Get Wisdom

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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!

From Pain to Peace to Purpose

I love how God always has redemptive plans for us. For myself, I have noticed that when there is pain, it leads to peace which leads to purpose. There is always a journey to be experiencing. A few months ago I wrote about the journey I was on to simplicity.  Recently, I wrote about the changes that came about in my life in 2016.

I was experiencing pain which led to me to simplicity and peace. I discovered some things about myself that God wanted to change and I grew a lot. Simplifying and organizing our home was fun and helped get all of our lives in order. However, I got to the place where I felt healthy in all areas again and a pulling towards getting back to work. Not that I wasn’t working, but getting more involved in some way that would be healthy and use my strengths. My background is business, which I love. Balancing that and making sure I still get to care for those I love has always been the struggle for me. However, through all of this I have learned that it was such a struggle because I was striving to prove something. Now, I feel that I don’t have to prove anything, I just want to be used for what I am good at. But, I wanted to make sure that whatever move I made, it pleased God.

Just a few days later, my husband let me know he could really use my attention to detail and leadership more at church. When your husband seems to be asking for you to help.. it must be God. Just kidding!! However, I felt like it was the confirmation I needed. So, we had some very real conversations about what that would look like. I agreed to try to be more vulnerable with him and he agreed to hold me more accountable. I don’t want to fall back into old habits of trying to prove my capability and loading my plate with too much.

However, I can BE the girl who works hard to get stuff done that also has deep connections with others, enjoys cooking and gathering people around a table, and still has plenty of time to sit under my tree. I am flawed and going back into this season pruned of the pride that tries to hide those flaws. I am still enjoying this journey with you all and just wanted to give you an update. I will also be continuing to write on this blog. I love hearing from you all and love all of the encouragement I get from you.  It is good to know in this great big world, there are people who struggle with the same things that we do! Just remember, pain can lead to peace, which can lead to purpose if we let God use it.

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A Very “Mary” Christmas

I have always been intrigued by Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I mean, what was it about this young girl that God picked her to deliver to the earth the most important child ever born? I have always liked to think it was because she was such a “good” girl. I was inclined to picture her as gentle, mild and meek. I have come to realize that there was much more to Mary than just those things.

Yes, we know she was a virgin, because the Bible tells us so. So, I know she was committed to her faith. This is one of the reasons God picked her. She was pure, but that is not the only reason. God knew she would be committed no matter what. As soon as Mary accepted Gabriel’s assignment, she was putting her life in danger. She was signing up for gossip, slander, criticism and even potentially being stoned. She said yes to God anyway. She consecrated herself to be the Lord’s servant no matter what. Without knowing all of the details, she was all in!  That is commitment!

Mary was also undaunted!! She was very brave. She didn’t let the fear of Herod slow her down, she didn’t mind getting on to her Savior child in the temple, she had no problem asking Jesus to fix the wine shortage problem and she followed Him all the way to the cross. Mary was much fierce than I ever realized. God knew she could handle all of the turmoil she would face being the Savior’s mother.  She was a woman of high convictions and stood up for what she believed in.

Just look at how Mary responded right after the angel left her..

46 Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

She was excited about God ushering in justice. This woman was talking about overthrowing governments and dealing with corruption. She was not concerned about being politically correct. She was undaunted and committed.

I think we should learn from her. After all, God trusted her with the most valuable thing that He had, His Son. I want Him to trust me with His plans and purposes as well.

I am challenging myself to have a “Mary” Christmas by truly giving myself to the Lord as His servant; no matter what. Even when I don’t know all of the details, I want to say “YES LORD,”.  I  also want to be undaunted in living out His purpose for my life. I don’t want to be afraid of the criticism, gossip or rejection that comes when trusting and believing the truth of God’s word. I hope you will take the challenge with me!

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