Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Becoming the Proverbs 31 Woman

Today we were off to a great start: Showered, Dressed, Devotional time!  Beds made, Dishes done, Both bathrooms cleaned, Laundry washed, folded and put away, Floors vacuumed and swept, Living room dusted!  Sight Words and spelling flashcards done, Play-dough and Coloring time WITH the kids!

Sparkling Clean!!

Wow!  All that accomplished before rest time!  I can’t believe how much we are getting done with this new purpose driven day!

Beyond having a few great days with the kids and getting a TON accomplished in the house, the Lord had more revelation in store for me as he nudged me to re-read Proverbs 31.  

There is much to admire about the Proverbs 31 woman.  She is strong, dedicated, resourceful, tireless, generous, dignified, Godly, respectful, loving, and wise.  This is who I aspire to be as a woman – a mom and a wife.  I realize that I cannot live up to this picture of a woman outside of the Lords strength, but I also realize that God has a desire for me to work diligently toward this goal.  I believe that my being “Proverbs-31-like” is God’s best for my husband and children.  That is a sobering thought, and at the same time – exciting!  I know that with the Sprit of Christ living in me, I can have victory in motherhood/wifehood each and every day!

A while ago I realized that for me the Proverbs 31 woman was much easier to aspire to before children were part of the equation.   It is difficult to be this woman considering what I bring to the table.  I come from a broken home.  My parents divorced the summer after second grade, but their marriage was over before then.  Afterward my siblings and I were raised in poverty.  My father wasn’t there financially or emotionally when I was growing up.  This left my mother to be responsible for being both mother and father – nurturer and protector.  There is so much I never learned because my father was not there to fill his God-given roll in my home and in my life.  I am certain that at this time I don’t even know what many of those lessons are.  There is a flip side to that coin though.  At one point, in the scope of struggling to co-parenting with my husband, I realized that there was so much I did learn as a result of the way things were.  For example, being raised by a strong single mom, I learned that children don’t really need a dad.  I learned that moms are superior parents.  I learned that mothers know best.  I learned that fathers can’t be trusted.  The list of what I learned goes on… Of course no one expressly taught me these lessons, but like it or not we learn from life’s lessons both positive and negative.  As one of my favorite songs puts it; “We are made of love and all the beauty stemming from it.  We are made of love and every fracture caused by the lack of it.”

We are made of love, And all the beauty stemming from it.
We are made of love,  And every fracture caused by the lack of it.
               "Needle and Thread" by; Sleeping at Last

There was a time about a 1.5 years ago that I realized a little bit about how damaged this society of fatherless children really is.  I realized that while many parents are dedicating/giving their children to God – many of us fatherless moms need to give our children to their fathers – and we just don’t know how.  I began hunting for resources on the difficulty for women from divorced families to allow their husbands to parent – essentially to trust them.  I was surprised to have found nothing, but thankfully the Lord was leading me personally through the matter.  Since then Shawn and I have worked hard to correct some of the seriously wrong lessons that we accidentally taught our children.  Without realizing it, and in part thanks to our particular circumstances (having very specific health needs), our children learned that “mommy is the boss; mommy knows best; mommy has the final say…”  Unfortunately the end result was a lack of respect for daddy. 

I can’t say that we are through this valley yet.  The kids are still relearning a lot about a Godly family structure.  Thankfully the Lord began teaching us this lesson while they were still young enough to really reap the benefit of us figuring out how to “order” our family the way God designed it.  It has been far from easy for me to let go of control, allow Shawn to do things “his way,” discipline myself to act and speak respectfully to him – when obviously I know best! Ha!  I am still working on these things – but the Holy Spirit of the Loving God lives and breathes in me!!!

Proof of the progress came in a conversation with my almost four year old daughter today.
Me: "M, what did I say?"
M: "Yes."
Me: "And who is the boss?"
M: "Daddy." (serious voice)
I thank the Lord for his tireless pursuit of us – even when we mess up.  That is one thing I really missed from my earthly father – but my heavenly father - he is perfect.

It is not easy to live up to the Proverbs 31 woman.  Actually it is impossible.  No matter though – because I don’t have to do it on my own.  I am really blessed to say that with reignited desire I am allowing the Lord to order my days, my actions, my thoughts and even my emotions to his plans.  I have this sneaking suspicion that as I succeed in doing that he will succeed in making me look more and more like her each day!


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