I’m a girl who uses a lot of words. When someone asks me how my day was, I will never reply “fine”. I may however reply, “Exceptionally Mediocre” which really means fine, but I like the language involved in the latter. I don’t believe in using words for the sake of a word count, I do believe in using appropriately effective language. I treasure words. I use words to inform, to comfort, to guide, to discipline (against my girls better judgment), to aide, to comfort, to express emotions. I have been known to listen to a conversation between multiple people in silence and then with stealth execution insert one sentence that changes the mood and direction of the conversation. I have a gift for articulate expression. Words, all of them woven into a tapestry to let a feeling, an emotion, and an instinct have a voice. Words have power. Words can be soothing like a lullaby, healing like medicine, or devastating like a weapon. One of the first words we learn is the word “No.” Arguably this may be one of the most powerful words we ever learn. No has power. It can change the climate around you instantaneously. No has finality. I admit that there are times when my teenage girls will ask me a question, and I say no just to watch the expression on their faces. (Come on, single moms need a little entertainment too. No worries, they have well paid therapists with a promising future and endless job security!) Words have purpose and power. Some words are hard to define, hard to use in a sentence, and impossible to spell without spellcheck. Some words are under used like “Serendipity” and some words are over used like “Fine”. Some words we never want to hear like “Death”, “Illness”, and “Sadness”. Some words we pray to hear like “Happy”, “Fulfilled”, “Wine”, and “Lottery Winner”. Words allow us to make declarations that our actions support. They give feelings, thoughts and emotions a voice. Sometimes we filter our words. We hold back on giving that part of ourselves a voice. Sometimes we need to hold it in, to stomp it down, and hope that maybe not giving it a voice will change the thought. My 15 year old daughter is famous for blurting statements out, momentarily stopping a room with all eyes staring at her in shock and awe, and then following it up with “Did I just say that out loud?” Filters can be useful, they can be helpful in social situations, and to my daughter they can be vital to preventing jaw dropping staring. But sometimes we need to just drop our filter; we need to just say it. Sometimes we need to allow those thoughts, and emotions to have a voice. Sometimes we need to allow those things which we have been stomping down to surface, to be released and to make it real. In the words of preschool teachers across the country, “Use your words.” “Thank You”, “I’m Sorry”, “You’re Important To Me”, “I Love You” So what do you have to say?