So, I'm fully aware, I'm a slacker. I'm in mid-story about our "journey"....but feel led to share (document) these words as they are where I am right now. I just wrapped up, with some dear friends, a Bible Study on the Proverbs 31 Woman. This was created by some beautiful sisters in Christ, who have such a heart for God and encourage some of us daily in His word! If you are interested, here is the intro blog post that will give you all the info.
I have been so convicted through this study of my abilities vs. actions. I have read Proverbs 31 too many times to count, yet never really stepped up and studied it, or at least not quite as deep as this. I have had my toes stepped on, especially in areas where I
I am now on a journey to find me. Seeking Him first, and in doing so, in obedience to Him, being the best me (which includes, wife, mommy, homemaker, teacher, servant and friend -- and more) I can be...all to bring Him glory! I want to have a heart for Him and it to be evident in ALL that I do. I love, and I do mean LOVE, The Message translation of Proverbs 31:10-31. I am sharing it below, along with some notes of mine in blue following certain section. They are true reflections of my heart as I journeyed along the path of discovering the true Proverbs 31 Woman.
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
*This woman's value is immeasurable. She holds (but doesn't choose to use) the ability to drain her husband, she chooses, however, to build him up. He can fully trust her in ALL areas of their lives. I always considered this to mean faithfulness, and while it does, it also includes areas of money, training the children, running the home, how she speaks of him (even to her dearest of friends), controlled emotions under pressure, and her choices as tough circumstances arise. WOW! This caught me way off guard to consider all those areas. And how can she do these things? Well, of course, not alone...she must look to the Father for instruction and guidance and not cease (or become complacent, as I had) in doing so.
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
*She is BUSY! She is STRONG - in all areas, physical, mental, spriritual, emotional! She is cheerful in her work, always serving others. She works for the Lord, ultimately, and so she gives her all, daily. Her household duties aren't meaningless or silly to her, she doesn't complain about repeating the same tasks day in and day out. She knows what needs to be done and sets about it, knowing Who she is serving. She's training up the next generation of husbands and wives, men and women of God...therefore, she trains them alongside her. She is wise with their money, she is profitable in her trading. I have always been confused (personally), as to how this applied to me, a stay at home mom. After MUCH prayer and meditation, through this study, I've realized, I am in a season where working, or creating something to bring in money isn't possible. However, I CAN be smart and frugal with what we have, thus, contributing to our savings. She doesn't stop at her family, she serves others, as well. She has planned ahead SO well, that cooking a meal for a sick friend, or helping someone in a pinch, isn't an issue. She can rest, knowing her family is cared for and because of her generous heart/spirit, her children learn and gain a servant's heart as well.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
*Her husband is a man who is WELL respected. I gather, though scripture doesn't say, he is so respected because of the way he raises his family and conducts himself. His wife isn't a gossip, she, instead uses her words wisely and they are life-giving to those she speaks to, including, but not limited to, her husband and children. Who they see her as, in private, is who she is in public as well. She is well-dressed, but not vain. Her beauty comes from her love, inner-spirit, and all from her fear of God. She KNOWS where her children are, who they are with, and what they're involved in. She makes herself present and approachable, open to her family (and others), available to listen. She trains her children and makes sure they don't become lazy, yet knows how to maintain and create balance between work and play.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises! -- Proverbs 31:10-31 -- The Message
*And finally - she is PRAISED for her goodness. She didn't seek it. She didn't work for it. But, she receives it because she did ALL that she did for His glory, she gave Him credit, not herself. Her pure heart and hospitality, her training of her children, her love and adoration for her husband, and her serving others...all this behind her obedience to Christ, places her in a place where she is admired and praised.
My journey is not complete. And it won't be. Not this side of Heaven, anyhow. I do, however, have a new attitude, a focus that I pray I maintain. I have made a goal to revisit this study annually to gauge my growth, and set new goals. For now, I'm working on my attitudes with my husband and children, household, routines, and most importantly, my daily walk with the Father. My ultimate prayer is a heart like David, a heart after God; and to stay focused, feet firmly planted (yet not so firm, I can't move forward), and continued growth, as I have recognized so much that I thought I knew. Ultimately, my focus must remain, on Jesus, it is through Him, I will find the JOY I seek, the LOVE I know, and the LIFE I desire. Enough said.