Monday, September 12, 2011

Planting Words

{You are precious.}

I want to be someone's Abileen...
....and plant those priceless 
words of encouragement in 
that person's heart.

~ Paige, Simple Thoughts

As I took our dog Gracie out
a few nights ago and looked up
at the stars, my mind replayed
 Abileen's words....

You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

And I thought about
Paige's earnest words
and her desire to raise
someone up so that
they might face life
with courage and grace.

{You are sweet.}

And then it struck me.

Paige is
an Abileen ~

and I am an Abileen ~

and YOU are an Abileen ~

Not just to others,
but to 

Don't we all have
inner tapes that we
rely on, to guide us
through our days,
our nights, our lives?

{You are so loved.}

I was lucky.  I had
a mother who blessed
me, like Abileen did
to Mae Mobely, her
little charge in The Help,
with my own set of mantras
that helped get me through
childhood when times
felt rough.

Pretty is as pretty does.

Always give yourself
high marks....Others can
always knock you down a
peg, but you never should!

Stand up straight.  Be proud
of who you are.

You are worth more than that.

{You are a good friend.}

Just a few of the many tapes
I was armed with.  I hope my 
daughter feels that she has tapes 
of her own to rely on when she 
is feeling insecure about 
something in her life.
My son, too.

Abileens come in many 
forms besides parents.

A favorite uncle.
A special teacher.
An inspiring coach.
A kind neighbor.
A caring minister.

Even the family dog 
can be a big fan, with 
behavior that says,
 You are one great kid!

{I can count on you.}

As adults, we must become our
own Abileens, gently leading
ourselves through each day....

Honey, it's a new day.
Rise and shine.
The world is waiting.

Come on girlie, a few
more laps.  You owe it
to yourself.

Be brave.  You can do've done it before.
Hang in there.

Don't take it personally.
You are a good friend.
She/he must be having a
bad day.

Some of my inner Abies : )

{I love how you see the world.}

Our inner Abileens keep
us on the right track.  
They help to keep us calm 
and centered.  They say, 
You are loved, 
no matter what.

I truly believe that many of
the people living in prisons
today didn't have an Abileen
to record their tapes.  And it's
 pretty darn hard to make
your own when you don't
have that positive influence
somewhere along the line.

{You matter to me.}

This is where Paige's wish
comes in.  Every day we get the
 chance to embody Abileen and 
lift someone's spirits, in the same 
way you have to encourage 

I love how reliable you are.
Your enthusiasm is contagious.
Thank you for your help.
You do that so well.
You made my day.

At home.  At work.  At the grocery.
At the doctor's, the post office,
the gym or the auto shop.  We
can boost others with a smile
and a few kind words.

{You are special.}

Even last weekend on the 
baseball field, I heard
12 year-old boys personifying 
sweet Abileen as they shouted 
encouragement to their 
team mates.....

Way to go!
Great effort!
You can do it!
You're awesome!

I don't think the world
can ever have enough
Abileens.  We are hungry
for affirmation and the
quiet knowledge that

we are kind
we are smart
we are important

no matter how old we
are or how often we hear it. 

{You are amazing.}

Let's make sure
everybody hears it.


Photos of the dog whisperer,
aka my daughter, who blesses
every canine she meets with
a kind word and touch.


Jill said...

Love this post "Abileen"!

Felicity said...

This glorious post made me sit up straighter in my chair.
Thank you again for the gift of your thoughts, shared so eloquently through your words, photos and the sweet music playing in the background.

You have truly raised a warm-hearted girl and it's a wonderful thing to see her whispering love to the dogs.

Happiest of sunny days for you tomorrow Lovely One,
xx Felicity

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Great post, Suzanne. Sweet photos of your daughter and her dog. Thanks. xo Jenny

Olive Cooper said...

You are so right about the prison inmates not having the right sort of encouragement. I was a nurse for the DOC and the lack of parenting (especially fathers) was very apparent. Little things we take for granted like simple manners my patient/inmates were never taught them. I could go on and on but how do you teach a twenty five year old murderer these things?

Susan T said...

I missed your words while I was away, the photo's of your beautiful daughter enhance this post perfectly. Oh that we could all have inner voices that guide us through the days, and keep us on track no matter what. We need to be kind to ourselves before we go out to others, only then can we become convinced that what we do and say will really make a difference.

Deborah said...

Beautifully spoken and sooooo true Suzanne.
You are sweet and kind and so loving and I thank God for you!
Hugs xoxoxo

Deborah xoxoxooxox

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I really needed to read this this morning. I am tired. I am not sure I am a good teacher. I am not sure I am a good writer or will ever be good enough to move a publisher's heart. I did not have anyone in my life to tell me all these good things. But you just did.

Thank you, Suzanne.


Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

I hope you realize you have countless readers who hear your words every time they read your posts, as words of encouragement, affirmation and guidance. One of my "Abileens" is "When in doubt, don't." I'm afraid it may sound a bit negative, but my meaning, especially when I said/say it to Kate, is, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I would love to meet your daughter & Gracie one day - they BOTH seem like amazing 'people'! I loved the book; can't wait to see the movie (it isn't here yet). Lovely & thought provoking post, as always. Thank you for the food :) XOL

Farmgirl Paints said...

loved that part in the movie. so true we can all be that to someone. it really makes all the difference. great photos. i have a dog whisperer in my house too;)

traci said...

such powerful words. i love abileen. she is a true inspriation.

Marie said...

Beautiful post Suzanne. You always make us think. I am a great believer in the power of a smile and positive thinking. xxoo

hilary @ the upcycle furniture co. said...


Sylvia said...

You always inspire ,lovely Suzanne, but I do believe that world is filled with Abileen s ; sometimes we do not need to look any further than within our own circle of family and friends or even ourselves , at other tome we are inspired by those we barely know .We seek inspiration all the time and it's true that there is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread ...You made my day .Love shines through your photos .

Jemsmom said...

Wonderful... inspiring... uplifiting... as always! Thank you for being you!

michele said...

so much light and love shining through this post. thank you. for the reminders. for the nudge. for the simplicity. and for the elegant writing. the photography gets me teary (and i don't easily tear up these days). love to you, friend.


Charm Bracelet Diva said...

YOU are kind. YOU are smart. YOU are important. Try not to forget it, girlie!


Teacup Moments said...

Suzanne, I am reading The Help now and find myself alternately laughing out loud on one page and then fighting tears on the next. It's such a compelling, moving work. Words are indeed powerful. Thank you for this empowering post.

A Cottage Muse said...

Love this...just love it!
Sending you a smile!

Beach House Living said...

Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

debbie h. said...

Suzanne, I love this post. Seems we are all thinking along the same lines these days. It is so important that as women we try to lift each other up and not tear each other down like women can have the ability to do. There is enough negativity in this world that we don't need to add to it. Thanks for all of your encouraging words and sweet thoughts. It is women like you that make me want to be a better person. Have a beautiful week.

Lulu and Co. said...

This is my favorite post!!! Love how you wrote it and it means so much to m!!

Tiffini said...

oh how Paige's post touched has yours. I so need to hear these things right I'm sure lots of people do.

I hear people say that blog friendships are crazy..but for me - they are lifelines.
have a beautiful Wednesday "girlie"

Karena said...

Suzanne thank you so much for this, a reminder in so many ways to lift up ourselves, those we love, even any stranger we meet through life. To be a positive influence always....


Art by Karena

I have a fabulous Giveaway from Interieurs I hope you will come and join!

A Rosy Note said...

I think that what people most want is to feel validated and noticed...and that makes them feel loved. Those little Abileen messages say time and time again "I see you and you are special." I just loved that book, wasn't Abileen such a gem? Have you seen the movie, yet?
xo Tricia


Thanks, Abie, I mean Suzanne, for being an on.line encouragement to all of us. You are a thinker, a great wordsmith and a friend.


patty said...

what a lovely post, suzanne... and your words (paige's? abileen? ) ring so true... and for me, to affirm and praise, to motivate and inspire, just to make smile.. these are the things i love...
love to you!

Cindy said...

That was my favorite part of the movie! Brought tears to my eyes. My grandmother would say similar things to me and even now, when I am having a bad day, I think of her words. This is a beautiful post and your pictures of your daughter and her sweet friends are precious!
Your posts are always so sweet and inspirational.

Jeanie said...

Our Inner Abbies. I love that! I adored that part of the book (have yet to see the movie) and feel fortunate that I have always had Abilenes in my world to reinforce my spirit and sense of self-worth when it is at its most challenged. These words are indeed worth remembering, repeating and sharing. For I think it is as important to be someone's Abilene as to have one of your own.

Kristin said...

Dear Suzanne, that is so so true!!! Beautiful! Happy Autumn to you too!

Love, Kristin

Stitchfork said...

Great post Suzanne! Instead of just thinking good things, we need to say them out loud.
xo Cathy

paige said...

oh how did i miss this.....

isn't it amazing how a literary character can inspire thousands?
i believe her character , her desire to encourage, her bravery, and her selfless love touches everyone & inspires us to do the same.
YOU are an aibileen suzanne.

i love your dog whisperer xo

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

How did I miss this beautiful post, Suzanne??
I love it - your words always touch my heart. My mother was an Abileen - always admiring me and my brothers. Her saying things like "you are such a kind girl" made me want to BE whatever she saw in me. And I remind myself of her when I hear myself say those same words to my own kiddos. You are like that Suzanne! Always encouraging and kind. How lucky I am to be your blog friend. I hope you know how much I appreciate your writing, your lovely comments and your friendship! Happy weekend my dear!


I loved "The Help" and I loved that you took those sayings and wove them into a post about words of encouragement in life:) You just have that magical way about you......

Amy Arnaz said...

Hi Suzanne~
I especially love the series of photos of your daughter. I recognize little Gracie but don't remember reading about the bigger dog. Regardless, nice photos! I also love The Help and am grateful to have had support like that in my young life. Makes me feel sad for youngsters who have no support, no one to encourage them or tell them they are wonderful. Another of your lovely posts! xoxo Amy

Lili said...

Oh Suzanne, I adore all these images on here, they are simply beautiful and each one has such softness and sweet emotion. I have yet to see the movie, and your post makes me believe I really must! xoxo ~Lili