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Change Your Words…Change Your life!

by Lisa Manning on May 2, 2015

Afternoon light at Jockey's Ridge State Park Nags  Head.A few years ago, my family and I went on vacation.  While standing in the South of the Border store, I had an idea.  I grabbed a bunch of those stretchy bracelets and ran to the register.  Everyone, including the store clerks, was anxious to see what I was up to as I gathered my family around and explained.  I passed out 3 bracelets to each of us.  Each day we would begin with those three bracelets.  Every time you exhibited a bad attitude or complained, you lost a bracelet.  At the end of the day, if you had bracelets left, you would receive a treat.  If not, you would spend some time alone working on your attitude.  We all made it to our destination with 3 bracelets.  Day 2 came and Daddy was the first to lose a bracelet for raising his voice at the kids.  He was stunned when I asked him to hand one over but changed his tune immediately and the girls thought it was great that he was in the game too.  I made it to Day 4 without losing one and then I complained about how hot it was outside.  The girls occasionally lost a bracelet but NO ONE lost all 3 bracelets any day of our vacation (okay…maybe I did. See the funny story below). 

Best. Vacation. Ever.  

When we WANT to control our mouths, we are perfectly capable.  In a circumstance where it is imperative that we do so, we CAN.  What is it that causes us to relax enough that we cannot control our mouths? I truly believe it is because Satan knows that our words can cause so much damage and he works especially hard in this area.  Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of our tongue.  Deut. 30:19 says that “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE life, that both thou and thy seed may live” We must make a conscience choice.  Every Single Day.  And, as I read the verse in Deuteronomy, it strikes me that when we choose life, we are affecting our heritage…our kids and their kids!  If satan can derail us and keep us hostage to our tongues, he is hurting our families too.  Of course, satan would work double time in this area!  We CAN change the next generation with our words! 

Matthew 12: 36-37  But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Make the choice today to change your words…which changes your life AND the generations that follow you!

As I come before you today, I ask you to continue to help me make a choice each and every day to keep guard over my mouth.  Let me use the self- discipline you have given me to discontinue those words that are not helpful to myself, my future generations or others.  Let my words shine in the darkness.  Allow me speak life into situations that others see as dead.  Give me discernment to hear what you would have me say to others that would be encouraging to them.   Help me choose LIFE!
In Jesus Name

 Funny Story about the bracelets:
Our vacation was to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  During the week we were there, we drove by the sand dunes at Jockey Ridge State Park that are in the middle of the islands.  Kids were playing on top, flying kites and it looked like fun.  During the course of the week, we bought a kite and planned to go fly it on the dunes.  We waited until we were leaving town, packed our van and headed that direction.  What a wise mom I am for choosing to go play in sand right before an 8 hour drive, huh? That is another story.  : )

When we arrived, neither of the adults in the car bothered to check the weather vane to see how the wind was blowing.  It was just after noon. I have gotten the kids into the habit of taking a water bottle everywhere we go.  The other adult (ahem) decided that we didn’t need to take them with us.  After all, “they would just get sandy and the kids would complain about carrying them.” I dropped the rest of the family, went to park the van and headed up the sand dunes.  Not knowing where I was going, I wandered around these HUGE dunes looking for the family.  The only thing good about this entire story was that while I was pretending to be an Israelite wandering around the desert, I came face to face with a beautiful red fox.  I finally found the family and we proceeded to attempt flying the kite.  THEN, we looked at the weather vane.  It was perfectly still.  Here we were in August, at the top of the sand dunes at noon with not even a breeze blowing. Without water.  Needless to say, the kite flying wasn’t great.  And…we later learned that it is about 25-35 degrees hotter at the top of the dunes. The actual temperature was almost 100 degrees.

Hubby and #1 child started down the dunes while #2 child and I followed behind…and lost them.  Not that it mattered too much.  I didn’t realize he wasn’t quite sure how to get back to the car either.  The sand was now burning our sandaled feet.  After wandering around AGAIN for about 30 minutes, I was close to tears.  My 5 year old was doing her best but her feet were burning and she was so thirsty.  Finally, we made it to the van.  AND…I took all of my bands off and said something like this: “I am about to lose all my bracelets so I will just give them to you.  That was the dumbest thing I have ever done in my entire life.  Ever.  It is miserable out here.  I can’t believe we didn’t take our water. The tops of my feet are burnt!”…..and on, and on and on. 

I was officially the first to lose all my bracelets.  See…even this Encouraging Woman has her moments!  



Book Review: The Art of Work

by Lisa Manning on March 23, 2015


About the Author:  Jeff Goins is a full-time writer who lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, son, and border collie. He has authored three other books: The In-Between, Wrecked, and You Are a Writer. His website, Goinswriter.com, has been visited by more than four million people from all over the world. He humbly considers himself the world’s foremost expert on guacamole.

What the Book Is About: “The Art of Work is about discovering your true calling, that one thing you were born to do.  Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose.  Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable.  Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try.”

Why Did I Read The Book?  Last year, I became a part of the author’s private Facebook group to inspire writers.  Within the group, he asked who wanted to be a part of launching this book.  In exchange for the book, we would be asked to give Jeff feedback, write reviews and help him with the launch.  Never one to turn down a free book…I was in!

What I Loved:  Have you ever read a book that encapsulates so many things you already know but says them perfectly, in a way you didn’t quite know how to say?  The Art of Work weaves a ribbon through your life and ties it together with motivation and purpose.  Jeff Goins has crafted the words in this book to inspire you to do better, to be better.  He reminds you to see the imperfections of your past as opportunities instead of failure.  Most importantly, he encourages you that it is never too late to find your calling or for those of you who have a notion of what your calling is, to take a leap of faith to make it happen.

Woven throughout the book are many fascinating stories of people who have found their calling and difficulties on their journeys.  I hope that Jeff will feature these people on his website so that we will have the chance to see their faces and connect even further. J You will be moved by the circumstances that brought many of these people to their own calling in life.

While this isn’t an overtly “Christian” book with lots of scriptures or references to God, it is obvious to the reader that Jeff believes in God and every word of the book fits in well with Biblical principles.  As you read, I implore you to ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of the happenings in your own life that relate to your own calling. 

I. Loved. This .Book!  It was easy to read (sort of…see my note under “Things You May Need to Know” below). Jeff is an excellent writer…not too wordy but presented concepts in an easy to understand format.  It was almost as if I was having a cup of tea across the table and he was talking to me. 

While I received this book for free, I can say it was worth every penny!  (Wink!)  Seriously, I have already asked Jeff if I can buy a case of these to give away.  There are so many people I see floundering and trying to figure out what they “want to be when they grow up.”  This book gives hope that while you may already be grown up, you can begin making a difference today. 

Quotes that Rocked:   I am not even sure how to pick these!  About half of my book is underlined or highlighted.  There are a zillion “A-HA” moments as you read, especially if you allow the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance things about your own life that have brought you to your own calling.  But…here is my feeble attempt at trying to narrow it down to a few of my favorite. 

Introduction: “We can’t control what life throws our way, but we can control how we react to it. As we do, maybe we come closer to a meaningful life than any plan could ever take us.  To do this, though, we have to let go of what we think we deserve and embrace what is, which just might lead to something better than we ever could have imagined.”

Chapter 1: “As you avail yourself to how your life may be speaking, you too must decide. Will you wallow in regret, wondering why such a thing has befallen you, or will you choose to act, making the most of your obstacle, and allow it to evolve into an opportunity?”

Chapter 2: “Life is the classroom, and if you are paying attention, you can recoginize the daily lessons available.  Each day is a new page in a textbook you never complete, and as you sit in the student’s seat, you realize the apprenticeship has already begun.”

Chapter 3: “In an era of human history in which we prize comfort above nearly every other virtue, we have overlooked an important truth; comfort never leads to excellence.”

Chapter 4:  “Don’t stand still.  Don’t squander your time, holding out for someone else to give you permission to start…No one is going to give you a map. You will have to step out into the unknown, listening to direction as you go…You can always change directions once you get in the car.”

Chapter 5: “Pivoting isn’t plan B; it’s part of the process.  Unexpected things will happen. Setbacks do occur.  Whether or not you’re prepared to pivot will affect how well you weather those storms and find a way to survive.”

Chapter 7:  “Work, it seems, was never meant to be something we do just to make a living.  It was meant to be a means of making a difference—in our own lives and in the lives of others.”

Table of Contents:

  1. Listening to Your life: The Call to Something Old, Not New
  2. Accidental Apprecnticeships: The Teacher Appears When the Studen Least Expects
  3. Painful Practice: When Trying Isn’t Good Enough
  4. Building Bridges: The Leap That Wasn’t a Leap
  5. Pivot Points: Why Failure if Your Friend
  6. The Portfolio Life: A New Kind of Mastery
  7. Your Magnum Opus: What Legacy Looks Like

Conclusion: The Work is Never Done

Appendix: Your First Steps Down the Path

Things You May Need to Know:  This book was amazing…and yet hard to read.  I would read a few chapters, be totally enthralled with the content and yet, I would have to put it down.  I needed contemplate the words; let them permeate my brain.  I spent time evaluating my own life…the good, the bad and the ugly…all of the things that brought me to my own calling in life.  This book may cause you to reflect on some events in your own life that aren’t “pretty” so you can figure out what you learned and how they fit with where you are going.

Where Can You Buy It: The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do


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