Friday, June 16, 2017

Words Have Power!

UPDATE: Yesterday I returned from the TpT Conference, which I hope to blog about this week, and during the conference, I started researching whether or not quotes are copyrighted.  It appears to be a very gray area, but until I have more information the picture of the product title WILL NOT link to the product.  I have temporarially made the product inactive.  My heart is aching over this as I have invested so much time and energy into this set of quotes, but integrity means more to me than profit.  When I have it back in my store I hope to do a new launch.  Thanks for your patience!

I have long believed that Words DO Have Power...the words that we read, think, and say can have such a major impact on our lives as well as on the lives of those around us.

I have many memories from my 3rd grade year of school, and very few from 4th grade.  When I think of 4th grade two words come to mind, 'Idiot' & 'Dummkopf' {which means idiot in German}. As an adult and a teacher, when I look back I can see that it was a challenging class...also, my teacher had been a 6th-grade teacher, but our district just switched to middle 5th-grade spots were open, so he was 'stuck' with 4th grade...I started the year on the 'honor roll', but by the end of the year, I wouldn't do any work...I don't think that the words were directed at me, at least at the beginning, but they still had an incredibly devastating effect on me.  My mom realized something was wrong when another teacher went to her and asked what was wrong...the teacher said that I used to be a bright, bubbly child, but I had become dark, quiet, & withdrawn.  My 4th-grade teacher has as much of an impact on me becoming a teacher as my amazing 3rd-grade teacher.  I try to choose my word wisely in the classroom, knowing that they may be remembered by my students for many, many years.

Words Have Power...I said it again, I need to keep reminding myself of that fact and reading and telling myself those words is some honest, raw, truth...weekly, if not daily I hear  "loser" "failure" "pathetic"...not said to me by family members or coworkers, but inside of me...private, but is a constant battle for me, when I blow it, start something but don't finish it, see the messy desk & clutter all around me that I can never seem to tame, don't blog for months, don't finish the 10+ TpT projects I have started, struggle with paperwork, or a hundred other things that are a part of life I hear those words SCREAM inside my least now I know I need to battle those words, and one of the best ways is to fill my brain with ...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable~if anything is excellent or praiseworthy~(I need to) think about such things. {this is from Philippians 4:8 Parenthesis words added by me}

A couple of years ago I began collecting quotes that 'spoke' to me and designing them.  I wanted to be reminded of these words and I wanted them to be aesthetically pleasing to look at {at least pleasing to me} I designed them in PowerPoint and then turned them into a PDF.  I realized that I wanted to share them on Instagram, so I reformated them into square pictures and then added my logo.  

I decided I wanted to frame some so I started printing them out, but I realized the dimensions for standard frames are different than that of a PowerPoint slide, so once again I reformated them 4 x 6, 5 x 7, & 8 x 10.  Once I had these as JPEGs I realized I could set them up as a slideshow on my computer.

I want to share one of these quotes that I really believe is true for me. {If you right click on the image, you can save it as an image...a little freebie from me to you} For our stories, our journeys are made up of words...and what power they can have in our lives!

The most recent thing I have read is Between Heaven and the Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman.

{this is an Amazon Affiliate Link~ along with all other covers you will see in this post}

I highlighted this quote is from the Prologue of Steven's book:
'It is my story, however, and maybe by reading it you might be reminded of the importance of your own story.'
Well, I don't know if there will be just one person who's life will be touched by my story, or at least parts of it that I will share in this post, or more, but I have had this blog post bouncing around in my head and heart for several months.

If you have read past blog posts of mine, you know that I have a heart for Orphan is kind of interesting because I believe that Steven Curtis Chapman is part of the beginning of that heart transformation.

If you don't know his story related to Orphan Care, here is a BRIEF synopsis~ He & his wife MaryBeth have 3 biological children, Emily, Caleb, & Will Franklin.  When Emily was about 11 she had it on her heart that their family should adopt.  Her parents weren't on board at first, but through prayers of Emily, conversations, situations they encountered, & God working on their hearts they adopted Shoahannah, known as Shoey, from China.  They later adopted Stevey Joy, & Maria from China as well.  There is more to their story, which I will share later, but this earlier part Steven shared in concerts I attended, interviews I heard or read, & through his music.  This is the first I remember God touching my heart about Orphan Care.

God didn't stop there.  Our pastor at the time and his wife were unable to have children and decided God was calling them to foster care, not planning to adopt, just doing temporary care.  They got a call about a newborn who's mom needed some time and they took her in.  Over the course of the next few years, the mother lost all parental rights and they adopted her.  It was amazing to watch their story unfold.

God used the words of the band members of Audio Adrenaline (a Christian band) when my family saw them in concert,as they shared their story of adopting a little one from Haiti who had literally been thrown into a latrine as a newborn.

In 2008, the Chapman family suffered a major tragedy.  There was an accident in the family's driveway in which their recently turned 5-year-old daughter {same age as my daughter at the time} was hit and subsequently died.  16 or 17 year old Will Franklin was driving.  My heart was broken for the family.  I followed them and their story very closely, praying for them frequently and even making a scrapbook for them in 2009.  I read Mary Beth's blog all year {her words had a huge impact on me} and later her book Choosing to See:

I am not sure when I discovered my favorite author who's books have become a part of me, but Karen Kingsbury's personal story also involved having both biological children and adopting children from Haiti.  One of her fictional families is modeled after her own.  Here is the first book of her first series about the Baxters and later includes the Flanigans, who are modeled after her own.  Once again God was shaping and softening my heart for Orphan Care.

God wasn't finished touching my heart. In the spring of 2010, we had a Friends Day at our church and our current pastor invited friends of his, Kermit & Tami Alexander.  Kermit is in the Football Hall of Fame having played for The 49s & LA Rams.  He went through his own family tragedy, which you can read about in his book below, but part of healing for him involved them adopting 5 brothers and sisters from Haiti, and the whole family was there at our church. Here is a link to the People magazine article about the adoption, unfortunately, it doesn't show the picture of the family...just google him and go to images.

Probably the biggest influence on this change of heart came about in a way related to teacher blogs.  In the spring of 2011, I was VERY into discovering teacher blogs and absorbing all of the great ideas being shared, as a matter of fact, I began this blog during spring break that year.  Well, in those days blogs were celebrating 100 followers, 200 followers, etc. by having giveaways.  I read about an elementary blog Building Blocks {which I can no longer find} that was having a giveaway.  Either I didn't know about hyperlinks yet or there wasn't one so I Googled the name and I found Building the Blocks and discovered one of the most influential people in my life, Amy Block & her family. 

Amy has 4 biological children and five adopted children.  At the time I found her, the family was getting ready to move to Guatemala.  Two of their children are adopted from Guatemala, and the country had recently closed the doors for American adoptions.  The image above goes to a post that was right around the time I discovered the Blocks.

When I say 'Words Have Power' Amy's words have had such incredible power in my life.  I have many times told her she has the gift of photography, just scroll through her blog & you will see, but God has also gifted her with the ability to use her words, to let God flow through her words to hit straight to the heart!  Even twice this week I have been so deeply touched by her words on Facebook.  I encourage you to go read her words on her blog, or when she writes for Village of Hope on Facebook. {click on the image to go to their page}

When I started my TpT store years ago and was setting up my page, there was a 'quote box' to fill in.  I wanted to come up with something that was mine, not from someone else.  This space is now transformed by many sellers, and hopefully, soon mine will be transformed too, but this is the quote I came up with:
 There are two situations that have brought this quote to life for me.  One is Emily Chapman Richards.  The choices she made as an 11-year-old girl have literally changed the world.  The ripples that have gone out have helped to place hundreds if not thousands of orphans into forever families!

The other story that shows this brought to life I learned about when I had the privilege this fall when I was able to meet the Blocks in person.

Amy shared her story of how she came to know the Lord.  Her family was young and she was involved in their school.  She was at the elementary school one day for a meeting.  There were several moms sitting around gossiping about some of the teachers.  Off to the side, there was another woman who was not engaging in the gossip.  Amy started to talk with her instead of joining the others.  This woman, Joyce, talked with Amy and then simply invited Amy and her family to church.  Those two simple choices of not engaging in gossip and simply asking Amy to church have had ripples that God has turned into waves.
Those waves are LIVES CHANGED FOR THE BETTER!  Amy & Todd's lives yes, but also for their 5 adopted children & their biological children too...but that is just the tip of the iceberg!...all of the lives in Guatemala and the lives touched, just like mine, by Amy sharing her stories, her WORDS through her blog and now on Facebook!  

How will you choose to use your words today? 
What words will you choose to read?  to listen to?

I cannot move on to my quotes product without first saying that the words that have the most power are from THE Word, God's Word, the Bible.  If you have never read His Word, I encourage you to start. John is a good book in the Bible to start with or start small and read some verses off of Pinterest.  His Word has the power to transform lives, always for the better.

I have spent hours updating my quotes product.  It started with 25 quotes, and now it has over 60.  Here is what they look like:

This set will be on sale for 35% off of the current price for 48 hours {ending June 18, 2017, at 8:00 PM PST} then not only will it no longer be on sale,  but the price will be increasing.  THIS IS THE LOWEST PRICE THIS PRODUCT WILL EVER BE.  I plan to keep designing quotes that speak to me.  I currently have over 250 quotes in my database.

Here is the link to the product {just click on the image}:

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