In Others’ Words: Influence

PepperandMehug Mark Twain compliment quote 10.16.13

Ah, compliments!
Someone takes the time to say something encouraging. Something positive about you. They start a sentence with the words, “I like you because _____________” and then they fill in the blank with a reason.
And you hug those words to yourself.
In the process of organizing my office recently, I gathered together various notes I’d received — from friends, family, people I met along the writing road. Instead of tossing them in the trash, I consigned them to a special basket on a shelf in my office closet. Why? So that on those days when I’m feeling a bit woe-is-me, I can take a moment and glance through one or two or three of those notes, hear the echo of a friend’s voice, and savor written words of encouragement. A thank you. An “I appreciate you.”
Too often I shrug off a compliment rather than accepting it.
You know what? That’s ungrateful of me.
At the very least, I should say “Thank you” for the verbal hug. At most, I shouldn’t overlook it.
In Your Words: I’m keeping it short and sweet today. I’d love to have you share a compliment you received. Go ahead! You’re not bragging on yourself–you’re retelling what someone else said about you. And, besides, I asked!

“I can live for 2 months on a good compliment.” Click To Tweet

Have you received – or given – a “verbal hug” lately? Click to Tweet 

Read the first chapter of  Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt! Click to Tweet

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  1. Scoti Domeij
    October 18, 2013, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    Well…the Velveteen Rabbit, and you know who she is, has been one continual compliment in my life. Hugs…

    • October 18, 2013, 11:05 am   /  Reply


      Love you, Brill. You are a Renaissance woman.

  2. October 18, 2013, 7:50 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post today, Beth. I know I’ve been given some compliments, but none are coming to mind at the moment. Your words speak truth, as usual. Thank you!

    • October 18, 2013, 1:31 pm   /  Reply

      Here are words that come to my mind:
      You are a woman of great faith. You are a talented writer. You are a loyal friend.

      • October 18, 2013, 3:41 pm   /  Reply

        Awww, you just made me blush. Thank you. I will hold onto those words. 🙂

  3. October 18, 2013, 8:22 am   /  Reply

    Most people who know me find me to be sorta all right to be around. Ish. On the odd day.
    Let’s put it this way, if I ever am in the position of having to post bail, I KNOW I won’t be alone at that moment!!

    But I suffer greatly from Sally Field Syndrome. You know it, “You like me! You really like me!” This goes back to having a parent leave and never come back. He chose a different set of family over us. ‘Not good enough’ is my plague.

    One day, a beloved friend, our Bolivia Teams director, said to me “Look at yourself through Jesus’ eyes. He died for you. Think about it.”

    I still wonder why the heck people hang around me, honestly, I do, but I can relegate that feeling to the ‘snap out of it’ file, when I think about nails in His hands and a crown of thorns pressed into His head.

    He stayed up there for me. And everyone else. But I only feel my feelings.

    So yeah, His sacrifice is a pretty fine compliment.

    • October 18, 2013, 1:33 pm   /  Reply

      I am so sorry your earthly father wounded you when he abandoned you, Jennifer.
      But I love how someone spoke truth to you.
      And how you embraced it.
      And meeting you was a highlight of ACFW.

  4. October 18, 2013, 8:31 am   /  Reply

    I love a good compliment too. I especially love it when someone takes the time to compliment me on something they may not even realize I was feeling poorly about. Like my hair (always a mess, it seems) or a story I’m doubting or whatever. Love it when people say just the right thing at just the right time. And I love those people who are so good at offering words of encouragement and compliment–they make me want to be more intentional about doing the same.

    • October 18, 2013, 1:34 pm   /  Reply

      Melissa: I agree with you! The oh-so-unexpected-but-just-what-I-needed compliments are the best!

  5. October 18, 2013, 8:59 am   /  Reply

    Best compliment? Easy.

    “Thanks for taking in all those dogs. I wish we could do it, too.”

    • October 18, 2013, 9:31 am   /  Reply

      Here’s one for you , Andrew…”Thanks for being my big brother, I’m glad Kevin has reinforcements.”

    • October 18, 2013, 1:35 pm   /  Reply

      I do admire your love and provision for all those dogs, Andrew. It is, in a word, heroic.

      • October 18, 2013, 11:58 pm   /  Reply

        Thank you, Beth. But they are my heroes, too.

        Tonight they were flocking around Barbara in her mourning and loss, some with sad-eyed sympathy, some clowning to make her laugh.

        They get it, and they wear their hearts on their sleeves. What I’ve given has been repaid so many times over. My cup runs over with privilege, having these guys in my life.

    • October 18, 2013, 3:43 pm   /  Reply

      Here’s one for you, Andrew: You are a man of great thought and great compassion. Your example challenges me to grow in these areas.

  6. October 18, 2013, 9:41 am   /  Reply

    Oh Beth, this was so timely and sweet!!! You gave me one of my best compliments ever. You told me I am a woman of faith. Wow! In fact you said it was one of my spiritual gifts. I was so blessed by that because it made me aware of God’s works in me toward others. What a beautiful blessing!
    Thank you!

    • October 18, 2013, 1:37 pm   /  Reply

      Pepper: Your unwavering faith in God was one of the first things I noticed about you. One of the things I admire most about you.

  7. October 18, 2013, 9:46 am   /  Reply

    An encouraging word can definitely carry us through a hard time, can’t it?

    A friend recently pointed out that I have the gift of mercy…of feeling what others are feeling, mourning with them, rejoicing with them, whatever. I’d never thought of it like that before, but it makes sense. She said I was good at finding needs and meeting them BECAUSE I have that gift of mercy.

    Nothing’s better than being thought of as a helpful person…especially on those days I feel entirely drained and selfish. Her words encouraged me to be on the lookout even more for people in my sphere of influence who need encouragement themselves.

    • October 18, 2013, 1:38 pm   /  Reply

      Isn’t it wonderful when others see you — and tell you who you are? Love it!

  8. Carol Moncado
    October 18, 2013, 9:51 am   /  Reply


    • October 18, 2013, 1:39 pm   /  Reply

      Indeed you are, Carol.

  9. October 18, 2013, 11:22 am   /  Reply

    “You’re such an encourager.” (When I fall incredibly short at times…)

    • October 18, 2013, 1:58 pm   /  Reply

      You are! You are!!!

  10. October 18, 2013, 11:26 am   /  Reply

    This is what I woke up to this morning from the lovely Casey Herringshaw at The Writer’s Alley: “I hope you’ve had the chance to meet Gabrielle Meyer at least once. And if you haven’t be sure and it put her on your ‘people to meet list’ the next time you attend ACFW (or whichever conference you both might be attending). I think she’s awesome. Gorgeous. Talented. Smart. Gifted.” I’ll hold on to these words forever! Thank you, Casey. 🙂

    Beth, I’ll be thinking about you and Casey as her visit nears!!! Have fun. 🙂

    • October 18, 2013, 1:58 pm   /  Reply

      Loved your blog post today, Gabrielle.

  11. Heidi Kortman
    October 18, 2013, 12:48 pm   /  Reply

    The conductor of a Sweet Adelines group once said she wished she had my vocal resonance.

    • October 18, 2013, 1:59 pm   /  Reply

      What a lovely compliment, Heidi!

  12. October 18, 2013, 5:35 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, first of all, I must say I love the emotion in the photograph. Beautiful. Recent wedding?

    I did receive the one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever had the other day. Really touched me. A friend said she enjoyed my company because I see beauty in ordinary things—and it caused her to notice things she doesn’t usually notice. God does fill our days with ordinary things—beautiful ordinary things.

    The other compliment I’ll always remember, was when my husband told me, “Julie, life with you is never boring.” 🙂

    • October 18, 2013, 5:56 pm   /  Reply

      That photo was taken at ACFW this past September. I was hugging my precious friend, Pepper Basham. And yes, that hug is loaded with emotion.

      And thank you for sharing your compliments with us today. They are both wonderful “verbal hugs.”

  13. October 18, 2013, 7:13 pm   /  Reply

    I sometimes have a hard time receiving compliments because I see all the areas where I fall short. One thing I’ve come to realize is that our words can prophesy life into people. Prophecy is really just speaking truth the way God sees it. When I read that definition the first time it really struck me. I want to prophesy life into people. I want them to walk away feeling more who God called them to be. Often that’s just seeing them with His eyes — and sincere compliments are a great tool for that.

    • October 18, 2013, 7:22 pm   /  Reply

      I love your insight, Cara. “Seeing [people] with His eyes.”
      Life changing.
      Not going to forget this any time soon. Or at all.

      • October 18, 2013, 7:31 pm   /  Reply

        I can’t tell you how often it will come back to mind. I wish it did even more frequently. Writing a blog post on this now that yours prompted some thoughts. Love that!

  14. October 18, 2013, 9:31 pm   /  Reply

    This is a special reminder to soak up those compliments. And to give them generously and genuinely. I love you, my writer/grandmother friend. You are beautiful.

  15. Sonia Meeter
    October 19, 2013, 8:00 am   /  Reply

    My favorite compliments are relating to the good job I’m doing with my children. A “You’re so patient” with your daughters from an insider or a hug from my girls makes me feel like I’m succeeding in the most important ministry I’ve been giving on earth.

  16. October 21, 2013, 12:17 am   /  Reply

    […] friend Beth Vogt had a great blog post this week on compliments. She starts with a great quote from Mark Twain that I have stolen and redesigned […]

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