| from Suzanne Phillips |

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
Genesis 1:3

I have always been fascinated with Genesis and the creation account. I close my eyes and try to imagine what it was like for the Holy Spirit to be hovering over formless, empty darkness.


Can you imagine? Well, maybe it’s a little easier to imagine than we think. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines the void as “not occupied with any visible matter.” There’s nothing to see with the eye. However, that doesn’t mean there was not vision. God, our Heavenly Father is a Creator and creators have vision. Creators create with an end in mind, a hoped outcome, a plan. So while the atmosphere was blank to the eye, it was simply a blank slate for the Creator.

God saw potential. God saw order. God saw color and texture and boundaries and space. Most importantly God saw life. Life existed IN Him before it existed outside of Him. He simply spoke the words that expressed what He could see. What He dreamed, saw, and planned became.

What do you see? What potential do you see in yourself, your family, your children or your life in general? I believe that we often forget we are made in the image of God and that our words, like His, have the power to create.

At one point I was homeschooling our youngest daughter. She was in second grade. She had blonde hair with the cutest bangs, big blue eyes, a button nose, and a dimple. Everyone, including me, just wanted to eat her up. Lane and I used to laugh because she acquired the name “sweet Lilly” everywhere she went, from strangers, teachers, and friends alike. We were not too far into the school year when I began to see a pattern emerge. My sweet Lilly sort of liked to dig her heels in. Obedience wasn’t always the first thing on her mind. I would ask her to participate in an activity and would be met with, well, nothing. She didn’t buck up and act ugly. She didn’t cry and pitch a fit. Her demeanor actually remained pretty sweet, but she didn’t budge.

This went on for weeks. I could not reconcile this sweet, sensitive child living with this extreme stubbornness. To be honest I was at my wit’s end. A phrase kept bubbling up in my head: “Lilly, you are so stubborn!” But each time it did, I resisted speaking it out loud. I was making an observation yet kept it to myself. One morning during my quiet time I was chatting with the Lord, confessing I needed wisdom, I wasn’t looking forward to another day of standoffs. And that’s when I heard a whisper in my spirit that shook me to my core, “Suzanne, if the words you spoke today manifested and took form who or what would be standing before you?”


At that moment I was convicted beyond measure about the power of words. Had I chosen to speak the words “Lilly, you are stubborn!” over and over every time there was a challenge, I would have been using my words to form stubbornness. If that was the vision I cast and the bar I set, I’m sure she would have met it. Instead, from that point forward, I chose to speak what I saw in my heart and what I desired for her into the atmosphere. “Lilly, you are sweet, kind, obedient, and smart. You are behaving as if you are stubborn but that’s not who you are.”

Cast vision for your children with the words you speak. In fact, cast vision for yourself. Words have power and are creative. Create life!

As we approach the new year before us, ask the Lord to give His vision for you, your family, your children, and even your business. Choose to believe and speak life as you move toward the words the Lord gives you! Where there is void speak vision with great expectancy. God is faithful to bring His visions to pass. 

Suzanne Phillips is a storyteller with a desire for connection, a teacher with a heart for transformation, and a visionary with a commitment to the family and discipleship. A season of trauma and the loss of a child led Suzanne to a radical conversion and a passionate pursuit of truth. 

Suzanne is the co-founder of Ignite the Family, the conference division of Celebrate Kids. She is also a  co-founder of Legacy Community Academy in Atlanta, GA, a unique hybrid academy and model of education with a vision to launch mission-minded student leaders who shape culture. Suzanne is wife to Lane, mama to Ansley, Ward, and Lilly, and mom-in-love to Will.  At any given time you will find Suzanne with a book in her hand, people at her table, an idea on her mind, and family in her heart. She is motivated by seeing others live out their unique calling and loves serving as an associate for Celebrate Kids.