Can I just be a Proverbs 31:25 Woman instead?

Research for my Proverbs 31 experiment lasted way longer than the experiment itself.

I studied the verses. I took notes. I studied alternate translations and Bible helps. I read four books on the Proverbs 31 woman.

I had a plan.

It was to be a 30-day plan, at the conclusion of which I’d be a better wife, mom, and Christian.

I was excited.

Day 1 arrived. Up earlier than everyone, I cheerfully made breakfast and straightened the house. I grew weary toward the end of the day but I was determined to go to bed after everyone else had turned in. This was not easy, especially with a night owl husband.

By Day 2, I was already editing what was expected of the Proverbs 31 woman. She needed her rest.

By Day 3, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I’d managed to begrudgingly help a frustrated spouse in the midst of a home improvement project, even though my mom had taught me that those were the best times to go see that movie you’d been hearing about. I am pretty sure she’s on to something because I don’t think the Proverbs 31 woman is supposed to be fantasizing about swinging that 2×4 across her husband’s head.

By 10 AM, after sleeping in and letting everyone fend for themselves for breakfast, I abandoned the experiment completely.

While I admire this woman greatly, I don’t think she will ever be me.

Here’s why:

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

So far we are okay. Of course, like most wives, there have been times I have hurt my husband. I wish I had an unblemished record here, but we are definitely in a better place today because of, not despite, the trials earlier in our marriage.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

I’m faltering here. I’m a girly-girl, a city girl, and a bit of a spoiled girl. Maybe a lot of a spoiled girl. I do enjoy cleaning, but that’s the extent of my manual labor. My sewing skills are non-existent. My hands are best at clicking the ADD TO CART button on Amazon.

14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

WalMart Grocery pick-up probably doesn’t qualify.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

I do get up early, but not before the sun.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

Figuratively, I get this. I’m sewing seeds for the kingdom through my writing and my ministry. I like this verse, especially the considereth part. Sometimes what we WANT to do isn’t what God wants us to do. This is a constant concern of mine.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night.

My candle goeth out at night. But not until all has been done, except for the occasional wait-til-morning sinkful of dirty dishes.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

This I do.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing [is] silk and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

This says more about him than me, but I still love this. I have a well-respected husband who loves the Lord dearly.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it]; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25 Strength and honour [are] her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

This verse sums up the Proverbs 31 woman for me. Without getting bogged down in details of early rising, sewing, late nights….This is the character within the Proverbs 31 woman. This is who I strive to be every day. When people see me, I want them to see STRENGTH. I want them to see HONOR. This is who I am, who I always want to be.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness.

Wise? Mostly. Wiseacre? A little too often. Snarkiness is the opposite of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

This is my current struggle. I am not good with balance. I’m 100% overwhelmed and doing the job of 17 people or I’m 100% idle. I can’t work and rest. I can’t rest and work. Just today I began praying for the Lord to help me find that balance. I’m certain he will.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.

I know that what the LORD thinks should be all that matters, but let’s face it, we want our kids and husbands to be proud of us too.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

And I hope one day I will leave such a legacy that surpasses my time here on earth…

NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZEN DAY

This Wednesday (August 21) is National Senior Citizen Day.

It is crucial, now more than ever, that we stand up for these Seniors and show them love.

This is the the generation who paved  the way for us, often with little more than hard work and determination.

This is the generation who lived and laughed and loved, creating future generations to populate the world.

This is the generation who taught us, our parents, even our grandparents how to cook, fish, sew…

They taught the value of hard work and the art of compromise.

They showed how to give 100% when you already feel spent.

They are our living ancestors and we shouldn’t wait until they are lowered in the ground to honor them.

Job 12:12 Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?

When my kids were younger, I’d save up baby jars and we would tie ribbons around the tops and paint them. We’d fill them with peppermints and bring them to nursing homes to distribute to the residents.

The joy on their faces is something I’ll never forget.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that many residents of nursing homes are forgotten. They have no loved ones visiting, no letters, no gifts.

There are some seniors living alone in their homes, without even the daily interaction with staff or other residents.

My neighbor was one such man.

He passed away in his chair and it wasn’t until the mailman noticed mail piling up that a wellness check was performed. He’d been there for three days.

We all dropped the ball there.

Look around you. You can make a big difference by doing something small.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Visit a nursing home or assisted living facility
  • Bring in trash cans for an elderly neighbor
  • Cut the grass (or better yet, hire a teenager to cut the grass, helping both) for an elderly neighbor
  • Offer your services (cutting hair, playing piano) for a senior citizen facility
  • Volunteer with a seniors organization like Meals on Wheels
  • Have your children, grandchildren, or students make cards to distribute to a senior citizen facility. (They get cards and singing groups at Christmas; they need a JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT card!)
  • Pay a canteen fee for a senior (Many are on fixed incomes and can’t afford the luxury of a vending machine or concession treat.)
  • Call a hospice chaplain and ask for info on someone you can pray for. (They won’t be able to give you the name but you can get enough info to pray.)

Gear Up: Faith

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on FAITH!

Our faith exercise is a hands-on activity. Write down all of the things you are worried about. Finances, health, relationships…be specific and put them all on paper. Read the following verse:

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.. (Deuteronomy 7:9)

TRUST Him to keep that promise, which covers you, your family, the generations after you all because of YOUR faith…

Now take those worries and destroy them. Use a shredder, scissors, the fireplace…as you get rid of the things that have a hold on you, physically release them to the Lord and have FAITH that He will take care of it all because He is faithful!