Question for you. When faced with a decision, how do you know what is the best decision to make? How do you know what God has for you? How do you know if God is presenting you with a Best Yes assignment?
My daughter has been taken horse back riding lessons since she was six. Now, I know, that many young girls go through a stage where they absolutely love horses. When we started lessons, I thought that’s all it was. I thought it was a stage and something that she would probably grow out of. Within the past year, however, my husband and I both realized, that for our daughter, it was more than a stage.
She had one particular pony that she rode every week. He was old, but still had a lot of spunk to him. He loved to run, and so did she. Very few things could light up her face like galloping on that pony could. A couple of months ago, we learned that he was really sick and didn’t have much time left. I’ll never forget the day we told her. She sobbed in my arms, completely broken. His passing was one of the most difficult times that we have walked through with our daughter. In the weeks that followed, she continued to grieve, and shared with me as she had done numerous times before that she really wished she had a pony of her own.
Decisions. Daily, we are faced with decisions. Some are quite easy as to whether or not to do laundry today or tomorrow: whether to make homemade pizza or order in: whether to allow your child to wear a princess dress or batman costume, mask included, to the grocery store. Others though, are harder: like what to tell your daughter when her tear filled eyes look into yours. When we are faced with decisions, how do we know what is the right path to take? How do we know that we are making a wise decision?
It starts . . . by gathering wisdom. Wisdom is gained by acquiring knowledge, insight, and discernment. Knowledge: it’s understanding what is true, and is found by reading and praying through God’s Word. His Word is absolute truth. Insight: it’s taking that knowledge, taking that truth that we know and living it out in our lives. It’s applying what we learn to our mothering, our marriages, our relationships, and to ourselves. Discernment: it’s the ability to make those wise choices. Discernment is that gentle nudge within you from the Holy Spirit that reminds you of that truth you know and how you should be applying it. It’s also found in seeking out godly counsel and insight from wise people who know you and want only what is best for you.
Now, sometimes in life, we find that there are places where we can easily gather wisdom. There are also places though, where wisdom can easily be scattered. Studying God’s Word: we gather wisdom there. Drowning ourselves in the bottle of wine to forget the troubles from the day: wisdom scatters. Taking time to connect with other believes: wisdom is gathered there. Wisdom scatters when you completely withdraw from those who support you and love you deeply. Wisdom gathers in conversations that are honoring. Wisdom scatters in conversations filled with gossip. Wisdom gathers when we honor God with our time. Wisdom scatters when we mindlessly browse social media or tv for hours on end. Choose to place your heart and mind in places where wisdom gathers.
Wisdom will come as we work to acquire knowledge and insight. We will be able to discern what the best choice is, and we can be confident in those decisions. Too often, we make decision making too complicated. We think about all of the what-ifs, the but thens, and the maybes. Yes, some decisions need more processing time than others, but sometimes, we can simply say yes or no and then move on. Decisions that are wise today, will still be wise decisions tomorrow (Lysa Terkeurst)
To close, let me share something that Lysa Teukeurst said. She said, “That daily stuff – those responsibilities that seem more like distractions – those things we want to rush and just get through to get on with the better and bigger assignments of life- those things that are unnoticed places of service? (Think about all you do as a mom. Much of what you do goes unnoticed) They are the very experiences from which we unlock the riches of wisdom. We’ve got to practice wisdom in the everyday places of our lives. Never despise the mundane. Embrace it. Unwrap it like a gift. And be one of the rare few who looks deeper than just the surface. See something more in the everyday. It’s there. We can learn right here, right now, in the midst of all that’s daily how to become wise.”
Friend, we are completely capable of making wise decisions. Choose to place your heart and mind in places where wisdom gathers, and look for God in the midst of it all. He is there, and if you seek Him, He will show you the way to go.
My daughter’s request for a pony . . . we welcomed Sadie Rose into our family a few weeks ago.
That decision was hard. I know very little about caring for horses. Yet, when I see the spark within my daughter’s heart come alive when she climbs on that pony’s back, I know. I know we made a wise decision. You can make them too.
Terkeurst, Lysa. The Best Yes, Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. Nashville, Nelson Books, 2014.