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Living Water

Thursday, May 16, 2019

This gem is one of my favorite places in Ohio.  It’s a hidden scenic treasure of waterfalls, quiet streams, lush greenery, and an easy enough hike for all of us to enjoy together.  When we walk through the woods the water is flowing to my left.  Let me get a teeny cheesy because that is who I am.  I think of it representing my journey in life.  Sometimes there is stillness and other times it’s wild and running rapidly.  I never noticed it before but amid the raging water is this tree.
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It is SO OUT OF PLACE!  It isn’t surrounded by soil or other trees.  It’s perched up against a big honky rock.  You can’t tell by the picture but this river is FLOW-ing.  How is this tree surviving without visible soil, pushed up against a rock, not being moved by the fast-flowing stream?! 
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As soon as I saw this tree Psalm 1 came to mind.  

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

    or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

    and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.


This tree is just like the one in verse three, planted by streams of water and whose leaf does not wither.  The elements don’t affect this tree.  My idea of what it needs to grow doesn’t affect this tree.  The tree is surviving because it has the one thing it needs, living water

You see where I am going with this right?!  We know that Jesus is the living water (John 4:10).   A person who anchors himself [meditates on the law day and night] on Jesus is just like this tree.  That person is not affected by the circumstances that surround them.  They aren’t moved by what others think about them. The person planted by the stream of living water will prosper in whatever they do.  So sister let us plant ourselves near the stream of living water, or better yet right in the center!!  Let us daily be mindful of who God is and what he is doing in every part of our journey.  

Giving you hugs today!

Life and Death are in the Power of the Tongue

Monday, May 13, 2019

My mother in law knew that life and death are in the power of the tongue.  Words spoken repetitively have power because they become sealed into a deep pocket in our hearts.  Good or bad, we never forget the impactful words someone says to us. 
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Since I was a teeny tiny teenager, this mighty woman spoke the same phrase to me OVER and OVER:

Whatever your hands' touch prospers. 

Beyond saying them, she also showed me that she truly believed it.  When I was a new mom I had the most basic sewing skills.  I would share my desire to create a dress for my daughter's first birthday and she believed I could, using the machine she bought me because I had a desire to learn how to sew.  
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I went through a phase where I want to open a small business.  She abundantly verbalized my ability and talent.  Whether it was setting up a craft booth of things I created, the short time I was a party planner, or when I became a health and fitness coach, she was always my first customer.  It has been 15 years and I still hear her saying: 

Whatever your hands' touch prospers.

Now as I talk about my desire to do ministry and write a book, she is cheering me on and offering her Amazon account as a venue where my yet to be written book will be sold.  At thirty-ish years old the words echo when I am creating, writing, mothering, doing the wife-y gig.  They softly whisper to me in moments of self-doubt.  They speak loudly in every new adventure I start and gives me confidence to excel. 
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These words also remind me that I have the same power to offer life giving words.  I think about my  kids and how I speak to them.  Am I mostly speaking life or death?  Is my tone motivating or deflating?  When I think about phrases that come out of my mouth repetitively I cringe because they mostly include:

Listen.
Lightning speed.
Clean your room.
Set the timer. 

Ya'll I'm not okay that these are the words my kids hear most frequently and likely in a deflating tone.    My heart desires to follow the example of my mother and speak powerful life-giving words.  I’ve been thinking about each of their personalities, gifts, and asking God what he wants them to hear OVER and OVER.  I’ve been praying for him to craft their power phrase that will rest in the small pocket in their hearts.  I want to speak powerful encouraging words that will echo as they grow, whisper in moments of doubt, and speak loudly into their future. 
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Today lets speak life, lots of it, to as many people as we can! 





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