Proverbs 31:27-28 “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “
Ok so there probably aren’t many days when my children arise and call me blessed. I always laugh when I read that part in proverbs. As mothers we certainly wish for those kind of lives. I think it is safe to say that most of us fantasize about that kind of family. I read a book last year that totally made me laugh until I cried. “When Perfect Isn’t Enough: How I Conquered My Fear of the Proverbs 31 Woman” by Nancy Kennedy was the perfect book for my style of reading. Each chapter takes a look at a verse in Proverbs 31 and breaks it down into the exact explanation of what Proverbs 31 really is. If your life runs on chocolate, chaos, and sticky note reminders, then this book is for you!
Anyway, Proverbs 31 used to make me feel totally inadequate. I could never measure up. It was like the icing on the cake of my failure when I read it. So I stayed away from it. And for that matter, Proverbs in general was just a book of the Bible that I didn’t really like to read. Too much “Oh my gosh, it’s me!” stuff in that book. Sweetheart totally loves the one about a nagging wife. Proverbs 27:15 “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.” Don’t you just want to smack someone when you read that? Seriously? Yet, I must admit I get all huffy only because I know how much truth there is in that statement. I can be downright annoying when I am having a less than perfect Proverbs 31 day! (you can stop nodding in agreement sweetheart) Once I came to understand what my Father was trying to teach me, things became a lot more readable. Now I find myself turning to Proverbs frequently to remind myself how quickly I let “the world” sneak back into my life, my marriage, my relationship with my God.
I have resolved this year to be more organized. Being idle has never been a problem for me. If anything, I work too hard. The issue is that I work too hard at everything except the things I should be working on. Our house is early American clutter. My truck is full of papers, notes, and empty coffee cups. My desk is a sea of things I am working on. I sweep, I vacuum, and I move piles from one room to another. Just yesterday I unpacked last years Christmas tablecloth that I bought on sale after the holidays. To use on my table this year. Great plan except Christmas was a week ago and I had no idea where I had put the tablecloth I bought last year when I resolved that this years Christmas would be more beautiful, more organized, and more like the Christmas houses I saw in the magazines I pile around the living room. A two pound bag of nuts resides on the kitchen counter next to the bag of flour and the powdered sugar I bought to make cookies to give to my neighbors during the holidays. Notice I said the bags still reside there. I managed to make 24 cookies before Christmas. Twelve of them are still on a plate on the kitchen counter. Who wants my plain cookies when the neighbors, my friends, and my clients showered us with homemade cookies and gifts? Instead of feeling inadequate like I would have in years past, I gratefully thanked my Abba for surrounding me with the love of friends and family as our family has been on it’s wild ride through December. Our night together playing Scene It, our dash through the rain for my friends wedding on Christmas Eve, our cooking together to feed the volunteers at our church, our times around the kitchen table watching sisters bond have meant so much more than me being busy in the kitchen making cookies.
The part in this that I forget sometimes is the love of my sweetheart and his words of praise to me. I don’t need the words but oh how much they make my heart swell with joy and happiness. His glance of approval from across a room is all I need to know that together we are on the right path. He overlooks my faults and loves me anyway. It would be ridiculous to expect that he and I would never have any quarrels between us. But because we now both carry our Father’s words in our hearts each day, we find the scriptures written in our souls. They remind us not to go to bed angry, not to be concerned with worldly riches, not to let our own desires override what God has in mind for us. The words “I am sorry” come frequently from both of us. For me those words have become more meaningful. Because I know that this life and my sweetheart and my family are a gift to be valued and cherished, I am more aware than ever that I need to be the wife and mother they need. It’s hard. I am not going to lie. There are days when it’s all I can do is sound like rain, except that it’s more me sounding like a thunderstorm with hail along for good measure.
My Adonai is constantly teaching me how to be thankful. He shows me every day, more and more, the blessings that He has given me. He shows me how blessed I am to have children who walk with Him. He shows me how blessed I am to have a husband who looks at me with love and forgives me for sounding like rain on a roof! My Father has given me amazing friends, wonderful clients, a church that filled the God shaped hole in my heart, and a family for me to watch over and love. Lately I have been filling my prayer journal with complaints and whining. If I expect my children to call me blessed, then I must remember that He who is blessed above all requires the same from me. If I expect my husband to praise me, then I must praise the One who deserves the praise most of all. For when I give the Lord what He asks, He will give me what I need. That’s His promise.
Write a gratitude sticky note today. Post it on your bathroom mirror. Let it remind you all week of one of the things you are most grateful for. Today my note said “my sweetheart”. Let’s just hope and pray that our roof doesn’t develop a leak this week. Our umbrellas are in the car!