Bible Verses about Wisdom and Making Decisions


  • Psalm 19:8 ESV
    the precepts of the Lord are right,
        rejoicing the heart;
    the commandment of the Lord is pure,
        enlightening the eyes;
  • Psalm 25:12 ESV
    Who is the man who fears the Lord?
        Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
  • Psalm 119:9 ESV
    How can a young man keep his way pure?
        By guarding it according to your word.
  • Proverbs 1:5 ESV
    Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
        and the one who understands obtain guidance,
  • Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV
    My son, if you receive my words
        and treasure up my commandments with you,
    making your ear attentive to wisdom
        and inclining your heart to understanding;
    yes, if you call out for insight
        and raise your voice for understanding,
    if you seek it like silver
        and search for it as for hidden treasures,
    then you will understand the fear of the Lord
        and find the knowledge of God.
  • Proverbs 2:6 ESV
    For the Lord gives wisdom;
        from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
  • Proverbs 1:5 ESV
    Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
        and the one who understands obtain guidance,
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
        and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge him,
        and he will make straight your paths.
  • Proverbs 11:14 ESV
    Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
        but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
  • Proverbs 12:15 ESV
    The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
        but a wise man listens to advice.
  • Proverbs 13:20 ESV
    Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
        but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
  • Proverbs 15:22 ESV
    Without counsel plans fail,
        but with many advisers they succeed.
  • Proverbs 16:9 ESV
    The heart of man plans his way,
        but the Lord establishes his steps.
  • Isaiah 30:21 ESV
    And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
  • Jeremiah 6:16 ESV
    Thus says the Lord:
    “Stand by the roads, and look,
        and ask for the ancient paths,
    where the good way is; and walk in it,
        and find rest for your souls.
    But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
  • Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
    Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
  • Philippians 4:6 ESV
    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
    All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
  • James 1:5 ESV
    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
  • James 3:17 ESV
    But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Sometimes a Crock-Pot is Just a Crock-Pot (and other wisdom for the indecisive)


An indecisive person (AKA me) plus a store aisle full of choices = paralysis, disaster, and maybe a meltdown in the middle of the Wal-Mart.

It all started when I poured spaghetti sauce ingredients into my beloved Crock-Pot.  I felt like a domestic diva, a household management expert.

After racing from school to activities and then home, I’d be greeted by the aroma of simmering sauce instead of shoving a hamburger and French fries in my face after a drive-thru dinner run.


Only when I arrived home, there was no lingering scent of basil, oregano and tomato sauce in the air.

My Crock-Pot was still cold.

Knowing my propensity for human error, I ran through the possible list of user failures.  Had I plugged it in?  Check.  Had I turned the dial from OFF to LOW?  Check.

It had simply died.  (Cue funeral dirge).

That means my shopping list now included the item:  new Crock-Pot.

Was this a reason to celebrate?  Or was it no big deal?

Neither, my friends.

This became a capital-D Decision.  I prayed about it.  I read about it.  I scouted prices online.

Then I stood in that aisle with Jeopardy music ringing in my head, clocking the ridiculous amount of time I stared blankly at slow cookers.  Who knew there were so many choices to be made?

Oval or round?

Which brand?

6 quart or 7 quart?

How many programming options did I want?

Was I willing to pay $80 for a slow cooker that would not only prepare delicious meals for me but clearly should also vacuum and do the dishes? (I mean, for $80 it needs to do something incredible.)

I waffled.

I waivered.

I see-sawed.

It was agonizing.  Finally, my Wise Inner Voice held an intervention of sorts and talked my troubled, indecisive soul down off the ledge.

You need a Crock-Pot.  This is not choosing a career, a college or who to marry.  For crying aloud, you are simply choosing a relatively inexpensive cooking tool for your home. Just pick something.

So, I did.  I wanted a Crock Pot with clamps on the lid so I could carry it to church potlucks without spilling soup all over the inside of my minivan.

Programmable would be helpful when I’m out all day and I need the slow cooker to start at noon.

Awesome.  I had officially made a decision.

Until I got home.  And, that Crock Pot sat in its box.   A week later it is still sitting taped up in the original packaging on my kitchen floor.

Because….what if I change my mind?

What if I find a better deal?

What if I made a bad choice?

I am paralyzed by indecision.  It is a daily occurrence in my crazy life for me to be trapped by what if’s, possibilities and the pursuit of what is right, wise, and perfect.

Do I want red or blue?  Small or medium?  The park or the zoo?  Soup or a sandwich?  To watch a movie or read a book?

Yes. No.  Maybe?

I.  Do.  Not.  Know.

And when I do decide, I evaluate and criticize that decision, living in a perpetual state of regret and self-condemnation.

I knew I shouldn’t have bought that Crock-Pot.  What a stupid decision.  What’s wrong with me?

So, this is the prison of indecision I inhabit, just four walls holding in my kind of crazy.  I’m a cowering shadow, afraid of one false move or one bad decision that will disappoint God’s heart.

God says I can ask Him anything.  So, I do.  I pray for wisdom and guidance for every possible decision, including Crock-Pots.

No lightning strikes, though.  No neon arrow points to the right choice.

But here’s what I need to learn.

Sometimes it’s okay to just choose a Crock-Pot.  The world isn’t going to explode if I go with the oval one or the other brand.

Not every decision is a life or death matter of discerning God’s will.

Sometimes a Crock-Pot is just a Crock-Pot.

Sure, I’ll sometimes make the perfect decision.

And, at times I’ll just need to break off the chains of regret.  So, things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.  It’s in the past now.  Time to let it go and make a new choice on a new day.

As Paul writes:

 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 HCSB).

After all, God still loves me. He gives fresh mercy with each new day.  His grace covers my every flaw, foible, and failure (regardless of my choice of Crock-Pot).

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Dear Son, Let Me Explain How Shape Sorters Work

james 1Copyright: <a href=''> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>Dear Son,

Let me explain how shape sorters work.

The circle shape only fits in the circle hole.

You can’t cram it or squeeze it into the square.  You can’t bang repeatedly, slamming that circle down until it finally fits into the triangle.

The circle block really and truly does only fit through the circle hole.

Sad, perhaps, but nonetheless true.

I know you think we’re foolish about this, that maybe we parents just don’t know all there is to know about shape sorters.

Maybe that’s why when we tried to point out to you the circle hole, you scowled and screamed.

Or when we set an example for you, modeling how easily that circle slid into the circle hole, you threw the block.

Or when we tried to gently move your hand to the correct space, you pulled your hand back, cried and cried and insisted on continuing your attack on the square hole with the circle.

Baby boy, here’s the lesson now and, oh, how much frustration and anger, disappointment and failure it will save you later if you learn this right here:  Mom and Dad really know best most of the time.

Even more than that, it’s wise to seek advice and counsel.  When you’re learning something new, ask the experts.

Sure you can stamp your feet in stubborn pride and insist on your own way.

But fifteen minutes and a full-blown tantrum later, you’ll still be holding a circle block in your hand that doesn’t fit through the square hole.

When you don’t know what to do or how to do it, stop plowing on ahead in bull-headed determination to do it your own way.

Ask God.

Ask Him.

James 1:5 says:

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 (NIV).

Did you see the promise in the verse?  God isn’t stingy about wisdom.

He’s generous.  

You ask Him what to do and He will respond with abundance.

And, He’s not up there criticizing your request or complaining about coming to your rescue….again…..won’t this guy every learn?  Sigh.  Tsk….tsk….tsk…..what a disappointment.

No, God gives generously to all “without finding fault.”

Sometimes we forget to ask.  We think this is a no-brainer, an easy decision and one we can surely handle on our own.

Or maybe we don’t ask because we know what He’ll say.  We know the advice we’ll receive isn’t really what we want to hear.

So, we avoid asking.

We avoid wisdom.

Because then we’d have to listen and then it would come straight down to what it’s really all about anyway: Obedience. Submission.  Faith.


Giving in and giving up and giving it all over to the only One who truly knows what’s best.

David knew better.

Max Lucado writes:

 The first time he faced the Philistines in the wilderness, David ‘inquired of the Lord’ (23:2). When he felt small against his enemy, ‘David inquired of the Lord” (23:4) When attacked by the Amalekites, ‘David inquired of the Lord” (30:8). Puzzled about what to do after the death of Saul, ‘David inquired of the Lord’ (2 Samuel 2:1).  When crowned as king and pursued by the Philistines, ‘David inquired of the Lord” (5:19).  David defeated them, yet they mounted another attack, so ‘David inquired of the Lord” (5:23).  David kept God’s number on speed dial. (Facing Your Giants)

It was David’s go-to method.  Ask God.  Then listen.  And obey.

But there’s a moment in David’s life when he didn’t pause to call 1-800-ASK-LORD.

He was so overwhelmed by Saul’s relentless attempts to murder him, that he:

said in his heart, ‘Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.”

He asked himself.  He decided in his own heart what was best.  He looked around, considered the circumstances and thought, ‘there is nothing better for me than this….”

Maybe God really had a much better plan.  Maybe God could have protected and preserved David without the mess that awaited him in the land of the Philistines.

Never for a moment think you’re wise enough or strong enough to decide what’s best for your life without first asking God.

Never for a moment think that your plan and your way and your desire for your own life is better than God’s plan and His ways and His purpose for you.

Never for a moment yank your hand back from God’s guidance.

He sees the big picture.  He knows:  Here is the circle… is where it goes.  Trust me.



“The One who laid earth’s foundations and settled its dimensions knows where the lines are drawn.  He gives all the light we need for trust and for obedience” (Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendor)

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2015 Heather King

Dear daughter, what happened to the 90 pencils I already sent to school?

Seventy-two pencils.

That is how many pencils we carried into her classroom the last week of August.

We placed 72 yellow, No. 2 pencils into the communal pencil bin in the classroom where all the pencils go to be happily shared among the entire fourth grade classroom.

That’s how it really works.  You don’t buy the supplies for your own child.  You buy them for the classroom.psalm19-14

In years past, I didn’t know that top-secret information and I had foolishly assumed that when my kid needed a pencil, she would use one of the pencils I had sent in for her.

But now, armed with the full insider’s knowledge of a truly experienced Super Mom, I had stocked her own desk this year with about 15 or so pencils as a secret stash.  These were the rainbow-colored, glittery, fancy pencils I had purchased special, just for her, unique, not-for-sharing.

Not only that, we had sat on the couch the day before and hand-sharpened that secret stash of super-cool pencils so that she wouldn’t be caught with an unsharpened pencil, thereby ensuring her success in fourth grade.

This is in addition to the 72 pencils we bought for the actual, official school supply list.

So, what is that?  Something around 90 pencils placed in her classroom the week before school started.

Maybe that’s why I went a little Mom-crazy when she announced she didn’t have any pencils she could use just three weeks after school started.

This precious child climbed into the very back of the minivan after school and hollered up to me in the front, over top of the ambient noise of three other children,  “Mom, do you think you can get me some mechanical pencils?”

Wait, what?

Didn’t I just buy you 72 pencils?  And then another 15 or so on top of that?  Hadn’t we both pre-sharpened pencils to put into your desk so you would have a supply of ready-to-use writing utensils?  Hadn’t I ended up with blisters on my hands from said pencil sharpening?

What happened to the 90 pencils we’ve already sent?




I ask her to explain the deep mysteries of this Bermuda Triangle of school supplies.  How can 90 pencils go into the classroom and disappear within about 20 days of school?

Now, I am fully aware as I totally overreact in the driver’s seat of my minivan that I could purchase the requested mechanical pencils for her for about $2 at the Wal-Mart without any commentary about the injustice of the entire pencil supply situation.

However, I feel a Mom-Speech coming on and I feel powerless to stop it.

I mean, it’s the principle of the thing.

Can I get an Amen?

As I pepper her with questions, zinging them at her one after another, I think that I should have been a lawyer.  My logic is impeccable.  My persistence unmatched.  My sense of justice praiseworthy.

I am on the roll of all rolls.

But I stop.

I suck in my breath.

I never meant this to turn into a cross-examination with my poor child on a witness stand defending her history of pencil use.

And yet it has.

So, the prosecution rests.

Later, she tells me that she has some of those pencils still in her desk, but they just don’t sharpen well.  The lead continually breaks on her, even while she still has the sharpener in her hand.  It takes so much time, she tells me.  She thought some mechanical pencils will be easier.

I admit.  They just don’t make pencils like they used to.  These cheap pencils might look so glitzy on the outside, but that lead is always breaking and they never seem to sharpen just right.

I go to the store.  I pay $2.  I buy mechanical pencils with extra thick lead so they don’t break all the time.

I bring them home.  She finds them on the counter after school and thanks me with a hug.

Mom crisis ended.

But I think…

How many of my mistakes as a mom and as a woman would be avoided if I responded instead of reacted?

Even if she was tossing those pencils into the trashcan and wasting them out of foolishness and irresponsibility, surely my best response would be quiet grace and gentle correction, not a tidal wave of Mom-justice.

He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit (Proverbs 17:27 NKJV).

Less words….more understanding….more calm, that’s wisdom and wisdom is what I want.

Lord, help us to respond and not react.  Help us to take time for wisdom-seeking and prayer instead of saying whatever comes into our head right away.  Forgive us for the times we’ve hurt others with our words.  May “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight” (Psalm 19:14 NKJV).  Amen.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King



This is the Word I Have to Write on a Flashcard to Learn

I’ve said, “No” a lot this summer, not always, but more often than usual for me.

Maybe it’s this rambunctious explorer of a baby boy who is helping me learn this.  “No, no,” I say as he reaches for the oven, the lightsocket, the cord, the speck on the carpet.  Some days it feels like I’ve said it fifty-billion times by the time my husband comes home and then he joins in the chorus.

All this practice is helping me say “no” in other ways.

“No” to swimming lessons.  “No” to three of the week-long day-camps my kids attended and enjoyed last year.  “No” to summer dance classes.  “No” to governor’s school.  “No” to a host of other exciting, wonderful, and fulfilling lessons, camps, clubs, or groups.

I still mumble it when I say it, scared to offend or disappoint.  It’s as if this word is unfamiliar, a foreign-sounding syllable that I’ve handwritten on a flashcard so I can practice making it part of my working vocabulary.

And it does take practice.




Picture by Viktor Hanacek;


There.  I said it.

It takes wisdom, too.  Sometimes God wants me to say, ‘Yes.’  It’s yes to His plans for me, yes to obedience and loving others.

Sometimes, though, His best for me and my family is ‘no’ because we can’t actually do everything. We can’t even do every good thing.

God only equips us to do what He’s called us to do.  Not more or less than that.

The competitive girl in me grits those teeth hard.  I listen to the moms around me who did all of this and more.  I feel like the only one.

I read the email in my inbox the night after I say “no,” the email that tells me my daughter really should do this….. because she really needs two classes, not just one.

I waver and question and doubt my decision.  Maybe I should change my mind?

I worry and fret a bit.  What if my girls fall behind?  What if they forget over this summer hiatus?  What if all their friends make all this progress and what if I’m robbing them of the lessons they need to reach their potential?

But I think of my daughter, this over-achieving, go-getter, organized, competitive, ambitious girl.  She had huddled next to me in the middle of last year’s breathless rush and whispered to me right then, “Mom, I want to take the summer off.”

So, we made tough choices.  Maybe we didn’t always get it right.  Maybe we did.  We narrowed things down.  We inserted weeks off in between weeks of activity.  We’ve left room to enjoy the last days before school starts.

We said, “no” so we could say “yes” to rest, family, breathing room, friends, flexibility, time together, free time, play time, and creative time.

This weekend, I finished up my school supply shopping.  Fall nips at my heels even now; I feel it in the restless stirring of my soul and in the way I desperately cling to these final joys of summer because I know they will not last.

Once that school year begins, we’ll still need to say, ‘no’ at times.  Yet, school is school; homework and projects aren’t my choice.  Church activities are church activities.  The job is the job.  The schedule is the schedule, and with four young kids and activities of our own, my husband and I simply will be busy.

All this year, I’m pursuing the presence of Christ and this month that means I’m Learning to Say “No” so that I can carry some of that discipline and that wisdom into the school year.  It’s balance that I’ll need, knowing what is “yes” and what is “no” when fall begins.

Because what my soul needs is Jesus.  What my family needs is Jesus.  Not competition or races or achievements or getting ahead.

We.  Need.  Him.

The Psalmist wrote:

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalm 42:2 NIV).

I could throw back glass after glass of activity, and of ‘going’ and ‘doing’ to try to quench this desperate thirst, but it’d be like chugging sea water.  I’d still thirst for Him, for that Living Water that flows only in His presence.

Sometimes others won’t understand.  Some will think I’m too busy.  Others will think I’m not busy enough.

Yet, it’s God’s face I’m seeking and it’s His opinion of me that matters.  It’s His voice I need to obey; His wisdom I need to seek; His footsteps I need to follow.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV).

To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below!  Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Learn to Say, ‘No?’

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

How to dominate the smartphone before it dominates me

Apparently it’s a modern psychological condition, Nomophobia:  The fear of being without your smartphone.

I have the opposite.cellphone

I’m no Luddite, no hater of all things technological or modern, but I have an overwhelming fear of owning a smart phone.

I just don’t want to be connected all the time. Sometimes I want to leave my house and not be available.

I don’t want to fall prey to those stereotypical smartphone pitfalls and gain convenience but lose the beauty of real relationships.

So for years, I’ve ignored a steady stream of phone upgrade offers from my cell phone company and cheerfully toted around my non-fabulous, plain-old dinosaur of a cell phone.

Most of the time, I forgot to have it charged anyway.  Or I couldn’t find it in my bag.  Or I left it at home.  Or I had turned it on silent and forgot to turn it back up.

I didn’t know how to check the voicemail on the thing and didn’t text back when someone texted me.

The truth is, my introverted soul dislikes phones in general.  Something about talking on the phone is an overwhelming social experience for me.

What do you say on the phone?  How do you know when the other person wants to talk so that you don’t also start talking and end up interrupting them?  What about awkward pauses?

And my least favorite….you call someone and they answer, “Hello…” and that’s it.  So you wonder: Am I talking to the right person?  Or did I dial the wrong number?  Will I launch into a conversation and find that I’m spilling my guts to a stranger?

Then, when you’ve completed the phone conversation, how do you say goodbye without getting on that farewell carousel that just goes round and round until someone finally hangs up?

Okay, see you later.



Have a good day.

Okay, see ya.

Yeah, bye.

I will do just about anything to avoid talking on the phone.  I will write endless e-mail messages back and forth with someone, send notes via Facebook, or wait to chat face-to-face.

I will even put on a stamp, walk to the mailbox and mail a letter first.20932501_s

Clearly a smartphone and I don’t seem look a good match for each other, this ostentatious, life-controlling, telephoning device and me, the hater of all things descended from Alexander Graham Bell’s initial great invention.

But last week, the cell phone company made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

So I stopped hyperventilating long enough to call them up and say, this free iPhone yada yada yada (I don’t even know what smartphones are called) that for real?

The guy says, “Let’s figure out how much data you might use in a month…..what do you want to do with your new smartphone?”

I think of all the things I DON’T want to do with this potential technology tyrant, but I just tell him what I do want.

I get lost.  Like, a lot.  Pretty much every time I drive in my car, I get lost.  I need to be able to look up directions and find out how to get un-lost.

Oh, and, I’d like to be able to look up phone numbers for places while I’m out and about.

Yup, that’s what I want.

I find it strangely funny…or perhaps absolutely perfect….that during the month of March when I’m choosing to Unplug, a new smartphone is on its way to my front door.

After all, there are choices I need to make now to dominate this device before it dominates me.

Maybe you do, too?

  1. I will not fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent.  Phone calls can be returned.  Text messages can wait for answers.  Facebook and Twitter and that endless stream of Internet information doesn’t need to be accessed all the time.
  2. I will not ignore the people I’m with to interact with the people who aren’t with me.
  3. I will remember social graces—make eye contact with my cashiers, thank the person at the desk, chat in a friendly way with the folks waiting in lines, listen to those I’m with.
  4. I will know when to turn it off and set it aside.  I don’t want to be distracted and I don’t want to distract the people teaching me, talking to me, or performing on a stage.
  5. I will use the tool (the maps!!  the GPS!!  the Bible apps!) and not be dominated by the toy (Candy Crush, I have your number).  

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out (Proverbs 18:15 NIV).

 So, tell me all about it….What do you love about your smart phone?  What are your favorite apps?  How do you keep nomophobia at bay and stay in control of the smartphone?  Fill this novice in on all of the details.

To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below!  Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Unplug’?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

What I’m Pondering

Maybe it begins in the hospital, that first moment you see this little life and she blinks her eyes in your direction because she’s heard your voice, un-muffled for the first time by the sound of your heart beat and the shushing of your womb.

Maybe, if we’re being truthful, it begins before that.  We moms analyze morning sickness, aerobic kicking routines versus squirmy tummy rolls, a baby sucking his thumb on the ultrasound or another one turning somersaults and having to be chased around by the technician to keep him on the screen.

We think about our children, consider their character, who God has made them and how He has gifted them.

We think about what they like to eat and why, whether they keep to the schedule willingly or fight it all the way.  We consider whether they are spontaneous, creative, artistic, apassionatemomnalytical, strong-willed, stubborn, articulate, shy, introverted or extroverted.

And then we ponder what to do about it.

Like how I still remember the first time my middle girl handed me a fistful of air and asked me to eat the “sandwich” she had made for me when her older sister had never yet cooked up a pretend meal for me to taste.

Or how I watched as one of my daughters played with her toys by lining them all up in one straight line, categorizing the farm animals into groups.  And my second daughter played with the same toys by creating elaborate story lines and interactions like, “Hi, what is your name?  I’m here to see the farm!”

And how two of my daughters can play for hours on their own without any need for outside conversation or stimulation and my oldest daughter can’t survive 15 minutes without someone to do things with her.

I ponder all this because God has given me these gifts, these children, and being a mom means engaging in the discipline of pondering, taking the time to listen without speaking, watch without intervening, evaluate, assess, and yes, even marvel.

Sometimes we miss it.  We’re busy; they’re busy.  They struggle and we don’t realize it.  They needed us and we failed to see.  They hurt and we were distracted.

But our desire, our goal as moms, is to mother like Mary, who

“was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them” (Luke 2:9 HCSB).

We do this because want to get this right.  We want to parent these blessings with wisdom, making the right choices for their benefit and for their future.  God teaches us who they are only when we take time to pay attention.

In her book, The Passionate Mom, Susan Merrill writes that a mom must

ponder everything she learns about her child so she can truly know her child.

This in turn becomes a spiritual discipline all its own, because pondering is the call of every mom.

More than this, it’s the call of every Christ-follower.

None of us can randomly and haphazardly scramble through this life maze and find wisdom without hunting for it or choose to turn here and there correctly without actively pursuing direction.

The Psalmist challenged us:

Let the one who is wise heed these things
and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord (Psalm 107:43 NIV).

Wisdom comes from heeding…from pondering.

And what do we meditate on?  What do we watch so carefully and take our time to consider, churning it over in our mind, thinking of the implications and action steps?

We ponder the “loving deeds of the Lord.”

Not just skip right over them in haste and busyness.  Not shout back a hurried “thanks, God” as we tumble on our way headfirst into another crisis.

No, here we pause and take the time to see and to say, “Look how God showed His love for me…what does this mean for me now and tomorrow and every day to come?”

Solomon assured us that attaining wisdom is an active pursuit:

Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding.  Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.  Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures (Prov. 2:2-4)

Tune in.


Cry out for it.

Ask for it.

Search and seek like it’s the greatest treasure and you the Indiana Jones in this adventure.

Knowing our children doesn’t happen accidentally.  We don’t become the expert on our baby instantly at birth or know all we need to know to parent them into adulthood before the nurse rolls us out of the hospital in the wheelchair.

We learn through pondering.

And this God of ours…who He is and how He works, what He desires and plans for us…we can’t fathom without the wisdom that comes through pondering His loving deeds and pursuing wisdom actively, passionately, constantly, and even patiently.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

Filling Out The Form

“I’m your servant—help me understand what that means, the inner meaning of your instruction”  (Psalm 119:125 MSG).

“What do you want to see your child learn during this school year?”

I tapped the eraser end of my pencil on the table.

It’s not a new question.  I’ve been answering it for years.  The first time I registered my oldest daughter for preschool, I sat in a child-sized chair and hunched over a child-sized table and completed the “Help Me Get to Know Your Child” form.

Some questions were easy.  What does she like?  What are her strengths? I scribbled away for a while, trying to sum up my precious daughter in a few sentences on blank lines.

But when it came to that one question—What do you want her to learn?—-tap, tap, tap went the top of the pen on the preschool table.

Tap, tap, tap goes my pencil after Open House for second grade.  Some things never change.

What am I supposed to put on this form?  Multiplication?  Cursive?  Powerful writing skills? 

Truly, I want her to know in a deep-down, unquestioning way that God loves her.

This was Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus:

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:17-19

I’m not talking about being able to rattle off John 3:16 or sing Jesus Loves Me.

In her book A Sudden Glory, Sharon Jaynes notes that the first word for know here is gnosis or ginosko:  “This word is not simply a head knowledge but an intimate heart knowledge,” like the “relationship between a husband and a wife.” (p. 173).

Yes! I want her to love God with that passion and to be filled up with all that God has for her because she trusts and fully knows His love.

And I want her to understand that growing in Christ takes time, a lifetime of time.  There are no shortcuts to faith. 

Rick Warren wrote:

Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth. Spiritual maturity is neither
instant nor automatic; it is a gradual, progressive development that will take the
rest of your life.

I don’t want her to settle for a safe amount of faith, a reasonable amount of Bible knowledge, a decent prayer life, an appropriate amount of service to God.  I don’t want her to declare, “I’m finished.  This much is enough.  No need for more of God.”

After all, He always leads us forward, perpetually changing us, incessantly maturing us.  His passion is transformation.

It takes hard work.  It takes discipline.  It takes yielding.  It takes willingness to be taught and to change.  As it says in Romans:

… fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12:2)

This is my prayer for her.

Not head knowledge or wisdom gained through book study and our teacher in these matters has to be more than human.  Paul assures us that, “these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God”  (vs.10).

The deep things of God.  Is that what I’m asking?

Or as Paul puts it later, “We have the mind of Christ.

He says it with such confidence.  Not we want to have, we will have, someday we’ll have, or if we work hard enough we’ll have.  God has given us His Spirit and with that, “we have the mind of Christ” (vs. 16).

This is what I want my daughters to learn.  This is what I want to learn.  I want every day to know Him more, to be filled by His Spirit, responsive to His promptings, and for my mind not to be filled with self and with world, but with Christ.

I look at the form from her teacher.  How to answer this question?  I decide that being vague is the way to go.  “I want her to fulfill her potential, growing in her strengths even more and improving any weaknesses.”

That’s what I write.  But I pray for so much more.

I pray for the deep things of God.  I pray for the mind of Christ.

How would you answer this question?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

Weekend Walk: Back-to-School lessons and a verse

I have a chatty daughter and a not-so-chatty daughter.

The first year my oldest attended preschool, she would climb into the car at the end of the day and I would ask, “How was your day?”

She would then jabber on for fifteen minutes or so about she-said’s, he-said’s, activities, games, and lessons.

When my next daughter attended preschool, she hopped into the car at the end of the day and I asked her the tried-and-true question, “How was your day?” expecting a full report.

She answered, “Fine.”

I paused and waited.  Silence.

“What did you learn?”

“I don’t remember.”

It took time for me to learn to ask better questions:

“What did Sam bring for show-and-tell?”
“What did you eat for snack?”
“What book did you read at Story Time?”
“What craft or project did you make?”

Better questions merited better answers from her. That is, until this introvert daughter of mine finally announced, “Mom, I don’t want to talk anymore.  Please stop asking me questions!”

At the start of the new school year, I’m thinking about asking God better questions: prayers not so much of need-fulfillment and wishlists, but requests for closeness with Him.

Will You impress on my heart each day where to go, what to do, what words to speak?

How may I abide in You more fully? 

How can my self be so entwined with Yourself that our hearts are united with the same purposes and desires?

Our back-to-school verse for the week is:

He wakens me morning by morning,
    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed
Isaiah 50:4b

Let’s enter this season of fall, of changes, new beginnings and fresh starts, with the daily prayer to wake morning by morning as a better student of God and His Word with a softened heart, an engaged mind, and a teachable spirit.


I’ve been sharing prayers for our schools this past week on my Facebook page.  You can join me there by liking the page in order to pray along with me.  Or, you can visit this link to see the prayers and even print a version to keep in your Bible, prayer journal or on your fridge.  Let’s cover our kids, our teachers, our schools in prayer.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

How is a Christian like an Oompa Loompa?

The curtain rose and fell for the last time.  The makeup went on and the makeup came off (mostly–there are still streaks of orange along my daughter’s hairline).  Costumes were handed in and tucked away for future shows. A crew of folks broke down the set and put the pieces into storage.

My kids finished their summer-long project yesterday, an all-youth production of Willy Wonka Jr. sponsored by our local community theater group.  They auditioned the Sunday after school ended, rehearsed every week, and performed this weekend.

Now it’s time to kick back and enjoy a few weeks of rehearsal-free summer before school starts again.

Each night before the show, we arrived two hours early so the kids could climb into costumes and sit still for makeup.  This was a particularly involved process because my middle girl was an Oompa Loompa.

The Oompa Loompas are Willy Wonka’s devoted candy factory workers.  Refugees from a horrible land, they’ve come to live and work in his factory as loyal servants of their eccentric chocolate-making master.

Transforming into an Oompa Loompa is quite a task.  It’s more than just colorful shirts, socks and some overalls with curiously expansive hips.

There’s also a bright green wig covered in curls.

And there’s orange makeup–bright orange.

For these six through nine-year-olds, this was a matter of acting, putting on the outward appearance of another.

In the tradition of Lewis Carroll-like riddles, though, I’ve been wondering: How is a Christian like an Oompa Loompa? (Yes, I know Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland, not Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  What can I say?  I’ve got children’s fantasy on the brain . . . )

Peter wrote this description to the church:

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NLT).

The Oompa Loompas are peculiar.  They are “strange creatures,” unmistakably different from the kids and parents who visit Willy Wonka’s factory.

We also are supposed to be “not like that,” not like the world, not able to blend in with the crowd. God has changed us from the inside-out and people should notice the unique qualities of God’s love and righteousness about us.

I never once saw an Oompa Loompa hit the gym for an exercise routine targeted at reducing his hip-size.  They didn’t climb onto stilts to increase their height.  None of them hid in the bathroom for an hour to dye their hair and they didn’t even try to pass their orange skin off as suntan.

They were comfortable being weird.

Sometimes we’re not.  We’re too often trying to hide, transform, pretend, and deny the presence of Christ in us.

There’s freedom, though, in unashamedly being who God called us to be, in raising our hands in worship with abandon, in standing up for what is right with conviction, and not fearing the disapproving looks of those around us.

We’re supposed to be weird, too.

The Oompa Loompas were also refugees.  Willy Wonka had pulled them out of a land of fear and disaster and offered them a place of peace.

We’ve similarly been lifted up out of pits and carried to safety.  We are God’s “chosen people” and His “very own possession,” who no longer inhabit a hopeless world, facing inevitable death without the promise of a future.  He has “called us out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

So, we respond as the Oompa Loompas did; we cheerfully and faithfully serve our Master.

He has saved us!  We are rescued and redeemed!

It’s a little thing, then, to show gratitude and loyalty and to obey Him in every little thing.  We work, we love, we give, we minister, we sacrifice, we share, we worship because we are refugees brought to safety by a Savior who loves us.

The Oompa Loompas are also message-bearers.  As each Golden Ticket winner inevitably fails, falling to the temptations of  immediate satisfaction, selfishness, and greed, the Oompa Loompas take the stage. They clean up the mess.  They solve the problem.

They sing their song.

We also “show others the goodness of God,” sometimes by fixing problems and tending to needs, silently ministering grace.

Sometimes we “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), reminding others that God has a plan, purpose, and design.  We speak truth and wisdom in a world that desperately needs both, but we do it with love, covered over with grace, never out of judgment or pompous self-righteousness.

The Christian life is a call to be different, to be saved, to be devoted, to be messengers of God’s goodness, all without having to wear a green wig or apply orange makeup.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King