Get Wisdom

image1-3

 

There is a huge difference between wisdom and knowledge!

“The wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon his knowledge.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Knowledge: facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

Wisdom: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise. The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

I have known many people that had a lot of knowledge, but not very much wisdom. You know those people that even though what they are saying may be right; the way, time or fact that they said it at all is totally wrong!! Wisdom has much to do with knowing how and when to apply our knowledge. Sometimes, we think gaining knowledge is the answer to guiding us through careers, leadership and relationships. But wisdom, is what will navigate us. We spend lots of time and money gaining knowledge but we put very little effort into acquiring wisdom. Granted, some people seem to be born with an extra dose of wisdom; or maybe it is something they figured out could be acquired and have spent time doing so.

Maybe you have realized that though you have some knowledge you don’t always seem to have the wisdom to use it as wisely as you could.  Here are some steps that you can begin today to focus on getting wisdom.

1- Focus on God. Not only through reading the Word, Bible studies and prayer but also through acknowledging His continual presence in your life. Talk with Him and listen for His voice. Look for Him in everything you see and do.

2- Live Your Life. Education is great and valuable. But, there are some things you can only learn through experience. Life will teach you if you are willing to learn. So, get out there and experience things! Don’t be so afraid of failure that you never try anything.

3- Learn from Others. This hard for those that have become prideful based on their knowledge. But, you can acquire wisdom by gaining insight from others. Read, get a mentor, ask questions and listen to the criticism of others. Listen to listen and learn, rather than listening just so you can reply with your knowledge.  To get wisdom, we must learn to quit focusing on ourselves and focus on others.

4- Broaden Your Horizons. It is easy to get stuck from the view point of our own perspective. Acquiring wisdom will require you to gain the maturity to explore other view points and perspectives. Do your research, and even listen to opposing opinions. It can be tough but it helps you gain wisdom.

5- Be the Student. Always continue to learn and grow. Sometimes as we gain knowledge, we always want to be the teacher. We may even convince ourselves that we just want to help people, when in truth; we want to show people what we know. We get stuck in teacher mode. Be a life long student of the wise. People are more interested in who you are and why you care, than what you know.

“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” – Proverbs 4:6-7

The beginning of wisdom is to “get wisdom”, so get after it!

More Attitude with that Action!

I try to actually do things, not just talk about doing things but I probably talk more than I actually do. We talk about people needing help but do we actually find a way to meet their needs? You know the saying, “A little less talk and a lot more action”, ok.. it is a song and it is probably not about helping people; but you get the point.

I have done much better in my journey lately to look for ways to bless people, however, if I am not careful, this generosity pursuit can become just another thing I check off of my list. It is about so much more than just doing something for someone. It seems that whatever Jesus challenges us to do, there is always some type of balance. You can’t have grace without faith, you can’t have true freedom without boundaries, you can’t have excellence without failure and you can’t have action without love.

You have to love people with your attitude, not just your actions. Our attitude speaks so much louder than our words. Yes, love needs action, but it also needs attitude. Who’d of thought I would be telling you to have more attitude?

Last week I had been shopping to help a local organization with a family in need and was headed to drop it off at the church. I had a list of things to get done and was in my mode of “get it done.” I imagine myself to be like Mary Poppins when I am in this mode, but I am fearful it comes across more like the boss lady in “The Devil Wears Prada”.  Anyway, I called my husband and asked him if he wanted to do lunch because I was going to be dropping by the office.

When I got there I was thinking about having to unload all of the gifts and how much time it was going to take. My husband pops out of his office and greets me with a hug and an enthusiastic, “ I am so glad you stopped by for lunch, this was unexpected and made my day.”

Now, this response made me stop in my tracks because there have been times when I showed up at his office for lunch and his attitude was somewhat less than enthusiastic. Now, I know it wasn’t personal, but in the moment that he greeted me with this enthusiastic attitude, I realized it made all of the difference in the world! Instead of feeling like a possible inconvenience, I felt like the queen of his world!

It made me begin to think; how often do I do a loving action for him without an attitude of love to back it up? When my action is paired with a loving attitude, it creates a true moment of love. I can’t be lazy with my love and just have a great attitude; there has to be action. On the other hand, I can’t be just be a doer without having an attuned attitude of love.

I don’t want to be generous begrudgingly. I don’t want to cook all of this amazing food for Christmas, then shove it at people because I did all of this work and want to be more appreciated. I want the light of Christ’s love to shine through in my actions and attitude. We all need an attitude adjustment from time to time. Watching Christians do something for someone, pretending to be generous while really manipulating or just doing it to make themselves look better, makes me want to hurl hymnals at people! However, there is a hope beyond the Pastor’s wife going to jail for assault by hymnal. We will find that hope when we start looking to Jesus instead of ourselves. He Himself came to serve and He did it with an attitude of love.

Lord, I pray that as I try to serve You by serving others, You help me to do it with an attitude of love.

attitude.JPG

10 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is one my favorite holidays!! To me, it is the kick off to the most magical time of the year. I love gathering together, celebrating what we are grateful and eating the most amazing food!

However, for the host Thanksgiving can be an exhausted, frustrating and stressful event! Here are some tips to help you enjoy hosting Thanksgiving!

  1.  Plan ahead!! Know your menu. Have a shopping list ready. Plan what bakeware and cookware you are using. Plan what dishes, napkins and silverware you are using. Be sure to have guests RSVP so you will know who all will be there.
  2. Don’t experiment!!! I love Paula Deen Christmas and Thanksgiving magazines, but the Thanksgiving meal is not time to experiment with a recipe that you haven’t tried yet. Stick to what you know works!
  3. Turkey! Order your turkey!! You will need about 3/4 to 1 pound of turkey per person!
  4. Buy some store-bought goodies!! It is perfectly acceptable to buy a few things that are already pre-made. If you don’t want to make a pie, Marie Calendar’s pumpkin pie is amazing!! Some grocery store delis have awesome prepared side dishes. No shame in that game!
  5. Make some dishes in advance! Some things can be prepared and kept in the fridge a few days before baking. Doing some of the dishes ahead of time will save a ton of time.
  6. Don’t make a big deal over appetizers. Set out some bread and cheese and be done. People are there for the main meal, don’t stress over appetizers at Thanksgiving dinner.
  7. ASK FOR HELP! Don’t feel bad about asking people to bring food, drink or even to come early and help out. Taking on the whole burden of Thanksgiving prep is a lot of work. Whatever you do, if someone asks if they can help; say yes! You already know your menu and what you could use more of. People usually don’t mind helping if they just know what you need. Delegate!!!
  8. The night before: Go to bed early!!! This is not the night to stay up late watching Christmas movies. Get plenty of rest so you can wake up ready to rock Thanksgiving.
  9. The day of: Get up early!! You went to bed early, now get up early! Enjoy your coffee and few minutes of peace and then get to it. Time always goes by faster than you think and there is always that person that shows up early!
  10. People over perfection!! Thanksgiving is about being grateful, not being perfect. When inviting people into your home, it is not so you can impress them but so you can make them feel they have a warm and loving place to belong. Don’t stress about things being perfect, enjoy the people who are there.

If you are not hosting; call the host right now and ask what you can do!!! If they have nothing for you to do, show up with a hostess gift! Us southerners never show up empty-handed! image1 2.JPG

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing

The Holiday season is upon us!! This is truly my favorite time of the year! However, I know that for some people it ends up being the most stressful time of the year. There are presents to buy, meals to plan, families to visit, guest rooms to clean and many more things to accomplish. To stay in the right frame of my mind, I try to start preparing my heart as early as I can. I LOVE the holidays and I want everyone else to love them as much as I do. However, some people are determined to have a miserable time no matter what. Can I get an Amen on that one? I know someone just popped in your head! It is ok, I won’t tell. So, I determined that no matter what, I will allow myself to enjoy the fact that I am one of God’s girls and I am blessed. Out of the overflow of being blessed, I will try my best to be a blessing.

I want my life to represent Thanksgiving.  I know that Christ died for me but I want to live in the reality that He is also here with me. I want my life to reflect a life of gratitude to Him by being a blessing to others. It sounds lovely, but it is much harder said than done. You know you are going to have that one in-law (because it is NEVER your family) act in a selfish way, say something condescending or just be ugly. We can’t control that. They may even act that way after you have determined in your heart to be a blessing to them. Try also determining that even if they won’t allow themselves to be blessed by you, you are still gonna be blessed and keep on blessing!!

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to set a table and invite God to transform the lives of all of those that gather at the table. I can set a table, but I can not force people to eat. I have to remember to keep the heart of a servant, not the mind of a master. I can’t force, control, or change people. I can only love, serve and provide an atmosphere of grace that they can partake of or not.

No matter what happens this year, the Camps will have wonderful Thanksgiving. We will be surrounded by food that will bring us comfort, family that will make us laugh, lights and smells that will touch our soul and the God of the universe amongst us.

You could even start practicing now. Open your heart and home: invite someone to dinner so that you can be blessed and be a blessing.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. William Arthur Ward

 

 

#gratefulheart

I entered November with a full and grateful heart. However, a few minutes of scrolling through my social media feed and all of that can be undone. I am determined to keep an attitude of gratitude. I challenge you to do the same!! 

Each day in November  I am posting something I am grateful for. Not just to do it and not to brag,  but to adjust my heart. I want to not only give thanks for the blessings in my life; I want to do it with a grateful heart. 

#gratefulheart

Bringing Life to Life

This past weekend I celebrated my 38th birthday. Someone asked me the other day if I was 29 again and winked, I said, “No way, I am 38.”  I wouldn’t go back to being 29 for anything. I am proud of my age and who I am becoming at this age. It took a lot of work, prayer and medical bills to get me to this sweet age and I intend to celebrate it, not be ashamed of it.

Birthdays use to bring a little bit of gloominess to me. I have always enjoyed celebrating, but birthdays reminded me of all of the things I could have been by that age. You know how it goes; you see a ballerina younger than you and think, “I could have done that.” (NOT REALLY) You wonder if you had of started younger, figured out what you loved sooner, been more dedicated than maybe you could have been more.

There it was; more. I never felt like I was enough and birthdays reminded me of that. The journey I have been on this year has led me to being satisfied being exactly who I am and where I am. I am no longer trying to be the next anybody, I am just being me. This change in perspective led me to celebrate a little differently this year.

This year, I threw my own party, which is fun for me because I love hosting events. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. We had my party under my favorite tree in my own backyard. There were tiki lights leading out to the tree, a fire pit, enough comfortable chairs for everyone, lights hanging from the tree, lanterns filled with candles, tons of cheese, meat, bread, dips, cake and chocolate pie. It was perfection.

As we all settled in under my tree and around the food, a warmth like sweet honey filled my soul. We were gathering, connecting, sharing, eating, and celebrating life outside under the stars in the middle of God’s beautiful creation; and it was enough. I was enough. This is what life was about and it is worth celebrating. Sometimes being broken is what will lead you to a journey of living an abundant life.

I am grateful for the broken places that were in my life. They led me to make some life altering decisions that guided me to a place of being loved, cared for, known and enough. It is a journey that continues everyday to be me, but it is a journey that is bringing so much life to my life.

Our lives are fleeting, they are shorter than we will ever want them to be. When you get a chance to celebrate, do it. Light the candles, laugh, talk , love, dance, sing and sit under the stars. Bring life to your life and to the lives of others. Let’s really live! bringlife.jpg

 

 

Real Housewives with Satisfied Lives

Those real housewives shows are a TRIP! I can’t even watch them. If that is what a housewife is, I sure don’t want to be one. Most of the time the term, “desperate housewives” comes up when talking about women who stay home.   I don’t know that I even actually ever considered myself a “housewife”. It sounds so old school. But, here is the actual definition of housewife: a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.

According to that definition, all married women are housewives whether they work outside the home or not!! However, I still don’t like the term housewife for some reason. Maybe because then there could be a work wife. Ha! Sorry, not in this house. My husband has ONE wife, I hate that whole “work wife” thing. I think it opens the door to some dangerous stuff; but that is for another blog post.

Back to being a housewifey… I also have never thought of it as an “occupation”, which means job or profession. Being at home is not the same as going to a workplace. I can break whenever I want, I can leave whenever I want, I have a freedom the workplace doesn’t offer. So, even though it is a lot of work,  I have always thought of it as more of  a role in life than profession.

I have actually worked most of my life. The only time I didn’t is from the time I got pregnant with Ethan until he started Kindergarten. I wanted to be the one to take care of my son, it was one of my only real desires in life.  When he went to school I went back to work, with perimeters. I didn’t want him to ride the bus (I had really bad experiences as a kid, total personal issue; busses are fine) I wanted to be the one who took him and picked him up from school.  So, I was limited in my career and gave up my previous career path. Why did I even go back to work?? I felt like a “housewife” wasn’t enough. I was trying to do it all and it led me down a crazy path. You can read more about that in a previous blog post, “Journey to Simplicity”.

Fast forward to current day. I stepped away from a very LARGE role at church recently. Why? Easy, my husband is the Senior Pastor and as his ministry got larger,as that happened my ministry to him and our family had to get larger. Truthfully, I have always felt like this was my truest calling anyway.

I faced some struggles I wasn’t prepared for. People that didn’t know me well assumed I didn’t understand leadership, business, politics, ministry, etc. They had no idea of my background and easily wrote me off as being uneducated or unimportant. Although I am confident in who I am and what God called me to do, I could easily see how this attitude makes stay at home moms and wives feel that they are not valued in society.

Others that knew my past wanted to know why I would “sacrifice” my dreams to support my husband. Didn’t I have gifts that I still wanted to use? Well, I had always dreamed of being a wife and so considering  all of things I have gotten to do in my life, it has all been more than I ever dreamed of.

So, if you are a woman that works from home or is stay at home mom, here are some tips that help me keep living a satisfied life!

1- My home is the center of my life, but not my entire life. I still have a few responsibilities at church and go into the office a few hours a week. I write, blog, paint, play bass and lead Sisterhood. Make sure you do something outside the home. Whether it is joining a small group with other stay at home moms for support or starting your own business endeavor, create something in your life that gets you out!

2-I know God! I talk to Him, I study Him and  I worship Him.. daily! No one else can fill the deep ache in you to be known like God can. The days I don’t do this I start reaching out for other things to satisfy only what He can.  It always leaves me frustrated.

3- I know many people will not agree with the way we live our lives. You just have to accept that right now. Many people will think you are old fashioned. They may even wrongly assume that you are uneducated or just not capable of anything else. Don’t let it get to you!!! It takes a very strong and capable woman to manage a household and support her family.

4- I know my worth!!! There is no higher calling than raising a family. During Ethan’s teenage years I wanted to lean in, not run away. I believe he needs stability at home now more than ever and I am determined to give him that. It is an honorable and worthy decision to be there for your kids. There are days I don’t feel valuable, accepted or worthy: all people struggle with that.  I have to remember that I am only worthy of the calling God has given me because of what God has done for me. Not because I deserve it or can do anything to deserve it.

5- I quit feeling guilty about loving my life. Every time I had a free minute, I use to  feel guilty. I also felt guilty about how much I loved managing our home, cooking and taking care of our family.  I mean getting to do what you love is just crazy, right?? I have just now learned to really embrace life and that it is ok to enjoy it – guilt free!

6- I am there. I get to be there for others. I am available. Don’t miss opportunities God gives you to serve others. Most people have to take off of work to help others, you don’t. Embrace that.

7 – This way is not the only right way! If this is what God has called you to, amazing.  But, don’t think too highly of yourself. Just because other women work does not make you better than them or vice versa. Sometimes, our insecurities will lock us down into thinking we are “better” or our way is “better”. Women are the solution, not the problem and don’t go starting problems by tearing down the choices of other women. I wrote about this today because of my own experiences and wanting to encourage women who feel left out by society.

8- Appreciate your husband. If you have a man that sees the advantages to his woman running the home, you are blessed. Don’t take that for granted.

Don’t be a desperate housewife, be a satisfied one. It is possible to be a woman who is considered a real housewife and be satisfied in that.   If you are like me and hate the term, “housewife” …  then just be a satisfied woman doing whatever it is that God called you to do.

fontcandy 7.jpg