About the Author

As a mother of two who finds herself smack dab in the middle of widowhood, Lori chooses a life of gratitude by intentionally living this new life well. Her sanity is fueled by daily time with Jesus, boot camp workouts, running, and a lot of coffee. As a regular contributor...

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  1. Lori, it’s too early in the morning to be crying at the laptop, but here I am, wiping away tears as I read your words. I’m so sorry for your loss, and also so thankful that you have been on the receiving end of such life-giving words. You say you want to be the person that speaks encouragement into other people’s lives? Well, I think you already are that person! And I pray that kind words will continue to meet you right when and where you need them.

    • Lois,
      Thank you for YOUR kind words this morning. What a beautiful prayer over me, I pray the same for you this morning.
      Lori Reynolds Streller

  2. Thanks for sharing your story and desire to be one who encourages. I’ve been practicing kindness for years now, and it doesn’t always come with the knowledge of how it really affects people. But, earlier this week I listened to my heart and stopped by my neighbors to invite her along with me for the day. Come to find out it was the day before her husband’s birthday who passed away last year. I listened to her share and gave her a hug. Although she declined the invitation, if I had ignored the nudge (and I almost talked myself out of it) I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be there for her that day or the next.

    • Yes Sarah! As one who has benefited from the encouraging words of another, I say “Thank you for being sensitive to the Spirit’s whisper in your heart.” I have absolutely no doubt that you blessed your friend deeper than you can even imagine. I love that you have “been practicing kindness for years” and hope to have this same testimony in my life in the years to come. Thanks fro stopping by and commenting today. ~Lori

  3. I write this with refreshing tears but with such a heavy heart-just when my wounds are scarring over and I think I can laugh more, a dear bud spoke a demeaning joke over me. I got sick from a severe antibiotic reaction that left me burned all over including my tear glands. Tears are needed for visual function. I write this with difficulty instilling artificial tears every few seconds to see and read and function.
    Just because I’m not productive in the workforce now doesn’t define me. I am smart and hospitable and Gid gave me talents I still use towards friends who come visit. But he joked losely and I was hurt.
    Just when I was starting to trust again and feel confident. So now he stonewalls me despite me forgiving him and the first to reach out.
    I needed to hear your words to heal again after last night’s disrespectful words from my own son too.
    Lift me in prayers. Liz

    • Father God, We thank You that You are constant in our lives, thank You that we can bring our hurts, our frustrations, and our fears and lay them at your feet. Lord, I first ask for restoration of health and total healing for Liz. I also ask You to please heal these relationships in Liz’s life. Thank You that You say who we are, and in You, we find our confidence. Amen.
      Liz, stay strong by leaning heavily into Jesus as He carries you through this season. Hugs! ~Lori

      • Thank you Lori. I so needed a friend to
        lift me up and pray with me. I’ve been hurting
        a very long time.
        From my childhood- my dad never affirmed me
        nor lived me for who I am. I took home
        A’s but nit good enough for him. I had full
        ride in college and made a good life
        for me one own. I leaned on Jesus
        all along. I passed State Boards
        when I came to Chicago alone.
        But God put me in touch with our
        former pastors. So I had more friends.
        Dad died in May this year. But before he did
        that dear classmate would pick me up
        once a week after his clinic so J can
        visit with Dad. I brought him home cooked
        meals in the nursing home. Even though
        It was so hard to cook exposing museums to heat
        when it’s already severely dry.
        I was never told I’m beautiful nor smart
        or strong nor kind nor generous.
        My self esteem rose when God made me
        best old classmates who helped me
        and valued me and sang my virtues played
        down my faults. Is it because I’m gentle
        I get trodden around?
        When I was well I volunteered at church
        as a deaconess and more.
        I know he cares about me and our friendship
        Took 40 years before we met again
        But he hit a nerve and I hurt so bad
        Then my son disrespected me after all
        what I’ve done for him supporting him through
        college. I sold all my jewelries
        even wedding bands ( husband died in 2003)
        to help him get through. Borrowed against
        equity to see him through school.
        I cannot open to friends, trying to protect
        people I love. Thank you Lori for praying
        with me.

        • Liz,
          So so sorry for all the hurt you’ve been through! I pray for good friends to come and whisper kind words to your weary soul! You are beautiful, loved, and smart! God loves you and so do I sweet sister in Christ!!

    • Father,
      Thank you that you hear our prayers. Please help Liz heal from words spoken without thought. Asking for complete healing of her heart and eyes. She is a child of God and deserves to be loved! Please bring restoration to these relationships and forgiveness from everyone. Shower her with grace and mercy! Bring people her way that will speak truth, love and kind words to her!

      AMEN (((((Hugs)))))

  4. Dear Lori, such beautiful, blessed words. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your husband. Know that your words have been like honey for me today.

    I linked through to your blog and read several posts that all spoke such powerful truth into my own heart. I also sent one to my Dad, who lost his wife and our dear Mum to brain cancer a little over a year ago, to encourage him. Your post about your faith was especially encouraging to me. I am just coming out of a season of doubt, having decided to cling to Scriptural promises of His goodness in the midst of trials and your Scripture saturated truths have felt like a warm blanket today. May God continue to bless and hold you in the midst of your hard, a hard I can’t even begin to wrap my head or heart around.

    • And thought I’d share this Scripture with you that’s been blessing me:
      Isaiah 58: 11-12
      I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places – firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past.

    • Anna,
      Thank you for your condolences. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I HATE cancer, but I love our God more. He is faithful and He is good. His promises are true. May the God of all comfort comfort you as He draws you ever closer to His side. Snuggle up under the blanket covering of His wings and find rest there.
      Blessings to you.
      ~Lori

  5. Lori, your post touched my heart in a deep place this morning. I’m sorry for your loss, and praise God, He has moved you to share your deep places with us. You encouraged many this morning, and your powerful words are truly reflecting His love. May the Lord continue to abundantly bless you and your family. Seasoning my words with salt today, thanks for the reminder sweet friend in Christ.

    • Doris, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment of encouragement for me. 🙂 I pray for only gracious speech to flow from me. Some days I am more successful than others and daily I seek forgiveness for a careless tongue. I pray God transforms me into a woman who speaks truth and life into the aching hearts of others. There are so many wounded people we cross paths with in this life. Wounded and scarred beyond what our vision allows us to know; happy outward faces with inward turmoil. May we both season our words with salt and shine Christ’s love more brightly into the cracks and crevices of the secretly hurting. ~Lori

  6. Beautiful words indeed! We all need to hear a kind word and it’s equally important for us to share a kind word with those around us on a daily basis. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Thank you and you are welcome, Amy. It’s a beautiful thing when we are sensitive to God’s Spirit within us and choose to use our words to build each other up by scattering kindness. ~Lori

  7. I agree with Lois that you are already encouraging people with your story, and I too, am sorry for your loss. Kind words are a balm. We should all be more thoughtful. God’s Word will not return to Him void, Isaiah 55:11, so sharing verses and even the smallest expressions of consideration will not go unnoticed.

  8. This is lovely and powerful, Lori. Thank you for allowing God to use your trials to encourage us to be better. I want to be that woman too! Prayers for you and your family.

    • Hannah, my children and I cherish and appreciate your prayers. God is faithful, He is in the business of making beauty from ashes and I trust Him to make something beautiful out of our lives. Blessings to you. ~Lori

  9. This was beautiful, Lori. What a great reminder to touch another’s life with kind words. It just might be the healing balm they need for that moment.
    May God continue to strengthen you, comfort you, and assure you that you are handling your role with His love and grace.
    Blessings, Janis

  10. Lori, my spirit aches for you and the pain you are trudging through right now. My dad died two years ago, and since then, I’ve often thought, “My mom doesn’t have someone to tell her how pretty she is or hold her hand or offer up little tokens of grace.” I appreciate this post because we all need to be reminded that our words are gifts we offer to one another. And the resource of words is endless! Blessings and life over you, dear sister.

    • Kristin, you are so correct in your thinking! I am sorry for your loss of your dad. Most people don’t think of those little things that widows lose when they lose half of themselves in the death of their husband. Good for you! Tell her, hold her hand, hug her and offer her the tokens of grace that will feed her soul. ~Lori

  11. Lori,

    Sorry you lost your sweet hubby so soon in life!!! May God continue to bless you and your family! I pray for peace and contentment for your heart and soul!

    Thank you for opening up and sharing your sweet heart with us! I find myself an encourager by nature! I know how kind words can lift a person’s spirit up! I always try my best to listen to the Holy Spirit and encourage people!! This world needs more people to speak love and beauty into it! I find myself sending cards, e-cards, e-mails, etc. telling people what they mean to me. At church I smile and say hi to everyone trying to brighten their day even if they don’t feel good!
    Blessings:)