Friday, October 22, 2010

proverbs 31... not so much

Anytime I even hear someone mention "Proverbs 31" I cringe and try to change the subject and avoid any further conversation.

Now don't get me wrong, I know all Scripture is wonderful. But it's not all easy or pleasant to hear! And this passage is one that, for so long, has been a tough one for me. This is the proverb that describes what we often refer to as the "virtuous woman" or the "Godly wife" or the "woman of noble character." If you've never read it- check it out. If you've read it before, even only once, you know EXACTLY why this is hard to read. The traits and virtues described in this passage are ones that only the greatest of all super-moms or super-wives or super-women can obtain. It's so easy for me to read that and to feel so insecure about my own womanhood or abilities as a wife and (future) mom. I don't wanna hear that stuff because I don't wanna hear all that I'm not!

As a female growing up the church, I have heard MANY bible studies and lessons taught on this passage. Some say that this was merely presented as the "ideal" woman... traits that we all strive to become. Some say it is a combination of virtues from many women. A common agreement, however, has pretty much rested on the fact that a woman, on this side of heaven, will most likely never reach ALL of those traits to their full. Now, I know MANY women who come STINKIN CLOSE!

I am not one of them.

Growing up, I was a tomboy. A big time tom boy! I never was interested in the things most girls were. I hated barbies. I hated wearing dresses. I hated getting my hair done. I hated the color pink. I thought make-up was the most ridiculous thing in the world. You get the point. Transitioning from childhood to adulthood, things were much the same. I finally started accepting a few more "girly" traits, but for the most part, I still wasn't as interested in things most women/ladies/girls/females (I never know what to call us!) are. Things like cooking, decorating, baking, designing, scrapbooking.... those things aren't really my forte.

From the age of 18 until about 21 I was pretty insecure about this. I looked around and all of my best friends were the sweet, soft-spoken, nurturing, emotional type who loved to cook, sew, decorate, etc. THEY MADE ME SICK! I am none of those! And I thought that was a bad thing. I went through a major growing period where I realized that God has designed my personality and my traits VERY specifically to fit my life and his purpose for it. I have realized that this is who I am, and it's exactly who He created me to be, and that's fine!

HOWEVER, that doesn't give me an excuse to neglect the virtues in Proverbs 31 or my duties as a wife. The natural things that come to girls when they get married aren't so natural to me! Cleaning, cooking, decorating, nurturing... not so much. But I'm not just sitting back and saying, "That's just not me." I'm trying to embrace these things a little more each day. I'm cooking as often as I can, I keep our house spotless (that's mostly just my perfectionism), I've tried really hard to make it look as "cute" as I possibly can. I have REALLY been working on my speech: making it more gentle and comforting. I'm slowly but surely becoming more emotional and more okay with showing my emotions. Some of you might look at me and think I have a looooong way to go-- but hey, I'm a work in progress!!

The trait I love the LEAST about the Prov. 31 woman is the whole waking up early thing. I LOVE MY SLEEP! And I try to get AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I absolutely hate waking up early. In college, my earliest classes started at 10:50 every semester. That's how I roll. When I have a day off and no where to be early, I will generally sleep until at least 9:00... but I'll try for 10:30 if I can! I love to sleep in! Sometimes I feel convicted about it, because I know I can be doing so much more with my days, but for the most part I just set that conviction aside and enjoy my sleep. (Pathetic, I know.)

I am off on Fridays. (Thankful to work for a church who sees the value in giving us that day off!) Fridays are usually my days to myself. I never schedule any appointments, counseling sessions, or lunch dates. I like to just chill on these days. I usually sleep in until about 10 and then clean my house and do whatever I need/want to do that day. But today, on this lovely Friday, I had to be at the high school at SIX THIRTY IN THE MORNING to feed breakfast to our football team.

SIX THIRTY ON MY DAY OFF!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?

I thought it was the worst thing ever. I complained all week. I dreaded it. But, I knew I needed to do it. So I was planning to just roll out of bed, go, and then come back and sleep the rest of the morning. Sounds like a good plan, right?

It was. Until my lovely friend, Lynzie Lamb, decided to randomly bring up a topic in a conversation with me last night. And what topic might that be? Oh yes, none other than the lovely PROVERBS 31. And just which section was her primary focus for our conversation? Oh yes, the waking up early part.

Needless to say, I was convicted. I woke up this morning, still with the intention of going back to sleep ASAP. But the more I really WOKE UP and thought about it, at 6:30 am, the more I felt convicted, and the more I wanted to try this whole waking up (and staying up) early thing.

So after we feed all 140 HUGE boys, I left and began a morning of chores, errands, and activities. Can you please listen to what I did this morning:

Starting at 6:30 a.m. I... (drum roll)...
-Served football players breakfast.
-Did our monthly grocery shopping.
-Unloaded the groceries and reorganized the cabinets.
-Did THREE loads of laundry.
-Went to the bank and opened a new savings account.
-Delivered flowers to a friend.
-Cleaned both bathrooms (toilets included).
-Dusted EVERY piece of furniture in my entire house.
-Cleaned the floors.
-Cleaned out the refrigerator.
-Washed the sheets.
-Organized the bills.
-Straightened the "junk".
AND
-Cleaned out my car. 
(It's always clean, so that wasn't a big task, but still.)

ALL before 11:45 a.m. That's right. It was still the A.M. and I was DONE with everything I had planned to do "before the weekend is over."

Seriously-- if you EVER would have told me I would do all that before the morning was over, on a Friday, on my DAY OFF, I would have laughed in your face. But... I tried it. And, I have to admit, I LOVE IT! Now I have the entire day to just eat lunch, rest, catch up on reading that I've been needing to catch up on for a LONG TIME, and take a nap! I can rest! I can enjoy my day! And in a few hours... I'll start preparing supper for tonight. Marty and I have been SO BUSY lately so tonight decided we're just eating at home, renting a movie, and chilling. I can't wait! At least now I can do this with nothing else on my plate and a house that looks and smells good!

So I guess this whole embracing womanhood thing isn't SO bad. Sure, it's tough at times. Sure, it's discouraging at times. Sure, it's totally not natural for me. But it's actually kind of fun. And rewarding. And really, makes me feel so much better about myself.



Today, I am thankful for the challenge of Proverbs 31.
(I can't believe I just said that.)



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1 comment:

Emily said...

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