Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Quest || pt 4

It has been a while since I have posted about my quest to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. I will admit that I have not done so well at being like Miss 31. But that is what grace is for, right? :) When we are weak, then we are strong because we realize that it isn't US achieving great things in our own strength, it's God working IN us. One step at a time. So let's plunge into part four!

Proverbs 31:13
"She seeketh wool, and flax,
and worketh willingly with her hands."
"She seeketh wool, and flax...."

Pretty much everyone knows what wool is. It is obtained from sheep and other animals and is a soft material that does a very good job at keeping one warm! It is elastic, and it holds in moisture. Flax is something I had never heard of prior to Proverbs 31. After looking it up, I discovered that Flax is an annual plant native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Flax is grown both for its seeds and for its fiber. Various parts of the plant have been used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets, hair gels, and soap! It is also used as an edible oil, as a nutritional supplement.

Hmmm.... That is interesting.

So Miss 31 seeks after wool and flax. What does that mean to us? Well, to me, I see Miss 31 out in the yard shearing sheep, then taking the wool and making coats, blankets, and soft, warm mats for their cold floors. I can see her working to make sure her home and family are clothed and cozy. Then I see her out in the garden gathering up the flax and using it make fabric and medicines and also using its nutrition to feed her family in a healthy way.

I know as a mommy, I want my home and family clothed and warm. I want to make sure my son has a coat when we go out into the winter weather. Every night before I climb in bed, I check on him and make sure he is covered up in his crib. Though we have no sheep to shear and live in a different time, we can still do as Miss 31 and seek after "wool." We can tirelessly work to clothe our children, our husbands, and ourselves.

Also as a wife and mother, I want my son healthy. I want my husband healthy. I want myself to be healthy! Several years ago, before I married, my family and I ate rather unhealthy. It was no big deal to have chips and sodas and candy in the house. As a result, though I'm sure none of us put two and two together at the time, several of us were prone to catching every little illness that came around. I was one of them. It didn't take much for me to get sick. I had several colds a year. I would feel sluggish easily. I was tired all the time and was a victim of any passing stomach virus that came through our community. Then my parents began heavily researching health and nutrition. After that, they bought a juicer and began juicing fruits and vegetables. Before, I would turn my nose at pretty much any veggie. I hated them! Fruits were great, but I would usually pursue chocolate over an apple any day. But we began to juice vegetables and fruits and I began to feel better. Then I started craving veggie-fruit concoctions. I would throw a banana, a strawberry, spinach, carrots, and kale into a juicer and blender and drink to my hearts' content. I would research healthy herbs and foods and find a way to ingest them into my body. As a result, I began to feel better. Now, I rarely get sick and when I eat the amount of junk food or candy that I used to, I feel ill! As the keeper of my home, I want to pursue healthy habits and, I believe, that is one of the many things Proverbs 31:13 is referring to.

"...and worketh willingly with her hands." 

Oh dear. Must I? :)

* Worketh - maintain; accomplish

* Willingly
- joy; earnest

If you will be completely honest with yourself and the Lord, you will most likely admit to having plenty of days when you just want to be lazy. Especially any of you women who have been pregnant and who have small children. You just want a day when you can to sprawl out on the couch and not do a thing. Miss 31 doesn't do that. (Isn't that intimidating?) Though I'm sure she wouldn't object to sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and a book from time to time, she is not idle with her time. She is productive. She is a hard worker. She prioritizes. She accomplishes things. She gets her "To Do" list done. She doesn't dilly-dally or dawdle. And she does those things WILLINGLY. She works earnestly and with joy. She doesn't complain or whine about her work, she enjoys serving her home and family. How inspiring! I'm sure she does what Snow White sang about, and "whistles" as she works!

MY prayer as I continue to study the attributes of Miss 31, is that I won't think so much about perfection (which is what I tend to lean toward when reading Proverbs 31), but that I will dwell on Miss 31 as a whole. I don't need to consume myself with every little detail of Miss 31 (i.e. She seeketh wool? Okay, I need go buy some sheep, right now! Where's the checkbook? Dear husband, can you put a fense in the backyard?). Rather, I need to dwell on her goals and her character and do my best to accomplish the same things in MY life (i.e. She seeketh flax? Okay, I'm tossing that bag of Doritos in the pantry and I should probably go buy some carrots...). Think how YOU can best apply her traits to YOUR life. And above all, work willingly. Don't bemoan your wonderful calling as a wife and mother. Rejoice as you scrub that pile of dishes. Hum a hymn or praise song as you fold the mountain of laundry. Smile at your baby as you change that smelly diaper and wipe the snot from their nose. Be kind to your husband as you pick up his dirty socks....again....and clean his facial hairs from the sink. Rest assured, I'm in training along with you. But, through His grace, we can do the impossible. :)
Proverbs 31:13
"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands."


Lisa said...

Amen! Pass the word around! :)

Krystina said...

We juice vegetables too! Predominantly carrots, which is why my family are all strangely orange tinted... I like to say it's our deep Protestant heritage coming out. ;-)

Flax is good... apparently it helps one lose weight, AND gain if it one needs it, and it's good for hair... and for horses. We used to feed it to our horses all the time. Plus it makes good crusts for our raw fruit pies, and we also use it as an egg replacer (ground and mixed with water) in our baking. It's very versatile...



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