When syllables and phonetics can interpret heartbeats

I’ve been reveling in words recently.

My husband and I had an unexpected afternoon with a dear friend, and over beer (for the boys, anyway) and pasta and summer haze we spoke of words – a frenzy of breathing authors and titles and quotes as quickly as possible, inhaling and exhaling beauty and story and life.

And when we were done glutting on books, we spoke of love and grace and fear and pain, and named expectations and insecurities.

Do you ever take a second to breathe a deep breath? You know, when you push air in to the tiniest recesses of your lungs, and suddenly your brain comes awake and your eyes sparkle and you realize just how shallowly you’ve been breathing?

It was one of those conversations – stuffing the air full of life-giving words and coming fully awake at them.

And then there are words, that when you read them, you can’t go slowly enough. Because somehow you’ve got to possess them and sink into them and graft them into your heart. Because they somehow interpret the groanings of your soul at that one moment in time and the only, whole-being response possible is “yes!” I’ve been reading yes-words lately.

Just that morning, before the beers and hearts-opening, I finished the last few pages of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a book of finding timeless eternity in the rush of now, the always in the never. Remember that he has “set eternity in the hearts of man”? (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Ecclesiastes throbs through the pages. And the words, the words themselves are breathlessly beautiful. I lingered over each phrase like a cup of tea, a velvety sensuousness like melting chocolate. Do yourself a favor and add it to your reading list.

And then, read this blog. Take a minute to wipe off your glasses and bring into focus the Hero Husband, strong arms buried deep in mud, vomit, sweaty cars and selflessness. This is love, that a man lay down his life. Forget twitter pated and find the romance in the quiet, deep rushing current of “’til death do us part.”

Or read this one, and be reminded that your family is simply a phone call, a playdate, a cup of coffee away. Wallow in this word adopted, let it seep into your soul and become who you are. Or these words of aching vulnerability, of the reminder that life is sad and happy and beautiful and ok.

And then check out this article: an expression of the life-giving, equipping power of words.

Because words aren’t mere shapes or syllables or phonetics. They are the deep magic of this world, the essence of reality, the life givers and shapers, the very Creator himself. The Word. The one who names us with one word so intimate and so life-giving it is known only to him. The word that sums up all your overcoming and all your uniqueness and all your beauty and all the depths of your soul.

We can’t escape from them. We can only celebrate them with trepidation because they are so terribly, incredibly powerful.

And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 

Matthew 12:36

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. 

James 3:3-10

I’ve been reveling in words lately because they’ve been powerfully interpreting my heart, filling me with life, naming me. Where are you finding yes-words right now?


  1. misscaramichele says:

    Oh friend. Yes. This reminds me of talks that we used to have long into the night. Such a beautiful thing to embrace the power of words. Love where you’re going with this, looking forward to continuing on the journey with you.
    Glad you liked my post, and love that you’ve found Fiona too. She is wonderful. You will love her.

    1. Jenni C says:

      Yes! Our conversations about words. I loved them, and remember them often. Thanks for the support, and the writing community.

  2. fiona lynne says:

    Thank you for sharing my post. I’m so glad it was meaningful to you today x

    1. Jenni C says:

      I was glad to have found you! You have a beautiful little corner of the internet, and your writing is lovely. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.

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