She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
To be honest, I don’t spend much time reading Proverbs 31, because it’s kind of a spiritual Pinterest board. The Proverbs 31 woman is perfect, and I always come away feeling like a big loser. She’s industrious, and I been known to binge watch a wee bit ‘o Netflix. She is strong and dignified, and I yell “It’s a calamity!” every time I have a hot flash. She “rises while it is still night and provides food for her household,” and I would NEVER rise while it’s still night, for any reason. Get yourself a bowl of cereal, ya’ll! The Proverbs 31 woman sets a high bar.
It may surprise you then, dear reader, that Proverbs 31 is exactly where I landed a couple of days ago as I set goals for the first part of 2019. (I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t hoping for a verse on resting in my hammock.) And as I read through this chapter, I realized that the Proverbs 31 woman is kind of the ultimate feminist. She is strong, capable and owns her choices. There isn’t a sense of doubt or insecurity in her actions, and she thrives in her work, while caring for her own. Like I said, she’s Pinterest-worthy.
The first “Take-Away” I’m getting this year from Proverbs 31 is: She can laugh at the days to come. Dear reader, I haven’t laughed at the days to come since I quit working. I told Mark the other day that I feel like I’m waiting for the guillotine. I know I will eventually go back to work, and some days I just want to go back right now to put myself out of the waiting. The longer I spend as a SAHM, the more I love it, and I’m fearful of returning to that busy pace and full mind…even though I really loved my work! So what’s my goal on this? First, be present in today and ENJOY this chance I have to live a simpler, more focused life. And second, have FAITH that when the time comes, God will provide just the perfect job for me to go back to…one that I will find stimulating and fulfilling.
Second “Take-Away” is this: She speaks with wisdom. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how it seems we are invited to have opinions about every. little. thing. Sure, I’m talking about news and social media posts, but also in “real life”…and especially between women. If I truly believe that women should have the same opportunity and access to choose what they want for themselves, then why do I spend one second of my time evaluating decisions that aren’t mine? There is wisdom in keeping my opinions to myself, and choosing how and when to speak, because at the end of the day, I just want my daughter, sisters, nieces and friends to be happy and fulfilled. You want to be a doctor and work 50 hours a week? I ordered you a great pair of tennis shoes with arch support! You want to join the military and serve your country? I feel safer just knowing you are on the job! You want to be a stay at home mom and wear yoga pants five days out of seven? Do that, and I’m with you! Are you fit? Paleo? Covered in muscles? Yay! That hard work is worth celebrating! Do you have softer curves and junk in the trunk? Me too! Babies find us irresistible! You hold political views that are the polar opposite of mine? I LOVE that you’ve thought about these issues and come to your own conclusions– we need thinkers in this world! Being a strong, intelligent and influential woman is not confined to certain jobs, degrees, political parties or body types, so let’s all hold hands and take a leap off the opinion train!
“Take-Away” #3: she does not eat the bread of idleness. First of all, I love bread. Sourdough, 7 grain, challah, a crusty French baguette…it’s all my favorite! Secondly, I also enjoy hours of idleness. You know what eats my time? Social media. Pinterest. I can literally spend HOURS in a day scrolling and clicking through content that I don’t even need or want. It’s a time suck, and it doesn’t leave me happy or fulfilled. I’ve removed Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook from my phone (fare thee well, my brethren!) and from the favorites page on my laptop (cartoon crying…) with a goal of 30 days without a peek. Like a social media Whole30. What am I hoping for? I don’t know, and stop asking such difficult questions! I guess I am hopeful that by unplugging from all the likes, shares, pins, comments and funny animal videos (I miss you already!!!), I will be MORE plugged in to the moment in front of me and the people I love.
Christmas is behind us, and the New Year has begun. School is about to begin, and I will once again have the house to myself. I look forward to time alone to think and learn and grow. As I pursue my purpose, I’m drawn to less. Much less. Less worry, less opinion and less idleness. But of course, my hope is that in the less, I will find MORE.
As always, dear reader, I thank you for the opportunity to share my two cents! Much gratitude and appreciation for all of your kind comments and messages. Happy New Year!