Preview of Episode 4 "The Beautiful Weapon of Mass Affirmations"

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To listen to the full episode click on this link or to read, the transcript follows here: 

Hello everyone and thank you for joining me here on Life, its a big faith journey as we discuss the importance of affirmations. These are spoken words to you that motivates, inspires and encourages you to take action and to realize your goals. These words put together a sentence that you repeat often, in order to imprint it on your subconscious mind. This repetition can change your habits, behavior and point of view. 

When thinking logically and when making  decisions you have heard the phrase “Use your head.  Your head is the most powerful weapon you could ever posses. It is where your thoughts are created and it allows you to speak those thoughts out loud into the world. Your head can lead you to success or it can get you in a world of trouble.  And just like any weapon that vessel gives you the ability of how to correctly use it for the opportunity to protect life or destroy it. So sit back for a few moments and think about how choosing our words can change our own lives as well as leave a legacy that impacts the lives of others.  

I want you to also be thinking about children and the importance of our words to them. And know this, that regardless of our age we always have a need for affirmation in our lives. We need affirmation from our parents, teachers, mentors, friends, family, children and our spouse. 

We need to hear from our bosses at times how they believe we are doing at work and for this reason I feel employee evaluations and reviews are so good for the work place. It is helpful for both the boss and the employee and can make for a much better work environment and the production process. Employees need an opportunity to sit in front of the boss and have a conversation from time to time.Its good for morale and motivation.  It will either inspire you to keep doing a good job, or do better or maybe discover you need to find a new job. These days you often hear people say, Oh I don’t care what anyone thinks. But truth be told for the most part we really do care about what other see in us and what they think. It matters to us on how well we do in this life. Since Jesus wants us to be a good example and represent Him we should care to that degree what others think and feel about us. And in human nature most of us really do want to be liked and thought well of and we should.

People may not remember every word you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Its sooooo important. This will determine how much they will like you or not, and it will also determine how you will be remembered by them as well. I am not saying that making people like you is the goal, the goal is caring enough, the goal is truly the love as Jesus wants us to have and to be and helping someone see potential in their lives, but that doesn’t mean it is all sunshine and roses, sometimes it means tough love. Tough love doesn’t mean you make someone not like you, or that you have to feel bad for saying it,  it means you have to sometimes get out of your cozy comfort zone and maybe take a bit more time and effort helping them. It means you have “their best interests” at heart.  As I share some people with you today, listen to what kind of people they were and think of those people you have been impacted by, as well as how you may be doing this with those people in your life who look to you for what you bring to the table for them. 

My Marie, someone who didn’t have to love me, but she chose too and made me her own. When I say made me her own I mean her friend, who treated me like I was her daughter, like I was someone so dear to her. I made her top list of people and I felt it. I was a priority.  I met her when I moved to a place of all things unknown,  I knew no one and this woman loved me unconditionally until she died 30 years later. She never once put me down she would instead give me ideas to try.  She was always building me up. We could talk every day for hours on end. We cried and laughed together and cheered one another on. She was all things to me.

The one thing these people I will share with you have all have in common is that they knew they had to lead themselves, walking their talk before they could inspire me or anyone else, who would ever want to take anything they said serious or simply be taught by them.  Mrs. Clark was my third grade teacher, a life changer. She taught like a loving grandmother does, such a nurturer and an encourager. She was a gift in my life when I really needed such a comfort as a child. She opened the door to my writing skills and encouraged me to read my stories to the class. I felt so lost when it was time to move to the 4th grade where I had a teacher not so nurturing and kind. She was a good teacher, but her personality was not as warm, and we didn’t have that unique connection, yet I am thankful for both experiences because it taught me a lot about the world.

Mr. McNeil was my 5th grade teacher and he was gruffy at times but I was never afraid of him. Many kids probably were. But I saw his heart and I felt safe around him because he had a genuine heart for us all and a passion for teaching us.  Mr EnEarl was my music teacher at school and he loved my voice and helped promote my talent.  He believed in me when I didn't have enough belief in myself, and it got me strong enough to begin to fly the nest of feeling my potential to discovering my confidence on my own. Richard Jackson was my pastor and he baptized me. He taught me to accept change in my life and that by doing so I could have opportunities. This got me on my way to not being so afraid to take chances. And by learning to trust God my faith as result became all or nothing.  Learning from him, set me on my way to feel I could believe God for anything.

Among these teachers, in college I have had many wonderful professors who really showed their care towards me and I truly appreciate that. Attending community college and then a smaller private Christian University, I feel I got that “family feel” and places where professors stayed most of their careers. I appreciate how each of these people were "real" to me.  They were not afraid to show their hearts and personality to me despite any big title or degree they may have held. I believe they easily saw my heart and they felt they could trust me to accept the real person in them as well. I appreciate that and those qualities made me respect them even more.

Dr. McDaniel the president of our junior college taught me to speak from my heart to people no matter who they were. As a journalist on my first ever interview he was the one I had to interview with and I told him so. Immediately instead of sitting behind his big desk he walked around his desk and turned a chair towards mine and sat next to and facing me. He then began asking questions of me. He allowed me to be honest and relaxed as he befriended me. Me being a student he showed me that right away he was treating me me as an equal. So when I saw him after that my reaction was quite different. Instead of nervous and anxious, I felt joy and excitement. Through our friendship I learned that we should place value in ourselves and so no matter the position a person holds we should treat people with respect, as equal and of value.  He had shared with me that he felt each person’s job was important. He said the grounds keeper’s job is just as important as mine because he makes this place look so beautiful for us to come too and enjoy. He showed me that regardless of someone’s title there really is no room to get uptight. We each are important. Just be your true self all the time. Be someone others want to be around. I have always said that you should enjoy your own company. You should enjoy the time you spend alone with yourself.

Sharon Hale was my admissions counselor, later my intern mentor and she was also "real" with me. She was the one who sent me letters encouraging me to become a student at Lubbock Christian University. She made me feel very capable and good about myself through each and every time we spent together. Her life at times was so complicated and full but she always made time for me and set the example of what I believe a Christian is by the way she handled her own life. She prayed for me in her office and comforted me when times were tough in my life. She set the example for me and mentored me. 

I watched Heather one of my dearest friends from college rise from the ashes more than once. I am so grateful that we never lost touch because her testimony of life has always encouraged me even when I had to encourage this 19 year old young college girl. She too was "real" to me. Heather has experienced so many facets of life and did so with courage even when she had to fake that confidence at times. No matter how many times she may have felt kicked to the ground that girl got up and kicked off the dust every time. And now 20 something years later this woman has accomplished many goals and has led a team of writers, lives in a beautiful home, loving her family and married to a man she has always dreamed of. She is my beauty from ashes, my girl of perseverance time and time again inspiring me to never give up.

I have had plenty of people chose me. People like Jewel and Dewey Phares, Grandma Sandy, who were not my blood grandparents, but stepped up and became mine. My Marie, Mozelle, Gisela, all who didn't have to love me but they did. I was adopted by their hearts and chosen by them to be part of their lives. They made it easier for me to know how to love people I barely knew or didn't know at all, or knew all to well : ) They go to show that when one part of your world lets you down, there is another part of the world waiting to embrace you. Just ask Jesus to send the right people into your life. I miss my mentors, my older ladies like my Marie who were so good at that type of thing. These are the ladies you could trust and ask advice of and they were ladies of integrity because they were not trying to be judgmental while they made me feel so special to them and to myself. They poured life into me and helped me to take out that which wasn’t good for me and my best interests. By all of this, my love and admiration grew for them. I miss and still need that support. But I also realize that its my turn. I’ve stepped into their shoes. 

Jesus.  He is the greatest example of leading oneself first before being able to lead others. He walked His talk. You see when I say lead yourself I mean you must take care of yourself, your needs,  and then you must know what you are asking of yourself and do it.  You need to know who you are and what your purpose is. If you are going to walk your talk you must know what your talk is about. You must hold yourself to a high standard meaning you must have discipline and be accountable to the almighty God and yourself. Write your questions down and talk to God about them and keep praying over them. Consistency is the key to everything, every success depends on it.  By leading yourself first, you are what you want to see in this world. Be good to yourself and make time for self- care so that when you give of yourself you are giving the best of who you were meant to be. 

For a moment lets focus on kids and parenting. Where do we learn our parenting skills from? I believe we do this by the examples we have had. We take the good and use it and then pick apart anything else and use what we feel is helpful and then it is simply by living in our roles as parents to what we seek to learn and by trial and error. Yes, its ok to mess up at some things, and it is perfectly ok to apologize for doing so. It is a good lesson for your child as well to see you apologize to them. Being real like I have shared about other people in this podcast opens the door to so much more in this life for someone, like it has for someone like me. Its a game changer, a difference maker, a life giver.  I have always admitted I am am not perfect. I admitted to my children I am learning and changing as I go as a parent just like you are as a child. Because as a child grows our parenting has to as well. Being a parent of a newborn changes as the child changes. We have to grow our skill set along the way. The most important thing to note is that each and every child is unique and what parenting skills you learned from one may be for the most part knull and void with the other. Follow the uniqueness of each child. For example one of my grandsons, he has experienced a lot as a young child and because he has had a time, kids like to trigger his emotions and see how to make him upset. They think its funny but I see it as bullying. He has clearly been one that values the importance of hearing us tell him whether or not he is doing a good job, or if we like this or that. He is a child who wants to know what we think and he wants to do well. He wants that reassurance before he dives in too deep. And all of these positive ways we chose to parent him have truly benefited him and we as his family.  As he has grown I see his confidence rising. This child has been bullied in school for being small and he has went through a tough time of his parent’s divorce and all the other type of things life throws at a kid. But since time has passed and healing is ongoing and happening, he’s learned more as he has been able to talk about it and learn to deal with things and he has that assurance reaffirming him,  as  his confidence is rising and he is “desiring” and eager to open his heart and share with others some of the important things he has learned. 

Affirmations are important. He is also a child of affirmation. He wants to know he is doing a great job, he wants to please. He has this great level of confidence that depends on you as the adult to nurture. It is not wise to compare him to others. That stunts his emotional growth and how he sees himself, He’s a child. Want to make him soar? Its all in pointing out his strengths first and then giving him pointers on how he can become even better. And he will because that is who he is and that is what he requires.  Its also important to note to him that while he is really great in some areas he is simply not meant to take on the whole show or that particular one and may simply not be made for other things. Its all in the words and how we use them with him. And oh what a thinker he is and it shows when he speaks.

We can be that person someone can learn from or we can be that person someone despises. Children and parents remember this one: Children, including teenagers, should treat their parents with respect (Ephesians 6:2). But it cuts both ways and so Ephesians 6:4 it says ”Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger". Of course children can get angry for no good reason. But the point is: Don't give them a good reason. Remember you as the parents are their first and most influential teacher. They learn their parenting from you and this will determine what skills they choose to take from you or not. I’ve never been a fan of the “disciplinarian parent” because I feel Jesus is our example and he not only really loved children he gave them his utmost attention.  I believe discipline is an important component in our lives, but we should never use it to the point that it causes a child to hate or resent. Remember what I said in the beginning of this podcast concerning how you make people feel? A person may not remember every word you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Lessons should teach and show them the way to get where they need to be. A parent’s discipline should never bully or continue to make them feel the lesser. Lessons have to show them where they were wrong and how to get where we need to go now and give them the opportunity to do so, not prolong any agony but move on. It should never tear a child down and be any part of destroying how they are to feel about themselves.

Aside from family, having a wonderful husband, parents, children and grandchildren, there have been even some not so good relationships with other people who cover the rest of the people in my life, but all of these people have given me parts of their lives and experiences to mold myself into who I am and who I choose not to be. We have the choice so do not let your future be determined by the negative influences in your lives. Move past it. Be who you are and all you can be, all you chose to be.  I am always reminded of the great prayer warrior my maternal grandmother was and I try to be that too.  Even though my paternal grandmother has been gone since the early 90’s when I have dreams of her she always reminds me of this great love she and I shared and she reminds me to have a great strength. She tells me I am the strong one now and she is very proud of me.

So as I am looking ahead I can't help but look back from where I have been and how I got to this point. People do that.  I often think about how greatly loved I was as a young child in those formative years and I can’t help but remind myself of those affirmations of love and who God says I am. Even if you didn’t have a great childhood know this, God has always loved you and has had a plan for your life. I like who I am and who I have become. I even enjoy spending time with myself. I value myself and by doing that I realize how much more I value others. Thank you Jesus and all of you, for your help in making me who I am today possible : )  I love you.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of the importance of how we treat one another. Those we love should feel like the most important people in the world to us. My husband should always feel welcomed and that he matters to me, that I am happy to see him each day. He is the other part of me. He should always feel like I am the one he can always count on, that I am on his side, that he is my very best friend. My children should feel they are the most important people in my life. Children have surrounded  my entire life and from my own childhood I know how important it is to feel value, too need affirmation.

We all need words of affirmation, not only children but each of us, even as adults. Life is hard at times, and each of us struggle from time to time.  No matter how positive we attempt to be, we still have our moments in time. We still have stuff happen to us, to bring us down, disappoint us and discourage us.  There is not one person alive that doesn’t need to hear encouraging words even if we are not feeling blue but even wanting to celebrate something because encouraging words just help us continue along the way. Those words get us a little further, help us to motivate us to be a little stronger. We not only need to speak them over ourselves but we need to hear them from those who know us the best. You know I recently said to you that sometimes your smile can turn someone’s day completely around, so do your words. I believe those formative young years of our lives are vital to hearing those confident building words repeat themselves in our adult lives. My Daddy was truly so great at that. He was always telling me I was beautiful and smart and he actively spent time playing with me. My confidence wasn’t conceded but instilled in me so much so that when he took me places for example when he would sit me on the counter of the country store in our farming community the store keeper would say “You sure are beautiful,” I would always respond with “I know, my Daddy always tells me that.  Formative years, they establish the level of  confidence a child will carry into their lives. Let them dream, let them pretend, let them be innocent children. As an adult they will always reflect, refer and remember this special time in their lives. So remember to allow children of today this opportunity. When they are talking to you, listen, put all other things and distractions aside and look them in the eye and give them your full attention. Those same principles apply to people of all ages. Listen to me, pay attention bosses, business associates, employees, every person alive,…Make other people feel they are the most important at the moment to you. The world is cruel enough, and children will one day have to be in it too, and let teenagers be kids too because one day they too will have to go to work for probably the rest of their lives, and make important decisions then, so let them be kids as long as they can. As for you be the change you want to see by making people feel important to you and then you will always be important to them. I heard this saying the other day by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and I believe this with all of my heart, especially when raising a child: "If you treat an individual as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be. You know, this also applies to all people. Bosses just think if you treated your employee as he or she was what he or she ought to be and could be, he or she will begin to see themselves as so and work towards being what he ought to be and will be. This how you invest in your people. Your investment is more about your time, more than it is your money.

Those people who have made an impression on my life I have allowed their legacy to live on in me by taking those impressions and lessons learned by incorporating them into my own life style and sharing those things with the world. That is how legacies are suppose to work. What will your legacy say about you to those lives you have made an impression on and what kind of impression will it be?  Think its too late? Nope, not getting out of this one! You can start a new today. Will your legacy be a positive life giving impact upon their lives or will you be the person they choose that they say you are all the things they don’t want to be? Did you give them any of your time and what kind of time was it? What will they remember about you from that time? Did you put your phone down and pay attention? The good news is that you have all the opportunities right now to be the deciding factor of the fate of your own legacy. It belongs to you right now. You get to chose what  you want your legacy to reveal about you and to teach to the world. You get to chose what you leave behind to continue on in someone else. I know life can be tough, really tough, but do not let this world determine your life, let your change change the world, one person at a time, let the change begin in you first. Learn to lead yourself. 

If you don’t feel like you have a good support team, then begin by talking to your heavenly father about that and take some sticky notes or index cards and begin writing affirmations on them and leaving them in places you can see. Begin speaking positive words about yourself even if you don’t feel like it, just do it. Speak your words out loud, hear your voice speaking to you and your words will become your thoughts and you will begin envisioning yourself being all those things. Don’t stop, keep going each and every day and then this new attitude will begin to become your life.  And you will then find people wanting what you have, wanting to feel about themselves the way you feel about yourself, confident and happy and satisfied.

Thank you for deciding to come and spend some of your time once again listening to me. Until next time….be good to yourself.  - Diana Hudgins




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