Mother Daughter Mentorship with an All Inclusive Trip to Hawaii with Bethany - Learn More

Ohana Sessions /
May 31, 2022

The Power of Encouraging Words

The Lei Ceremony during the ‘Ohana Experience was a beautiful way to see the effect that encouraging words can have on one another.


At the beginning of the Hawaiian Retreat, the finale of my ‘Ohana Experience, the mother-daughter pairs arrived at a beautiful, quiet venue on the North Shore of Kauai. The atmosphere was filled with excitement! These women met together on zoom for 10 weeks during the mentorship part of the program, but this was the first time that they met in person.

It felt like a huge reunion! It was so fun to see everyone in real life and to watch friendships form and grow.

On this special night, everyone had the opportunity to make a lei, or a flower garland. The mothers made a lei for their daughters and the daughters in turn made one for their moms. There was a huge table filled with all types of flowers to choose from, especially tropical kinds (my favorite!).

Moms and daughters experience the power of encouraging words at the lei ceremony

While the ladies strung the leis together, they chose a word that represented who they were making it for. The mothers thought of a word that represented their daughters and vice versa. They wrote this word and a sentence explaining why they chose it on a note card and saved it for the end of the evening.

The Lei Ceremony began after we finished our delicious dinner. It was so special to watch! Each mother-daughter pair stood up one by one and presented each other with their leis. They each put the lei around their mother or daughter’s neck, explained the word they chose for her and gave her the note.

For example, one of the girls gave her mom the lei and told her, “my word for you is compassionate because after all that we’ve been through as a family, you never stop caring for those around you.”

This experience was one of the sweetest moments of the entire retreat!

Moms frequently burst into tears after they heard the encouragement from their daughters, and girls completely blossomed under their mother’s affirmation.

This made me think a lot about the power of encouragement. Saying a couple uplifting words to one another is a simple, yet impactful, way for relationships to grow. The Bible says that “gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

“gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”

Proverbs 16:24

This lei ceremony brought greater depth, love, and tenderness to these mother-daughter bonds. It also brought more vulnerability to the relationships because both the moms and the girls felt seen, cherished and accepted by each other.

The best thing we can do for someone is to affirm their God-given talents, gifts, beauty, and strengths. God gives us the ability to see things in others that sometimes we can’t see in ourselves. That’s why encouragement is so awesome!

I challenge you to encourage one person this week. It doesn’t have to be eloquent and poetic… it can be as simple as highlighting one characteristic you admire like, “I love how you showed kindness to your sibling,” or “Great job with the kids this morning, hun”.

Love well,


P.S. Are you thinking that the ‘Ohana Experience would be a great fit for you and your daughter!? I’d love nothing more than to mentor you both in this awesome, life-changing experience! Check it out here. Hope to see you in Hawaii!

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