Years ago, I borrowed a cute pregnant jumper from my friend Diana. It was the early 90s, and we were both homeschooling moms, so if you guessed that it was a denim jumper, you would be correct. What I especially liked about it was that it had enough room to accommodate a growing belly, but wasn’t one of those tent dresses that was so popular. Seriously. Some of those pregnant dresses were like wearing actual tents! So, anyway, this was an unassuming denim jumper that I just loved and wore a lot while I was pregnant with Jordan.
The jumper found its way to the back of my closet during the last month of my pregnancy because as accommodating as it was for my growing belly, Jordan grew so much that this sweet jumper just couldn’t keep up and a pretty, soft pink jumper of the tent variety soon took its place. Some months after Jordan was born, Diana found out she was pregnant, so she called asking if I could return the jumper.
Thinking I could just go to my closet and pull it out, I told her I would bring it right over. (She lived across the street.) It wasn’t there. I was mortified!! The only thing that I could think of is that the jumper had been mistakenly placed in my give away box and would have made it to Goodwill. Shoot.
I called Diana, and apologized profusely, telling her I would buy her a new jumper. She stopped me in mid-sentence and said a phrase that has had staying power in my life. “You are more important to me than a silly jumper.”
Talk about a relationship builder! This sounds so cliche’, but that phrase was implanted in my mind that day and has often come to the fore front when dealing with broken antique plates, chairs or ruined ceilings. I have to admit, though, I have often fought the urge to throw out the phrase, ” I can’t have anything nice!” (and have on many occasions). The times I have said, “You are more important to me than _______”, were the times that relationships were strengthened. I remember just how loved and important I felt that day, and I know that the impact that phrase has had when I have remembered to say it has been positive.
Our words are so powerful that they can build or destroy. When I am irritated, it’s especially important that I take pause and choose my words carefully. I really want to build mountains – I don’t want to strip mine my relationships.
I did find that blue jumper. Funny thing. It was in the back of Terry’s closet. Go figure.