Apples of Gold - Patsy Clairmont Interview, Part 4...

A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold 
in a setting of silver.
(Proverbs 25:11 ESV)

Patsy Clairmont Interview Part 1Part 2, Part 3

In Proverbs 18, we are told that the tongue has the power to bring life or death. If you've ever had your hopes and dreams affirmed with words of encouragement or wounded by mockery or harsh criticism, you know that's true.

As I began sharing my journey (both publicly and privately) with chronic illness, I became acutely aware of how many of us (including me) don't know how to encourage others with life-giving words.  

I asked the Lord to teach me - to show me how to be a better, more thoughtful encourager of others - an encourager like Patsy Clairmont, whose well-chosen, fitly spoken words are like apples of gold in a setting of silver.  

For all I know, I might be the person who encourages the next generation of wordsmiths. The person who fans the flame in the heart of a writer, speaker, artist - a "Patsy Clairmont" of the future who will then speak life-giving, Kingdom-building, God-glorify words into the hearts of millions. 

So I asked Patsy...
Was there someone who encouraged you - someone who recognized your gifts and spoke words of life to you as you were developing and expressing your gifts? 
I have had many cheerleaders throughout my life thus far. I treasure their influence. In fact if God had not ushered them in when He did I would not have made it this far. 
Along the way I have also encountered those who have been critical and disheartening. I have learned to listen to both and then discern the truth through God's counsel. 
If people are vicious, separate yourself quickly - our spirits are tender and bruise. 
Don't brood over rejection it will lead to bitterness. 
Acquaint yourself with those who speak life. Take notes. Learn from their example, and tend to the content of your own conversations.
I've divided my interview with Patsy into smaller segments for each day on purpose. I sometimes miss the jewels when words are many, but taken in smaller portions, those wisdom-pearls can be sown deeper before I move on. That last phrase - tend to the content of your own conversations - is the one that grabbed me today. 

What about you? What has Patsy said in my interview with her this week that has caused you to pause and consider more fully?

Patsy has been posted on her Facebook page that she is considering writing a book of questions and answers and has asked everyone to send her questions for the book. What fun! I have a lot more questions, and I bet you do, too. You don't have to be on Facebook. If you have a question you'd like to submit to Patsy, please email it to She really would love to hear from you. 

{Photos} Patsy Clairmont, WOF, August 2009, Tampa