Share Your Skill

Do you make the best cinnamon rolls ever, the kind your family begs for at holidays?
Can you tile a backsplash with the best?
Is your pantry an thing of beauty, organized and labelled?
Does your garden have enough prize-winning produce to feed your family and the neighbors?
Do numbers flow easily for you, and you love making a budget?

With what skill have you been gifted? There are many possible, big and small.

Who could benefit from that skill? There is probably someone around you that would be blessed.

Sharing with others has a number of benefits:

  • The woman described in Proverbs 31 had a wide variety of skills, which she used to bless her family and community. What she knew how to do flowed out of her and enriched those around her. You can do the same thing with what you know.
  • We are stronger together. When you share what you know with someone else, you are making their plans stronger. You are also investing in a stronger relationship through that sharing, which makes for a stronger church, community, or family.
  • Sharing a needed skill with someone else is a way to love your neighbor. Who has a bathroom in need of TLC, but the budget doesn’t quite match the need? What about when the labor cost is handled with a new skill, learned from a friend?
  • This kind of mentoring can help you obey Titus 2:3-4. If you are old enough to have gained a valuable skill, there is probably someone younger who can benefit from it as they grow in godliness.
  • And we haven’t even mentioned the simple joy of being together and  getting something special, and/or needed, done. It’s fun! I have both experienced that kind of fun and watched it happen.

So, please, please look for opportunities to share your knowledge with someone else. Invest in a good thing. The more we all do this, the more we all benefit.

How to Make Strong Plans

Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.
Proverbs 20:18

Life often feels like a battle — because it is! In the midst of it, we’ll take any weapon tossed our way. Even better than that would be walking into the battle with the best weapons we can have.

The best plans are shaped with wise input. The proverb above is giving us a key. Getting counsel when we make plans will make our plans stronger. Using a wise guide, who knows more than we do and can add depth and insight, will make us more effective as we work our plans.

Two is better than one, in this case. None of us know everything or can experience everything, but put us together and see what we have! Mistakes can be avoided, valuable lessons learned can be transferred (instead of having to learn it the hard way), and perspective is wider with two or more sets of eyes.

This does take humility, though. Often we don’t ask for help because we don’t want to admit we don’t know everything and can’t do it all. Letting pride limit us will hurt us every time.

But the benefit is great! Gaining wisdom from God through those godly people He places in our paths is a precious treasure.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
Proverbs 3:13-14

I encourage you to ask for guidance today in a plan you are making. If you can’t immediately think of a good person to ask related to it, start asking questions of others and look to find someone who has the specific wisdom you might need.

Seek wisdom. It’s worth the effort.

FYI: Learning

Following is a collection of links that may be of interest to you related to our current topic. Note, listing does not imply endorsement. Please evaluate for your own situation.

Encouragement — life-long learning is always in season

Benefits

Break it down — why learning is good for the whole person

Homeschooling — a mom on benefits of raising children who continue learning, hopefully motivating parents to lead by example

Not just for men — well-written encouragement to broaden our horizons

Heavy research — showing who and why and what results came of continuing education, personally and professionally

Resources

Online — 10 online educational sites

Udemy — a plethora of online classes

FYI: Reading

Following is a collection of links that may be of interest to you related to our current topic. Note, listing does not imply endorsement. Please evaluate for your own situation.

How To — a variety of ways to read

Making a Habit — you want to read, but are you?

It’s Important — “There is a reason societies and civilizations throughout history have treasured the written word. It is art—beautiful and awe-inspiring for its own sake. It deserves our attention, our contemplation. Literature’s imaginative and creative power—the way it opens our eyes and sharpens our perceptions of the world—is highly valuable and unique.”

Bite-sized recommendations — 3 books with daily snippets

How to Make Time — encouragement with benefits and tips to make a habit

“Real” Books — why a paper copy of a book may be better

Reading Old Books — the value an older book has over a new release…and more encouragement to read

A Further Summary of Benefits — Reader’s Digest weighs in

Audio Books — how listening can redeem time — And Again

 

Don’t Go It Alone

As we discuss ways to manage our selves and our households well, I want to spend a few minutes on words of warning. As humans, when we strive for excellence, it can be easy to get caught up in the achievement itself (or lack thereof).

We all too often struggle with a skewed perspective. We have to do and be “good enough.” Martin Luther described it this way:

This pernicious opinion of the law, that it justifies and makes righteous before God, is so deeply rooted in man’s reason, and all mankind so wrapped up in it, that they can hardly get out; yea, I myself, have now preached the gospel nearly 20 years, and have been exercised in the same daily, by reading and writing, so that I may well seem to be rid of this wicked opinion; yet, notwithstanding, I now and then feel this old filth cleave to my heart, whereby it comes to pass that I would willingly have so to do with God, that I would bring something with myself, because of which he should give me his grace.

Sisters, you are children of God your Father. In Christ, you are secure and have no need to earn your position or measure up. When you fail in your efforts to manage your household well, all that is at stake is the cup of milk spilt. That is it. Your salvation and identity are not at risk. God’s desire for you is that you serve your family well. And He has already provided all you need for godliness (II Peter 1:3-4). You have what you need! Your efforts, goals, plans and obedience are the outcome of an end already achieved by Him. You are free to live exultingly dependent on His power and grace at work in you.

No matter where you are on the spectrum — looking forward, with your ducks self-righteously in a row (you assume), or wandering, distracted and discouraged with ducklings far afield — I encourage you to lift your eyes. Live as a fully mature child. Your every minute is not allotted to assigned tasks to be completed. Your responsibilities are yours to manage, thriving through the strength God provides. Live in the light of your adoption as a daughter of God.

As a Christian, you are also a vital part of the body of Christ, the church. You will benefit from partnering with your sisters as you grow together (Ephesians 4:16) in Christlikeness. We are all in this together. There is beauty in relying on each other for encouragement and wisdom and accountability. We glorify God as we embrace His plan for His people. Live as a child of God in the body of Christ.