!

Heatwave 2