One of the things I love to do is sit and have a cup of coffee with someone smarter and wiser than I am. I love taking mental notes on what I can change or implement in my life. It could be something simple like, "clean while you cook" or something deeper like, "they don't care how much you know Jan, until they know how much you care." Great advice mixed with warm caffeine is like putting me in hyper drive. I start writing check lists, color coding notes, and trying to truly apply what they advise.

Now, many people love to give advice, but many people are not qualified to give advice. Here's a list of a few signs you might be getting advice from someone who unqualified.

1. You didn't ask for it. (Unsolicited advice is offensive.)

2. It's not practical. (They don’t understand the situation cause they’ve never lived through it.)

3. They don't live a life you'd like to imitate. (Copying good stuff isn't lame.)

4. They haven't implemented the advice they give. (They have no real-life example that show their advice works.)

When my family and I were with my mom in the hospital, we would take turns on who would keep watch at night. If something were to happen or change for my mom, someone would be there. Since my mom couldn't communicate with us, we made sure she knew she wasn't alone. Through the night, we stared at IV drips and tried to decipher what all the numbers meant. We wanted to rest but couldn’t sleep. We reviewed all the conversations with the doctors. We relived all the decisions and searched up medical terms we didn’t know. There was no rest not really. Months passed and still we waited. We would wait for the sun to rise. We did this because we were tired of waiting, and there was very little we could do. There was a contradiction…we wanted to leave but our hearts wouldn’t let us be anywhere else. We didn’t wish for death but life wouldn’t wait for us and neither did we wish her to be stuck in this state. Our minds were constantly on high alert. Our only rest was the hope the morning gave. There would be reinforcements coming soon. Soon someone would come to supply our lamp with oil so our light wouldn’t burn out for the coming days. We would finally find time to rest before the next watch.

The Bible says

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” - Psalm 130:5

I understand these words now more than ever. The following Bible verse highlighted an important aspect we need to grasp. The watchmen.

"I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning." - Psalm 130:6

The watchmen that wait for the morning. These people recognize danger. They know what trouble looks like, and how to sound the alarm. They know just how long and painful the night hours can be. They also know the hope the morning brings. It brings relief. They know the dim of the night and what that does to your faith. Yet the watchmen are relentless. They wait with a certainty of the coming morning.

These are the people, my friends, the ones that know, the watchmen. These are the people you take advice from. These are the people you take notes from. They have grit. They can withstand the pressure. They know what it's like! They've been there. They've done that! Take them out for a cup of coffee. Treat them to a yummy scone. You will find that they are gentler than normal people. You will find they are more fierce as well. They relentlessly stand for their own and for their faith. They are the pillars of strength that support the house during the storm.

These people are the ones we must imitate and be like. When you find one, sit down, shut up, and learn.