27 may 15
she stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle
i do my work for our family with determination and perseverance – even the distasteful jobs
so, on first pass, i thought, i got nothin’! on my second and third reading of the verse, i was thinking, i still got nothin’. but this morning when i sat down to journal, after writing the verse, i wrote “determination?” i think i wrote that word because i remember reading a book about a girl who had to spin or help with the spinning and her hands were cracked and bleeding until they became calloused to her work. so while in modern america we might romanticize about spinning our own yarn to make clothes (that we may or may not actually need), the truth is that it is hard work. especially if it is all you have to do. or if it is the only way that you will get clothes for your family. so “determination” came from the idea that she does the hard work that she knows has to be done, but she does it willingly and with the goal of finishing so her family will be clothed.
i decided to look it up in a commentary, since i was having a difficult time placing it in my life. i came across an excerpt from the jamieson-fausset-brown bible commentary (of which i had never before heard) and this is what it said, no work, however mean, if honest is disdained. so it appears that spinning might not have been the choice chore of the woman of the house, but yet she does it with steadfastness and determination.
thank you, God, for our sweet family and that you have given me the ability to care for them in every way. let me serve them cheerfully and wholeheartedly in obedience to you, even if i find the tasks unpleasant.
22 may 15
she girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong.
i am not lazy, but i’m strong and ready to work, energetic
of course it comes to this, God! i was just thinking yesterday how it is interesting that there are not any direct verses where you command exercise (i.e. thou shalt sweat, or workest thine muscles until they ache). i am not saying this is it, but exercise (and eating good foods) is really the best way to make myself strong and energetic. i think this can also tie into giving my family my best (proverbs 31:14), because what seven, five, four, and two year olds wouldn’t want their mom running, playing and wrestling with them? so, it it time well spent with the kids as well as being active: win win!
God, teach me to find delight in taking care of my body as well as our family.
21 may 15
she considers a field and buys it, from her earnings she plants a vineyard.
i am financially aware: productive and re-investing
i can’t even imagine having “my own money” or knowing what to do with it if i did. i do not want our girls to be ignorant about money. show me, God, how to become more knowledgable.
i read this book when i was single and actually started down the road to becoming financially literate, so i might need a re-read of the financially confident woman and her monthly newsletter which it looks like has changed into a blog, www.everydaycheapskate.com.
20 may 15
she rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household.
i sacrifice to see that our family is fed and healthy
i’ll be honest, it’s amazing to me that something written this long ago still has the power to convict and change me – not that it should be so amazing since it is God’s Word – unchanging and eternal. this verse is definitely part of the reason i have spent most of my adult life disliking the proverbs 31 woman: i do not like mornings and i love my bed. but i’m trying to allow God to work on me in this. ever since reading this in Becoming a Titus 2 Woman i’ve been praying for his power to help me change:
a godly wife works hard and is not lazy. she should stay home enough to get her work done. i have heard of women who pride themselves on being “night people.” that means they have trouble getting up in the mornings because they come alive late at night. they may stay up to all hours reading, watching television, or pursuing some sort of interest. the next morning they are too tired to get up and care for their family. children are left to fend for themselves. husbands, too.
these woman are not “night people.” they are lazy and selfish. who would not rather stay up late to do whatever they pleased and sleep late the next day? lazy people are often busy, but they are not busy doing the work that God has given them to do. they are incredibly self-indulgent.. the older, more mature women in the church should lovingly but firmly confront these young Christian mothers and exhort them not to be selfish, but to consider their families as “more important than themselves” (philippians 2:3). (p. 116)
yeah, it still stings. there was no getting away from any of it when i read it the first time. this was likely the most painful mirror i had to look in. (now the word sacrifice in my interpretation of the verse makes sense, doesn’t it?)
God, thank you for working in my heart thus far. let me give you, or better yet, i give you, those last couple hours before bed that i’m holding onto. i’m hesitant, sure, but i’m wanting to mean it!
18 may 15
she looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight.
i find what i’m to do and do it eagerly. i find joy and creativity in taking care of our family.
God, both of those things – joy and creativity – are often lacking from my heart. help me to find them there, or [you] put them there – or do whatever it is i need to do to allow you to work in me. joy and creativity are definitely part of who you are, part of your image in me. let me stop blocking that part of you and enjoy doing.
19 may 15
she is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar.
i go where i need and do what i need to feed and take care of our family
I do this on a basic level. but it is not my best. i don’t feel, most days, that i can fall into bed saying, i did the best i could do for my family today. that is what i need to be able to say: i served my family (not myself) to the best of my ability; and thus served God and brought glory to him.
15 may 15
she does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
i’m helpful with money and connections and won’t do things that reflect negatively on him
help me to encourage Jimmy and love him – to give him a safe and protected home. to not harm him financially – to make our budget and stick to it. to not harm him with my words, directly or indirectly, through others. on the positive side, help me to bring gain to our family. let me say things that build him up – directly and indirectly – to encourage and love him so our home prospers under his direction.
i think we all know a woman who is not encouraging to her husband. who is not a safe place for him. the wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands. proverbs 14:1 ‘nough said.
13 may 15
the heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
i am willing to deal with our finances and not turn a blind eye and spend indiscriminately
help me, God, out of myself and into my husband’s world. let me help instead of hinder and think more of multiplying our finances than depleting them.
on the non-financial side, it is easy for me to ignore the things going on in our life and fade into my own world of reading or tv – basically checking out at the end of the day rather than connecting with my husband. but checking out does not gain his trust.