Plucking Sunrays

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Words Are Powerful Challenge

I have great legs. It's a fact. No matter how much weight I gain or lose they will always be phenomenal. All throughout high school I fussed over my waist-line, my hips, my feet, everything!...Except my legs.

The truth is they probably aren't the best looking in the world, but the secret is I believe they are. No I can't tell you how to stop your body-criticism, but I can tell you that words have power. I was at a pool party in the 6th grade when the mother of the birthday girl pulled me aside. She handed me a piece of pizza and one of the most enduring compliments I've received to date: "Liliana, you have some great legs!" It wasn't anything over the top and she didn't keep me from scuttling back to the pool, but for some reason I chose to hang on to her words.

Later that year we had our winter social - which usually would have terrified me because I was a die-hard tomboy with a no-dress-policy - but I looked at myself in the mirror and thought "I do have great legs". After that, I strutted around in my little party dress and had the best night possible. And every dance, party, date, etc since, I've always found confidence in myself because even if everything went wrong at least I still had great legs.

That mother probably doesn't even remember me, let alone the comment she made. However, her words affected my self-image in the best way possible and I'm thankful for her taking me aside to tell me what she did. It's the simplest, little things that can truly resonate with someone. You may not realize it but words hold immense power. The words themselves, not the person speaking them. It wouldn't have mattered if the woman was a complete stranger, I still would have nurtured the delusion that I was a knock-out.

So I challenge you to find a way to give someone a simple but sincere compliment. It may seem like an insignificant thing, but you never know how your words will touch someone. And with that, remember that negative words can be just as powerful, but in a detrimental way.

The Steadfast Blade

On Chasing Serendipity

Jared sat in an armchair, set at angle to the flickering fireplace. As Jamie rose from the sofa that created the rest of the angle, he glanced up, hazel eyes framed by a bare hint of gray in his dark hair. She smiled softly at his inquisitive glance, and shook her head. His lips twitched back, and she moved through the hallway, into the kitchen.

When Jamie returned, Jared had gone back to staring at the crackling fire. She set down a glass of wine onto the table to the right of the armchair, and he looked up at the sound of glass meeting wood.

"You only ever stare at the fire and be silent like that when something's on your mind." Jamie laid a hand on his shoulder for a moment, then raised it to caress his cheek. Jared leaned into the touch, closing his eyes, and they remained there for a silent moment. Then she continued, "What is it, babe?"

The endearment always brought a smile to Jared's face, and it did not fail this time. One side of Jared's mouth lifted. "I don't really know, Jamie."

She glanced at the piece of thick paper he grasped in the gap between two fingers. Jared had not once released it the whole evening, Jamie noticed. He caught her glance, and he gave another crooked expression, one shoulder rising and falling. "You know I never keep anything more serious than planned gifts or vacations a secret from you. This came today."

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