A step in the right direction

Another week has passed and my life is proving itself faithful in keeping me on my toes, lol… I don’t think that anyone really reads this blog (nor should I share all the juicy details of my life on here anyway) so I won’t talk a whole lot about the specifics, but I will say that I’m happy right now… Another semester of grad school has begun and I am too awfully excited to continue learning lots more about the field that I love… My life in Winchester is just down right blessed… I’m staying strong in my walk with Him and, of course, that’s impacting so many areas of my life for the better… I think that I’m truly seeking out wisdom and utilizing the wonder called “patience” – it almost feels like another step in the 1 Corinthians 13:11 direction (and that’s assuring and scary at the same time). I’m trying my hardest to truly listening to His words, heed them, and live them out as much as I can – learning from past mistakes and actually using the things that He’s taught me over time to better my present relationships… feels nice. And that makes me happy. 🙂

I’m (slowly and wonderfully) moving forward in my study of Proverbs. I came across some verses this morning that I thought I might share. They touch on a lot of the popular themes that are running throughout my life right now, so I’ll try to marry them together for you in a way that makes sense, lol. I read chapter 10 today and found verses 2a, 9, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 28a and 32. Here goes…

I think I’m moving in the right direction. Now, I know, everyone thinks that about themselves, but really… I mean this in a humble and true way! By no means am I blind to the many flaws that I have. I constantly see them in myself and I know that they are areas in which I need to grow and/or change in order to keep growing in my faith and in the world around me. Two of those things: wisdom and patience. I’ve seen the dire need for them in my life for some time now and I’m facing so many decisions (big and small) that require their existence and use. Part of the reason that I began reading Proverbs is because of these weak spots in me and it’s neat to see the first-fruits of their presence. I want to be a wise, solid, joyful, and inexplicably beautiful young woman of faith. That’s a tall order, I know!! haha. But I don’t think that it’s an impossible order. Not that I’m going to be disappointed if I do not become someone who can be defined as such (because He has a plan that’s far more perfect than my best ideas, for sure), but I think those are good things to strive for… to have integrity and walk securely (Proverbs 10:9), to learn from my past mistakes and act on the changes that I’ve made (Proverbs 10:17), to strive for righteousness (too much scripture to even reference, lol). King Solomon talks about our mouths and the words that we say a lot in this chapter. I’ve studied that a little and know how important our words are to Him. But, not only are they an important reflection of ourselves and the presence of the Word in us, they are also good indicators of wisdom – what words we use, how we use them, when we use them, how much we use them, to whom we direct them, etc. I love the comparison that King Solomon makes in Proverbs 10:20… merely the lips of a righteous man are “choice silver”, while the heart of a wicked man (the core of all goodness in him) is of “little value”. Ouch. Can you imagine what the righteous man’s heart is worth to Him if his mouth is worth so much? Solomon was also right when he said, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). This verse combines both “patience” and “wisdom” for me (and a few other things)… knowing what to say to whom and when to say it. I really need to learn how to do that! Never really been too good at it. 😉 He later says, “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse” (Proverbs 10:32). No matter the verse and no matter where it’s found, it’s clear that our mouths are important parts to this whole “wisdom” and “patience” thing. I need to use these qualities not only in my actions and relationships with others, but I also need to use them in my words – one of the most direct ways to make their presence evident. I suppose I should’ve listened to my grandmother when she told me, “God gave you two ears and one mouth… remember the ratio”, and my prof’s 24 hour rule (if something is bothering you, sit on it for 24 hours before speaking about it or trying to fix it… take a deep breath and try to rid yourself of all the emotional baggage tied to the issue). So hard to do, but so worth it in the end…

Oh, and…

ill-gotten treasure is of no value” (Proverbs 10:2a)… be patient and wait for Him while walking solely with Him… then you’ll know that your treasure is always rooted in Him and full of precious value.

Off to do lots and lots of schoolwork,

Christina

“the sayings and riddles of the wise”

Wow. I haven’t written in almost two months… I’m so sorry! My lack of discourse isn’t because I haven’t been in the Word; I just haven’t been able to organize all my thoughts until now. A few crazy months and unexpected surprises will do that to ya. And the holidays, lol.

Let me catch yall up to date with what I’m studying these days: Proverbs. I don’t know if you knew this, but the book of Proverbs was written (mostly by King Solomon) as a book of guidance to young men. In the book, he urges young men to seek out and obtain wisdom and fear of the Lord. He beseeches the young men to (1) not fall into worldly folly and (2) avoid temptation. And, as all of us girls know, the book ends with Proverbs 31… AKA, the definition of a Godly woman with whom these men should be looking to marry if they are in search of a God-pleasing life. All in all, this book is for boys. But I’m a girl. And I’m learning a lot from it already (and God totally meant for girls to learn from it too, I think). It’s a somewhat long story and too personal to share on here, but “wisdom” has become such an important thing in my life. Learning about it. Seeking it. Obtaining it. Using it. Sharing it. God makes such a big deal about this thing and our dire need for it in our daily lives… and He doesn’t say things just for the fun of it. His words are precious and valuable and we should heed them. So, here I am… seeking out something that is “more profitable than silver” (Proverbs 3:14) and “the tree of life” (Proverbs 3:18) because of His leading and its undeniable applicability to my life right now. Here’s a little preview of the book and why I also think it’s so great…

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7

The whole book of Proverbs is awesome, fyi. I thought about finding some of my favorite verses so far and sharing them with you guys, but I quickly discovered that (if I were to do that) I would be copying and pasting the whole book. lol. Honestly, go and read the book. You will not regret it one bit. But, I will say this, don’t just “read” it. Swallow it bit-by-bit, day-by-day. There is so much truth packed into those verses that you’ll need a little time to let it marinate and truly sink in. I’ve read Proverbs many times before, but not like this… the benefits are already far surpassing the patience and time that it’s requiring of me. Perhaps this is because of its direct applicability to my life right now, or perhaps this is because it’s God’s Word and that’s what He naturally does with it. My challenge to you: Read. Sit down and spend some time working on your relationship with Him. He is your #1 relationship and (like all relationships) it requires time and effort. Spend that time and expend some of that effort while you have the blessed chance. 🙂

Also: I’m finishing up “Radical” by David Platt and I’m starting “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan… too exciting! Both great, go read.

Second semester of GRAD SCHOOL starts next week!!! I’m so very excited (and a little scared). It will be tough tough tough, but I’m praying that I can make it through. I don’t just want to “be there” and do the work… I want to make the most of it and do my best for Him. In my relationships with my classmates and professors and the cleaning staff (and PTs, lol) that don’t care too much for us for some strange reason… in my schoolwork… in my friendships around Winchester… in my time at FBC… in all of it. Gloria a Dios. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33.

More to come soon, I promise 🙂

Christina