Not measuring up

Proverbs 30-31

These hot Texas days are mitigated somewhat by the comfortable evenings.  I’m sitting out on the back patio listening to the sprinklers sprinkle and writing by the light of the moon.  I hear an occasional insect and see a few lightning bugs flitter here and there.  What joy and bliss it is to sit here with my husband beside me!

Proverbs 31 has always been a hard chapter for me to follow.  The woman of noble character described in its lines seems so difficult to match. Just take a look at all that she does for her family:

Brings her husband good, not harm, all day everyday.  I confess there are days that I do not cook and my husband ends up eating take-out.  Is that good for him?  Or ultimately harmful?  I strive to make his life easier and more pleasant, but there are days that my nerves are on edge, and it is an effort to keep my mouth from saying things I will regret later.

Not only does she sew, but she makes her own cloth!  I won’t even go there.  I can sew on a button, and that’s about the extent of my relationship with a needle and thread.

She gets up while it is still dark to provide food for her family.  This one I can sort of live up to.  I do make a big breakfast every morning.  Sometimes I don’t make it in time for my husband to enjoy it, such as on those days that he leaves at o’dark-thirty to catch an early morning flight.  But that sun is shining brightly before the bacon sizzles in this house.

She buys fields and plants vineyards.  I have a brown thumb.  The other day when my mother-in-law was here for a visit she told me that my flowers in my urns by the front door needed water.  (They are artificial!)

She works vigorously.  Hmm.  This one I do, thanks to the Lord who gives me strength from day to day.  However, I do take naps on occasion.  Does this mean I have lost noble character?

Her lamp doesn’t go out at night.  This is definitely NOT me.  Last night I fell asleep while writing this blog.  Tonight when I re-read it, I didn’t even remember writing it!

She helps the poor and needy.  Most of us have a heart for reaching out to the poor and needy.  The problem is figuring out how to get there from suburbia.

She makes her bed coverings.  Back to the sewing thing again.  I buy our sheets at the store, wash them weekly, and put them on our beds.  Does that count?

She sells the clothes she makes.  Back to the sewing again!  I suppose back in the days when these Proverbs were written, sewing was a necessary skill that all women learned.  I guess you could say that I sell my time and organizational and educating skills through being the director of a CC group.  The Lord gives us different skills, doesn’t he?

She’s clothed with strength and dignity and laughs at the future.  I don’t know myself well enough to answer to this one.  Sometimes I am strong and dignified.  At other times, like the other day at the end of the CC parent practicum when everyone was gone except those who had stayed behind to help clean, all strength and dignity flew out the window as I cried tears of exhaustion.  I do love to laugh…but laughing at the days to come?  That’s something I could work on.  I’d much rather laugh about the future than worry about it!

She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction.  Homeschooling gives me the opportunity to teach and speak.  Any wisdom that I pass along comes straight from the Lord and is not of my own accord!

She doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.  Today I took a nap with a heating pad to help ease back pain.  Is that eating the bread of idleness?  What about browsing facebook?  Or watching a movie with the family?  What defines idleness for you?

Her children and husband praise her.  Tonight I actually went all out and cooked a big meal.  Homemade fried chicken nuggets, rice, gravy, green beans, and cornbread were on the menu.  I thought my husband was going to faint when he walked in the door and smelled the food cooking.  Maybe he thought he had the wrong house?  I got praise from my whole family tonight.  Thank you, Food Network Lady, whoever you are, for giving out the tip on how to make the flour coating stay on the meat!

It’s easy to see that I do not measure up to the woman of noble character featured in Proverbs 31.  All I can do is serve my family and the Lord  every day in my own way…even if the bacon doesn’t sizzle before the sun rises!

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