Dealing with the Green-Eyed Monster

green-eyed-monster-1Thursday 18 January 2013

There is a well-known metaphor, originally by William Shakeapeare, that describes jealousy as a “Green-Eyed Monster.” I think it’s a good description because the emotion of jealousy can certainly bring out the ugly in us! Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about this powerful emotion… jealousy…. and the impact it has- especially on females!

And then, I stumbled upon this verse in today’s chapter (chpt 14) of Proverbs. Verse 30 says, A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away. It suggests that when you allow jealousy to control you, it’s impossible to be relaxed and to enjoy life. Instead, jealousy breeds anger, hurt, frustration and bitterness that rots and destroys your soul.

So… why do girls and young women get jealous? Feelings of jealousy often rise up within us when we aren’t truly happy with who we are and find ourselves comparing ourselves to others. As a result, we start wanting to be like others because we don’t like who we are. This is dangerous because it can cause competition between friends and ultimately, the destruction of friendships. We can also get jealous when we see someone else getting something that we really want or feel that we deserved more. Therefore, we can’t be happy for our friend or celebrate with her… which also leads to an unhealthy friendship. Jealousy is just rotten!

However, I know that God made no mistakes when He made you. He lovingly created you and has also created a plan for YOUR life. Having faith in this fact is the first step to conquering jealousy. A Girl of Wisdom will still experience feelings of envy and comparison, but she is quick to take control of those thoughts before they turn into consuming jealousy. This type of girl reminds herself that she is unique- there is nobody like her… so why would she want to be someone else?

I pray you remember these thoughts the next time you are faced with the Green-Eyed Monster xox

Enter 2013 with confidence!

imagesThursday 3 January 2013

As we say farewell to 2012 and welcome in the brand new year of 2013, many of us would have spent some time reflecting on the year just gone and thinking about desires for the year ahead.

Some of you may have had a wonderful 2012 filled with happiness and success. For some of you, 2012 was the worst year of your life. And for others, 2012 was a mixed bag of ups and downs.

Proverbs 31:25b (ERV) says, “She looks to the future with confidence.” No matter what type of year you have just had, it is possible to look forward to the year ahead with confidence regardless of the past. Here are some important truths to remember as you enter this new year-

God loves you so much. He cares for you and does not hold your past against you. He will always forgive you when you ask Him to and will give you the strength and peace to forgive others.

God is always with you. He knows everything you are going through, the thoughts in your mind and the emotions of your heart. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

God uses everything for His purpose. Not everything that happens in life is good, but God has the miraculous power to use all things for good. He is always at work in your life even when you cannot feel it or see it.

A Girl of Wisdom can look to the future with confidence because she knows she is loved by a God who is always with her and has a purpose for her life. We pray that these truths encourage and strengthen you as you enter this new year. xoxox

What fruit are you bearing?

mangrove4Tuesday 19 December 2012

I love studying nature. There’s something about looking at God’s creation that stirs my heart to marvel at the magnificence of God. In fact, God often refers to His creation throughout scripture to explain things to us.

I was recently on holiday in Queensland and found myself fascinated with mangroves. These unique trees have part of their root system growing above the ground, giving a distinctive insight into the intricate way plants grow. One of the things I noticed is that mature trees have many parts burrowing their way into the ground. And it is these larger, older and well established trees that bear a lot of fruit. Unlike a little seedling, it is much harder to try and pullthese types of trees out to remove them from their soil.

Proverbs 12:12b (NLT) says, “The godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.”

The bible often uses the analogy of trees for our own lives. Along that train of thought, you can ask yourself questions like, “What kind of “soil” am I planted in? How am I growing? And what kind of fruit am I bearing?”

This week I encourage you to take some time to pray and reflect on who you are as a person, your character, speech and actions. Does anything need aligning to God’s word and the example that Jesus gave us of His life on earth?

A Girl of Wisdom is well rooted in the Word of God. She continues to grow in the ways of God and bears Christ-like fruit such as love, patience, goodness, kindness, self-control, joy, peace, faithfulness and gentleness.

Wisdom for your future.

imagesFriday 7th December 2012

My little girl is almost 15 months old and has quickly changed from being a baby to being a toddler. She is at the stage where she is loving to learn about everyone and everything around her. She eagerly watches as I show her how to do things and she copies so much of what I do. She listens as I explain simple things to her and she willingly tries to do what I ask of her.

I think that as we grow up, our eagerness and willingness to learn and accept advice from others can fade away. We very much live in a society that suggests that we are weak if we need help from others.

However, Proverbs 19:20 (ESV) says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”

What decisions or choices in life are you currently facing? What situations are currently happening in your life in which you know that you need help? Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and guidance from people you trust and who have the knowledge and experience that you need.

A Girl of Wisdom is wise because she doesn’t isolate herself from others. She knows that one of the keys to having a successful life is being willing to learn from those around her. Accepting help today means gaining wisdom for tomorrow.

Taking care of your relationships.

Monday 19th November 2012

I’ve come to the conclusion that most of my household appliances have a life expectancy of 10 years. Recently, I celebrated my 10-year wedding anniversary and within days of this wonderful occasion, appliances that were wedding gifts began to stop working!

Without maintenance, things on this earth begin to break down due to the wear and tear of life. It’s the same with relationships. Left on their own with no input, they too, begin to fall apart.

How can you take care of the relationships in your life? Especially when life can be so busy and before you know it, days, weeks, months and even years have flown by?

Proverbs 27:18a (ESV), “Whoever tends a fig tree will eat it’s fruit.”

Relationships require work, time and energy just as trees require sun, soil and water. What you put into a healthy relationship will be demonstrated by the fruit it is bearing. Here are a few thoughts on taking care of your relationships.

1. In any relationship, it is important to be growing yourself. What is your character like? Are you allowing God to grow who you are?

2. There are so many things to do in life but sometimes you need to let the little things go (like the dishes, watching tv….) in order to spend time with those you love.

3. Find out what the other person loves. Make little surprises based around this, be it a little note in the mail, a spontaneous coffee date or simply sitting down for a chat.

A Girl of Wisdom takes care of the relationships in her life. She endeavours to grow in Christ likeness and carefully tends to her relationships to see them grow and flourish.

The sweetness of friendship- insights by guest blogger Sarah Derham.

Monday 22nd October 2012

After returning from an interstate trip to see one of my best friends, I was hit once again with the impact of how much her friendship means to me. I left her feeling refreshed, challenged, energized. Our time together was so good for my soul.

With five daughters between us and the craziness that this brings, the two of us were still able to grab a moment to sit together. On a warm Queensland afternoon, with a cool drink in hand, we had time to have a conversation.

Think of one of those deep, after-dinner chats with close friends where time stands still. Think of an impromptu conversation you’ve had with a friend where they leave you feeling somehow illuminated.  That’s the kind of conversation we had.

What I love about this friend is that she gets me, we laugh at similar things (even if no one else does), she loves my kids and regardless of the time apart we can pick up where we left off. She challenges me on areas needing attention and asks the hard questions. Whatever is said I know her motive is to help me become a better person as she speaks from a place of fondness and love.

Despite the distance, the passage of time and significant changes like marriages, kids and work, our friendship has continued to grow.  Why is that?  It’s because we both value the friendship.  We are motivated by love and as we have grown and matured we have continued to invest in it because we esteem it with precious value.

Proverbs 27:9 says,
“Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,
 a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”

As the feeling of a cool, fragrant cream being rubbed into the skin or freshening up with the smell of your favourite perfume is good for the body, so sweet friendships in life are good for the soul.

A Girl of Wisdom understands the importance of friendship. She knows how to be a good friend and places value on the special people in her world. She understands that the secret to a good friendship is not just that it is valuable, but it must be motivated at all times by love, and nothing else.

How could you show a friend that you value their friendship today?

Sarah Derham is a wife, mum of three gorgeous girls and a nurse. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she has a passion to see women discover and walk in their God given identity.

The voice of the crowd or the voice of God?

Tuesday 9th October 2012

A few nights ago, my husband and I decided to have a DVD night. After looking through the range of possible movies, we decided to watch Gladiator. It had been quite a few years since we both saw it and at the end, I was so challenged by one of the many themes in this film.

The main character, Maximus, stays true to himself throughout the entire narrative. He does what he believes is right despite what the majority think. The opinions of others do not cause him to doubt himself.

His enemy, Commodus, is the exact opposite. Suffering from low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth, he desperately does everything to please the crowd. He is continually torn, confused and indecisive. He is easily persuaded by others and seeks their approval to his own fatal detriment.

Proverbs 29:25 (MSG) says, “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”

It is important to seek advice from wise people and to learn from others. However, we can sometimes become so consumed by the opinions of the crowd, that we forget to listen to the gentle, yet firm, voice of the Holy Spirit.

Are you in the midst of making big decisions? How are you handling what others are saying to you? Have you taken some time to be honest with yourself and listen to your heart, pray and research what God’s Word says about your situation?

A Girl of Wisdom respects the crowd, but is not ruled by it. Her first priority is listening to God’s voice and she is brave enough to ignore the voice of the crowd.

What does jewellery & your character have in common?

Tuesday 25th September 2012

For my 30th birthday last year, my husband bought me a black Daisy Georg Jensen necklace. I absolutely love it and wear it all the time!

My closest girlfriends are used to seeing me with it on and when I forget to wear it, my husband always asks where it is. Also, I have had strangers stop me and ask me what type of necklace it is and where you get them from.

People notice what you wear… And in the same way, everyone eventually notices your character.

Proverbs 3:3 (NCV) says, “Don’t ever forget kindness and truth. Wear them like a necklace…” 

Just like a pretty necklace, a kind and honest woman is attractive and memorable. When you choose to speak and act generously and truthfully, with integrity and compassion, you will be amazed by the positive impact this makes on those around you.

A Girl of Wisdom not only thinks about her outer appearance, but realises that who she is on the inside is what counts the most. Just like jewellery, her character shines and draws people to her. I don’t know about you, but I want to be this sort of woman! xox

The power of the tongue- insights from guest blogger Gilly Williamson

Tuesday 11th September 2012
Recently, I have been thinking about criticism. We can all fall into that trap of speaking negatively about others so easily. I was on holidays, hearing some harsh words spoken about someone I love.
Proverbs 15:1 says,  “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”
Sometimes it is easy to end up criticising someone when we agree with a wrong choice they have made- the choice of university, a business venture, the friends they hang out with- the list goes on. Whilst I said very little, I felt convicted because I didn’t speak up for the person being criticised, especially in their absence.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like honey from a honeycomb- sweet to the spirit and healthy for the body.” 
After I returned home, I decided to ring each person who I’d been with, after praying and asking God for some wise words to speak. I said, “This person has made their choice. I am choosing to support them in this choice they have made because I love them, so can we support this person together?”  Almost immediately, I could feel the atmosphere change and attitudes change too.
I then rang the person who had been criticised, expressing support to them in the choice they had made. I told them I loved them and again, I sensed the atmosphere change.
The journey is ongoing regarding guarding our hearts and lips. Perhaps in reading this, you are being reminded of words you have spoken or not spoken or times where you have criticised or where you yourself have been criticised. Do not feel condemned by it but bring it to the Lord and pray, asking him to help you forgive yourself and others. Ask Him to speak His words through you. His words always spring from a heart of love, and love never fails.
A Girl of Wisdom will speak from a heart of love, bringing a soft answer and pleasant words. You can make an amazing difference by the life-giving words you speak, SO GO FOR IT!!
Gillian Williamson is from Northern Ireland and has a background in hairdressing, missionary work, teaching and life coaching. She has a passion for other cultures particularly Scandinavia. Gillian desires to see people live out their God-given potential and find wholeness in every area of their lives.

Living a life beyond yourself.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

I have some amazing friends travelling and volunteering in Africa at the moment whilst others are preparing for similar ventures in Asia later in the year. This isn’t the type of tourist holiday where you sit on a beach (although they are good too). Rather, it is a person giving their time and skills to invest in those in poverty.

In Proverbs 31:20 (NCV) a wise woman is described as a person who “welcomes the poor and helps the needy.” I love this verse and it excites me to see it in action in my own life and those around me.

There are many forms of “poor and needy” in this world. There are those who have little in the way of food, shelter and water, while others may be suffering from illness or isolation. It’s not just in Africa and Asia, but in our own communities too. We can all do something to help others, the questions is, what are you doing?

1. Think and pray about what you can do. Think about the skills that you already have- you’ll be amazed at what you are already capable of!

2. What stirs your heart? Homelessness, human trafficking, adult illiteracy…. there are so many!

3. Find volunteering organisations that are known for what they do and have proven that they are trustworthy and effective in helping those in need.

4. Think locally and globally. There are things you can do on a regular basis to help those in need in your community as well as overseas volunteering opportunitiees.

A Girl of Wisdom lives outside of her own needs and desires. She is selfless in her motivation and genuinely wants to see poverty abolished. When she sees the needs that exists in the world, she is moved with compassion to reach out her hand to help.

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