How To Change The World With The Power Of Your Words

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We all hold a powerful weapon within us.

It influences every part of the world we inhabit. Touches every person we meet.

Our weapon is our words.

Capable of being used to destroy or protect. To ruin or stand guard.

The power of our speech is made clear in James 3:1-12.

…if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way

…a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire

 but no one can tame the tongue…sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

We will likely be around people today. When we open our mouth we have the ability to bless them with words that leave them better than we found them.

We can comfort and soothe and encourage. We can choose to compliment them just to make them know they are seen. We can recognize their abilities and empower them. We can offer words of love and hope for the suffering.  We can surround them with the promises of Jesus.

We can speak  less and listen more, just that one thing will change our world. (click to tweet)

Or, we can criticize and point out flaws. We can be indignant and self-righteous to prove we are right, which means they are wrong. We can complement ourselves and become fools with our own flattery.  We can offer flippant cliché’s when time is short and someone shares their burdens. We can belittle our children and spouses and see them shrink and become less of their magnificent selves. We can joke around with people, at their expense and find humor while they cringe.

Words as weapons.

One choice is to use them against people, as if they were an enemy to destroy.  The other option is to stand guard against the enemy of the world, who seeks to destroy.  Our words can sustain and protect.

That is powerful.

What will we choose today?  If already the speech from our mouths is slanderous and hurtful, it is the right time to stop and fix it. The tongue has the incredible gift of healing as well as hurting.

A humble tongue, gentle speech can be the most powerful weapon we’ll ever hold. (click to tweet)

How To Create A Prop Closet In A Weekend

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If you are like me, you have  decor items stashed away for future use. This started for us when we used to move frequently. I am a total nester, so things collected in a few large tubs in the garage.

Since we couldn’t be sure of what the next place was like (and being on a strict budget) I just started saving stuff.

The problem is, the tubs were too heavy to handle easily AND my dear hubs wanted his garage space back.

I read in a magazine about having a prop closet in your home. The theory is, magazine photography studios have shelves of potential display items. A stylist can come and see what is available, and pull from the stock. Sounds like fun to me! [Read more...]

The Damaging Effects Of Labels, And How You Can Turn Them Into Something Beautiful

I have a serious love affair with labels. Me and my label making machine? Let’s just say if labeling was an Olympic sport, I’d be showing off at least one Gold medal on my wall.

In a nicely labeled frame, of course.

There are some labels, different kinds, that I hate.

Stupid, loser, worthless… you can fill in the blanks. Some words are just cruel.

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50 Ways To Love Your Lover (And A Giveaway!)

Do you remember that song 50 ways to leave your lover?  Well, there are probably closer to a million ways to leave– but I challenge you to find ways to stay.

Create ways to love your lover that are unique to your relationship.

Some stuff is obvious. So obvious, we neglect doing it in its simplicity. Start now. The harder stuff? Can I challenge you to make it relevant to your own life?

I am passionate about making marriage work.

And it is work. And joy. And just about every other descriptive word there is.

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No matter how strong you are, in time, a scenario will come that will shake you. Test you.

Like bed bugs you don’t see, invisible but leaving blood and wounds. We scratch and make it worse, while not dealing with the root problems.

Our tendency can be to take it out on each other.

Our inclinations to deal with stuff might be very different. Dealing with life consumes the time formerly devoted to our marriage.

If God gifted you with a loving spouse, celebrate that! Invest in it.

Here are 50 ways to love your lover, please add your own in the comments: [Read more...]

Do You Know Where To Find Me?

Thank you to the sweet reader who suggested I let everyone know where to find me, in addition to the blog.

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Jewelry That Makes A Difference

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You know I don’t promote products here, but this company? I really wanted to share them with you. Redeemed Jewelry is a small business, and I admire what they are doing. Creating jewelry that hangs truth over our hearts. I got my first order and immediately planned for more! The work is quality and prices very reasonable.

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Buy one, wear it.

Get it for gifts to hand out to leaders, teachers,  small groups, wives and sisters and friends. I don’t get commission or anything like that, their work just really touched me. On a rough day, I reminded myself of who I was and what I was doing, simply by reaching up and feeling that necklace.

And as a side note, I followed them on Instagram, where they sometimes have “flash sales” with smokin’ deals!

We are bombarded every single day with unhealthy and false messages. I am choosing to combat that, in one little way, giving myself a visual reminder of what is TRUE!

Photography {The Lilly House & Gardens}

Can you imagine living with this as your personal space? What a luxurious way to spend a morning with my camera, touring The Lilly House and Gardens.

Oh yes, speaking of the camera…I just had to let you see what a dork I look like to get these shots!  I purchased a new camera backpack and realized once I put it on,  function trumped fashion. And that is fine with me…

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A Life, Boxed

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What is the final value of a life?

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I wonder, as humans, why we are so likely to hold on to personal effects.

Is it because they are tangible items of what was…or what we wish had been?

For decades I held onto a box. One that I didn’t want to open.

This box held pictures, a few film reels, photo negatives.

Every move, every fresh start was abruptly stopped when I’d see this box. I would break down emotionally for hours, sometimes days.

It held a hint of happy memories.  Unfortunately, it also held reminders of a relationship that wound up being broken.

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The person who shared this connection with me, the owner of the items in this box passed away.

It was all I had of a life, boxed.

Our earthly ending was not what either of us hoped.  I pray that in Heaven we’ll be reunited.

I imagine you too might be holding onto something. A trinket, an object, a hope.

Wishing that it could bring you closure.

You know what I found? Those items don’t have power over us. They don’t hold the answers or the promises or reconciliation. There is no magic in holding on tightly to the things that seem to hold our emotions captive.

Let them go.

If things don’t bring your joy or peace or contentment, you can let them loose. Throw them out. Give them away.

Or….

Look at them with a different perspective.

I looked through my box one day, determined to release myself once and for all from its ability to unhinge me.

I saw things I’d missed before. There were letters. Words penned from a young girl. Carefully written notes on her best stationary.

Letters kept, along with every other memento of this girl, in a box. By a man who loved her, but was unable to give her what she needed.

I took out those things that made me happy.  My husband packed up the things I wasn’t ready to face, where I will not ever accidentally run across them. And the rest? I threw away.

And that is ok. I am ok.

Because the stuff life is made of? So much more than items we can put in a container.

I choose to live a life unboxed.

Cheap Summer Fun For Kids Of All Ages

Are the kids getting antsy and you need new ideas—fast?

When we lived in the desert, the kids often had to stay inside all day, to avoid burning their skin on park equipment and seat belts.

Until the sun started to set, necessity often forced us to entertain them indoors. Here are a few kid tested, two thumbs up, ways to spend an afternoon.

Best of all, most ideas are about $1 or less.

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Don’t assume big kids won’t have fun with these ideas, they might be your most enthusiastic participants!

[Read more...]

I Want To Live On A Movie Set

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My sister came to visit me once in Oregon. We had a good laugh when she commented that my town was like a movie set.

Most houses had beautiful flowers, the grass was green and plenty of people were utilizing the numerous trails.

In fact, the oddest thing she noted was the neighbors being, well, neighborly!

Hi Bob, how are you today? 

Can’t complain, you doing well?

I understood her point, where she lives (and we used to be) people open the garage doors, pull in and close them before you even get a chance to say hi. It was refreshing to see this kind of community! We wanted to stay forever in our movie set-like town.

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On the outside, everything seemed just about perfect. Sort of like our lives, eh?

We like to keep a tidy hedge of pleasant imagery around our hearts, our personal struggles. A false front. We pull into our emotional garage and slam the door shut.

Thing is, that is a pretty lonely existence, isn’t it?

Today I invite you to open that door and go outside. Let people know you; messy and unkept areas as well as the prize pieces.

I would like to live on a movie set, where we choose our surroundings. Our circumstances. But, of course,  a movie set is fake.

We can’t really live there. The imitation things we use to build our lives will never enrich us the way reality will.

Whoever you really are, whatever you are really going through, place it out where we can see it.  (you can tweet that)

Then we can finally say,

Hey neighbor! I’ve been so excited to really get to meet you…