Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Words matter & my hope for 2018 December 29, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Some of the quotes posted on my refrigerator.


WORDS HOLD INCREDIBLE power—to hurt, to heal, to build, to tear down, to discourage, to embolden, to darken, to enlighten…


A wall of quotes…I love this public posting of inspiring words discovered this past September inside the Jack Pine Center in Pequot Lakes.


During my life, I’ve felt the sting of unkind words unleashed by teen bullies, by a teacher who should never have been a teacher, by individuals angered with my writing, by those who spoke (or wrote) without first considering how deep their words would wound me. Oftentimes it is those we love most who hurt us the most.

Perhaps you can relate. And if you can’t, I am thankful you can’t.

I expect my words have also at times hurt others. And I’m sorry for that.



As a professional wordsmith, I strive to use words in a positive way. I realize the power in the words I write and in the words I speak. I accept that responsibility.





Often I turn to words to inspire me, to give me hope and refocus my thinking when I need a shift in mindset. With that thought, I want to share some of the quotes currently posted on my fridge and in my office.


Inspirational quotes posted on my desk, on the shelf above my desktop screen. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all. —Emily Dickinson.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13

Keep your heart brave and your imagination wild. (from a Hallmark bag)

Let your roots grow down into Him and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness. —Colossians 2:7

Without a love for books the richest person is poor. —unknown

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.— Romans 12:12

Sometimes it’s nice to get an unexpected hug for no other reason than just because you’re loved. So while you’re reading these words, don’t think of them as just words…Think of each one as a hug for your heart from mine.  —Barbara J. Hall

It is my hope that in 2018 we as individuals, as communities, as a nation, as a world, will grow kinder in our use of words. I hope we will think before we speak/write, considering the power of our words.

Thoughts? Or a favorite quote you’d like to share?

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


27 Responses to “Words matter & my hope for 2018”

  1. jherbert12 Says:

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13

    Stay blessed…..

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Words do matter. No doubt about it. One of my many favorites is:“”The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening.” Oswald Chambers

  3. patricia olson Says:

    Thanks for these words! My 8-year old granddaughter was bullied this fall in second grade (almost unbelievable) … the school finally moved her to another class and she is once again excited about school. Whether in educational settings, political campaigns, religious activities, business relations, welcoming immigrants, etc. … we should all be civil and show respect. Sort of like, “love your neighbor as yourself” stuff.

    Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD

    Fort Collins, CO

    • Patricia, I am so sorry that your 8-year-old granddaughter was bullied. This is unacceptable. Moving her provided an immediate solution. Hopefully the school also addressed the issue with the bullies so no other child has to endure their bullying. They will find another person to bully if not corrected.

      “Love your neighbor as yourself” does blanket cover how we should treat others in all the situations you list and more.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, Patricia.

  4. Littlesundog Says:

    Growing kinder with our words and actions is something I’m cognizant of more and more as I age. I cannot see, read, or hear a lot of what media or social media puts out there. I prefer not to be out in public much – it’s difficult to see how young people are raised – shouting parents in the stores and no smiling, pleasant faces. Folks forget how tender of heart little children are… and they have not learned to respect the elderly. My mother-in-law still substitute teaches and today’s kids are horrible to her – she is 82 years-old. She has a real passion for teaching – yet the kids make fun of her becuase she’s old and they mock her for the style of clothes she wears. We live in a cruelty culture, perpetrating hate and pain, bullying others and shaming. It covers a range of generations. I agree with you, “It is my hope that in 2018 we as individuals, as communities, as a nation, as a world, will grow kinder in our use of words.” Unkindness cannot be tolerated. We know we are better than that.

    • Social media seems to be the bullying tool of choice for many. There’s a certain disconnect in hiding behind technology, I think, as if those written words don’t carry the same hurt as those spoken. They do. I am so weary of the bullying, but especially at the top level of our government. Really?

      As for your dear mother-in-law, this is unfathomable that she should be treated with such disrespect. And nothing is done by school administration to halt these assaults on her? At her age, she has so much to offer to these young people. If only they knew and appreciated the value of her knowledge. It sounds like these kids need to read the book Wonder and see the movie. Last night I picked up a copy of 365 Days of Wonder, Mr. Browne’s Precepts by R.J. Palacio, the same author who wrote Wonder. The book is packed with “a quote for every day of the year about courage, friendship, love, and kindness.” It should be required reading for everyone, from beginning reader through adult.

      Finally, you’re right: “We know we are better than that.”

  5. Valerie Says:

    “Words can build you up, words can tear your down, start a fire in your heart, or burn it out…”
    from a song called Words. Words make a huge difference. I love words and this is a great post.

  6. Jackie Says:

    Before your speak THINK
    T is it True
    H is it Helpful
    I is it Inspiring
    N is it Necessary
    K is it Kind

    I feel like I have to work on the words I say all the time, but I do recognize that, and really want to do a better job of Thinking before I speak. It’s really amazing the power a word has!

  7. Susan Ready Says:

    As a wordsmith you always use precise words that are spoken in a simplistic manner that evoke clear sharp images for the reader
    This is one of my favorite New Years quotes and its by T.S.Elliot
    For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.
    Happy 2018 may it be one of peace, joy and happiness for you and your family

  8. Beautiful words about words! Makes me think of James chapter 3!

  9. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13

    I get a little emotional whenever I read that verse, Audrey….perhaps, because I believe it w/ all my heart.

    WORDS matter.
    Words change lives.
    Words transform the universe.
    Words start wars.
    Words save lives. ( MINE )!

    I believe this.

    thank you for the POWER of your words. xxx

  10. Omgosh, I meant by writing…NOT the people who read my words! That sounds so conceited. NO…. By writing, I release my darkness… this is what has saved me for many years. xxxxx HAPPY 2018!

  11. i hope people will say words careful specially when they are angry

  12. Lisa Says:

    nevertheless, she persisted

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