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The Heart Behind Our Words

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a million little ways

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I have a friend who is a very talented artist. She has a degree in art, she teaches both adults and children in our community, and she astounds me with her abilities.

I used to look at her with envy appreciation and think that I have nothing to offer when it comes to art. Sure, I am other worthy things, but I am certainly not an artist.

One day, as she was teaching the children of our community at one of her “Summer Art Camps”, she asked the kids to raise their hands if they were artists. She explained to the kids that we are all artists. We may not all be painters or sculptors, but in one way or another, we are artists.

My thoughts went to our Creator. We were created in the image of God, and He is the ultimate artist of the universe. I, too, must then create art because my Maker created me to do just that. It is the same for all of us, whether we realize it or not. Continue reading →

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9 Ways to Speak (or not) Love Into Your Marriage

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Husband & Wife Holding Hands

In honor of my in-law’s 43rd wedding anniversary today, I’d like to share one of my favorite tips on cultivating a blessed marriage.

It’s a simple idea, but one that takes great effort.

Our marriage has experienced its fair share of highs and lows over the past 21 years. One thing we have learned is the power of our words. If you missed my recent guest post Guarding Our Words, you can read that here.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” ~Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

My husband and I have created a daily habit of praising one another with our words. Too often, we do the opposite with our words when one of us is out of sorts, but that’s to be expected when two imperfect people attempt to do life together. In those times, hopefully one of us will respond to the other in grace, patience, and love. Usually, that is enough to change the entire course of a conversation that is headed in a downward spiral.

Too often, however, the second doesn’t choose to answer the first very kindly as feathers have been ruffled. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that that doesn’t go well. We don’t honor each other, or God, when we allow our words to take us down that path.

This is the difficult thing about relationships. We know how we are supposed to speak to one another, but when feelings are hurt, the mouth is much harder to control. In an effort to cultivate and maintain an honoring marriage, we have instilled a few guidelines that we follow regardless of how emotional we get. Continue reading →