A picture worth 1000 words

Are you enjoying the Kindness Challenge? If you’ve been with us from the start we are just past the halfway mark, yay! (Hop on over here if you are wondering what on earth I’m talking about.)

I’ve sooo enjoyed the tips via email daily to keep me accountable to the 3 steps in the Kindness Challenge:

  1. Nix the Negative
  2. Praise the Positive
  3. Intentional Acts of Kindness.

Find a picture that is worth a thousand words, and turn it into a fun or appreciative note for him to find. Look back through the pictures you’ve taken – whether from last week or thirty years ago – and choose one that reminds you of a great time you and your husband spent together. A time that he made very special in some way.
Make a copy of the photo, and leave it out for him with a note that expresses your memory of appreciation. (“Look what I found from that river rafting trip. I was so scared and yet you kept telling me I could do it. Thanks for believing in me.”or “I came across this picture from our first fishing trip. You were so patient teaching me how to fish. Let’s do that again soon.)

When this tip appeared in my inbox it was a no-brainer for selecting a picture. This picture was captured on a little island we kayaked to while staying in Tarpon Springs, Florida a few years back on Spring Break. The picture is pre-storm. We love to kayak at lakes around Kentucky and Indiana, but had only sea kayaked a few times. We had done a tiny bit of research that leaving from the state park and kayaking over to the secluded island would only take about 20 minutes-ish. We set out for the island leaving our girls behind with the grandparents to play on the beach at the state park. The ride over was awesome, hard work getting out from the waves at first, but then gorgeous! This picture captures our excitement and adrenaline rush being on this island all alone.

What I wish we captured was a picture of after. Paddling back to the state park was the HARDEST thing I’ve ever tried to do physically. The current was working against us and there were insane currents, riptides, waves, you name it going on that day. We paddled and paddled and was definitely starting to wear thin. It soon began to sink in that we would not be making it back to the shore we started from….The current was taking us further up shore and we had been fighting it to no avail. Guys, I’m talking crazy crazy crazy. I was in tears, panicked, and thinking we are drifting out to open sea and will need to call the coast guard for help. My hubby took control in that storm. He is the leader, he steers me right and he calms my crazy when panic and trauma sink in. The journey to the island out from the state park that morning took about 28 minutes, the journey back in from that lone island took more like 2.5 hours. Two and a half hours of the most tiring paddling I’ve ever done in my life.

When we reached shore we were several miles up from the beach where we set out, so my sweet Dad drove to come rescue us as my husband directed him to wherever we were finally ashore. I literally crawled hands and knees onto that dock as fisherman gawked as if viewing some poor mermaid who had almost drowned. It was a very quiet ride home and then I napped for most the rest of that vacation day. I don’t think I’d like to do it again.

But you know what? I look back at that picture and think how it signified so many things in our marriage that day. Many couples would have blamed, shamed and screamed at one another out on those waves knocked like rag dolls by the ocean. I cried in the car in relief that it was over and cried from a place of love that the man in that kayak with me would be with me to weather whatever storms and waves we might face in the years  that were to come.

This picture speaks 1000 words to me and I keep it on the nightstand. It reminds me that life comes in rhythms and seasons. We have felt JOY so exuberant on that isolated and beautiful island and those moments provide strength we didn’t even know we had in us for when the waves and storm try to take us out.

Do you have a picture that speaks 1000 words? What is that story or memory that you can share with and about the ones you love?


  1. Telah Middleton

    I LOVE the 30 day kindness challenge! Probably one of the best books I have ever read!!! Life changing because I never gave “kindness” it’s proper due! It’s a fruit of the spirit that we over look cause we “think” we know what it is to be kind! Monica, I love to read your words and hold dear the memories we share! Keep pointing to Him in all that you say and do! I’m going back to start this challenge again…it’s time for a refresher course to bring kindness back in my life! Thanks


    1. themodernmonica

      Telah, thanks for sharing your experience with 30 day Kindness Challenge. I agree with your words of assuming we know what being kind even looks like. Thank you for reminding us kindness as one of the fruits of the Spirit that God works in us. Glad you were inspired to refresh and restart the Kindness challenge again! Many hugs to you 🙂


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