Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

May I have a word with you? Each time I share something from my heart I lay myself open and vulnerable by confessing my personal struggles. I share things like my jack rabbit brain that will not be tamed, my inner battle to “judge not” and my deepest fear of time running out before I understand myself  or make any difference for having lived.

My confession to you this time is, I am a lexiphile and you have to be one to even care what it means. I am obsessed with words and I am a wordy woman. I read constantly and I love a well-turned phrase or a profound quote even more than a delectable meal or a great new outfit. I believe words have incredible power. The English language contains more words than any other and can be combined in infinite ways to precisely and colorfully describe a moment, an emotion, a thought. It is a delicious Crayola box for creating stories and painting pictures in the mind.

 I have been following a young writer, Jeff Goins. Early in life he thought he would live to travel and be a missionary and he did a lot of both, but his true passion and greatest gift is his ability to spin a great phrase. He is still just a kid but a very wise one indeed. In this week’s blog post he wrote, “Words can tell people they matter or that you believe in them. They can also tear down and destroy, hurt and wound and make you question yourself. But there’s no denying it: words have weight. So why do we — why do I — disregard their power?”

We can easily encourage or discourage someone by what we say and the choice is always ours.  Brené Brown is another one of my favorite contemporary authors. (Watch her TED talk, truly amazing!)  She talks a lot about courage and begins by teaching us that the origin of the word is cor, the Latin word for “heart” and it is easy to see the connection. In fact when someone is said to have great courage, it can also be said they have a lot of heart. And I would add that harsh words can break hearts.

This week Jeff reminded us what words can do to people or for people. “There is something powerful about the words we share with one another”.  Each of us has the ability to change a moment and sometimes even someone’s life by the words we choose. We all have the nearly divine power to build up or to strike down, to inspire or dishearten someone with our words. 

 To me, the choice is clear. We are here to help each other on this journey that is life. With the knowledge that our words have such power,  it is important to listen more than we talk and think before we speak. Spoken words can’t be taken back any more than we can un-ring a bell.

So what does the Bible teach us about what we say to others? In Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad”  And also from Proverbs; 25:11 we hear “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver”. We can all remember a time when a few words made all the difference. I encourage you to choose your words wisely and even more importantly, with love.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Betty Streff

Betty Streff began her career as a customer service representative for a large corporation in Omaha. Four years later she found herself to be a farm wife in a small rural community with limited opportunities for women. After a humbling self assessment, she listed her assets as talents for sketching, sewing, and the natural ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Using these and her optimistic nature, she began stitching up some bibs and pillows for a craft show, who wouldn't? Over the next 25 years she became a serial entrepreneur obsessed with studying faith, spirituality, leadership, motivation, and management as she developed her businesses. Betty has spent the last few years working in corporate America in the hospitality and manufacturing world and she continues to immerse herself in the study of what makes people tick. The explosive growth in the relatively recent science of positive psychology fascinates her. Betty devours everything she can find on the subject and is especially intrigued with people who thrive no matter the circumstances and in discovering ways that happiness and optimism can be learned. She is currently exploring ways of sharing and cultivating the exciting possibilities with both individuals and businesses. She and her husband Steve have been married 45 years and are blessed with 2 incredible daughters, 2 fantastic sons-in-law and 6 amazing grandchildren.

Can I Still Trust Jesus after Losing My Child?

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Sad woman with hands on face

Everyone knows there is a time to be born and a time to die. We expect both of those unavoidable events in our lives, but we don’t expect them to come just 1342 days apart. For my baby daughter, cancer decided that the number of her days would be so many fewer than the hopeful expectation my heart held as her mama. I had dreams that began the moment the two pink lines faintly appeared on the early morning pregnancy test. I had hopes that grew with every sneak peek provided during my many routine ultrasounds. I had formed a...

Keep Reading

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading

Mad Martha, Mary, Mom, and Me

In: Faith, Living
Woman wrapped in a blanket standing by water

As a brand-new, born-again, un-churched Christian fresh in my new faith with zero knowledge of the Bible, I am steaming, hissing mad when I first read these words from Luke 10:38-42: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Pray away My Anxiety But I Can Trust God to Hold Me through It

In: Faith, Living
Woman with flowers in field

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t afraid. I was scared of people, of speaking, and even of being looked at. As I got older, I worried about everything. I was aware of the physical impact that stress and worry have on our bodies and our mental health, but I couldn’t break the cycle. I declined invitations and stuck with what I knew. Then we had a child who knew no fear. The person I needed to protect and nurture was vulnerable. There was danger in everything. It got worse. He grew older and more independent. He became a...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Don’t Need More Things, They Need More You

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young girl smiling together at home

He reached for my hand and then looked up. His sweet smile and lingering gaze flooded my weary heart with much-needed peace. “Thank you for taking me to the library, Mommy! It’s like we’re on a date! I like it when it’s just the two of us.” We entered the library, hand in hand, and headed toward the LEGO table. As I began gathering books nearby, I was surprised to feel my son’s arms around me. He gave me a quick squeeze and a kiss with an “I love you, Mommy” before returning to his LEGO—three separate times. My typically...

Keep Reading

Mom, Will You Pray With Me?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little girl praying, profile shot

“Will you pray with me?” This is a question I hear daily from my 9-year-old. Her worried heart at times grips her, making it difficult for her to fall asleep or nervous to try something new. Her first instinct is to pray with Mom. Perhaps this is because of how many times her Dad and I have told her that God is with her, that she is never alone, and that she can always come to Him in prayer and He will answer. Perhaps it is because she has seen her Dad and I lean on the Lord in times...

Keep Reading

My Aunt Is the Woman I Want to Become

In: Faith, Living
Woman with older woman smiling

It’s something she may not hear enough, but my aunt is truly amazing. Anyone who knows her recognizes her as one-of-a-kind in the best way possible. It’s not just her playful jokes that bring a smile to my face, her soul is genuinely the sweetest I know. I hope she knows that I see her, appreciate her, and acknowledge all the effort she puts in every day, wholeheartedly giving of herself to everyone around her. When I look back on my childhood, I see my aunt as a really important part of it. We have shared so much time together,...

Keep Reading

A Big Family Can Mean Big Feelings

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Family with many kids holding hands on beach

I’m a mother of six. Some are biological, and some are adopted. I homeschool most of them. I’m a “trauma momma” with my own mental health struggles. My husband and I together are raising children who have their own mental illnesses and special needs. Not all of them, but many of them. I battle thoughts of anxiety and OCD daily. I exercise, eat decently, take meds and supplements, yet I still have to go to battle. The new year has started slow and steady. Our younger kids who are going to public school are doing great in their classes and...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Never Stops, and Neither Does My God

In: Faith, Motherhood
Daughter kisses mother on cheek

I’m standing in the shower rinsing the conditioner out of my hair with a toddler babbling at my feet, running through this week’s dinner menu in my head. “Hmm, this meal would be better suited for this day, so what should we do instead?” or “Maybe we should save that for next week since it’s easy and we will be busy with baseball starting back up. I can work something in that may take more effort in its place.” Being a wife and mother, running a household, it’s about the small moments like this. There’s something about it that is...

Keep Reading

So God Made a Sunday School Teacher

In: Faith, Living
Woman sitting at table surrounded by kids in Sunday school class, color photo

God looked around at all He had created, and He knew He would need someone to teach His children. So God made a Sunday school teacher. God knew He needed someone with a heart and desire to teach children God’s word. God knew the children would act up and made Sunday school teachers with patience and grace to guide them when they step out of line in class. He also made Sunday school teachers with a touch of discretion to know when the stories of a child may be real or imagined. God knew this person would need to be...

Keep Reading