May 20, 2014

The Proverbs Wife

10 
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

There are days when I stop, (bust into tears) and ask myself, "What am I doing?" The question usually comes up after I've done the dishes for the 57407490th time, taken 5849038 minutes getting the kids in and out of the car to go to activities, burned dinner, and flooded... something. I've found it helpful to look up inspiring quotes (usually on the scholarly Pintrest) to use as a springboard to get a grip on my day. Lately, I have been reading about the "Proverbs Wife."

I must admit that although I've been Christian my whole life, I have little knowledge of the Old Testament. Actually, one of the reasons I love my husband is that he does have a good understanding of the Old Testament, and can tell any story at the drop of a hat, with great speaker's charisma. I am sure that 90% of my OT skills are simply from listening to my husband tell the stories to me. This leads to my admittance that before this year I have had little knowledge of the Proverb's Wife. I was about to copy and paste the full text, but thought it would be much prettier to just include a link

Proverb's 31:10-31 starts with:
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
And ends with:
Honer her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gates.

Pretty powerful, right? I mean, all of the motivation I need to last for a few years is in those two sentences. Within those beautiful bookends is an extensive list of tasks the noble wife completes with great competence.
She brings joy to her family, and her family praises her. She works hard constantly, day and night, and the list of tasks she completes seem impossible to achieve. She is irreplaceable and priceless.

This is what I should be as a wife: Irreplaceable and priceless. My daughter is in the magnificent stage where dressing up as a princess is a dedicated and time consuming activity. I often tell her that she is a princess... a child of God. But in order to be a good princess, she must play the part with her actions: listening to Mommy and Baba, and being respectful and kind. The same principal can be applied to the married life. Both spouses should request the respect given to the Proverb's wife through their actions.

Now, returning to my opening, burning dinner is not much to be praised over. There are many nights however, when I cook something so delicious the positive results of the meal last for days. There are times when Clara runs over to hug me, just because. There are days (plural!) when the house is neat, organized, and as welcoming as the hug of a toddler. Not everything is perfect, but the Proverb's Wife gives me something to strive for. It also gives me an affirmation that what I am doing is important, and is making a difference.

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: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31: 27-30. 

May 1, 2014

Change

Change happens. I think there are two ways to deal with change.

1. You hold on to the past so tightly it squeezes all hope from your future. 
2. You squeeze your eyes shut, hold someone's hand, and step into change. 

What if the change makes your life more difficult? What if it sucks? What if the memories of the past are so pure, good, and beautiful that the present is nothing more than a dull smudge? We should still step. Step right into the smudge, splash it up, and make it beautiful. 

When we hold onto the past, a life that we once had, it prevents us from living. I know people who have let their beautiful past eat them up from the inside, to the point that they are unable to see the brightness behind their sorrow.

I'm sure I've been their before. I'm sure a loved one has had to stand next to me in frustration while I shut my eyes trying to live in the past. Actually, it has really been the opposite. I let a dark past prevent me from fully enjoying the blessed present. 

Matthew 5:4 says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

I think the solution lies here. It is OK to mourn something, someone, some place. It is OK to be sad that a good past is gone, or that a bad one existed at all. But mourning is not a perpetual act. It has a start and a finish. It also has a purpose. It is a means to be comforted, not a means to be depressed. Maybe mourning happens more than once, especially for the loss of a someone, but there should be comfort. More importantly, we need to have the hope that the comfort will come. 

Look for a hand to hold (spiritually in prayer, and physically in a friend), close your eyes, and take a step.