The Praise Project

Last week I embarked on a project with my friend, Rebekah at We Live Inspired, called The Praise Project. The idea was solely Rebekah’s, and she asked me if I would be interested in participating with her. We exchanged emails for a few weeks about the project, such as ideas, rules and plans.

Rebekah came up with these rules for The Praise Project:

  1. I will try to use my words to only say positive things, kind things, speak praises over people, compliment them and let them know how I feel or how much I appreciate them.
  2. I will reach out to people and let them know how important they are, how I appreciate them and also freely give compliments. I am going to make a point to say everything food I notice about people this week. 
  3. I may have to wear a rubber band around my wrist or something to remind myself because my goal is to not utter one derogatory thing to the people I come in contact with.
  4. If an issue arises that needs to be addressed that may not be in a positive light, I will address it but try to be mindful of how I am responding.
  5. I will take notes on a pocket notepad, on my phone or computer so that I can document what happens around me during the project. 
  6. I can achieve these actions in various ways. The most effective will be in person, but also phone calls, texts, email, Facebook, etc. all counts.
  7. Finally, I will keep this project a secret! 

Goal: To spread sunshine around and hopefully bring joy to people. I am interested to see if it improves morale in the environments I am in and how this affects all of the relationships around me. 

Please join me at We Live Inspired as I write about my experiences with The Praise Project.

 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

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Guest Post: On being a writer

I am excited today to introduce a dear friend of mine, Rebekah at We Live Inspired! She is writing a guest post on today’s 31 Days of Journaling Prompts series that I am hosting this month. She is truly a sweet and thoughtful woman with a beautiful heart for homeless and feral cats, and I am blessed to call her my friend. Please welcome her today and take a moment to stop by her blog to read more of her writing. 
 

A warm Hello to Tonya’s Readers at Nearly Missed It!  My name is Rebekah and I started a website/blog called “We Live Inspired!” just a few months ago.  I am so blessed to have met Tonya through a 5 minute Friday exercise that we both participate in through this cool online community!  She is a kind and caring person 🙂  I am guest posting on one of Tonya’s word prompts today on the word “writing” (thank you Tonya for having me).

Let me start out by saying that writing is such a vast activity that it can mean many things to many people.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, it is a practice that can build self-awareness and also be therapeutic (not to mention fun!).  For myself, I think writing came from a love of books and parents who constantly exposed me to the written word from a very young age.  If you would like to read more about my bookish beginnings check out a little something I wrote called the “Book Nook” HERE.

Since my website name is We Live Inspired!  I would like to start my post today by hopefully offering some inspiration to you, the reader.  I believe every one of us has something unique to offer the world.  It doesn’t matter if you are a literary genius, or if you feel that you don’t have writing talent, you still have a story my friend.  Whether you choose to share your words with the world, or keep them to yourself- your life itself (be it exciting or mundane) is a story.

I recently have started reading the Bible from the beginning and am currently in Exodus.  God must have been speaking to me today, because after hearing the word Tonya wanted me to write about, I opened up my bible app to where I left off yesterday, Exodus 4:10, and immediately felt a message coming across that ties in with this topic.  I would like to share it with you.  God was speaking to Moses.  He wanted to use Moses as His spokesperson for the very important task of leading His people out of Egypt.  Moses did not feel worthy because he didn’t think he had the talent to perform the task at hand.

Exodus 4:10 (NLT) says: But Moses pleaded with the Lord, ” O Lord, I’m not very good with words.  I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me.  I get tongue tied and my words got tangled.”  If you go back to Exodus 3, you will see Moses protesting some more with God, saying “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh, Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”. How many of us have felt this way before?  I know I have.  While writing has been a dream and a passion of mine since childhood, there are times in this new blogging venture of mine when I have thought, “Who am I Lord, that people would want to hear the words I write?”  There are so many bloggers and writers in the world that it’s easy to feel lost in a crowd and ask “Who am I?”.  In response to Moses God says, ” Who makes a person’s mouth?  Who decides whether people speak or don’t speak, hear or don’t hear, see or do not see?  Is it not I, the Lord?”  Then He tells Moses to go forth with it because He will be with Moses as he speaks and will instruct him in what to say.

Speaking and writing are similar.  One is done on paper or computer, and one is just verbalized, but it’s still the same thing.  Knowing the right “words” to say.  You may be like a Moses and think that what you have to say is not as good as the next guy, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of your own unique words.   Your words could make someone laugh, or inspire them to try something new, encourage them, make them feel less alone, help them understand themselves better, or offer them a new perspective they could have never thought of on their own.  Words are a powerful thing!  Maybe God will even use you to “lead his people out of Egypt” (in the metaphorical sense…meaning leading people out of oppression or bondage and freeing them with your words) by speaking through you.  I know I have been touched in one of these ways many times in reading other blogs, books, etc.

Not that I am a writing expert or anything, but I do have 4 major tips that have helped shape me as a writer.  Number one is read, read, read.  I think that reading a wide variety of things helps us to learn new words (expanding our vocabulary) and writing styles, gather inspiration, and find our unique niche.  Since I was very young I have read everything from comedic books, to fantasy fiction (like Harry Potter for example), romance novels, classic literature, philosophy, self-help books, Christian devotionals, art books, and tons of famous poetry type books (I think the poetry is what shaped me most, because I tend to write flowery or in a poetic way a lot).  The wider the variety the more you learn and the easier it is to find your niche of course!

Number 2 is just as important if not more important- Never compare yourself to others (I know, easier said than done right?) It’s helpful to learn from others and tweak things to become a better writer, but you don’t want to be a carbon copy of someone else.  You want to develop your own unique voice.  In fact when I first created my blog, I purposely did not look at or read other blogs (minus one friend I know outside of blogging) so I would maintain a pure vision.  (ok so maybe I am a bit OCD on that, but that is what works for me 🙂 )

Number 3 is to get to know yourself really well.  You need quiet time of reflection to get to know yourself better, so I suggest some type of journaling.  As far as keeping a journal goes, ANYONE can do that!  As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to share your words with the world to be a writer. Private writing has many advantages for you.  There are even different types of journals you can keep- for example a dream journal to record the dreams you have at night, a regular everyday events journal recording your daily life, a feelings journal to help yourself work through different life things, and one of my favorites-a Gratitude Journal.   All of these forms of writing can help you to get to know yourself better ,  provide a safe and therapeutic way to purge yourself of negative emotions that would otherwise build up (not healthy!), and maybe even spark some creativity in you!  Writing can be like a form of meditation- very cathartic.  Sometimes writing can even be life changing-as in the case of my particular experience in keeping a Gratitude Journal (click on those words to read about that).  Bonus: Studies have even shown journal writing to be an effective tool in treating anxiety and depression!

Last but not least Number 4: Be an observer.  Taking time to notice things-the beauty in nature, animals, how you interact with the world, and observing people and places around you can help.   I know that observing everyday things and God are my biggest sources of inspiration!

Writing can be as simple as starting a journal for your private use, blogging or even the old fashioned art of letter writing.  So you see, you don’t have to be a professional writer to reap the benefits or have fun with it.  🙂

This post ended up way different than originally intended! I started out writing more about my own journey through writing and then God inspired something totally new through that verse I read today.  Maybe I wasn’t meant to talk about myself so much today, but to share something that may be of use to you, the reader.  If I could leave you with the overall message I learned from today’s writing, it would be that God believes in you.  He believes your voice is important!

Blessings~Rebekah

Have you ever had a “Moses” complex?  What are your favorite things to write about?

Rebekah lives in Michigan where she loves spending time with her family, her fiance Matt, and all of her animal friends.  She donates some of her time to help a homeless, feral cat issue in her neighborhood, knits prayer shawls for people in need, and has worked with a “going green” wellness company from home (for the past 4.5 yrs) where she educates people on getting rid of toxins and helps other women make an extra income from home.  She lives to create and also sells her paintings, artwork, and hand knit creations on the side.  She has recently decided to revisit her childhood dreams of becoming an author or artist one day by starting a blog called “We Live Inspired!” , where she shares her inspirational stories (including those of the cat colony), artwork, photography, & some poetry, along with tips, recipes, and other fun stuff to inspire creative living in her readers.  She would love to sell giftable items using her art and also get a couple of fun books published in the future!  Among other things, she enjoys having themed tea parties with friends, singing and playing her acoustic guitar (but mostly just for her own enjoyment), laughing & being goofy, and spending time in God’s creation (nature).
Rebekah can be found at We Live Inspired!, Facebook and Twitter