Strength and Dignity

At the beginning of each new year I sit down with my Bible and choose a verse for the season ahead. This year, for 2017, my verse is Proverbs 31:25. 

She is clothed with strength and dignity and
laughs without fear of the future. 

Strength and dignity. The words stood out to me. At the beginning of 2017, I certainly didn't feel strong. I was tired, felt beat down and like I was on a very long road trip that just wasn't going to end soon. Strength. Lord, may it wash over my life. 

Dignity. Oh, how I wanted to walk and speak with dignity. We'd been through recent job change. Emotions were all over the place. And that was just one piece of our little world! I wanted to speak and hold myself with dignity in the face of adversity or come what may. 

How could I accomplish this high standard? Karen Ehman wrote a fabulous book we should all read over and over. It's called Keep It Shut and should be on everyone's nightstand for easy reference. A quote from Karen: "Giving our thoughts time to settle and soak in Scripture is a wonderful habit. It can keep us from answering too soon and looking foolish." 

I need this written on the back of my hand to carry with me always! And it applies directly to my personal theme and verse for this year. So I have started to practice The Pause. 

How does it work to Pause? For me, it's about answering slowly.  When I receive a text or email it is so easy to immediately reply with whatever comes to mind. Instead I am practicing being intentional in my words. What do I really need or want to say to this person? Do I need to commit to this request, or can I? 

Taking this intentional action of a pause in my reaction is so minor. Yet I've been able to grow friendships, ministry, and care for myself. Strength and dignity. And it leads to the last part of that verse- she laughs. I love that part. 

The Lord intends for us to have joy! Take those small, intentional steps to walk with Him and live in the joy He has planned for you. 





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