By Kristine John
As writers, we paint our lives with our words.
We choose the things that we portray to others with love, and hope that the spirit of what we feel will be carried through in our words to the hearts of our readers.
In recent weeks, I have been touched by the impact that an LDS sister of ours has had on the blogging world.
I do not know her personally, but her story has touched my heart, and I feel the need to share it here today.
Stephanie Nielsen is the blog author of NieNieDialogues.
Last month, she and her husband were in a plane crash in eastern Arizona and both of them were burned critically.
They are both still in the hospital with the cost of their health care expected to climb into the millions.
(They have four delightful children that are being cared for by family members in Utah.
You can follow their story here: C Jane Enjoy It.)
As word has spread of the plane crash, and the physical hardships that lie ahead for the Nielsen family, support has poured in from around the globe.
Most of the people offering help are not people who know Stephanie personally, but people who have been forever changed by her words.
Family members have been interviewed by the local news, the New York Times and even appeared on the Today show.
Consistently, reporters have been surprised that people who do not know the Nielsen family would be willing and even anxious to help a family they have never met.
Such is the power of words, especially words written from the heart, with the spirit of love.
Stephanie chose to focus on life as a joy, motherhood as a blessing, and marriage as a gift.
She took the time to share what was in her heart, and bear testimony, time and again, of the fact that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph 1).
She chose to share the traditions she established and special moments she shared with her family and friends, and ultimately, with all who read her blog.
She is a writer who shared what was in her heart, and painted her life vividly with her words.
Sometimes as writers, we minimize the power of our God-given talent, and don't strive to share the things in our heart with the world around us.
I would be greatly saddened if Stephanie had chosen to keep her voice quiet and not written the things that were important to her.
She continues to have an impact on the lives of those around her, even as all of her time and energy is given to helping her body recover.
Such is the power of words carried to our hearts by the spirit of the Holy Ghost.
Let us each strive to write honestly, personally, and from our hearts.
We never know whose life we may impact.