Eternity in Our Hearts

Bringing what endures into everyday life

31 Days of Speaking Life

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31 Days of Speaking Life is a new site that I’ve created for the 31 Day Writing Challenge. I hope you’ll join me and many Christ-following bloggers as we offer inspiration every day in October. Each week I’ll post here @ Eternity in Our Hearts a weekly highlight-reel from 31 Days of Speaking Life  and other “31-Dayers.”

It’s been about a year, I think, since I sat with my church community and watched a series of videos about the greatest challenges facing our city. After that event, appropriately titled “Get Off Our Donkey” (think about the Good Samaritan), I came home and wrote what’s become my most personally meaningful & challenging post, What Does It Mean to Speak Life?

Ever since then, speaking life is the passion that gets me up in the morning; it’s become the reason I write; it’s changing every relationship and endeavor in my life.

Funny thing is that not many people would identify me, the classic introvert, as a “speaker.” And yet I do speak. Every day I communicate what I value the most through the choices I make with my money, time, and words. Once those things are spent, they can’t be reclaimed.

And so I want to speak well.

I think you do too.

“Speaking life” is a phrase that’s becoming cliché in Christian circles, and yet for me it sums up what it means to affirm the value of every person in every stage of life in every place on the planet.

As someone who loves words, I could take on The Nester’s 31 day challenge by composing a few anecdotes or comments about the power of spoken encouragement. And I will for I believe that verbalized words of affirmation are life giving. But I’ve learned that “speaking life” is not dependent on expressions from our lips.

“Speaking life” is intentionally honoring – through time, money, actions, or words – the image of God in another human life.

Speaking life looks like:

  • providing a respectable job for the former sex slave
  • advocating for clean water in a thirsty country
  • welcoming the orphan
  • preparing stacks of pb & j for the homeless
  • befriending the widow
  • comforting the grieving
  • teaching English to a refugee
  • taking a meal to a family in time of need
  • offering grace to the shamed
  • sitting on your neighbor’s front porch for a spell
  • showing patience to your child
  • washing, drying, sorting the laundry multiple times a week (yes, really. This especially.)

When it comes to 31 Days of Speaking Life, my goal is to DO it, not just blog about it. To inspire us, I’m linking with people, ministries, and organizations who are speaking life in various, sometimes unexpected, ways and places.

As you may know, October will be an extra-busy and emotional time while our family packs up my parents’ home of 38 years. I can’t promise to post for 31 consecutive days, and the posts will be short snippets of inspiration, challenge, or blessing. These are days when I must remind myself that the sacred is often revealed in small ways.

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Eventually there will be 31 posts, even if we journey into November, maybe December?? And after that, I pray that the speaking life continues, one grace-filled moment at a time.

What I’m thinking about speaking life is that it’s not necessarily something extra to do. Rather, it’s seeing our choices and endeavors with new eyes.

To my dear friends who are reading, I want to say that I see you speaking life as you care for little ones, teach your small group, come alongside the hurting, nurture students, and go to the other side of town or the world.

The purpose of speaking life is to be a voice for the value of lives from the womb to the tomb, as my pastor likes to say. As you do this I want to say “way to go” and keep it up for the sake of the Kingdom!

Here are some topics I’ll include in the 31 Day Challenge –

*Biblical truths and promises about identity in Christ

*The difference between encouragement and flattery

*The significance of the blessing

*Creative ways to give hand-written words of life

*Speaking life to the: lonely, grieving, preteen, doubter, young mother, spouse, orphan, child in the womb, caregiver, artist, elderly

*Local and international ministries such as Fashion & Compassion; clean water providers; a clothes closet; Joni and Friends; The Harvest Center; Lois’ Lodge; Compassion International; and Women of Vision

*What I read and listen to when my soul needs refreshing (how worship speaks life to the soul)

*What Christians can do about the human trafficking crisis

*How and why to advocate for the Every Girl Counts Act and the Water for the World Act

*Reaching, respecting, and responding to the LGBTQ community

*Speaking life by not speaking (the gift of listening)

*How to speak life in the Halloween season

*A few comforting recipes – feeding the body can nourish the spirit 🙂

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I’d love to see 31 Days of Speaking Life become a community where we share ways to make this happen in the daily rhythms of our lives. If you have other ideas, topics, and inspiration to share, I’d love to hear from you.

If you want to follow me at 31 Days of Speaking Life, there is a “follow” button on that site. But you can also find weekly (not daily) summaries of speaking life moments here @ Eternity in Our Hearts.

Please join me for the challenge and speak life!

Gratefully,

Renee

brennanmanning

Author: Renee Ratcliffe

Http://About.me/reneeratcliffe/#

4 thoughts on “31 Days of Speaking Life

  1. such a great idea renee!

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