Refinement

This last year has been a difficult transition for me, going from two littles, to three. Just as I was getting used to two, a third came along, and challenged me in a whole new way. My youngest is almost a year now, and I’m finally beginning to feel a little more myself, and like I have things somewhat under control. I use the term loosely, because while things are still challenging, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m feeling a little more knowledgeable in my parenting skills, and abilities (or lack thereof, lol).

I’ve realized–especially after reading “No Better Mom for the Job” by Becky Keife–I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mom. I prefer parks with fences; and carrying the baby in a carrier, so I have two free hands for other things like chasing/grabbing my toddler, pushing the girls on the swing, helping them use the toilet, and getting them in/out of a pushcart. I plan outings around nursing, meals, naps, and bed times; and I plan meals and snacks in advance, so that I’m not scratching my head every couple hours, with a trio of crying hungry kids at my heels. And if I expect to have a real conversation with someone, it’s not going to happen with my kids running around.

Motherhood seems to come easy to some, but not to me. I’m challenged daily, by my children. I love them and love to teach and disciple them, but I’m an introvert blessed with three very needy and rowdy children. Hence, the reason it’s been such a long time in between my posts. I’m exhausted by the end of the day; and while I go to bed pretty early, I still have to drag myself out of bed most mornings. The best time for me to study the Word, pray, and journal is when I plug in my headphones and ignore the kids for an hour in the afternoon, (lol, I do keep my eyes on them from the dining room, in case you’re worried). So, if you think that the only time to study the Word with kids in the house, is early in the morning before they wake up, and you’re not a morning person, don’t let that stop you.

Regardless of how challenging motherhood can be, I wouldn’t change it. My children are a gift. A gift that, quite frankly, I don’t deserve. I think we’ve discussed this before, but God uses my children to grow me into the person He desires me to be. My children challenge my selfish nature, they teach me patience, endurance, gentleness, self-control (daily, I might add, lol). They teach me to show forgiveness, and to ask for forgiveness, when I fall short. They remind me constantly of the importance of knowing, learning, and being transformed by the Word, because they ask all the questions, and watch the hubby and I closely, every day.

The world says that children aren’t worth all the trouble, that they prevent us from reaching our full potential, goals and dreams. The Word says that children are a heritage (Psalm 127:3-5). I had to look that word up, it means an inheritance; in other words, they are valuable. And I’d even go so far as to say that my children will help me reach my full God-given potential. God designed my children specifically for me, and me for them; it’s symbiotic. We shape each other.

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,

But the LORD tests hearts.

Proverbs 17:3, NASB

Parenting is a refining process. All our impurities come to the surface in the fire that is parenthood, and our shortcomings and flaws are on display for those closest to us to see, and then they’re often reflected back to us in our children. 😳 I can’t tell you how often I find myself face to face with my own sin–pride, selfishness, jealousy, etc.–being reflected back at me in the face of my child. It’s here, especially, that I’m forced to throw up my hands in surrender, and cry out, “I can’t” or “I don’t know what I’m doing!…God, help me! Forgive me. You have all the answers. Please give me wisdom and direction.”

That’s not to say that if you don’t have children, you can’t be shaped into the man or woman God wants you to be. God will mold and shape you in other ways, but for me, in this season, this is where He has me. This is how the Potter’s shaping me more and more into His image. What, in your life or circumstances, is God using to mold you, these days? What has He been revealing to you?

But now, O LORD, you are our Father;

we are the clay, and you are our potter;

we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8, ESV

Sacrificing Our Comfort in the Season of Motherhood

Over the last few months I’ve had a prompting to write, but never the solitude or freedom to think deeply on any one subject. Even now, as I write there’s a sleeping soon-to-be 6 month old on my lap, a 4 year old on my left trying to tickle my arm, and a two-year-old on my right messing with the remote controls and my Bible. I’ve realized over the last few weeks that as difficult as it can be to study my Bible during these long days of motherhood, it’s always worth it, and God always rewards my act of obedience.

The word I like to use here, is sacrifice, because it truly is a a sacrifice during this stage in my life, to pull out the Word and meditate on its truth when I could be cleaning the never-ending messes: dishes, laundry, diaper changes, feedings, cooking, teaching, or even escaping, via social media or television. But to let the other things go, so that I can focus on what really matters, is a sacrifice.

To get up extra early to serve on my church’s worship team is also a sacrifice. I’m an introvert that runs out of energy after serving, and I have three littles that demand attention, regardless of how I feel. But I get up extra early to prep myself and get everybody else changed, fed, and prepared with snacks, diapers, water, etc. But as difficult as it is, I love it. I love to worship, I love that my kids love to be with their friends at church and get to learn about the Lord in community. And although, I usually don’t even get to hear the sermon, in its entirety–because of the baby–I show up and try to focus on what tidbits I can get. (That’s what makes my personal Bible study so important.)


I began this post over a month ago, but never felt it was complete. But this past Sunday, I put the baby in the nursery after worship, and was able to actually take notes! Funny enough, pastor’s message really spoke to me about a similar topic. The message was on breaking patterns that hinder (we were looking at Matthew 20:29-34), but the parts that really spoke to me were about not giving up, and pushing through, even when the circumstances aren’t ideal for change; and stepping out boldly and believing God. Pastor said that we’re afraid to be vulnerable with God, but I added in my notes that I think we’re also afraid of what He’s calling us to do. Whether because we fear it being too difficult, or time consuming, or we simply don’t want to sacrifice our comfort (ouch!). There’s that word, again.

The two blind men found in Matthew had to overcome many obstacles to be right where they needed to be. I’m sure it was uncomfortable. People were pushing and shoving to see Jesus; they knew He’d pass through, but not exactly when. They could have been there for hours. And when they heard Jesus was passing through, they yelled as loud as they could. Every time I read this passage I picture these men screaming like there’s no tomorrow! They were desperate for Jesus and refused to be overlooked. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He had exactly what they needed. Just like these men, tired, overextended momma, God is asking you to show up, seek Him, cry out to Him, despite the obstacles and distractions, and He promises to give you exactly what you need.

Seek Him

Something has been nagging at me the last few weeks, that I felt needed sharing. Many, including myself, have expressed the struggle they’ve had over the last year to hear the voice of God. Many of us have been stuck in our homes, feeling isolated, or overwhelmed by news, politics, family responsibilities, and our own fears and anxieties. Personally, I had “mommy brain” for a few months, which thankfully, has cleared up a little, now that I’m in my 7th month of pregnancy.

Well, a few weeks ago, I was on the worship team at church and we were having some technical difficulties, during service. We just continued to worship with the acoustic guitar, but the Pastor shared that God had been questioning her love for him, much like Jesus did to Peter after the resurrection when He repeatedly asked, “Do you love me?” And my mind went to Jeremiah 29:13 which states that we’ll find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. If you’re like me, or Pastor, our answer, of course, is “yes, Lord, we love You,” but I had to ask myself, have I truly been seeking Him with my whole heart? Have you? With all the distracting noise of 2020, were we really, truly seeking Him?

I’ve been investing more time and energy into reading and prayer, but since my focus hasn’t been the best, I’ve found myself reading more devotionals and hymns (which usually aren’t my go-to). I prefer the Word, straight up; however, since I’m going through a season of sleeplessness, exhaustion, and littles (with a preschooler & toddler), meditating on the Word, like I’d prefer, hasn’t been possible. I don’t get much alone time, and even my devotional time is littered with questions and requests from my 3 year old. But I refuse to let this season get the best of me, because I love the Lord and I desire to hear His voice, but also because both my family, and I, benefit from me spending time with the Lord.

We talk about seasons a lot here, because each season comes with new challenges, and opportunities for growth, that I’m continually grappling with. But no matter our season–student, career-oriented, or entrepreneur; single, married, divorced; new parent, seasoned, struggling (lol, how I often feel), empty nester, or even grandparent–our need for Christ never diminishes.

Our heart should continually be seeking His face, His will, and plan. Let’s not allow a busy season, or a season with lots of unknowns, ups and downs, challenges, or distractions prevent us from seeking His face. For He desires to speak with us, to comfort us, to grow our faith, and to be our strong tower and strength when we finally come to the realization that we can’t do it alone. We must all come to the end of ourselves and lay it all at the feet of the cross, at some point, maybe even multiple times (a day!).

What’s funny is that’s been the “word” He’s placed in my heart for the past year…surrender. What do we need to surrender to God? Is it our relationships? Children? Health? Our career? Government? Future? Because if we believe He’s over all, we must be willing to walk that out! But no matter what, we must first seek Him, for when we do, He promises that we will find Him.

You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

Psalm 27:8, ESV

Let it Go

Hey, ladies and gents! I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve written. 2020 was a crazy year and I’ve been stuck at home with two kiddos under 3, with really hardly any time for myself, or really to just think.

When Ms. E turned one in September, the hubby and I were just beginning to have the “are we gonna try for a third?” talk. Honestly, I was a little freaked out by the prospect. I had a mini panic attack in the shower just thinking about it, one night; but then God reminded me that He wouldn’t give me more than I could handle. I just had to trust and rely on Him. Isn’t that where He always wants us? In a place of full surrender and dependency on Him.

As it turned out, we’re expecting again, and due June 2021. I guess that moment in the shower was God’s way of giving me a heads up, lol.

With each pregnancy, I’m reminded how the changes in my body and the development of the baby in my womb are beyond my control. I can only trust God’s plan and walk in faith. But it’s not always easy. Every doctor’s visit I can’t help but hold my breath in anticipation of hearing that little “whoosh whoosh” of baby’s heartbeat.

This weekend, as I drove to the grocery store, alone (whew!), I began praying over the state of our country. To be honest, it gives me some anxiety. And I was reminded, yet again, that my faith is not in our leaders, our constitution, or even in our country (you may want to take a look at my last post for more on this), but in Jesus Christ, alone. No matter what, we must keep our eyes focused on Him. We must teach our children to love Him, follow Him, and share Him within our spheres of influence. Because that’s really all we CAN do. Just like a pregnancy, there are really so many things beyond our control, and the only thing we can do about such things, is pray Gods will, and let it go.

Therefore, if you’re worried about something–or someone–we cannot control or influence (which covers a pretty wide spectrum), PRAY and LET. IT. GO. Focus on what we can control…our tongue, our actions, the things we entertain in our minds, the information we consume. Anger, bitterness, fear, anxiety, divisiveness, have no place in a believer’s heart, even if others allow these things to consume them. We’re supposed to be different. We’re supposed to be imitators of Christ, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit!

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. ~ Galatians 5:16-17, ESV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. ~ Galatians 5:22-26, ESV

So, again, I say pray and let it go. Take care and God bless.

Frugal Family Fun

I’d already begun this post before all the craziness of the last couple weeks happened, so keep that in mind as you read. However, I thought it might be of help to those of you who don’t quite know what to do with your little kids at home.

Right now, my kiddos are really young (2 1/2 and 6 months), and it’s challenging to just get out of the house some days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy family activities and outings. However, this one-income family is on a budget, so we’re not dropping a ton of money on entertainment.

The biggest challenges for us right now are finding activities that we will ALL enjoy, and working around nap schedules. Because, let’s face it, when the toddler is cranky, nobody is having fun, lol. Both girls are under the age of three, so bonus points for activities that are outside, where they can be as loud as they want, and be free to move and play.

Many people seem to be under the impression that we always have to do BIG things to make memories with our children. Sure they’ll enjoy that trip to Disney, but they also love playing games, coloring, and going to the park with us. And I believe it’s the little, every day ways we play with our children that make the most lasting impressions.

$3 Target find. The Dollar Store usually has some, too.

Some things I do with my toddler (and infant) during the week are…

  1. Go to the library.
  2. Read.
  3. Color, paint, or craft.
  4. Blow bubbles. We love the no-spill Fubbles container we picked up at Walmart last year.
  5. Build/create, using blocks, blankets, playdough, etc.
  6. Go for a walk.
  7. Go to the park.
  8. Play make-believe, using stuff you have around the house: plastic food, blocks, pots/pans, clothes, etc.
  9. Play games/puzzles. We only have two games right now, Think Roll Fun and a Frozen II Matching game, but my toddler will pull them out pretty often; and thanks to my mom, we have a TON of puzzles.
  10. Sing/dance. YouTube is my friend in this instance. My toddler loves to sing–like her momma, lol–so she loves singing along with songs we find online (usually Disney and nursery songs). And we play the Freeze Dance game, as well.
  11. *Bonus* I plan to homeschool in the future, so we’ve been practicing line tracing, lately. You can find some activities on Pinterest, but I also picked up a Preschool workbook, from Aldi’s, a few weeks back. I make copies (since I have 2 littles) and place it in a dry erase pocket I purchased from Target while back-to-school shopping, last year.

It may look like I keep them busy, but I don’t really. They play by themselves (or with each other) and they watch some television, but they mostly watch educational shows (I’ll share a list of our favorites below). If they didn’t watch some TV I’d never get anything done around the house. Other times they follow me around the house as I cook, do laundry, or clean.

We’ve started implementing family movie nights on Friday or Saturday evenings, with pizza, popcorn or hot chocolate, and a Disney/family movie. Our toddler might get to stay up a little later to watch the movie with us; and we’ve only done this a few times, but she’s constantly asking for family movie nights, now.

When dad’s home from work, it’s easier to actually go places with both kiddos. So, we tend to save bigger/longer outings for the weekends. Our favorite place to go, so far, has been Maymont in Richmond, Va. We went a few weeks ago, toting along a picnic lunch. It’s free–supported by donations–and complete with animals, gardens, and lots of walking. Last time we went there were kids (and parents) rolling down a huge hill on the property, near the birds of prey exhibits. We have yet to make it inside the mansion for a tour (which is currently closed due to COVID-19), and the Nature Center–which we have visited previously–was under renovation.

If you’re in the area and looking for a free outdoor activity, we always recommend it. There’s a couple parks in the area, as well, but we haven’t been to them, yet. As my girls get older I can make further recommendations, but these are what currently work for us.

Favorite Toddler Television Shows

  • Daniel Tiger
  • Sesame Street
  • The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That
  • Llama Llama
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Doc McStuffins
  • Word World
  • Curious George
  • Super Why
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Wild Kratts
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Max & Ruby
  • Wallykazam!
  • Dino Dana
  • Superbook
  • Owlegories
  • Veggie Tales

“Momming” in the Early Years

Being a mom during the early years is SO hard. Whether you’re a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom, whose only time away from your child(ren) is when they’re sleeping; or a mom working outside the home, who doesn’t get to spend nearly as much time with your child(ren) as you’d like, doesn’t matter. Raising little ones is mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining.

It’d be so easy as a busy mom to let my exhaustion get the best of me, and use it as an excuse to be lazy in my walk with Christ, but I can’t. And neither should you! As moms of littles we miss a lot of church. When we give birth we stay home for the first few weeks; we may miss service to nurse/feed our babies; and later, when our children are sick, we end up staying home with them so they don’t infect other children. We often end up either serving in the nursery, or getting stuck in there with our own clingy child. We may miss out on bible studies, women’s events, prayer meetings, outreach opportunities–the list goes on–and we often end up feeling distant from God.

Honestly, it can be incredibly discouraging. However, this is exactly the reason why we must fight, scrape for, and cling to the moments we can get alone with our heavenly Father. We need His strength and encouragement, we need His Words of Truth to teach and discipline us, and His peace to rule our hearts on a daily basis. This means we must make Him a priority in our lives, even if it means getting up early to study the Word before our children get up; giving up a hour of evening television so we can pray; or holding off on a household task, so we can finish a Bible study or book we’ve been working on.

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Don’t give up momma! You’re not alone. You’re not insignificant. You have purpose. We are children of God, doing exactly what He designed us for. And in each season He develops us further into what He desires us to be. While we love our children immensely, our lives should not revolve around them, nor should they keep us from seeking the Lord, during any season.

There are ways for us to use our time more wisely…As a nursing mom, I found myself scrolling through social media a lot while feeding, so I added a bible app to my phone, that way I could read Scripture, instead. As a mom of a toddler, I find getting up before my little one, is the best time for me to spend time with the Lord. I’m most alert, focused, and less rushed in the morning. (During her afternoon nap is my second option–of course, it’s not as predictable, since she’s been fighting her naps, lately.) Since I’m currently pregnant with my second, I’ve been mulling over more options besides my bible app, such as podcasts, and online bible studies. Is it a sacrifice? Absolutely; but it’s worth it!

What I don’t want any of us to fall into the trap of believing, is the lie that we’re “just” moms. This is a time for us to continue learning and growing, and allowing God to use us, both inside and outside our homes. One of the most well-known passages of Scripture regarding women and motherhood can be found in Proverbs 31:10-31.

It’s easy to read this passage and get caught up in all the woman does for her family; however, the most important verse is 31, which states, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” We can be as productive and successful as anybody in this world, but it’s our relationship with Christ that sets us apart. He is what matters most. He determines our steps, guides us and gives us understanding. He teaches us patience and gives us wisdom in dealing with our household, our finances, our husband, children, and every other decision and relationship in our lives. But we must stay connected to our source of Life; the True vine.

If we find that our lives are too busy to make time to meet with God, we may need to take a step back, re-prioritize, and cut some things from our lives; because if something else comes before our relationship with Christ, then we’ve made it an idol in our lives.

Lastly, I’ve been finishing up a study by Lysa TerKeurst, “Finding I AM,” and one of my (many) takeaways was that God can use what little we have to do something significant for the cause of the Kingdom. We may not be able to do everything we want to during this season, but we can do something. And we shouldn’t let anything, including unmet expectations, or unanswered prayers, prevent us from seeing what God has placed right in front of our noses. It may be a challenging time to use every talent God has given us, but it may be the perfect time to allow God to use us in small ways, right where we are. I know it’s cliché, but bloom where you’re planted ladies! But, I reiterate, we cannot pour, we cannot serve, we cannot do anything, apart from God.

Make Him your priority.

I AM the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:5, ESV

Las Vegas…with a toddler?

The hubby and I went to Las Vegas for our honeymoon a few years ago, so when his company said they would fly us out there for a weekend, and pay for our hotel room, we jumped at the opportunity. But what about our Cookie Girl? Well, she doesn’t turn 2 until July, so her flight would be free, so we decided to take her along.

I researched a ton about where we should take her and what we should do, before our trip, trying to be as budget conscious as I could–we budgeted $600 for food and activities, if you were curious. (After all, I’m in my second trimester, and we’re saving for our second child.) I also researched a lot about traveling by plane with a toddler, since this would be our first experience flying.

So, what worked for us on the plane? Honestly, I think because our flight was so early, it worked in our favor, and Cookie Girl slept on the plane. We loaded the iPad with shows and movies, but she wasn’t really interested in them since there was so much to see on the plane. The only thing that did interest her was a drawing app my hubby had on there. We also brought lots of snacks. And when she started getting fussy we’d sing with her, but overall, she did really well on the plane.

As far as Vegas went, Cookie Girl stayed on east coast time, which was fine, since it was such a short trip. But that meant we were getting up before most places opened (and in our hotel room before the craziness began on the strip). Thankfully, our first day we’d grabbed some snacks for our hotel room–string cheese, yogurt, peanuts, beef jerky, etc.–and I’d filled my suitcase up with stuff like popcorn, cheerios, yogies, and fruit snacks, so we had some things to snack on before breakfast and in between meals.

Let’s be honest, to a 20 month-old everything is new, exciting, and entertaining. Even the flashing lights in the Vegas airport had Cookie Girl saying “wow.” But there were a few places we wanted to make sure we took her during our visit:

  1. The Flamingo Habitat (free) at the Flamingo Hotel. It’s not huge, but it entertained her. She loved seeing the “mingos,” koi fish, ducks, and turtles.20190329_113058
  2. The Bellagio Conservatory (free). They had a Japanese Cherry Blossom theme this spring and the flowers were beautiful.
  3. The Bellagio Fountain (free). As we left the Bellagio we stopped to watch the fountain show. The funny thing was, Cookie Girl was more excited about a rainbow that shone through the glistening water. She kept yelling, “rainbow, rainbow!”
  4. The Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The other times we’d taken Cookie Girl to the aquarium she was too young to appreciate it, but this time she loved it. She kept saying “hi” to the fish and the shark.20190330_155850

We wanted to take Cookie Girl on the High Roller (Ferris Wheel), and let her see the fountain show (free) at the Cesar’s Palace but we just didn’t get a chance. All-in-all it was a great weekend; long, but we enjoyed the time spent with each other.

If you’ve traveled to Vegas with a toddler, what’s been your experience? What places did you enjoy taking your little one?

Lifter of my Head

My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad. ~ Psalm 34:2

Day 2 of my Cookie Girl being sick with what appears to be the flu (update, she has strep)…I read some scripture, and then began to peruse through my bible study notebook, and came across something I wrote a while back but hadn’t shared. It seems pretty fitting for the moment.

I’ve been reading through the book of Psalm for a while now. The verse above had me asking, “what does this mean?” It means that my life–everything that I do, everything that I have–declares His glory. Even those of us who feel like we have, and/or are, very little, have much to boast about in the Lord.

Here are some examples of things we may have been blessed with: life, health, love, a home, peace, family, hope, grace, food, redemption, salvation, life-everlasting, a job, clothing, freedom…

Ther Word goes on to state that when we need and seek the Lord He hears us and delivers us from our fears (Psalm 34:4). I’d like to note, however, that is not always the situation that He delivers us from, but our fear and anxiety.

I know it’s easy to boast in the Lord when all is well, and all our needs are met, but what about when we’re in need? The humble and afflicted need to see that even when things don’t go as we wish, when we’re struggling– physically, emotionally, financially–we still have so much to boast in.

He walks beside us. He never leaves us. He strengthens us when we are weak. He’s the lifter of our head; our strong tower of refuge. He envelopes us with peace and love during the most trying of circumstances, but only when we call upon His name, and allow Him to take those burdens from us.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:28-30

What will you give up to Him today? I know one thing I’m constantly asking Him to take away is fear regarding my children’s health. It’s practically a daily struggle; but they are His and I have to trust Him.

2019 – New Year Update

Happy New Year all! I know I’m late, but the last few months have been a little challenging. We found out December 26th, 2018 that we’re expecting, again; and once the morning sickness and exhaustion kicked in (around week 6), I really wasn’t in the mood to do anything. The hubby is currently traveling for work, and I have my 12-week appointment on Wednesday. Hopefully, our little Cookie Girl will be on her best behavior during the appointment, and God-willing, we’ll hear this sweet little jellybean’s heartbeat for the first time. I’m so excited!

In other news, the hubbs and I have been leading Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at church, for the first time, this quarter. In all honesty, because I hadn’t been feeling well all this time, he’s done most of the leading, but the next 2 weeks lie solely on me, and I’m nervous. I know I shouldn’t be, because the course outline is so easy to follow; but I think it has more to do with being pregnant and alone, with a toddler, more than anything…you know, “mom brain.” ( I.e. When you can’t think of anything but the kiddos.) As far as Dave’s baby steps go, we’re still on #3 (saving our 3-6 emergency fund) which we’re sure to have complete before this baby arrives in August.

Lastly, I’m finally starting to feel a little better. I had (iced) coffee this morning for the first time in months, it was delicious, and didn’t make me sick, so things appear to be looking up (lol). And I’m looking forward to the weather changing in a few weeks so I can take Cookie Girl to the park, walk around the community center track, and plan for things to come–like a weekend trip to Vegas in March–and plenty of local outings (since we’re trying to save).

So, what’s new with y’all? How have y’all been “winning” with your finances? Are there any life or career changes on the horizon?

Love,

Angelica

Characteristics of the Wise as Found in Proverbs

Originally this post was supposed to be about the characteristics the book of Proverbs says we should look for in our friends. However, upon further review, I realized that we’re someone’s friend, and we shouldn’t expect something of others that we aren’t willing to aspire to ourselves. So, instead we’re going to take a look at the characteristics God desires to see in us–and our friends.

Based on the book of Proverbs, not only does God desire that we hold Him in highest esteem and reverence, He also desires that we be…

  • Kind & merciful
    • A righteous man has kind regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10, AMP)
    • He who oppresses the poor taunts and insults his Maker, but he who is kind and merciful and gracious to the needy honors Him.” (Proverbs 14:31, AMP)
  • Ever-learning, or seekers of knowledge
    • “A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none [for his ears are closed to wisdom], but knowledge is easy for one who understands [because he is willing to learn].” (Proverbs 14:6, AMP)
    • The mind of the prudent [always] acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise [always] seeks knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15, AMP)
  • Seekers of wisdom & wise counsel
    • Happy [blessed, considered fortunate, to be admired] is the man who finds [skillful and godly] wisdom, and the man who gains understanding and insight [learning from God’s word and life’s experiences], for wisdom’s profit is better than the profit of silver, and her gain is better than fine gold.” (Proverbs 3:13-14, AMP)
    • The wise will inherit honor and glory, but dishonor and shame is conferred on fools.” (Proverbs 3:35, AMP)
  • Forgiving
    • “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.” (Proverbs 17:9, AMP)
  • Humble
    • Though He scoffs at the scoffers and scorns the scorners, yet He gives His grace [His undeserved favor] to the humble [those who give up self-importance].” (Proverbs 3:34, AMP)
    • The reward of humility [that is, having a realistic view of one’s importance] and the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the Lord is riches, honor, and life.” (Proverbs 22:4, AMP)
    • A man’s pride and sense of self-importance will bring him down, but he who has a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23, AMP)
  • Disciplined & obedient
    • Take hold of instruction; [actively seek it, grip it firmly and] do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. (Proverbs 4:13, AMP)
    • Like a city that is broken down and without walls [leaving it unprotected]
      is a man who has no self-control over his spirit [and sets himself up for trouble].” (Proverbs 25:28, AMP)
    • “He who keeps the law [of God and man] is a wise and discerning son, but he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father [and himself].” Proverbs 28:7, AMP)
  • Righteous
    • “The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just and righteous.” (Proverbs 3:33, AMP)
    • “The righteous man who walks in integrity and lives life in accord with his [godly] beliefs—how blessed [happy and spiritually secure] are his children after him [who have his example to follow].” (Proverbs 20:7, AMP)
    • He who earnestly seeks righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness, and honor.” (Proverbs 21:21, AMP)
  • Just
    • The violence of the wicked will drag them away, because they refuse to do justice.” (Proverbs 21:7, AMP)
    • “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judgment is not good.” (Proverbs 24:23, AMP)
    • Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are unfortunate and defenseless; open your mouth, judge righteously, and administer justice for the afflicted and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9, AMP)
  • People of integrity
    • “He stores away sound wisdom for the righteous [those who are in right standing with Him]; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity [those of honorable character and moral courage].” (Proverbs 2:7, AMP)
    • For the upright [those who are in right standing with God] will live in the land and those [of integrity] who are blameless [in God’s sight] will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land and the treacherous shall be [forcibly] uprooted and removed from it.” (Proverbs 2:21-22, AMP)
    • Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields and compromises his integrity before the wicked.” (Proverbs 25:26, AMP)
  • Discerning
    • “Hear, O children, the instruction of a father, and pay attention [and be willing to learn] so that you may gain understanding and intelligent discernment.
      For I give you good doctrine; do not turn away from my instruction.” (Proverbs 4:1-2, AMP)
    • “The naive or inexperienced person [is easily misled and] believes every word he hears, but the prudent man [is discreet and astute and] considers well where he is going. A wise man suspects danger and cautiously avoids evil, but the fool is arrogant and careless.” (Proverbs 14:15-16, AMP)
  • Diligent
    • “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the negligent and lazy will be put to forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24, AMP)
    • The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage, but everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5, AMP)
  • Slow to anger
    • “The [arrogant] fool’s anger is quickly known [because he lacks self-control and common sense], but a prudent man ignores an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16, AMP)
    • “Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment].” (Proverbs 19:11, AMP)
    • Do not even associate with a man given to angry outbursts; or go [along] with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his [undisciplined] ways and get yourself trapped [in a situation from which it is hard to escape].” (Proverbs 22:24-25, AMP)
  • Speakers of truth, honest & reliable
    • The thoughts and purposes of the [consistently] righteous are just (honest, reliable), but the counsels and schemes of the wicked are deceitful.” (Proverbs 12:5, AMP)
    • Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is [credited] only for a moment.” (Proverbs 12:19, AMP)
    • A false witness will perish, but a man who listens to the truth will speak forever and go unchallenged.” (Proverbs 21:28, AMP)
  • Slow to speak, or we think before speaking
    • A shrewd man is reluctant to display his knowledge [until the proper time], but the heart of [over-confident] fools proclaims foolishness. (Proverbs 12:23, AMP)
    • He who has knowledge restrains and is careful with his words, and a man of understanding and wisdom has a cool spirit (self-control, an even temper).” (Proverbs 17:27, AMP)
    • He who answers before he hears [the facts]—it is folly and shame to him.” (Proverbs 18:13, AMP)
  • Accepting of correction
    • The ear that listens to and learns from the life-giving rebuke (reprimand, censure) will remain among the wise.” (Proverbs 15:31, AMP)
    • Listen to counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” (Proverbs 19:20, AMP)
    • When the scoffer is punished, the naive [observes the lesson and] becomes wise; but when the wise and teachable person is instructed, he receives knowledge.” (Proverbs 21:11, AMP)
  • Peaceable, or having a soft-spoken and gentle spirit
    • There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18, AMP)
    • “A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath, but harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1, AMP)
    • “It is an honor for a man to cease from strife and keep aloof from it, but every fool will quarrel.” (Proverbs 20:3, AMP)

These are not all inclusive, and many of these have multiple Scripture to back them up, but for sake of time I maxed them out at 3 verses. Lastly, again, I encourage you to read the book of Proverbs on your own. See what other characteristics of the wise leap out at you, and share with us in the comments below!

Take care. May God bless you. And be sure to come back in the upcoming weeks for more on the book of Proverbs.