01 jun 15
she makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
i don’t neglect myself in my care for our family and i take care with my appearance.
what i originally wrote earlier last month was i take care of my husband and make sure i look nice. but when i read it today, it did not seem as on target as what i thought about this morning. it also touches on a sore spot for me. i go a little crazy when i hear moms say things like, my children are my life, and i do everything for my kids. there are so many levels of wrongness with those statements that i could get on my soapbox for days.
so instead of a rant, i decided to look up what the coverings for herself meant…and it appears that she is making sure her bed looks nice. so it looks like i take care of my husband might be what i should have stuck with, wink wink.
Help me to take care of myself in a way that brings glory to you, God; to love my neighbor as myself. so i need to be loving myself, but in light of your love for me. teach me to see myself as you see me in order to keep myself in the right perspective. i want our girls to grow up knowing who they are in you and having the confidence that can only come from accepting your love and view of them.
28 may 15
she extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy
i am genrous to those who don’t have
this one is sometimes difficult because i think of the panhandlers and homeless people we see all over since we live in a warm climate. for a long time i just ignored them. then i would give out of guilt. for a while (pre husband and kids years) i kept water and snack kits in my car. and there are times that i would buy extra when i saw someone on my way to a drive-thru. and i have gone back and forth about whether to give money or not give money…i normally just try to take it on a case by case basis and pray about what i can and should do.
i don’t know – because i also think of the spiritually needy. and victims of trafficking. and people who have honestly just had a hard life. and the needy are everywhere. and i always struggle with what is enough? not that i am thinking that i do enough, but there are times i could pour myself out and have nothing left, which might or might not be God’s will for me. so even though this might seem a bit simplistic, i can only say that i have found that i need to be in constant conversation with the Holy Spirit to know where and when to help. and then move forward.
God, please teach me to be generous. to raise grateful and generous children. and to teach them from example.
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.
26 may 13
she senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night
i know what i am doing is profitable and i work hard at it
even when it doesn’t feel like it or i don’t see it right away, what i am doing is bearing fruit in the lives of my family and for God, so i continue to work hard.
one of the difficult things about parenting is that i do not necessarily see the fruits (good or bad!) of what i’m doing right away, so i have to be sure that i am doing what i am with purpose, at the Holy Spirit’s direction. then i can know it will bear godly fruit.
God, let me allow your Spirit to guide my day so even when i do not feel “complete” at the end of each day, i know i have done what you have given me to do (john 17:4). let me sense your presence guiding, directing me and work hard at the tasks before me. thank you for my family and the ability to work for them.
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!