Have you ever noticed how the smallest words seem to have the biggest meaning? Words such as “love”, “care”, “hate”, “hurt”, and “kind”. God has shown me in the last 5 years just how much those words can impact your life! As a pastor’s kid, growing up, we would go from church to church helping rebuild them and a lot of the churches were filled with “hurt” and “hate” from the division they had already gone through. At one point, we had moved to Florida when I was in the 5th grade. The church members were very loving but it was still difficult being away from our home state. I don’t remember a lot about school during that time, but I would come to remember a girl named April very well. April sat next to me and she was different from the rest of the students. She dressed a little differently and wore her hair in braids which some thought was not really in style at the time. She had very thick glasses that made her eyes look very large and later I learned that she was legally blind. I didn’t talk to her very much but I would some times chat with her while waiting for class to start. We would exchange paper or a pencil if needed and that was about the extent of it. After living there for six months we left Florida and went back to my home state. In 2008 I received an email on a social website from April. “Hi we were together for a while in 5th grade. I am the one with the deformed eyes but you were nice to me anyway.” “Nice”. I was so humbled in that moment by that word! I had to wonder that in the small interactions I had with her for her to say that I was nice, just how very hard it must have been for her growing up! Kids can be so cruel. (In blended families teaching your children to be “nice” and “kind” is especially important. When you are not all related by blood and with all the difficult issues that come with it, being kind to one another can make an enormous impact.) April and I exchanged a few more emails. I shared with her my desire to tell women about my past, the abuse, and what God had done for me. She replied : “Many women have been beaten down by society’s unrealistic expectations reguarding sexual beauty and the ability to do it all: work full time, raise kids, look sexy everynight for the hubby. Also too many women have been in domestic violence situations and too many women have been sexually abused. It’s my hope that God opens up an opportunity to witness to those who have been abused. I just prayed for you.” Now there is a small word with big meaning: “Pray”. When we pray, things happen. In any situation that you feel there is not a thing you can do, you can pray. “Positive praying is much more powerful than positive thinking. People may resist our help, spurn our appeals, and reject our suggestions, but they are powerless against our prayers.” ~Rick Warren, Daily Hope. When you have been told by someone you love that you’re a failure, pray! When you are worried about how the bills are going to get paid, pray! When your marriage is in trouble, pray! When you are caught in the middle between stepchildren, children, your spouse and the other parent, pray! When you don’t know what to do, always pray! “I just prayed for you.” It was as if right in the middle of everything she stopped to pray for me. That was the last email I ever got from her. I sent a few more with no response so I made some inquiries and received a msg from her best friend Betty telling me that April had been battling cancer and on Sept 23, 2009 she had gone to be with the Lord. “Thank” is another word, isn’t it? I never got to really thank her for what her prayers and encouragement meant to me. Don’t forget to thank those who mean so much to you and most importantly don’t forget to thank God for the work he is doing in your life. And last, another small word is “do”. Get up and “do”. You only get one chance in this one life to do all you can do! Don’t wait to thank someone, pray for them, or show kindness to others, especially your blended family. God hand picked them from other families and situations, no matter the circumstances, and blended them into your family for a reason. It is not by accident but Divine purpose that you are in that family so don’t underestimate that. Thank you so much April for showing me that even the smallest things can have the biggest impact!