The Nest:

A collection of favorite quotes, books, articles, images and other treasures, happily gathered for your enjoyment and edification!

Why do I call my website, "The Nest?"

Many years ago, I stumbled across a quote that stopped me in my tracks:

"The way we speak to children becomes their inner voice."

It struck me with a force that caught me off guard because the TRUTH of that statement was so undeniable and so frightening. Children are wired to trust the adults in their lives. So the feedback that children get from parents, teachers, & caregivers directly informs how they perceive themselves. When we interact with children, our word choices send indelible messages that let them know their worth and their potential. What a daunting responsibility it is to know how much every word matters when we are talking to the children in our lives!

But recently, I was struck by another way that language influences how children develop their sense of identity. I happened to be scrolling Pinterest a couple weeks ago, when I stumbled across a print that I instantly recognized (see left). This was hung up in the bedroom that I grew up in. Now, we lived with my grandparents when I was little, so it wasn't my print, per se. Honestly, I don't know where it came from. It may have been part of the decor in my grandmother's guest room. But what I do remember is lying in bed on hot, summer nights-the sky still too light to allow me to fall asleep- and just gazing at that print, reading it over and over again until I suppose it must have taken up permanent residency in the nest of my heart and mind.

How else can I explain the fact that 40 years later I seem to have made a living out of helping little robins unto their nests again. Did this shabby little print bend my life's trajectory without my even knowing it? I think perhaps it did.

I share this because I think it's healthy to be reminded from time to time, how powerful words are—especially in the presence of children. Whether spoken or in print, words can move more than mountains. They can move lives. Knowing that, let's all recommit to being mindful about our word choice—leaning into opportunities to lift up, encourage, and affirm others whenever we can. At the very least, we'll know that we did not live in vain.

The Power of Words