Joy vs. Wisdom

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I was going to talk about gratitude again in my note of encouragement, because I found a great quote-

“The root of joy is gratefullness… It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
-Father David Steindl-Rast

Pretty good, huh? I was going to talk about the thank you list we can make to God each morning for our blessings in today.

But wisdom kind of fell onto me this morning in my closet as I was looking for my shoes. I found and re-read John Smith’s sermon notes from August 25, 2009 ( and realized that I lack wisdom about men and dating, and this is a very important thing for me to get a hold of for me, for my family of 3, and for my daughter’s future love life, for guiding my son… It is crucial I get some wisdom on this!

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; they are double-minded and unstable in all they do.

John 1:5-8

Whoa. Kinda grabs ya, huh? I don’t know about you, but I am feeling a little tossed around, a little lacking in spirit and direction, unstable at times, and maybe even doubtful about my romantic life’s direction… l just don’t know what is best for me and my kids: give up dating and men until my kids graduate frorm high school, or go out and snag a dude at the bar this weekend for a fun time, or wrangle the next guy I meet for coffee into marrying me so I can stop working so hard and give my kids a model of a healthy relationship, or make male friends who can just be some masculine influence on me and my family’s life, or what! There are a lot of possibilities… I need some guidance, but more than that, I need a gut-level confidence in my choices in men and how to spend time with them. I want to feel like the beautiful, self-assured, smart mother who knows what is best for her kids and for her and makes that choice and actually loves that choice and does not feel backed into it by decisions made on the fly (i.e., if he thinks I am attractive, I will hang out with him, because I am so needful of reassurance).

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Here is a synopsis of the sermon and my take on it:
1) John Smith said the first thing we need to do is admit we lack wisdom. So I got on my knees and told God all about my lack of wisdom in dating and men and character judgement with humility. Basically, I said “God, I have no clue what is best for me and my kids in terms of my relationships with men”.
2) Next I ask God for wisdom. We are supposed to continue asking God (probably daily, or as often as that frantic urge comes up that I have no idea what to do with, which is about 10 times a day!). So every time I feel anxious about me and men and me and men and my kids, and the hamster wheel starts churning, I am going to throw that prayer up again. Let God hear my prayer so often that he gets sick of hearing from me (He won’t ever get sick of hearing me though!).

3) We are to expect an answer. Give up on doubts about God and whether He is taking care of us or not. Abandon our frantic anxiety about whether God is loving us in the desert. Banish the need for a clear plan today (that is hard for me!). Let God speak to us in his time. Do you know the song, “I Will Wait upon the Lord”? I need to sing it more often… God is not going to beam down an answer on the billboard before I make my Saturday night plans for this weekend. He is going to let me know in 3 different ways what to think and what to do: 1- I will read something in the Bible, 2- I will get advice from Godly people (which means I need to make myself available to Godly people, and not necessarily depend on my friend’s advice if she is not living a God-trusting life), and 3- I will receive some kind of inner prompting of the Holy Spirit (IF and only IF I am quiet long enough for God to speak to me). So I could (and probably should, but I hate that word) also pray this one: “Thanks God for giving me the answers I need, and thank for you for this space to be with you”.

4) Have gratitude in this space in our lives (see first quote above). This is the place where I get to learn about me and get closer to God. So the thank you list to God for all my blessings each morning still applies!

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