CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST

Happy Holiday | Bing Crosby

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear | Johnny Mathis

The Little Drummer Boy | Harry Simeone Chorale

Silent Night | Frank Sinatra

White Christmas | Dean Martin

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen | Perry Como

Jingle Bell Rock | Bobby Helms

All I Want For Christmas | Ray Charles

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas | Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters

O Little Town Of Bethlehem | Frank Sinatra

Away In A Manger | Bing Crosby

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree | Brenda Lee

Baby, It’s Cold Outside | Dean Martin

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas | Judy Garland

I’m old school. Mariah Carey and Glee Christmas can only last me so long before I revert back to the traditional songs I grew up on. I don’t know what it is about Bing and Perry that set my heart ablaze, but they really know how to make Christmas sound right.

I hope this playlist brings you joy this season. Grab some hot chocolate and your loved ones, and enjoy! And if you’re a Pandora listener, check out their Christmas Radio station. It’s full of the good ole stuff.

Merry Christmas

#thingsadored

SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD

As I sit on my back porch, coffee in hand, I watch as the leaves slowly fall from the trees. Just a week ago, green still filled the branches as touches of orange, red, and yellow found their new home. It’s breathtaking. There’s nowhere else I would rather be than quietly sitting in the sun while watching the wind blow the colorful branches back and forth. Back and forth. But as I watch one leaf fall, two leaves fall, then three, four, and five, I realize that winter will soon take it’s proper place and remove every last leaf from its home.

It saddens me to think that such beauty can be removed, replaced, and eventually replenished once more after another long year in waiting. A lot can happen in a year. We experience birth and death. We go through job changes and moves. We’re given good news and bad. Our lives, this world, is a never-ending shift.

And change can be hard.

Sometimes I just want to stop the clock, go back to the happy, youthful days when there wasn’t a care in the world and evil still seemed so far removed from our daily lives. But this world doesn’t stop for anyone. As much as we long for those perfect playground days to go on forever, we eventually grow old and experience life in an entirely new light. People change. Places change. Rules change. But one thing stays the same.

“They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will role them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” Hebrews 1:11-12

Our Father in Heaven remains. When your friends betray you and move on, Christ stays. When you lose loved ones, Christ stays. When your drug and alcohol addiction pushes everyone away, Christ stays. When your parents decide there are other priorities in their lives, Christ stays. When sickness creeps in and your health disappears, Christ stays. When the leadership of your country strays from the path it once was on, Christ stays.

In a changing world, Christ is our only security.

Feel like the ground beneath you is crumbling, and all you want to do is remain in that one place? Me too. But we can’t depend on anything around us to stay fastened. As tempting as it is to grasp on tightly to earthly securities, the only stronghold we have is Him. Christ is changeless. He is always fair, just, and merciful to us who are so undeserving. Nothing we do can change Him or His love for us. Whatever may happen in this world, He Is. Nothing else can or will stand firm.

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.

#thingsadored

Originally posted by The Simply Beloved

HOLY GUACAMOLE

The holidays are here! And with holidays come gatherings, and with gatherings comes food. Now I’m no Paula Deen, so I’m constantly on the lookout for some fun, easy recipes. The dip I’ve got for you today is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I’ve brought this to house parties, holiday gatherings, showers, football tailgates, etc. It’s good for anything and everything, and your friends are going to be begging you for the recipe!

Today’s treat is none other than the lovely Avocado Rotel. This dip takes 15-20 minutes to make and feeds 8-12 people. Grab a bowl, cutting board, sharp knife, spoon, can opener, and these ingredients:

6 avocados

2 cans of Rotel

1/2 white onion

1 tbs cilantro (optional)

Tortilla chips for dipping

  

There’s no order as to what goes first into the bowl because everything will be mixed together at the end. ONION – chop it into very fine pieces. ROTEL – I like to drain the liquid from one can and leave the liquid from the second can when I add it. This helps make the dip a little creamier; if you like it chunky, drain both. AVOCADOS – I’ve mastered the art of slicing without green hands as an end result; cut them in half, scoop out the pit, and slice the avocado while it’s still in the peel (without cutting the peel along with it). Scoop the insides and dump them into the bowl with everything else. Mix the ingredients together, and dig in!

Voila!

Now you’re the coolest kid at the party, and everyone wants to be your friend.

Your guests will be happy, your stomachs will be filled, and you’ll have no shortage of party invitations!

Happy Holidays!

#thingsadored

HOMELESS

Home (n.): the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

The place where one lives permanently… I don’t have that. Now, before this comes off as ungrateful, let me begin by saying I am very blessed. God has poured an abundance of grace and love into my life. He has taken us all over the country, connected me with so many people, and introduced an entirely new world I never knew before. Yet, I’ve still been struggling lately.

My husband and I live a pretty nomadic life. His career in the NFL has us living in both Baltimore, MD and Memphis, TN; and my career as an actor has us located in Los Angeles, CA for a few months as well. So, in a twelve month time frame, we move at least five times between those three cities.

Now my problem isn’t with the shuffling from here to there, deciding between whether to fly or drive, or constantly wondering if my favorite sweater was left on the east coast or the west. Lately, I’ve been struggling with the urge to settle down into one place – one city – one home with all our belongings where we can spend each week with everyone else that gets to live in one house all year long. Now that I think of it, I haven’t lived in one town for twelve consistent months since 2006. I feel unplugged, out of place, fleeting, as though I don’t belong anywhere.

Living in LA for a few months a year is incredible. The weather is beautiful, there’s so much to do, and I’m surrounded by people striving for the same thing I am. The entire city is full of actors, writers, musicians, directors. Everywhere you go, you’re inspired. The thing about LA is it’s super fast paced – there’s a never-ending shift and everyone is going going going. So when someone like me comes in for a few months at a time, I leave and it’s like I was never there. You build relationships, you do your best to keep in touch, but it’s never a permanent, comfortable feeling.

In Baltimore, I have the support of the girls on the team. We’re all going through the ups and downs of the NFL together. They are my family. The women here are the ones I spend holidays with because there’s a chance you could be watching Morgan on TV while you eat your Thanksgiving dinner. They take me to lunch on my birthday, call me over to hang out when the guys are away, and they’ll probably be the ones to come over when my screaming newborn won’t settle down while I’m home alone. However, we won’t be in Baltimore once he’s done with the Ravens, so even though we have an amazing life here, it’s still an awkward temporary mindset.

Now Memphis will always be a ‘home’ for us. It’s where we were both raised, and all of our family is there. I get more homesick for Memphis than I do with either of the other two cities. Even so, I go back and still feel left behind. The people and places are the same, but life has moved on despite my absence. I’m missing so many things that happen while I’m away that I feel like an intruder. Yet, so many things change for me while I’m gone that I feel like a fish out of water, too.

I’m caught between three different worlds. When I’m in one place, I try to talk about my life in the other cities, but no one can identify. Each time I move, I readjust to the people and the lifestyle. There’s an internal battle to merge the three together, but it’s a battle I’m fighting alone because no one else can relate. My friends in Baltimore don’t know my family in Memphis, and our teammates on the Ravens have no idea how to respond when I talk about an audition I’ve just had in LA. Home is all three places and none of the three at the same time. I belong, but I don’t. I’m constantly surrounded, yet completely alone. Home is everywhere, yet nowhere.

And why do none of these places feel like home?

Because none of them truly are.

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on this earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have an opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13-16

No matter how hard I try, I will never be completely comfortable. Whether we are living in one place or ten, we will always feel a bit unsettled because this is not our true home. We don’t belong here. This life was only meant to be for a short time, and I’m at peace with that. One day we will no longer feel uneasy, unsure, overlooked, or forgotten. We will be settled in our forever home with our heavenly Father. Don’t be discouraged when you feel like a stranger on this earth. This life is temporary, and when God’s timing is right, those of us who trust in the Lord will be reunited in our eternal home. To stay.

#thingsadored

Originally posted on The Simply Beloved

GIVE THANKS

‘Tis the season to give.

But I want to challenge you to give not for the sake of the holiday, but just because you care about someone.

We all have people in our lives that influence us, sacrifice for us, and help us without expecting anything in return. Who are those people to you? Maybe they’ve encouraged you lately, watched your kids when you were in a bind, sent flowers or a meal during a time of loss, or shared something meaningful with you. Think about who that might be, and do something to show them they are appreciated.

Here are a few gift ideas for under $10 to get you started:

– Popcorn/ treat mix/ chocolate

– Flowers

– Candles

– Board games/ movies/ records

– Fun ornaments/ hand-made wreaths

Get creative!

I recently had some new friends (new as in a met them the day of) that offered to help me with some photos for The Simply Beloved. They donated their time and talents to create some beautiful pictures for us. In return, I wanted to do a little something to show them my appreciation.

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I purchased the candles from a local store and found the gift tags at Michaels. When they arrived at my house, I had them sitting on the table with some fresh peppermint chocolate cookies. It was easy, fun, and let them know how thankful I was that they wanted to be included in this project.

There are plenty of ways to make these little reminders festive. For edible gifts, Christmas treat bags were available. They also had really cute holiday stationary and cards if you like writing down your thanks. You could also purchase a few mason jars to put fresh flowers in. Wrap some red, green, and gold ribbon around the top, and you’re set! Take a few minutes to walk around your local craft store, and see what you can come up with.

What can you do to extend thanks to someone who cares? Spread gratitude this season! Say THANK YOU

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#thingsadored

THE PAIN OF CHANGE

I started writing in March of 2014, and since then I’ve been so blessed with the invitation into the lives of others. It’s felt amazing to have people from my past have reach out to me and encourage me or ask questions or thank me for sharing something they resonated with. Some are happy to watch me grow, some come to me for help with their Walk, and some want to walk along side me. But then, some don’t. Many people have left me because of this change. A lot of my old friends have judged me and walked away from our friendship. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. But I can’t blame them.

I used to cringe at some things Christians did. I thought it was weird to see people praying over each other in public. It made me uncomfortable to talk about God outside of church or Bible study. I hated it when people were open to strangers about their faith. And I couldn’t stand it when someone I knew became reborn and went from blasting pop and drinking to listening to praise & worship music and wanting to ‘get coffee’. To be quite honest, I thought it was stupid and fake. It all made me feel so awkward and out of place. Yet, I claimed to be one of them at the same time.

Then one day I realized that they weren’t the issue. The issue was me. I either needed to walk away from Christ or change the way I viewed the Christian lifestyle. Thankfully, God was the one that had a hold on me, not the other way around, so I started trying to see things in a new light. It took months of prayer and pleading for God to give me a deeper desire for His Truth. It required reading my Bible every day, praying when it felt uncomfortable, and volunteering my time to serve others (when secretly I didn’t want to do any of it). But that’s the way it works. Obedience plays a huge role in the Christian life; it’s not some walk in the park. People think you just wake up one day, say a cute little prayer, and bada-boom, you’re going to Heaven! Everything’s fine, my life is perfect, and now I’m better than you! But no – that’s not at all how it works.

When God calls you, everything is flipped upside down. There’s a struggle unlike any other. At first I tried to fit Him into the life I was living at the time, but then I realized that’s not going to happen because the life I was living was a life without Him. So I began changing. Nothing made sense, nothing felt normal – I was playing this internal tug-of-war where the old me battles the new me and it’s like I can’t win either way. Sounds fun, right? But the funny thing is, through it all, there’s peace. Through it all, there’s indescribable joy.

In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul talks about his hardships:

“We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarding impostors; known, yet regarded unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”

It isn’t easy, this changed life – not for me, not for those around me. The old Lauren is gone, and boy does the new Lauren wish people could understand it was a change for the better. Sometimes it does hurt. My flesh doesn’t want to be left out, and at times the label of “the Bible study girl” leaves me feeling diminished. But I know that it shouldn’t. I realize that these sufferings can be endured joyfully because it is for the Kingdom. I realize that this new life isn’t going to be comfortable or easy. But praise God it’s a life worth fighting for.

Becoming a Christian didn’t all of a sudden make me perfect. It made me aware — aware that I’m changed, I’m free, I’m forgiven, I’m loved, and my source of joy doesn’t come from any of the filth this world has to offer me. Because of Jesus I can now talk about Christ with complete strangers. I don’t mind praying out loud in front of people. I’m not afraid to hold the hand of a dirty homeless person or ask the hard questions my friends may not want to answer. And when I feel deserted by those around me, I fall into the arms of Christ because I know He’ll never leave me. The chains of Christ are freedom. And I never knew how badly I needed that freedom until I found it.

#thingsadored

Originally posted on The Simply Beloved

GRACE

I struggle at times with being selfish at home. A problem arises, and I take it straight to Morgan no matter how weary his own day may have been. I put my issues on the forefront of not only my mind, but his. It’s a mistake I’m constantly reminding myself not to make, but as quickly as I remember, another upset causes me to forget. Hot water is low, tell Morgan. Bugs found their way back into the house, tell Morgan. I’ve put too much on my plate, tell Morgan. And heaven forbid he do something I don’t like because if so, I’m definitely telling Morgan. Those are the quickest complaints of all.

I recently finished “Resolution for Women” by Priscilla Shirer (if you’re looking for an inspirational read, I urge you to get this book). In one of the last chapters, there was a short story that I cannot get out of my mind. It was a perfect example of how a wife can create peace in her home – a lesson we can all afford to be reminded of. So, I’d like to share.

——————–

He was a struggling salesman, rising early each morning to go from one proverbial closed door to another, attempting to sell a variety of products made by the company he worked for. The days were long and exhausting, and he often had little to show for his efforts – certainly not from lack of trying, just from lack of takers.

His young, redheaded wife had been only eighteen when they married. And as their family grew, she spent the better part of each day trying to figure out how to make their small living quarters an enjoyable, satisfactory space, given the difficulties of their financial strain. Yet the day came when the strain turned into the kind that can make a girl want to give up – when she went to flip a light switch, and no lights came on. Thinking it was only a mishap in the electrical system, she went to another light source. Again, nothing. Another, nothing. Throughout the house she flipped switches – nothing – confirming what she already knew but didn’t want to believe. Their electricity bill hadn’t been paid.

Worse yet, it couldn’t be.

So for the remainder of the day, she did the best she could to take care of her household responsibilities. Even as the lengthening shadows of late afternoon slowly shrouded the kitchen in dim light, she prepared a makeshift dinner, then set it out with care and dignity on their darkened dining room table. A flashlight search uncovered some half-used candles, which she lit to create an elaborate place setting. The scene was gorgeous. 

When her husband arrived, tired and road weary, he found her and the children seated at the table, smiling and waiting to have dinner with him. They enjoyed their candlelit meal. Had good conversation together. The children especially loved the unique touch of candles at dinner. Thought it was fun. Their home was full of peace and serenity despite the circumstances – circumstances the children didn’t even know about. 

Neither did her husband.

He went straight from the table and collapsed exhausted into bed, beside which she’d lit more candles. She never said a word. It wasn’t until the next day, when he arose to get ready for work, that he realized there were no lights. Putting some mental pieces together he realized what his wife had done – how she’d preserved his dignity, how she’d opted for peace and beauty rather than friction and discord in response to the inconvenience. 

He walked past the bed one more time on his way out the door that morning, just long enough to brush the red wisps of hair from her cheek and whisper, “Thank you,” into her ear. Whether she heard or not, he didn’t know. But he was too grateful to let the opportunity pass him by. Grateful to be sharing a home – sharing a life – with a woman committed to being gracious, promoting peace, overlooking shortcomings, providing an environment in which her family could flourish, even when living in less than desirable circumstances.

And at their fiftieth wedding anniversary, adult children and grandchildren standing at their side, this was the moment he recounted when someone asked to share his favorite memory from their life together.

This is the picture of a woman living with grace.

——————–

This is who I want to be. I want to be a wife that promotes peace and love and grace. Our homes are holy ground, and we are charged with creating an atmosphere worthy of praise. It’s not always easy, but it can be done.

I hope that when Morgan heads home from a long day at the facility, he looks forward to walking in the door. I pray I can give that to him. I long to have the patience and the grace to do so. And I pray that the Lord constantly reminds me how.

#thingadored

IT MATTERS

Right now my life feels like a 15 car pile up. I am over-committed, under-prepared, and out of my mind. Does anything that I’m doing matter? Can I just quit it all?

My house seems like it’s never clean. But if I stop to clean it, then I get behind on my reading and writing. Reading my Bible every morning is a must, but then I become inspired to write an article. Oh wait! The article I’m writing reminds me of something I read by Priscilla Shirer. Speaking of Priscilla Shirer, I only have two chapters to go in the book that I wanted to finish. Let’s do that really quick. Ugh, now I feel compelled to write a third article, but I can’t keep the three ideas separated. Oh shoot, forgot I was supposed to be cleaning.. Funny you mention cleaning, the pile of newspaper articles and pictures sitting in my basement floor are two years worth of unfinished scrapbooking for football, but I can’t use all my creative juices on that because I have two Etsy orders to fill. Scratch that. A third just came in. What day did you say it was? Tuesday? Cool, so I have to help with a Bible study tomorrow morning and then actually lead another one on Thursday, neither of which I have prepared for. The laundry is half done. I’ve forgotten multiple birthdays and have eight baby gifts to send off. There are two community service projects this week. The vegetables I was going to cook for dinner have mold on them. I really need to run – not just for myself, but for the dog that’s sitting in the corner staring at me as I rip my hair out. And would you look at that, I’ve been submitted for two auditions next week! Perfect, we’re out of ink for my resumes. Oh well, I needed to get more anyway because the books I ordered for our Bible study were discontinued so I’m hand-printing 15 copies of every chapter for the next 10 weeks…

Really.

Help.

I’m drowning.

And I can’t help but feel that not only am I alone, but everything I’m doing is for nothing. Literally – nothing. I’m treading water and cannot for the life of me stay above the surface. Thankfully, as I bang my head against the wall and curse the phrase ‘Yeah sure. I’d love to’, God is watching me. Every move. And He knows what I need exactly when I need it.

He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask your parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God did to the Jordan what He had done to the Red Sea when He dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful…” JOSHUA 4:21-24

I know that as believers, we should never become too busy. But I also know that we are to fulfill all our commitments with Christ in mind. Everything I’ve signed up for was appointed to me. I know that without a doubt. And I want to try my best to view each task as a stone.

“What do these stones mean?”

When I do have children one day, I want them to look at everything I’ve done and see the meaning behind it: Reading the Bible gives me wisdom that will eventually be passed down. Writing and sharing articles creates community. Morgan’s scrapbooks remind us of the many blessings God’s given us in this short time with the NFL. Keeping the house clean makes for a peaceful home. Going to auditions and booking jobs gives me opportunities to share my testimony. Running keeps me healthy so that I can continue to serve others. Community service is a chance to reach out to those in need.

Everything I do has a purpose.

And it’s good to be reminded of that.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy… She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her… Honor her for all her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. PROVERBS 31:17-20, 26-28, 31

Though I question the value of my obligations, I know there are two that don’t: God and Morgan. And one day, even more will be added to that list. God doesn’t assign us tasks that He won’t provide the tools for. My job is to set aside quiet time to evaluate what’s important, and also to give thanks. I’m thankful that I have a reliable car to get from point A to point B. I’m thankful that my husband’s job provides us with more than enough resources to give to others. I’m thankful for the God given desire to actually sit down and spend time in the Word. And I’m thankful for the people in my life that remind me it’s all going to be ok.

Let’s together be intentional about gathering up these “stones,” about discerning which endeavors will expand the Kingdom and which will only distract us from God. Our legacy is important. God is constantly molding and shaping and buffering and preparing us to do His work. Though it all may seem routine and ordinary, our stones carry a purpose.

#thingsadored

LADY WISDOM

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 8:10-11

What is wisdom? According to dictionary.com, it is the knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight. Urban Dictionary says that it is knowing what you know as well as what you don’t know; not simply knowing what to do, but doing it. The Life Application Study Bible defines it as the ability to make good use of knowledge; ability to recognize right from wrong; good judgment.

When I think of wisdom, I picture an old couple sitting in their rocking chairs telling tales of old about how they made it through the hard times in life and came out stronger. Another image is of Albert Einstein and all his mathematical equations written hurriedly on a large blackboard. I’m also reminded of Solomon when he requested that the Lord give him wisdom instead of riches and power. He desired discernment to carry out his job, not for God to do the job for him.

At first, it seems odd for a young boy to ask for wisdom instead of worldly possessions. Of all the things, you want knowledge? But he wasn’t fooled. Solomon knew that true wisdom could only come from God. We grow wise in the Word because our God allows us that. There is nothing we can do for Him without Him.

Wisdom is not a personal achievement. 

I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with more than one Bible study in Baltimore that I can attend. In my Wednesday COFFEE study, we are learning about not just wisdom, but lady wisdom. Proverbs speaks a lot on wise women – I’m sure many of you are familiar with Proverbs 31’s epilogue on the wife of noble character. It describes her as hard working, respectful of her spouse, God fearing, encouraging, caring towards others, successful, honored, and worthy. She is a model for all women of Christ. So what does it mean for a woman of faith to be wise?

In Proverbs 8, wisdom is portrayed as a woman that is trustworthy and detests wickedness (vs. 6-7). She is more precious than rubies (vs.8), and her fruit is better than fine gold (vs. 19). Wisdom was present at the creation and works with the Creator (vs. 22-31). God approves of those who listen to wisdom’s counsel (vs. 32-35). The more she fears and respects God, the more she will hate evil. She knows that love for God and love for sin do not coexist. Chapter 9 goes on to tell us even more of Lady Wisdom and her ways. But if you go back to Chapter 7, there is a stark contrast to be found…

Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:24-27

Before wisdom’s call in chapter 8, there is a warning against the adulterous woman in chapter 7. Why did Solomon feel the need to put these two messages side by side? Because we as women need to be reminded of the death our power and influence can bring.

You know it. I know it. Women have the ability to sway men any which direction we desire. Our impact can either be that of the wise woman or that of the adulterous one. This deadly woman is dressed to allure men (vs. 10); her approach is bold (vs. 13); she invites him to her place and cunningly answers his every objection (vs. 16-19); she persuades him with smooth talk (vs. 21) and traps him (vs. 23). Although an adulterer is referred to as one that allures with sex and lust, there are other ways we can become adulterous to those around us by thinking we are wiser in our own ways.

Have you ever tempted a friend to do something wrong with sweet talk? Oh come on! Just one more drink! I won’t tell anyone you drove home! Have you ever lied to your boss to keep your job? I’m sorry I’m late again. It’s just that I had a flat tire and got caught in some unexpected traffic on the way. Have you ever manipulated an employee into giving you some sort of discount that you didn’t deserve because you knew you could squeeze it out of him/her with your cunning words? Well, my friend just told me that she spoke to your supervisor and was given permission to omit the expiration date from the coupon. It should still be good towards my purchase. Do have a quick and hateful response to someone that rebukes you, or do you mind your temper, keep your mouth shut, and try to learn from what was just said?

These examples, plus many more, are how we as women use the ways of this world to get what we want when instead, we should be asking God for guidance like Solomon did. He had every chance to be cunning and deceitful and manipulative, but he chose to ask for a discerning heart in order to live wisely and carry out his duties.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. 1 Corinthians 3:19

Wise women don’t lie to get what they want. They don’t flirt with tempting invitations. And they don’t use sex appeal to win people over. These harmful actions lead to death and destruction (8:9). Lady Wisdom is hard to come by. She’s desired by all, yet so difficult to find. She’s pure, strong, truthful, and bold in her faith. Her confidence comes from belonging to Christ, not by the materials that belong to her. Be the ruby. Be the diamond in the rough waiting to shine for Christ in this world so dark.

If we are to claim our position as followers of Christ, we must do things His way. It’s time to seek His Word, His Truth, His Knowledge, not the wisdom those around us think they possess. The world tells us to use temptation and manipulation to cause people to covet + serve us and to envy our lives. But God says no, don’t direct attention to yourself, point people to Me through your wise example.

Friends, how beautiful it is when the Lord begins to reveal His Truth to you. How close you feel to Christ when you are able to discern our Father’s knowledge from the foul advice of this world. I encourage you all to pray. Ask God for the desire to follow Christ and for the wisdom it takes to know Truth. It’s such a sweet, sweet reminder of His love and grace. And He wants it for us all.

Wisdom is knowing what the world doesn’t.

Seek it. Live it.

#thingsadored


Anna Grace Photography