A Girl of Wisdom plans acts of kindness!

girl_giving_gift“If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; If you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.”

Proverbs 14:22 (NLT)

Believe it or not, you make plans everyday. You plan what time you have to get up in the morning so you have enough time to get ready. You plan how you are going to get somewhere (which bus or which parent’s car?). You plan how much time you think it will take to finish that project that is due on Friday so you can still watch your favourite TV show on Thursday night. You may even be in charge of planning several meals for you and your younger brothers and sisters during the week when your parents have to work late.

The list is endless. But I’d like to add one more “plan” to that list. Planning acts of kindness. It may sound a bit strange planning to be kind, but let’s face it- being kind naturally can be very hard when everything within us seems to automatically think about ourselves first. A Girl of Wisdom plans acts of kindness because she is outward focused and tries her best to put others before herself.

Stay tuned for our next blog post where we give you some practical ways to express kindness to those around you!

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A Girl of Wisdom speaks up for injustice!

girls-bullying-school-434“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”

Proverbs 31:8 & 9 (NLT)

When I first started high school, I quickly became friends with a group of girls who I honestly believed would be my friends for the rest of my life. We got along really well, saved seats for each other in class and stayed over at each other’s houses for movie nights. It was so great feeling that I belonged and was accepted.

But after a year, it suddenly all changed. It was like my group of friends made a decision that for some unexplained, random reason, I was no longer part of the group… but they forgot to tell me that! What followed was a year I will never forget. A year of being bullied, ignored and picked on. I spent all my lunch breaks in the library doing homework because there was nowhere else for me to go. I certainly got amazing grades in all my subjects that year! But even though I loved learning, I cared about having friends too! Sound familiar?

Now I’m a high school teacher and things haven’t changed much amongst the teenagers I teach. I see students spreading untrue gossip about other students. Part of my day involves helping teenagers who are being left out and treated unfairly. I see them struggling to hold back tears. I see them pretending that they don’t care when they have to sit by themselves or when nobody wants to work with them when doing a group project.

But the main thing that bothers and angers me the most is that nobody stands up for those who are being bullied or who are being treated unfairly. It’s considered “uncool” to make a stand for justice- to speak up when something is being done that is not right and undeserved.

Think about it. I’m sure that at your school or workplace, you know who the so-called “unpopular” people are. You see them being picked on and laughed at. How do you feel about them? Perhaps as you laugh along with everybody else or stand back and watch, deep down, do you feel a sinking feeling? In the midst of your relief that it’s not you who’s being treated unfairly, do you realise that it could have been you? And if it were you, have you ever wondered if anybody would stand up for you?

Our next blog post will show you a practical way to begin to develop compassion!

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

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 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.

The hallmarks of a true friend.

Tuesday 24th July 2012

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the many types of friends in life, from acquantainces to best friends. Reflecting back over the last decade or two, I’ve seen my friendship circles change. In part this is due to changes in seasons like finishing school and starting university or even moving interstate. Yet some friends, regardless of the happenings of life, have stayed true.

There are many verses in Proverbs about friendship and here are two of my favourites: Proverbs 17:9 (NLT), “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,     but dwelling on it separates close friends,” and Proverbs 17:7 (NLT), “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

What is it about friendships that helps them grow and continue for many years? Here are a few thoughts on the hallmarks of a true friend.

1. Loyalty. A true friend sticks by you no matter what is going on in the world around you.

2. Speaks the truth. This kind of friend doesn’t gossip about you behind your back. They care about you and if they have a concern, they come honestly and directly talk to you about it themselves.

3. Makes time. In this busy world, a true friend finds time to be with you and continues building the friendship through their words and actions.

4. Forgives. Both people in a friendship are bound to make a mistake and hurt the other. Asking for forgiveness and being forgiven are vital to building healthy friendships.

5. Laughs and cries. Life is full of ups and downs and a good friend can laugh with you during the good times and can sit and cry with you when things are not going well.

There are many more traits of a good friend and this week I encourage you to reflect on two things. Firstly, reflect on the friends in your life. Do they exhibit the hallmarks of a true friend? Secondly, how about you? What are you like as a friend?

A Girl of Wisdom is first and foremost a true friend. She is also able to recognise the true friends in her life and continually works at building life long friendships.

Can you keep a secret?

Monday 12 March 2012

Have you ever told someone something private about yourself only to find out later that they did not keep it to themselves? Or vice versa? There are times in life when we like to share things about ourselves with others, perhaps to gain their perspective or help, and it’s nice to know that the person we talk to is able to keep a confidence.

Proverbs 11:13 (NLT) says, “A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.”

It’s an awful feeling when you find out that someone has gone and ‘told the world’ about something you shared privately with them. You may feel betrayed, embarrassed, angry or hurt.

So what about you? Can you keep a secret? What do you do when someone shares something with you? Keeping something between yourself and another person shows that you care about them and that you are a trustworthy friend. It builds trust in your relationship and enables you both to share openly and freely, knowing that what you say is kept safe.

However, there are a few exceptions to keeping secrets. A friend may reveal that they are in real danger or experiencing abuse. In these situations, think carefully about how you respond to your friend when they ask, “You won’t tell anyone, will you?” Out of concern for them, you may need to tell another appropriate person who can help.

A Girl of Wisdom is a trustworthy friend who does not spread idle gossip. She is the kind of girl who can be relied upon to keep the things shared with her close to her heart.

Maybe you just need to let others in.

Monday 27th February 2012

We have all gone through tough times in life. Maybe you are going through one right now. In the midst of pain, confusion, sorrow and anger, we often feel overwhelming loneliness. And this can be a dangerous place to be in for too long.

Proverbs 27:9 (NLT) says, “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”

We live in a society that tells us to toughen up, be strong, show no signs of weakness and to sort things out on our own. While this may be the appropriate response in some circumstances, often, these messages make it very hard for people to ask for help when they actually really need it.

But the bible encourages us to share our burdens with one another and to support one another during tough times. Because when we do, great comfort and relief can be found. When we open up and let others we trust into our worries and problems, we often gain fresh perspective and realise things aren’t as bad as we thought.

A Girl of Wisdom knows that she was not created to live life on her own. In the midst of challenging life seasons, she is brave enough to approach others to help her. How about you? Are things getting on top of you? Maybe you just need to let others in.

Gossip- tastes good then makes you sick!

Sunday 28th August 2011

Chocolate, ice-cream, fried food, lollies, soft drinks, chips… ever had a craving for junk food yet regretted it afterwards? I certainly have! There have been many times when I have desired food that deep down, I knew wasn’t good for me, but I went ahead and indulged in it anyway… only to feel sick for hours after eating it.

Gossip is like that. In fact, Proverbs 18:8 (MSG) says, “Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?”

Conversations are like food to our mind, emotions and spirit. Just as we need to be careful about the types of food we eat when thinking about our physical health, we also need to think about the types of conversations we engage in when thinking about our mental, emotional and spiritual health.

When we choose to listen to gossip about others, it may seem juicy, fun, interesting and entertaining at the time, but it quickly leaves a sick feeling in our hearts afterwards.

When a conversation of gossip begins, a Girl of Wisdom chooses to try and change the subject or walks away if the other people in the conversation won’t stop. Most importantly, if she knows the person that is being gossiped about and believes that what is being said is untrue, she has the courage to stand up for that person. 

A Girl of Wisdom understands that gossip is unhealthy food for her mind and spirit. Let’s be wise about what conversations we participate in!

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