“Nutty with A Dash of Meat” Jeanette Levellie here with a secret to how five little words can change your writer’s heart–and your life!
In all the years since Debbie left L.A. to move to Denver, I never told her how the five words she taught me changed my life. Two decades flew over us like a streak in the inky sky before I thought to thank her for those five words.
When we moved into a beautiful new home, she said them. When my kids received awards, and I had my first paying article published, she spoke them. Even when I received things other friends might have been jealous of, Debbie never withheld those five precious words.
She didn’t realize how she was changing my thinking, helping me become a better friend, and even change my writer’s heart with her five words.
You have probably guessed by now what they are: I’m so happy for you. (I know, “I’m” is a contraction, and thus equals two words. But don’t you think Five Words that Changed My Writer’s Heart sounds snappier than Six Words that Changed My Writer’s Heart? )
What I loved most when Debbie spoke those five words was that I knew she meant them. Because of her sincerity, those words changed the way I relate to others when they receive blessings. Debbie’s words made me realize how soul-nourishing it is to have someone rejoice with you when you rejoice, rather than feeling envious of the goodness coming your way.
Because if I’m honest, I admit that it’s easier for me to “weep with those who weep” than to “rejoice with those who rejoice.” I can cry with you if you received two rejection emails this week. But to say, “Wow, that’s marvelous!” when you’re doing the Snoopy dance because you signed a book contract, takes maturity. And to dance with you takes unselfish love.
When my blogging buddies started receiving offers from agents, I wanted to make excuses for their success, since all of them were young. Agents want new writers, I thought. If I was twentyish instead of fiftyish, it would be easier for me. Then I remembered Debbie’s five words. I decided to rejoice with my friends for the favor the Lord gave them instead of thinking petty thoughts.
It wasn’t long before God brought the perfect agent my way. She helped me secure contracts for three of my four books. And those same young authors I applauded for are now cheering for my success.
When Sally, a writer in my critique group made five figures one year publishing articles and writing curriculum, it was a bigger challenge for me to say Debbie’s five words. But I swallowed my envy and sincerely congratulated Sally.
She and I later became close friends, and she started sharing many of her contacts with me. She even gave me tips and ideas that helped me become a better writer. Last week my first cover was published by one of the magazines Sally told me about. She was as excited for me as I was.
But the best reward takes place inside of me after I’ve pushed aside my immature thoughts and chosen to act in love. The Lord gives me a huge helping of joy. When I sincerely share in someone else’s blessings, my heart grows two sizes. I go from Grinchy to Gracious.
So even when I must pray for grace to say, “I’m happy for you” it’s worth the change God brings about in me. Not only for my writer’s heart–but for my entire life.