Thursday, March 13, 2014

Difference Makers

Before my injuries, I played hairdresser for a living.  I loved it. My sister and I had a wonderful hair salon and the most amazing clients.  We made some of the most wonderful memories in that shop and did some fabulous hair, if I may say so myself! (Insert big southern smile and more adjectives here, right?)

I worked my last day as a hairdresser at the end of June, 2005, just days before the death of my son and my life changing injuries occurred.

My life is different now, oh so different but I am grateful and blessed to be here. I am blessed to be helping others in a way I never thought I could or would through writing and speaking, but am often asked if I miss doing hair.  

Because I was never able to return to my career and the industry I so loved, there is this huge place in my heart for it still. The part that loves to make people smile and feel good about themselves.  That part.  I really miss that part.

I do have to be honest though, Lord have mercy, I don't miss the screaming toddler haircuts.  Not one bit! (All of you that were in my chair screaming and are now all grown up, you know who you are!)  

My favorite moments in my hairdressing career were the smiles and often tears from the women looking at themselves in the mirror because at that very moment, they felt beautiful!  I miss those moments!  I miss that "magic!"

There's something about watching someone stand a little taller walking out of the beauty shop than when they came in!  

Over the last nine years, I haven't been able to give that to others the way I used to, but I have found some pretty incredible ways to achieve making others feel good and to encourage them whatever their situation.  I really believe that when you have that in your heart, it stays there and you find ways to pour into others, to fill their cups, to make them smile and to just love them where they are.

I believe in complimenting and encouraging others!  Every day of my life, I try and compliment someone, maybe on their shoes, their fashion, their smile, or whatever it is that makes me connect with that person and give them a smile. This comes very natural to me.  Maybe my southern roots?  Hmmm, maybe.  One may say that, but I believe God gave me this desire deep within my heart and with it, I do my very best to honor Him through words of encouragement.

My boys know I am going to tell somebody in Walmart I like their earrings, fingernails, shoes or hair!  I think sometimes they people watch and see who I am going to talk to or what I am going to notice first.  (I can't help myself y'all!)  People are everywhere and everyone loves to receive a nice word or compliment.  It makes them smile.  Try it. It really does.

In physical therapy a few weeks ago, there was an elderly man (maybe 80 years old) walking out and he had some crazy looking flag tennis shoes on.  I had to talk to him and tell him his shoes were pretty cool.  Of course, I asked him if I could take a picture.  He raised his pants leg to give me a better view and I said "Oh show me some skin!"  He smiled so big.  He proceeded to tell me the story of those shoes with a smile on his face.  I am not sure how he walked into therapy that day, but I know he walked out with a smile.  

It didn't take much, it never does.  A one liner can change someone's day, really!

The potential to make someone's day a little bit brighter gives my heart great joy.

We should all choose JOY.  Doing things that allow us to choose joy along our journey will grant satisfaction to our soul.  If I am having a down day, and I encourage someone else, I am also encouraged.  The Bible says in Proverbs 11:25 "He who refreshes others will too be refreshed."  Wow, doesn't that make you want to refresh someone right now?  I am throwing my hands in the air on that one! 

This brings me to close with a few of my thoughts and encounters from yesterday that REALLY were the difference in my day!

I have to set the tone first by telling you that the past few days have been rough for me.  My body has been worn down from physical therapy and restless nights of no sleep and pain have been plenty. I have grown very used to this, but sometimes I just am like "really, Jesus? Really?" especially in the mornings when I haven't slept at all. (Just being honest, y'all, I really do say that to Jesus sometimes!)

So yesterday morning I was just telling Jesus all about it when I got a sweet tweet back from Kim Gravel ("Kim of Queens") that said "Lori, you are so pretty..."  Gasp! Y'all, have any of you ever woken up to a beauty queen telling you that you are pretty? It was a first for me, one that made me smile and touched my heart so deeply. (so, so deeply for many, many reasons)  I was humbled. Jesus knew how I felt, how my body felt, how my injuries have changed my body and how I see myself quite different than how others see me since my injuries are not seen on my outward appearance. Through Kim's kind and gracious words, I was encouraged more than I could ever express.

Then I received a message from a sweet lady that had read my article at that said she had been having a tough time balancing everything in her life, but this article reminded her that she can do it, she can win the day.  

What perfect timing!  (Jesus knows, y'all, Jesus knows!)

You can see here how Proverbs 11:25 was unfolding in my day already!  I had just written an article to encourage and refresh others and here I was being refreshed.  

Next came physical therapy.  It was challenging, but a good challenging.  I was mentally and physically exhausted when I got home and received a tweet from my awesome friend Julie Cannon that simply stated "Hang in there, you can do it! Love you!"  Ah, here I go again, getting all encouraged and refreshed!  (Big smile)

See, how simple this is y'all?  Are you smiling yet?

And these ladies didn't have a clue how much I needed this encouragement!  (Once again, Jesus knows!)

So, I carried on in my day with my heart a little lighter and a smile on my face.

Then came night fall and just before I settled in, this happened; a dear friend of mine, Amie Emmons posted this comment under my article- "Look forward to reading each week. Makes me want to be a better person. Thank you."

My day was full of encouragement!  And I really wasn't even aware of JUST HOW MUCH I NEEDED IT until I was showered with it yesterday!

If I can stop a complete stranger and compliment her handbag, her hair, or just tell her she is pretty and rearrange her entire day like mine was yesterday, you better believe I am going to do it!  Or if I can send a short message to a dear friend that will lift her spirits when she needs it the most, you better believe I am going to do it.  We never know how much our words will impact, encourage or refresh those around us, but Jesus does!  Are you willing to be a difference maker today?

I challenge you today to find someone that you can refresh!  And as promised in Proverbs 11:25, you too, will be refreshed!

Thank you to all of the beautiful ladies that took a moment of their precious time yesterday to send me a few words of encouragement!  Each of you made me smile and were a difference maker in my day!  I am still smiling typing this!  I hope you will all be blessed abundantly!

If you are facing adversities or trying to overcome obstacles in your life today, take a moment and read my "Will to Win" post here.  Be encouraged!  Be inspired!  Be brave!

Lots of love, hugs and big southern smiles from me to you!

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1 comment:

  1. Breathtakingly, beautifully written... what a light you are for Jesus! I'm a better person knowing you, lovely lady. Your friend always......