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“Spend time with people who know how to use their days well. Just as iron sharpens iron, positive people inspire you to be positive.” Robyn Rihanna Fenty

It’s never been more evident than the past couple of years that trying hard is not what matters or influences or changes who I am. It’s who I spend time with. This is true for all of us. 

Douglas Haines confirms it in his article “Why it matters who you spend your time with” at the site 100 Steps Mission. He said, “Expose yourself to positive circles of influence by having five people in your life who challenge and push you to be better.” 

Motivational speaker John Rohm, in the same article, said “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” 

When I flipped through a journal full of notes for this book, I found a list of encouraging words from five or so people who made 2020 and 2021 two of my best years ever. 

I even heard from Moses. So many friends passed along a verse spoken by him in Exodus, it would have been impossible to overlook, “Stand still, stand firm, and watch what God will do.”

Preacher and gospel singer Karen Wheaton, during one of her weekly online talks at Front Porch Friends, repeated this until it sank in, “Help is on the way.” 

Publisher and friend Athena Dean Holtz also mentioned (more than once) a verse from Exodus, “God will fight for you … if you shut up.” Her words were gentler, but I got the message. And He did.  

Daily I looked at a painting in my office of Jesus holding a young girl – a painting my husband bought me at a Christian bookstore when he ended up lost. He pulled into their parking lot to figure out where we were. The words underneath the picture ended up on my list of sayings in my journal, “I will not fail thee.”

Prophet Jim Reilly, who I heard monthly, said, “He is moving on your behalf.” 

Our pastor said, “Plead the blood of Jesus over it all – your family, your home, your relationships – and do it without being weird.” 

Finally, my lawyer friend listened to me talk about my marriage because we all have problems sometimes. Instead of encouraging me to file for a divorce, she said, “It’ll be wonderful when he comes around.”

I didn’t realize it until writing about it here how much I soaked up everyone else’s good attitudes until mine changed for the better. Also, I quieted anyone and anything that wasn’t positive.

If you and I ever wonder who to spend our time with, choose people like these friends. Also, when you’re choosing, be sure you wouldn’t mind bringing along Jesus for the conversation.

In This Together,

FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.

I have something for you!


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