• Renee Bethel

The Impact and Influence of Lemon


Growing up in the south, I remember eating fried catfish regularly for special family gatherings at home or for birthday celebrations at a restaurant. When I was a teenager I began putting lemon on my fried catfish – cutting up a lemon and squeezing the juice on my fish. I continued this practice as I grew up and eventually introduced my husband to lemon on fish. He enjoyed the savory flavor and continued the practice as well. When we had children, they followed suit. It was just what was done in our family when we had fish – fried, baked or grilled! When we bought catfish to cook at home, we always bought lemon to go along with the meal. When we ate catfish at a restaurant, we always asked for lemon - lots of lemon! In fact, even extended family made sure we had lemon to go along with our fried catfish when we were invited over for a fish fry.


The years went by, our girls grew up, and lemons on fish continued to be something we all continued to enjoy. As our palettes expanded, lemon became a staple on not just catfish but on all types of other fish as well. After two of the girls got married and we gained a few son-in-laws in our immediate family, it quickly became obvious that these guys never heard of LEMON on FISH! Ketchup was their go-to for fried catfish and other types of fish were eatten with NO LEMON!


Without realizing it or meaning to, many years ago I had influenced other people – my husband and daughters – one big person and three little people at the time - by what I modeled. YEARS LATER they are still carrying on this practice – putting LEMON on their FISH.

Putting LEMON on FISH may seem insignificant, but it shows the power that we, as women, as moms, as children of God, have to influence others, even without realizing it. Consequently, this influence and impact that we have is worth evaluating. Others - those in our family and those outside of our family - are watching the things we do and don’t do, how we care for our bodies, and our responses to daily life happenings.


What are YOU doing that seems insignificant today, that could impact others – little people and big people – in a positive way? In a negative way?


What are YOU modeling today, that years later you may see your children doing in their own homes and families?


Are you making time for downtime, for rest, and for caring for your emotional, spiritual and physical whole body self?


Big eyes and little eyes are watching.

Mom, child of God, YOU are making an impact and YOU are an influencer!


The good news is that God never created us to do life alone. Life-giving relationships and community can encourage us, challenge us and motivate us to grow personally. If you are looking for a community of Christian women who want to understand who God created them to be and grow emotionally, spiritually and physically, I’d love for you to join my Facebook group!


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