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    Wednesday Wisdom: Sweet Silence

    Wednesday Wisdom: Sweet Silence

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL So, we just got back from an amazing anniversary trip in Portugal. It was so relaxing and refreshing: good memories with the best of friends - just what the doctor ordered! On the last leg of the trip, we stayed in the most amazing hotel in Porto, complete with an incredible spa (a good thing because the weather ended up being terrible, and we used it quite a bit!) On the last day, Tiffany and I decided to get a spa treatment before the long plane ride home - one last chance to relax before returning to reality. We signed up for the Honey & Wine Wrap; neither of us had ever done a wrap before, but the description sounded just right: a moisturizing immunity booster. “Wraps are intensive beauty treatments for the body that eliminate toxins and improve skin tone and contouring. They energize and moisturize the skin whilst providing deep relaxation.” Well, let’s just say the description is a little more convincing that the actual experience. They rub you down all over with honey and oil, wrap you up tightly in (what felt like) plastic wrap, then a tighter, heavier warm blanket. You were sucked in tight like a swaddled newborn; it was dark, hot, and you couldn’t move, like being in a cocoon! Then the therapist leaned over in my ear and whispered, “you will just be still 20 minutes. “What?! Anxiously moving around, many thoughts ran through my head: "You are not seriously leaving me here right? Aren’t you going to rub me some more? No wonder this was the cheapest treatment on the list! Please come back! I think I’m going to suffocate! Will I be able to get out of here if there is an emergency!? Where’s Tiffany? She has got to be freaking out!”... I finally heard in my soul say: be still - it is in the silence and stillness where you will be refreshed and renewed. Perfect silence. This was the only way God could get me to stop moving and thinking even on vacation - it was a literal force of solitude!

    Be still, and know that I am God. - Psalm 46:10
    One of the greatest lessons I learned in a women’s leadership development class at our church a few years ago is the importance of solitude. And although I’ve been a Christian almost all my life, it is a discipline I never really knew until now. It is so hard to learn to do and so easily swept under the rug to busyness! It’s easy to say it’s good enough that I read my bible and do my devotion (or if you are type A like me, to check those off the list.) But I’ve found that it’s in the silence that the real soul changing happens. Only there can God really take control from us - especially for people like me who have such a control issue! My favorite book from this class was “Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership” by Ruth Haley Barton. I highly recommend - it’s literally life-changing!
    She describes it so well in the book: “Solitude and silence in particular enable us to experience a place of authenticity within and to invite God to meet us there. In solitude, we are rescued from the relentless human striving to solve the challenges... in silence we give up control and allow God to be God in our life rather than being a thought in our head or an illustration in a sermon.”
    Although very difficult, it’s really simple. You can’t force it or work harder to make it happen - you just sit quietly in God’s presence.
    “...most of what is happening is under the surface, and God is doing it … Just as the physical law of gravity ensures that sediment swirling in a jar of muddy river water will eventually settle and the water will become clear, so the spiritual law of gravity ensures that the chaos of the human soul will settle if it sits long enough.” - Barton
    Such a beautiful picture and truth: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 Although the wrap was not all I planned or hoped for, it was just what I needed. To be reminded that the stillness and quietness, letting go of my control, is His perfect prescription for refreshment.
    For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
    As we landed in Jacksonville at 1:00am (which felt like 6:00am Portugal time), I started to think about all the things that were waiting for me at work, what I needed to catch up on, and the list continued to grow out of control. I rubbed the back of my neck, felt the oily, stickiness of the honey, and had to laugh - it felt like a subtle reminder to be still. I don’t know how soon I’ll be wrapped back up in honey and wine, but I won’t soon forget the true sweetness of the time spent in solitude.
    Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healing for the body. Proverbs 16:24
    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL

    Wednesday Wisdom: You Can't Fake Character

    Wednesday Wisdom: You Can't Fake Character

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Hi friends! This weeks Wednesday Wisdom comes to you from the beautiful Douro Valley in northern Portugal! We are here celebrating the Jones 10th wedding anniversary and the Hinton’s 12th. The last time we took a trip of this magnitude, Cape House was born. The purpose of this trip was not to dream up another business venture, but to unplug from our daily routines and create some margin. Easier said than done, but being in a beautiful place helps! We’ve spent the last several days touring through Lisbon and Porto, where there is an immense amount of history. We’ve walked through churches built in 1100AD. We’ve seen olive trees that were planted by the Romans 300 years BEFORE Christ was born. (And yes, they still produce olives.) We’ve seen an aqueduct that was built in the 1400’s that provided water to Lisbon all the way into the 1970’s. We’ve seen immaculate art, carvings, and architecture. My overwhelming feeling after viewing these things compared to home is, “You can’t fake character.” We can recreate the look of a lot of the things we’ve seen over here, but you can’t recreate the stories behind them, the burnished edges from 80 years of people gently running there hands across it. You can’t fake character. The same is true in our own lives. We can’t fake character. We can try to manage our reputation or other people’s perception of us, but we can’t “manage” our character. It’s who we are and what we stand on when we find adversity. It doesn’t happen quickly. Our character forms as God molds us and shapes us. My favorite quote on character comes from Billy Graham: “The greatest legacy one can pass on to the their children is not money or other material possessions, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” That’s my prayer for my family and yours. Hopefully we will find more wisdom while here in Portugal, but in the interim, check out some of these pics! Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL

    Wednesday Wisdom: Princesses Poop, Too

    Wednesday Wisdom: Princesses Poop, Too

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Alright, let’s get down to business. Megan and/or Kate... who is your favorite princess? To be honest, I don’t really stay current on my royal knowledge and hadn’t put much thought into the royal wedding until last Friday (in contrast to a few fanatic friends... you know who you are). But, I figured with a six-year-old little girl at home, it may be fun to participate in all the pomp and circumstance. I mean, what little girl doesn’t want to be or know a princess? Saturday morning, Hannah Grace and I cuddled in bed and watched the ceremony and all that followed. She poured us all “tea” and served it on a tray. I could see her little mind spinning, and we watched. The idea of royalty was coming to life. A real princess, a real prince, a real castle, and a real horse drawn carriage. She eventually got bored with the coverage, and we went on about our weekend. Sunday night as she was getting ready for bed she had a very important question to ask, “Mommy, do you think the princess poops?" At first, I laughed (because who doesn’t laugh then someone says poop?), then I fumbled through what I feel is such an important lesson and reminder for all of us - one we tend to forget (just watch the news for 15 minutes). I tried to explain even though she and Princess Megan live different lives and live in different countries, they are the same. All people were created the same way by the same God who loves us all equally and calls us to love each other equally. We breathe the same oxygen, our hearts beat the same, and we even all use the loo!

    “So God created man in his own likeness. He created him in the likeness of God. He created them as male and female.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭ “The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:2 “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL

    Wednesday Wisdom: Unconditional Love

    Wednesday Wisdom: Unconditional Love

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL This past Sunday was Mother’s Day - the day we pause and honor all our mothers, the women who have influenced and shaped our lives in so many ways. So, I want to take this opportunity to honor my own. I thank God every day for my Mom and our family. I am extremely blessed for the love, support, sacrifice, and example she has been, still is and always will be to me. I would not have the privilege of even sitting here to write a Wednesday Wisdom today if it wasn’t for my Mom and the wisdom she demonstrated all of my life. She truly represents the wife of noble character and is worth far more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10). I was fortunate enough to have a living breathing example in my life of the womanhood described in the Bible.

    She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:25-28 (NIV)
    Not only was she up early and worked hard and provided love and support for our family, but she was kind, loving, giving, and compassionate. She served others and her church, and she loved people well. Mary Julia Little: you are blessed. I have only begun this journey of being a mother, and I have a LONG way to go. I am just getting a glimpse of the sacrifice and patience it takes to lead your children and love your family well. But the Word teaches us that to whom much has been given – much is expected (Luke 12:48), so I do not take this blessing lightly. I can only hope and pray that one day Addi Grace will arise and call me blessed. For now I will take the “Mommy” and “Mom” and “Silly Bumper Head” and all the other crazy names she comes up for me in this season and continue to learn what love really is. That is the greatest gift of motherhood to me: unconditional love. Each day teaches more about what real love and sacrifice looks like and deepens my appreciation for my mom and for God’s love for us. It was not by coincidence my devotion this week took me through the book of 1 Corinthians. Paul writes to his fellow Christians after hearing of concerns within the church. After reviewing the purpose and importance of the church with them, the spiritual gifts we have received, and how we should be using them, he challenges them (and me!) with the most important thing we all need to do – love.
    If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13
    Lance asked me several times what I wanted to do on Mother’s Day. That’s really a tough question for me. Lots of things I wanted to do: house work, shopping, organizing, craft projects, millions of house projects, fun family day, spa day, read a book on the beach, and can’t forget... SLEEP! But motherhood had a different answer: we were up late into the night on Saturday and early morning on Sunday with a sickly Addi Grace who had caught a stomach bug. All day Mother’s day was spent at home holding, cuddling, and loving my little girl (and of course some clean up and disinfecting too!). Nursing her back to health, watching her every breath, and caring for her every need: just what the Dr. ordered – mom’s love. Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL

    Wednesday Wisdom: Inch Wide + Mile Deep

    Wednesday Wisdom: Inch Wide + Mile Deep

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL I’ve been at a corporate event for my “other” job this week and one of the focuses has been a pending company rebrand. There’s been a ton of discussion about how the digital age has transformed how we all live, and in turn, do our business. One of the speakers shared an incredible stat about how fast we can reach people. He said that it took 75 years for the telephone to have 50 million global users. The game Angry Birds reached the 50 million user milestone in 11 days. The speed at which we gain access to information is staggering, but one of the risks is that our message and meaning can be lost in the noise. And there is a LOT of noise today. Imagine if you could take every piece of the written word from the beginning of time until 2004 and total it all up. Put it in a book. Imagine the size of it. How many libraries would that fill? Since 2004, that amount of content has been duplicated 7 million times. 7 million times. How do you even engage with people when we all have that amount of noise to filter through? I believe that our personal engagement with people is at an all time low. Technology has made it so easy to have superficial and shallow relationships. Facebook has single-handedly ruined the high school reunion market. I believe the main reason people ever went to a high school reunion was out of curiosity. Now that you can stalk your old classmates digitally, the curiosity is dead, and with it, the relationships that follow. We have become a society where we judge people on the width (quantity) of their relationships instead of the depth (quality) of their relationships. Jesus modeled the way to overcome this. His ministry had plenty of width to it. He travelled and spoke with the masses. Because of time and circumstance, he didn’t have time to dig deep with most of the people he encountered. But the way he overcame this was by investing in the lives of his twelve disciples. These twelve men were the way Jesus elected to carry forward his ministry. He often told a parable to the masses, but then would only explain it to the disciples. He explained the “why” behind his teachings mainly in private, and only to these twelve. To take it even a step further, he went even deeper with three of his disciples, Peter, James, & John. He elected to pull these three aside even more frequently, had private teaching sessions, and tutored them on the Gospel. You see, Jesus understood that no matter the width of his ministry, it was pointless without the depth. These are the men that took the Good News and spread it after the crucifixion, and they were only able to do it because of the depth in which Jesus invested in them. I do not want to be known as a person whose relationships are a mile wide and an inch deep. It’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it doesn’t last. I want relationships that are an inch wide and a mile deep, because it is that depth that allows meaningful, real, and lasting impacts. Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL