Sucked In by the Pride of Self-Importance

beautiful peacock

 I’m on a never-ending journey for more of God and less of me. This series begins with 14 days of Scripture addressing the subject of humility. I’m inviting you to come along as I share what God exposes in me.

I’ve learned to recognize it: that twisted feeling in my gut or a growing agitation in my attitude. It’s pride welling up inside of me. If I let the feelings build, I will craft a clever way of letting them out. I may disguise my pride as a constructive criticism. Or perhaps hold the ugly feeling inside and attack myself with ugly criticism. Neither of these choices frees me from the agitation. I’ve been sucked in by the pride of self-importance.

Hasn’t He Spoken Through US, Too? Number 12:1-8

Miriam and Aaron had a similar dilemma. Miriam, the older sister to Moses, once peeked behind the reeds as she watched baby Moses drift down the Nile River. She was the protective one of her baby brother, but now the positions have switched as she witnesses him rise to great leadership.

Even though God is using Miriam’s gift as a Prophetess and Aaron’s gift as a High Priest alongside Moses, the pride of self-importance stirs within them. Teased by the need for acknowledgement of their own abilities, they criticize Moses for the kind of woman he marries and they cleverly ask, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” (Numbers 12:2)

The Lord calls them out and explains the unique relationship He has with Moses. He makes it clear He has appointed Moses and communicates with him differently than any other prophet. (Numbers 12:4)

Then comes the rebuke from God that shuts my mouth: “Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” As you read further, God disciplines Aaron and Miriam for their prideful motives as they criticized the servant of God.

You can call it many things: a lust for achievement, a lust for praise, power, or to be viewed more importantly than someone else. Our society is breeding it in the age of social media. But it is nothing new. John calls it the boastful pride of life and it opposes God. (I John 2:16)

You know the Pride of Self-Importance Sucks You In When:

You know the Pride of Self-Importance sucks you in when you entertain destructive thoughts that Compare, Criticize and Compete with another. It sounds like this:

Comparison: “I can do that. I’m as good as she is. No one notices my skills or my gifts.”

Criticism:       “He’s not that special, look who he’s married to.
I don’t know what’s so great about him”

Competition: “I’ll show them. I’ll do it better-bigger-louder.” Or the opposite effect, “I’ll never be that good.                            I give up.”

Think about it:

Since the Holy Spirit gives each of us spiritual gifts and we each are created to do good works, how does someone else’s gift and calling suddenly become about me? What’s that about? How did “I” mentally connect myself to God’s choice for using them? Ugh!

It’s not about me, it’s about God’s bigger picture for His bigger purposes– and He gives us each the gracious opportunity of sharing in His work!

So, at the very moment the skewed mental connection takes root and the agitation begins to build, ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Then comes the discovery, “Ah ha! I’m feeling insignificant; I’m comparing myself and making this about me. I’m being sucked in by the pride of self-importance. It’s time to take my thoughts captive.”

What to do when you think you’re “All That”

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

  •  Counter the pride of self-importance by counting others more significant than yourself.                  *Before entering a crowd, your tribe, or your trigger place, think of specific ways your   conversations and body language will honor others. Ask God to help you carry it through.
  •  Recognize God’s hand in placing people where and when He chooses for His purposes.
    *Make the choice not to criticize those who love Him and are responding to Him faithfully.
  • Be faithful in your own work, gifts and resources. Celebrate others who are doing the same.
    *Ask the Lord to help you grow in this area. Talk to Him about it in the midst of your agitation!
  •  Set your mind on Christ. He is our model for humility.
    *Instead of occupying your mind with the things that will make you feel important, be occupied with getting to know Christ and making Him more important.

Have you noticed in those moments when you commit everything for the glory of God, that the things of God begin to capture your thoughts? There is little delight in entertaining destructive and pride-filled thoughts. Yes, when you align your thoughts and motives with Christ, the tedium of life is no longer about you, but about bringing God glory.

Oh Lord we long for Your Glory! When the temptation of pride teases our mind, we want to lay ourselves down. We ask for More of You.

Keep in touch: Confirm your email or subscribe to the WGW community today! I look forward to chatting with you.


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Life is hard but God is Good

Be Still

Do you ever have those moments when things are going so well in your life that you wonder, “When is the crisis coming?” It used to be a “doomsday” feeling that lurked over my head in my younger years. Life experience has taught me it won’t actually be the end of the world when crisis comes my way. Yes, life is hard, but our God is good!

Contrary to popular opinion, life is not about making me happy and easing through the years. This topic of conversation has cropped up frequently this month as different generations of women in my life are able to relate. Life is about becoming more like the image of God and I have a long way to go! He gently and kindly chips away my rough edges. He allows only what I can handle through the strength He gives me.

It is during these times of crisis when emotions, stretched like a worn rubber band, force me to rely heavily on the Lord to get me through the day in one big emotionally healthy God-honoring way. One day I’ll learn to rely on Him so fully every day that it doesn’t take a crisis to get me depending so desperately upon Him!

Only last month the thought crossed my mind, “When is the next crisis coming?” Sure enough the hard times were lurking around the corner. Pausing in our dark garage with a heavy heart, I sat in the van and pondered the last ten years of my life, “Has life become easier or harder?”

Yes and yes, I decided.

Yes, life is easier because I have learned to manage my emotions better. I have learned to”let go” sooner. I have learned contentment in the simple phrase, “It is what it is”. I have learned to turn to friends and experts when we need a life jacket to help us stay afloat.

I have learned to sit still and know that God is God. Trusting fully in God’s character and His good  hand in our life provides a deep source of peace. Even experiencing joy in the midst of pain!

And yes, life is harder. I am often stretched beyond my resources and beyond my experiences. When my kids are involved in the crisis, the letting go of anxiety and deep emotional investment is even more challenging. You parents know what I mean. You carry the anguish of your kids’ struggles like a thorn in your flesh. The ache in your heart isn’t going away any time soon. The challenge to give our kids over to the Lord is an ever-evolving exercise of faith.

But, it is all good. God is always good.

A favorite author of mine, J.I. Packer, adds his perspective on the goodness of God:

“…you recognize that God is the author and source of all the good that you have had already, and all the good that you hope for in the future.  This is the fundamental philosophy of Christian prayer. The prayer of a Christian is not an attempt to force God’s hand, but a humble acknowledgement of helplessness and dependence. When we are on our knees, we know that it is not we who control the world; it is not in our power, therefore, to supply our needs by our own independent efforts; every good thing that we desire for ourselves and for others must be sought from God, and will come, if it comes at all, as a gift from his hands. In effect, therefore, what we do every time we pray is to confess our own impotence and God’s sovereignty.”  J.I.Packer, Knowing and Doing the Will of God

In the midst of your trial friend, are you willing to submit your anxiety and pain to the goodness of God? Will you join me in the humility of prayer that does not attempt to control or force the hand of God? Let us learn together how to fully acknowledge our helplessness and dependence upon Him.

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The Lord tests the heart

“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.” Proverbs 17:3

The fire of the crucible is never meant to destroy the silver. The intense heat of the furnace will not destroy the gold. Fire improves upon precious metals, refining and purifying them. Likewise, the Lord tests our heart.

He allows the heat of our trials to refine our character and purify our heart. Will You test our hearts, Lord?

A wrong has been done against our child and we are in the midst of a battle for justice.  We are his protectors. We are the voice for our special needs child when he is unable to speak for himself.

The world fights injustice by productive means, but its justice also has the tendency to act out with vengeance or silly lawsuits. We cannot get caught up in the actions of the world. On the contrary, we are vessels of Christ and He desires to shine His light into this darkness.

I am very certain He has a larger purpose in mind for the situation we find our family in. We are just along for the wild ride. In the pain and discouragement of events exposed, we are willing to do what He wants us to do.

The problem is we don’t know exactly what He wants to do with all of the details of the event. But we do know the Lord will direct our steps. And when He does make clear to us what actions to take then we act with bold faith. No matter how personally uncomfortable it is to tread upon unfamiliar territory, the discomfort cannot be our guide.

So please Lord, keep our hearts in check. We acknowledge our hearts can deceive us. When injustice is carried out against our flesh and blood mankind has the potential to go overboard in response. We have no desire to push people to their breaking point in the name of justice. And we absolutely have no desire to shrink back, sweeping the injustice under the carpet.

Help us act in just and purposeful ways which reflect Your heart and honor You without our flesh messing it up!  Test our hearts O Lord, and refine them for good.

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Wisdom Diaries: I am not willing to settle

Justine Leveille

The Wisdom Diaries are posted monthly by Justine Leveille.  Justine is a 24-year-old  who loves to learn, exercise in any and every way, travel, eat great food, cook, teach children, read, dance, watch movies, and be social!  Her sole purpose is to live life to the fullest measure, to serve God and bring Him glory. She has a huge heart to share the love of Jesus with others and she invites young women to grow a passion for Christ along with her.

Dear Jesus,

As I sit on my bed, I am trying to sort through so many truths You keep revealing to me about trusting you.

Recently You took me on the ride of a lifetime, giving me a grander view of life with You. It is far beyond where I have been.  You pierced my soul with a deep conviction that has been steering my days ever since.

Now I realize how often I settle into living a “practical faith.”  I was reading a new book, Fasting, by Jentezen Franklin, when Your Holy Spirit gently opened my eyes to the lack of faith, hope, and trust I have in You.

As I read Your Word You showed me just how radical the faith of Your saints was.  I began to hunger for the same.

If only I had just one-sixteenth of a mustard seed of their kind of faith! The truth is I have really struggled internally with trusting You when I pray. 

I think I have lacked the faith to really believe in Your desire to answer my prayers.

Regardless of what I pray, I always thought You would answer and work out the details of my life as You choose anyway.

But now Your Holy Spirit is revealing to me just how powerful prayer is.   On this journey of choosing to trust You more I have discovered many of my friends struggle with the same thing.  They are faced with the same decision:  “Will I Trust in You through thick and thin, or will I choose fear, doubt, and worry? Elisabeth Elliot wrote some great words in this regard:

 “But that’s what faith is–the unwillingness to be limited to what we can see and the willingness to believe that there’s a reality deeper than the seeing world that we participate in every day.”

I want to continually strengthen my faith. I need to TRUST in the power of You and in the power of prayer.  I thank You Jesus, that You led me to practice trusting You through a new commitment to spend time praying and fasting.

At first I did not exactly know how it would happen, nor what would happen as a result.  You tested my patience and obedience to set apart time to pray, to fast from food and seek Your sustenance in its place.

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4

It was not easy; in fact it was painful at first. 

In completing this discipline you taught me so much about how to trust You.

You called me to trust in you as my emotions were shaky,

when my tummy was grumbling

and when things at work were challenging.

Today I testify, whatever hardship facing me, as I trust in You all things are possible.

 There is a great temptation to be defeated and give up when going through life’s hardships. I think it is equally tempting to just settle into living a life that is not Your best design for us.

I want to always, Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.  In all my ways submit to Him and He will make my path straight,  Proverbs 3:5,6

Jesus, I believe in the authentic Christian life You require your people to take heart and boldly TRUST You by advancing forward — straight through the difficult situations.  It is painful to face hardships head on, yet I must rely on Your Holy Spirit’s guidance. Help me to remember I am not alone. Lord, I am TRUSTING that You will be faithful to lead me through.

 John 12: 27-28 “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father glorify your name…”

My encouragement to you, friend:

When doubt creeps in– kill it. Crucify it.  Crush it with faith and hope and trust in our Master.  Begin to:

  • Pray boldly & specifically
  • Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)
  • Pray with an undivided heart which trusts in the Lord



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Proverbs Vitamin: Family Mission Statement

“Through wisdom a house is built,

and by understanding it is established;

by knowledge the rooms are filled

with all precious and pleasant riches”   Proverbs 24:3-4

What images are evoked when you say the word, “home”? Do you smile and laugh as your mind wanders back to happy childhood memories?  Does your stomach turn as you try to push away the painful moments in your childhood home?

Regardless of your own childhood experience, you have the opportunity to build a home environment which reflects the love of God. You have the ability to determine whether your spouse and your children reflect upon “home” with feelings of warmth and a smile as they approach the front door. It doesn’t happen naturally or overnight, but it begins with a Family Mission Statement.

A Family Mission Statement helps you define the values you hold for home life. The Family Mission Statement reminds you to focus on this vision as you build your house.

Our Christensen Family Mission Statement centers upon Proverbs 24:3-4,

“Through wisdom a house is built, by understanding it is established, by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

We placed these verses on the front page of our wedding ceremony bulletin in 1990, and it is written in a prominent place in our home 21 years later. Who doesn’t want a home full of precious and pleasant riches — A place of rest and peace and laughter and acceptance? But, many of us do not know how to begin creating a rich environment for our families. Proverbs 24 gives us a concise plan to carry out our family mission.

Through wisdom a house is built.  Wisdom begins through the fear of the Lord. Wisdom is Christ Himself, who supplies us with all we need for living.  Relying upon our education or the cultural trends of the day will not build our home.  Christ is the Rock on which to build our personal lives and He is the foundation to build our family relationships.

By understanding it is established. The Holy Spirit guides us into understanding right and wrong. We can talk with Him daily about our child-rearing, our conflicts and concerns. We can ask Him for wisdom when our kids are in the middle of a tantrum or our spouse has lost their job. He will guide us to understand the needs of our family in light of Scripture. This understanding will establish our home!

By knowledge the rooms are filled. Knowledge is the love and practice of the wisdom and understanding that has been revealed. It includes grace and joy and living freely within the love of God. Our speech, our finances, our self-discipline and the way we discipline our children are all effected when we put to practice the wisdom of Christ.

The rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  Some people interpret these riches as material blessings. I have been in the most humble of homes and the poorest of countries, where material goods were not filling the rooms of the home. Instead, overflowing joy, laughter and generosity were pouring out from beautiful lives. These precious and pleasant riches cannot be given or taken away by the world. These are the riches of rest, unconditional love, spirits and minds at peace with one another because they are at peace with Christ.

This is the vision of “home” I hold for my family. It begins on the foundation of knowing Christ, it is established through understanding His ways. Through knowledge we learn practical ways to treat one another in the home, and our hearts and rooms pour out with blessing.

Allow God to help you form your Family Mission Statement. It will guide your family in purposeful ways and keep you on track throughout the child-rearing years.

Have you created a Family Mission Statement? Share your Mission with others.  Come back next week for specific and practical ways to apply your Family Mission Statement to daily life.


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The Wisdom Diaries-Opportunities

The Wisdom Diaries, by Justine, chronicles the heart of a 24-year-old,  whose soul purpose is to live life to the fullest measure,to serve God and bring Him glory.  She loves to learn, exercise in any and every way, travel, eat great food, cook, teach children, read, dance, watch movies, and be social!  Her heart is to share the love of Jesus with others and be used to ignite and grow a passion for Christ in young woman’s lives.

Dear King Jesus,

The word opportunity resounds over and over again in our every day life. I have found opportunity to be something that everyone craves.  Humans desire open doors to create new paths, the chance to meet the right people, and prospects to grow in success. Mostly, we desire to feel fulfilled and accomplished in all we’ve been created to be. We don’t want to miss out on what’s “out there.”

In a recent conversation I had with a friend, we discussed the ways You have been at work in our lives.  I was able to share how You are providing me with the opportunity to grow in my teaching by providing me a godly mentor, and perhaps the opportunity to be a part of a movement within the public school systems advocating for Your name.  My friend matter-of-factually pointed out, “Justine, you always seem to be finding great opportunities.”  Her words wedged within me as my brain started questioning, “Why is that?”

I believe so much of opportunity has to do with perspective.

 “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

 Jesus, my friend’s words do not leave me. You certainly have blessed me with Your abundant life and opportunity, and I pray You receive the praise and glory for it.  But, I can’t just stop and believe You are only providing for me!  I know You love and want to bless all of Your children—you are a good Dad.  Your word promises all of Your children, not only an abundant life, but the MORE abundant life (John 10:10).

We choose to put on which lenses we will see the world through.  We can choose to see each moment as an opportunity—it is ultimately our decision.

If we seek after You with all our HEART I know you will be faithful to bless us with You. You are the ultimate opportunity in life!  You say in Jeremiah,

“If you seek me you will find me when you seek me with all of your heart.  I will be found by you declares the Lord…” 29:13-14

As children of the Most-High God we must ask ourselves a few questions if we don’t want to miss out on the plethora of opportunities provided to us.

  • Am I willing to listen and to seek opportunity?
  • Am I willing to open my ears to what people have to say?
  • What might God possibly be whispering to me through them?
  • Will I really listen?

My mother has been an exceptional model of this practice.  God has graced her with a heart that listens and eyes that see opportunity. Then she takes the risk to go after it.  She constantly shares her perspective with others—another key part of opportunity.

Being able to network and build relationships around hopes, dreams, and goals is how I’ve seen You provide opportunity after opportunity in practical ways.

Days come and go.  Time passes so quickly. If we don’t take time to slow down and be intentional then we are apt to miss opportunities.



Dear Jesus, allow me, by the Holy Spirit, to rely on You, the One who covers me in grace to properly view opportunity and act upon it.  It is You who will get me through to complete the opportunities You provide.  May I not rely on my own strength and work to search out and tackle opportunity, but rather keep my spirit humble and in reliance of You, so Your name will be exalted.


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Get over your regret

A dear sister asked me months ago to address the topic of regret. How does anyone get over their regret? I have been sitting on the subject, praying for the right words to communicate God’s Truth accurately and compassionately. Writing words which involve people’s feelings is an intimidating process. Without face to face conversation and the benefit of listening to voice inflections and body language; I know how easy it is to misread the writer’s intent. So, I approach the topic cautiously.

As I posted previously, ( there are two kinds of regret. The first category comes as a result of our sin and neglect, the second category is the result of personal loss and disappointment. Someone who has had an abortion likely experiences both kinds of regret.

Once someone experiences forgiveness for having an abortion, does she ever get over the sorrow of a life that no longer exists? I listened to a few women share about this intense regret. They testified of their solace and freedom, through the words of Isaiah 61:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
for the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”   Isaiah 61:1-3

Only by Christ’s work on the cross are we able to experience true freedom from regret. Let me say, I respect psychology. After all, God Himself creates our minds and emotions. He has given us the ability to understand these. But, psychology has no complete answer for guilt and regret. Only the Spirit of God can replace our mourning with festive praise. He alone is able to forgive our sins and set our spirit free. A supernatural transformation takes place in our lives. We then have the ability to move forward and take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

Get over your regret with spiritual and mental choices

It is your spiritual choice to go to the throne of grace and ask for God’s forgiveness through the cross of Christ. You make a spiritual choice when you ask God to replace your mourning and give you praise.

It is your mental choice to dwell on past opportunities. Whether you continue to feed your regret–this is up to you. Regret is a painful pet. You nurture it with repetitive thoughts, and it bites you in return.

“What if …….I married him?” or “If only….. I pursued that career” or “I wish….I paid attention to my kids when I had the chance”.

The time you spend mulling over past regrets is a waste of energy. It keeps you stuck in the past. Instead, put your thoughts to good use. Consider what you will do differently today which will propel you forward into a life of passionate living.

Say goodbye to “what if” and “if only”. Ban these phrases from your mind. As long as you are breathing, God has a plan and a purpose for you. It is a plan full of hope. It’s time for you to join Him.

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves–regret for the past and fear of the future”,

Fulton Oursler

Are you ready to move forward? Ask God to release you from mourning and regret. Ask Him to help you embrace His forgiveness and grace. Let Him know you are ready to move forward and live each day with purpose.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, practice taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

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Will I ever get past my regret?

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Do you experience the sick feeling of regret?  It shakes you from your sleep or it bullies your thoughts by day. It may be new to you or the same regret has been haunting you for years. Do you wonder, “Will I ever move past my regret?”

Regret is defined as a feeling of sorrow, remorse, a sense of loss, fault, or disappointment. I see regret as falling into one of two categories. The first category comes as a result of our fault and neglect, the second category is the result of personal loss and disappointment.

Regret due to fault and neglect includes our sinful or negligent choices, and we are reaping the consequences in our lives. It hurts and we feel sick about it.

Worse than our own inner turmoil, is being aware that our actions have had negative repercussions on our loved ones. When our regretful actions involve the most significant people in our lives, our remorse runs deep. The regret over our choices play like a bad dream over and over in our heads.

What can free us from this taunter ?

Jesus Himself, our great High Priest, invites us to receive His mercy. God chose to take on flesh and walk among men and women. He experienced every temptation, yet was without sin. He took our sins upon Him and suffered death on the cross. He did this so we can have forgiveness and a relationship with God. This is why we can approach His throne-His presence-with confidence, because it is a throne of grace! When we move into His presence, confessing our sin, we receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (check out Hebrews 4:14-16).

Let grace and mercy replace your regret

Grace is God’s constant and unfailing faithfulness to His promises and to His people. It includes His unconditional love and acceptance of you. You can neither earn it or lose it.

Mercy means to bend or stoop in kindness. Mercy shows favor and graciousness. It flows from the loving-kindness of God. Both grace and mercy are the very nature of God.

Wouldn’t you love God to replace your regret with His grace and mercy? You aren’t able to fully embrace it for yourself until you face your actions head on with Jesus. But, we put it off. We harbor the guilt and carry the baggage of regret. We allow regret to make its home in our life, and drag it along through the years.

Maybe we think God will be angry with us. Maybe it is too painful to rehash your regrets in His presence. But, isn’t it time? I like these words from my BFF, Christie Lee Rayburn, “The road to forgiveness is simple–it is our sin that is complex. We spend our lives reversing the two.”

Don’t let the possible “simplicity” of God’s cleansing keep you from it. Regret saps you of freedom and years of life. It is time to sit at the throne of grace and let our compassionate Savior, Jesus, cover you with His mercy.

It is time to deal with it

Go find a quiet place in your home. Get on your knees (you don’t have to, but I find it helps me to humble my heart – as if kneeling at the throne), and confess what needs to be confessed.  Accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself. Ask Him to cover you with His goodness.

Aaaahhhh…..that feels so good.

Now embrace it. God promises every one of us, when we confess our sins, He will always be faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). That means You—Are–Clean.

Soak in those words.

You-not the other guy you think is more deserving.

Are-God’s Word doesn’t say He might cleanse you of all unrighteousness. It says He will.

Clean-that means you don’t pick the garbage back up tomorrow after you have trashed it today. Leave your garbage at the throne.

It’s a new day! Don’t look back, my friend. “Will I ever get past my regret?”–It is up to you now. You have the opportunity to walk in newness of life today.

Embrace it!

Consider this tough question: Once we are free from the remorse and condemnation of our actions, can we ever get past the pain of loss?

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on Regret. Next, we’ll look at Regret due to loss and disappointment. We’ll talk about whether regret is ever good.

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The Wisdom Diaries-Day One

Justine Leveille

Dear Lord,

As I settle in tonight, I reflect on the day and all you have been opening my eyes to as 2011 is past and 2012 is waiting to be opened and explored.  To hear Your still small voice…. clearly…can be quite difficult.

The voices of my friends,

convictions of pastors and preachers,

advice from parents,

my own over-analytical thoughts,

and of course culture’s lure-

they all pull my attention.

They all are influences that creep in and confuse my heart and mind from hearing You.

As a single young woman, You have been increasingly molding and shaping my outlook on life, granting me bits of wisdom and understanding as I seek to know Your ways.

The latest discovery You have taught me is about holding and understanding my personal values.  You have allowed me both guidance and experiences to lead me to claim and understand the importance of acknowledging my values.

Thank you for revealing to me very recently a core value I hold: the practice of hard work, stability and consistency in that hard work.  It has become more and more clear that this value in particular is so deeply engrained in me. It burns in my heart –to my very core. It is a conviction I have discovered I am unwilling to compromise in my dating relationships.

I hope one day to be married to a man, who with his entire heart wants to honor You, Lord. I realize now, how important it is that he shares the desire to provide through hard work.  You know I thrive on hard work, in every form: physically, mentally, socially, spiritually. I feel every dimension of me come alive when I work diligently towards accomplishing a goal. I desire to stay true to these values. You have worked them inside of me.

When hard work and excellence get difficult, I cling to your Truth which gets me through– Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I believe this Lord, with my whole heart.

The values and convictions that make up so much of who I am are worth protecting and fighting for.  Lord, I just pray that You would continue to align my life and my convictions with those that are in your Word. 

I am challenged to continue to explore

and examine my heart

in pursuit of Your truth

and to discover more of the core values I possess that ultimately come from You and serve You.

I am looking forward. Yours,


(Justine is a 24-year-old whose soul purpose is to live life to the fullest measure,to serve God and bring Him glory.  She loves to learn, exercise in any and every way, travel, eat great food, cook, teach children, read, dance, watch movies, and be social!  Her heart is to share the love of Jesus with others and be used to ignite and grow a passion for Christ in young woman’s lives.)

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The Wisdom Diaries for young women

Justine Leveille


Have you ever heard a group of women express their concerns about the younger generation?  They are right to have concern for the character, choices and future of the next generation of young women. These young women will influence culture. The next generation will grow a new generation of family values, or lack there of. They have the potential to carry the light of God’s Truth with conviction–or not.

But, let’s not get caught in the shaking of our heads with negative projections for these young people. There is an army of passionate young women who love Jesus and desire to follow Him with their whole heart. They are studying God’s Word, praying with their friends, and serving Him with love. They are asking gutsy questions about life and influencing their peers for Christ.

I’d like you to meet some of these young ladies. Listen to their hearts as they share their lives in the Wisdom Diaries. Pass their entries along to a young woman in your life.

First, I introduce to you, Justine Leveille.  I met her while serving at Breakaway, our church’s exciting Vacation Bible School.  Justine was always beaming with joy, laughing with girls, and hungry for the Lord. We began meeting for coffee and then for discipleship. She is full of love for Jesus and a desire to look like Him.

“I am a young lady in pursuit of all God has for me and am a firm believer in His promises.  I truly believe that if you seek God with your entire being, He will reveal Himself and His ways, in order that you may live a blessed life filled with His peace (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

I am a fifth grade teacher, living life in search of wisdom and looking for opportunities to serve the Lord and pour into others’ lives. I don’t know what the future holds, but as I trust in Him and His perfect ways, I can rest in the fact that He will guide me each day.”

Look for Justine’s Wisdom Diary entry at the end of this week. Feel free to leave her a note of encouragement.

What topics would you like these friends to share each month?


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