Where In the World is the Proverbs 31 Woman? Who Can Find Her? by Ronda

I wanted to be Proverbs 31 woman as a newlywed. I was pregnant with our first child by our first anniversary and just so happened to be a first year law student too.  I believed I could do it all then.  I had even studied this passage of scripture early in my marriage so that I would “study to show myself approved”!  New wife, young mother, student/career- isn’t that the Prov 31 woman?  Back then I thought so.  She was the standard bearer for the Christian woman, right?  Isn’t that what we were taught? Fast-forward twenty years.  Well, today, after staring at and discarding a cup of fungus I found in a bedroom in my house. Then doing all that I knew to do not to totally snap out and lose it. True story.  I believe differently.  I know differently.

The Prov 31 woman is the type of woman that is discovered. She is formed.  When we look at the scripture text we find that these were the words taught to King Lemuel by his mother.  In some scripture texts Proverbs 31 reads as a prophecy or oracle.  My layman definition of an oracle is a spoken prophecy.  The Dictionary App definition reads: divine communication or revelation; a person who delivers authoritative wise or highly regarded and influential announcements.  Arguably Proverbs 31 serves as both.  It is directly stated as the words of King Lemuel’s mother who obviously was a person of authority and influence in the king’s life.  Indirectly I would argue it is a divine communication and revelation as well.  Where in the world is the Proverbs 31 Woman?  King Lemuel’s mother said it this way, “Who can find a virtuous woman?”  Who can find her?  The virtuous woman is discovered and formed.

Each woman finds herself in Proverbs 31 at different seasons.  There may be some seasons when more characteristics of this “virtuous” woman is alive and well in each of us; then other seasons when we don’t see ourselves at all in this portion of scripture. Touché`- my cup of fungus moment.  The book of James tells us that the word can be like a mirror.  (James  1:23-24).   We can look into it and see what manner of woman we are.  The word reminds us of whom God created us to be.  The writer of the book of Hebrews describes the Word of God as sharper than a two-edged sword, dividing the spirit from the soul even down to the marrow and the bone. That’s pretty deep (Hebrews 4:12). If we as Christian women are faithful enough to keep looking into the mirror of the Word, regardless of what we see, we will learn that the Word, when mixed with faith, conforms us to the image of Christ.  Proverbs 31 may be a set of guidelines (or prophecy!!) to help us to understand the virtuous woman. She pursues excellence in her marriage, family, business/career and community because she fears the Lord.  Reverence toward a loving God will keep us looking in the mirror with faith believing that His Word is true-we are being changed from glory to glory into the image of Christ.  So if you find yourself someplace like where I found myself, with a cup full of fungus, be encouraged!  This too shall pass. Tomorrow is a new day with new mercy.  If you are full of faith or even not so full of faith go get your mirror, the Word, and remind yourself what manner of woman you truly are-a truly virtuous one that believes (and does) the mirror of the Word. Touché.  The Proverbs 31 woman is found in the Word; she is discovered, formed and then revealed by it. Amen.

Proverbs 31 Woman in 2014 by Barbara

For our first blog post we were asked to write about the Proverbs 31 woman in the year 2014.  I pondered the question, hmm, what does she look like? Not a simple question, at least not for me.  If I am to be completely honest, I cannot relate to the Proverbs 31 woman. For example, she makes her own linen garments and coverings for her bed. When it comes to sewing, I feel victorious  when I sew a button on a garment and it stays intact.  The Proverbs 31 woman gets up in the dead of night to provide food for her family.  Sorry but not this woman. Her children called her “blessed?” Mind you, I have no doubt my only child loves me but she has yet to call me “blessed”.

Women’s lives are so diverse today.  There are women who are married and are serving in ministry with their husbands. Subsequently, you have married women though their husbands may be saved, they are not interested in ministry.  Let us not forget about the women whose husbands are not saved or the single, widowed and divorced women. Therefore, how can Proverbs 31 relate to all women? To answer this question let us take a look at the entire book of Proverbs. What precisely is it?  Proverbs is a book of morals,  it teaches us how to live our lives, how to honor God and mainly tells us that the fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom.  Consequently, you ought not concern yourself with your position in life, be it single, married, widowed or divorced. The Proverbs woman of 2014 is a hard worker and does everything with excellence.  When I say excellence, I do not mean perfect, I mean to the best of her ability.  She is loving, trustworthy, responsible, respectful, generous, loyal, an encourager, patient, faithful, kind, gentle but firm when she needs to be, a great friend, a good listener, a devoted employee or employer but mostly, she is a woman who loves and puts God first in her life. Well what do you know?  The character straits of the Proverbs woman of 2014 is not much different than the Proverbs woman of the Bible.  We can all breathe a little easier now.  Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman has nothing to do with making our own linens, Praise God!  For me, it means putting the Lord first and He will make us the women we are destined to be.

Proverbs 31 Woman in 2014 by Andrea

What it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman in 2014.
I never would have thought of myself as the Proverbs 31 woman if I had not woke up in on the morning after Peg had asked me to join this group and
remembered that 2014 is 31 years since I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. Thirty one years ago, I could mess up anything and anyone who loved me enough
to stay with me. I was convinced I was not lovable and would defend my heart and ego with all that I had bc it was all I knew. At 28 I was a committed atheist who
was desperately hurting and unwilling to let anyone know. Too practical to believe in a god and too cynical to believe any of those Christians who I only saw as
hypocrites. They were saying one thing and doing another. I heard them say, feed the poor while I saw the church buying stained glass windows. Evolution had
bewitched me and had been impressed on to me
Looking outside one autumn day and seeing the flowers I’d planted, I thought, “there must be a god”. Its all so beautiful and orderly this world couldn’t have
happened by accident. I said, you know god if your real I do want to know you, but don’t send any of those fools to my door and don’t come stand in my kitchen. I’ll
think I had a hallucination. Don’t do some kind of miracle bc a week later I’ll just rationalize it away. What ever you do with me God it will have to be on the inside
out. I just can’t believe in you. BUT if your real, I’D THINK YOU’D WANT MY MOUTH ON YOUR SIDE!!! Away I went to finish cleaning the house. A few days later one
of those awful shows I would never have watched was on – the 700 Club. A man was saying, if you can’t believe in God – its ok – tell Him. So I figured ok, I said God
I can’t believe in you. Ben Kinchlow said now say this prayer… I didn’t know what prayer he was talking about but I’d started the conversation so I said, Jesus I
repent of my sins, come into my heart and be Lord of my life…. amen. At the end of amen… as I spoke the ‘n’…. I was on the floor crying, I knew every time I had
spoken to God and He had spoken to me, I knew that not only was there a God, but He was Jesus Christ. Every time I think of that moment I am filled with awe at a
God who would bother to fill me with the knowledge of Himself. Me who only used Jesus as a cuss word. Me who mocked Christians as people who needed a crutch. I
mention this because it is the perspective I come with as a Proverbs 31 woman in 2014. I know the power of Jesus to transform lives, to impart to us a knowledge
outside of ourselves, to reveal Himself to us and to conform us into His image.
I would say to any woman who thinks they are unworthy of being called a Proverbs 31 woman, that it is not our view of ourselves that is important. It is how
Christ views us. With our faces turned toward Him, at times we will fall and we will stumble, often others will be hurt in the process. Yet if our faces are turned
toward Him and we are acting in faith, with Christ as our center, He truly will turn All things together for our good. Faith is a verb, it is active and it is powerful.
Heb11:1 now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I could not have seen 31 years ago the woman I am today. God saw it. I
saw a foul mouthed woman, angry and unforgiving. Smoking four packs of cigarettes a day, unable to control my temper and unable to trust anyone. God said, “it is
finished”. The work He Himself had accomplished on the cross was already done. I was yet to learn many things about the importance of those words “it is done”. I
still have much to learn, but the joy is in the journey.
Today my house is peaceful, I am still imperfect. I’ve learned that there is fun in dysFUNctional. I can laugh at myself. Rarely do I laugh at others. Quick to
forgive, quick to apologize and yes – still quick to anger but it is a fast flame, blown out like a match. Some of who I am is in my DNA, more of who I am is in Him. I
still think the church is full of hypocrites. We are still saying one thing and doing another. Still investing in stained glass windows. The apostle Paul understood, as he
wrote in Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Yet, it is not I who has overcome it is He. I
no longer have a profane mouth, smoke, do drugs and most of the carnal issues have past… getting old is helpful too.
The scriptures tell us that without holiness no man will see God. I believe that, I also believe that He is our holiness. There is still no good thing in me except
Jesus. I was saved the first day I asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior, I will never be more saved then that. I will have more joy, more sorrow, more scars and there
are consequences for not following after Christ. God has said, He will not be mocked. His grace is given in abundance but there is one ‘condition’ because faith
without works is dead.…. the work of God is to believe. We must be faith-ing in Him. As we do that He changes the old carnal desires to new spiritual strengths. For
some of us it is an easy transition, for others “not so much”. There are many pitfalls in this Christian walk, there are false teachings, false apostles and our own
rebelliousness. None of them are so big Christ can not deal with them. Romans 8: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor
demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate
us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Salvation is not a flower whose petals we pull, I’m saved today, not saved today… salvation is not
dependent on us, our denomination or our theology. It is a promise from Jesus, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37. I think if we choose
sin over righteousness, eventually we will walk away. Our consciences seared. If we continue trusting Christ for our salvation He has taught us to forgive others
seventy times seven. A term which at that time implied infinity. Then that is how many times He will for give us.
The Proverbs 31 woman was a woman who loved God, she took great care of her family. She worked and she ran a household and labored outside of the home.
She could be a strong leader and was not afraid to tell those who worked for her, what to do. She demanded quality from them and from the goods she bought and
sold. She commanded respect. She had wisdom and her beauty was an inner beauty and outer strength. The original Hebrew speaks of someone who is valiant. She
was trust worthy and not afraid to work hard and to turn a profit. Her husband had good reason to be proud of her. Nowhere in Proverbs 31 is a woman commanded
to be submissive, needy or unable to make decisions on her own. It appears she was physically, mentally and emotionally strong and independent. Proverbs 31
begins by instructing a man to be sober, kind, generous, accountable and virtuous. This is advice from a wise mother to her son and a wise word for today it is…..
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
There was a time when women were subordinate to men, it was more then cultural. It was ingrained in the male identity. The idea that a woman could possibly
be a man’s equal was unimaginable. When men had to hunt and fight to survive, women were weak and often a burden. Male children would work the fields and hunt
while women would do servile tasks. The fact that women had been used as judges in the Old Testament and God never demeaned or degraded women is sometimes
forgotten. When Jesus spoke to women, He was respectful and in all areas He lifted their position up as an equal in the ‘kingdom of God’. A revolutionary thought. My
belief is that the scriptures were not stronger about how women should be treated, because it would have inhibited Patriarchal societies from receiving the gospel. If
men thought they would have to treat their wives as more then property, many would have rejected the gospel and not allowed their wives to hear it. As it was it was
an easy fit for men to ask Jesus to be Lord and for them to continue to be head over their wives. As they submitted to Jesus as Lord, society was being changed.
Women once used and abused were becoming seen as valued for their virtue, their work ethic and their intelligence. They could own property and businesses.
Although, the scriptures about women submitting were emphasized, the scriptures about submitting one to another were too often neglected.
Pagan societies used women as sexual objects and the property of their fathers or husbands. They were bought and sold through dowries and exchanges for
goods. Pagan priestesses were most often prostitutes for whatever god they served.
I bring this up because in 2014 telling women they must submit is now the very thing that inhibits many from hearing the gospel. Although, women without
Christ have become not much better then in pagan societies. Women can legally make a living, an important point in civilized society but far too many are cast off as
objects for male pleasure, left as single mothers and heads of households. The honor afforded them in scripture is fleeting if scripture is not the basis for their
relationships.
I would challenge the church in 2014 to honor woman as Jesus did and to advance the message that the unbelieving world has done more to degrade women
then at any other time in history. Women’s rights groups have left them with little options to either abort their unborn children or be saddled with the responsibility
alone. Men have the option of leaving with little responsibility but a monthly stipend. Marriage once an honored commitment is now a 50-50 shot at stability. Porn,
prostitution, sexual diseases and their consequences, sterility and possibly death are commonplace. The chaste women is considered a neanderthal even within the
church. Teen women are mocked for committing to abstinence. Adults having chosen to not only teach them all about sex, they are encouraged by their peers to do
likewise. Leaving little or no sense of propriety. We should not wonder why teenagers will send pictures of their own bodies to friends, sexting for fun and games.
Thus the only equality is the option to have sex or to be alone. For males the pressure to be sexually active is even greater. The consequences often just as damning.
The church of Jesus Christ must be a safe place for men and women to be encouraged to be all that Christ calls them to be, that includes ministers, teachers,
evangelists and apostles. His gifts are for all, His mercy is for everyone. Jesus has no biases and is not a ‘respecter of persons’ that He would favor one group or
gender over another. We must not impede the work of Christ in favor of our preferred doctrines. I would also concede that in some countries, cultures, there is a
place for not confronting cultural biases if it would hinder the spread of the gospel. I speak specifically today of the Middle East; where the rights of women are
virtually nonexistent. Our obligation is to further the gospel, not to further our own personal interpretation of that gospel. I would end with a quote of unknown
origin….”in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity”.
May God richly bless you with all wisdom and compassion for His beloved… you. God bless, andrea

The Proverbs 31 Woman of 2014 by Peg

The Wife of Noble Character

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.  She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up while it is still night, she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.  In her hand she holds a distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.  When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  She makes coverings for her bed, she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.  She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.  She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instructions is on her tongue.  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 praises her:  “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”  Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”  Prov. 31:10-31

Years ago, my husband and I attended a home meeting that had a very diverse group of people come, although not always the same people.  One evening a new gentleman came in and joined the meeting.  This was a serious prayer meeting, without a lot of superfluous chatter, and the 20 or so people in attendance  got right down to business, praying not only for the needs of others, but more purposefully for a deeper walk and relationship with God.  It was a great time to spend in the presence of God, and always uplifting and refreshing.

After a time of worship and prayer, the new gentleman attendee looked right at me and said, “Mrs. Gilbert, I believe the Lord has shown me that you are a true Proverbs 31 woman!”.  ( Mrs. Gilbert?!? wow!  I wasn’t used to having another adult call me that–I’ve always just been Peg, or Peggy, or to one really sweet 90 year old gentleman in church who was hard of hearing:, “Betty”.  I did tell him once that my name was Peggy, but he said, “well, you look like a Betty to me:, so, Betty it was) Sorry, I digress.  Anyway, that’s it, that’s all he said.  Now, I had read Prov. 31 multiple times, but I can’t say I ever really studied it.  Every time I read it I would just think “well, this sure isn’t me, and thank you Lord that I live now and not when this was written!”  So when this gentleman spoke these words, I found myself fighting to control not only the smirk I felt overtaking my face, but my tongue (I have always been pretty quick-witted).  As I looked around the gathered group, I could see some of the ladies rolling their eyes as if to say “huh??  Peg?!?  Boy, did he get that wrong!”.  My husband, however, was nodding in agreement with the man. Seriously, Jim was nodding in agreement.  I figured he was nodding because he thought the poor soul was nuts, or because he figured he’d better nod in the affirmative to make it look good.  I decided, though, that I needed to go re-read this, and do some research to see who the heck  that delusional man thought I really was.

After reading it again several times, I thought “nope. Just not seeing it”.  But, being stubborn and determined, I was going to dissect it until I could figure out how to be  the perfect Prov. 31 woman!  So, line by line, I looked for me:

  • Worth more than rubies”  My first reaction was: “Darn  straight I am!” (ahem), but, in all honesty, while one might consider me a diamond in the rough,  I have always thought I was fairly worthless, so no.  No. this doesn’t fit
  • Husband has full confidence”  ok, yeah, I guess he does.  He just likes to come home from work and know everything is handled, and I handle it, so, good to go there!  But, maybe on second thought, I don’t handle things well, and I would think being able to handle all things well is a pre-requisite, so, nope, this doesn’t fit me either. sigh…
  • Brings him good, not harm…”  Well, I haven’t killed him in his sleep yet, so I guess it’s all good.
  • Like a merchant bringing food from afar.”  We lived 8 miles from the nearest grocery store at that time, so I guess 8 miles is “afar”, right?
  • Gets up at night and provides food for her family, etc…”  Well, I hadn’t slept the entire night since # 1 was born, but I can’t say I got up to provide food for them.  They were all way past bottle stage, so while I was up, they were not.  Geez, Louise! Another failure!
  • Portions for her female servants.”  Yeah, right—I was the female servant, and I certainly did feed myself, but I don’t think serving oneself is what God had in mind.  oh, man, what a loser I am!
  • “Works vigorously, strong arms, lamp doesn’t go out“…  Hmmm..well, I got done what I had to (throwing everything into a closet and quick slamming the door, and then putting Pine Sol in the toilet so the house smelled like I cleaned all day counts as vigorous work, right?).  My arms are hefty and waddle, but I can manage to pick up my cup of coffee without spilling it, anyway.  And yes, there is always a night light on so if one of them has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night they won’t wake me up because they are scared of the dark.  ok.  again, too self serving, so I can’t own this either.
  • Profitable trading“.  Nope, not me.  I don’t trade.  Although for a time there I really liked buying things on the E-Bay.
  • “Holding a distaff and holding the spindle with my fingers”.  I have no idea what that means, but I can steer the car with my knee while brushing my hair and putting on mascara, so maybe that will do.
  • “Extends her hands to the needy and helps the poor“.  Yep—I give to Goodwill whenever I can, and dear Lord, everybody in the family and our circles of friends who has needed a place to stay has lived with us at one time or another, so man oh man, I have got this one down!! woo hoo!  I’m getting there!
  • “No fear for the household”.  Really?  Is there ever a day that has gone by since giving birth that my heart wasn’t in my throat if they were out of my sight for a minute?  Totally fail this one.  I battle fear for them every day.  Sigh….
  • Makes coverings for the bed“.  Well, I did make a bedspread once for my daughter’s room, so yep—that’s me! Although I don’t actually make the beds–unless closing the bedroom doors so no one can see them counts as “covering” them.
  • “Clothed in fine linen and purple“.  hmmm…I would imagine that a woman of that era clothed in fine linen and purple was kind of like June Cleaver vacuuming in a dress, heels and pearls.  Nah..not me,  I am strictly a jeans and sneakers kind of gal.
  • Husband respected at the city gate“.  Well, everyone loves Jim and respects him, but I don’t have anything to do with it.  In fact, I’m quite sure most people pity him for getting me as a wife.  He could have done better, really.
  • Speaks with wisdom; faithful instructions” …   Well, if wisdom and sarcasm are the same thing, then ok.  And if “I swear by all that is holy if you kids don’t get in here this minute and clean up I’m going to throw out everything you own” counts as faithful instructions, then I guess, maybe, ok.
  • Watches the affairs of her household and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness“.  um,,er..well. Honestly, in those days, I loved some idle time when I could sit and watch the affairs of General Hospital and overload on carbs, so no, no way on this one!
  • Her children arise and call her blessed“.  ummm…snicker..giggle..tee hee hee…snort…gufaw…snort… ..bwaaahahahahahahah.  oh my…I was doing this little study during the teenage years.  I hardly think “blessed” is what they were calling me.

ok, so I was a total failure.  My house was clean, but clutter didn’t bother me much in those days, so it was always a little untidy.  Packing lunch for the kids?  Well, I would just grab a yogurt, an apple and some peanut butter crackers and a tastykake and give them milk money and send them on their way.  Our son was ok with it, because he said everyone always wanted to trade with him since his whole lunch consisted of snacks.  But my daughter told me once that she was jealous of other kids’ lunches.  One girl came to school everyday with a thermos of home made soup and a sandwich, and her mom cut the sandwich into shapes like hearts and would write little “miss you” notes on her napkins.  (I just figured that mom was doing crack or something and had all kinds of unnatural energy to use up.  I mean, really, who does that?) I have always been a really good cook, though, so I thought I was good there because I made great dinners every night from scratch.  Until some church lady super mom told me I was poisoning them with my carb-laden, fat-laden Italian cooking and I should be making my own granola and stuff and feed them raw stuff and no more meatballs and sausage.  Heap on the guilt. And, I worked.  Part time in the early years, and then full time when the oldest was about 15.  So I missed some of the sports and after school activities.  yup. Total failure.  That was me. It was a wonder I hadn’t put them all into diabetic comas with my cooking and snack lunches.

So I tried to change my ways and become the perfect little wifey and super mom that I thought would make me fit the mold. I started making the beds and doing Suzie homemaker tasks. I made vegetable soup and bought a thermos and packed PB & J sandwiches. I tried to find recipes for home made granola (did you ever try to find recipes for that kind of stuff before we all had computers and internet?)  I subscribed to Mother Earth News and seriously tried to talk myself into making a compost heap.  That concept only lasted until I realized that critters like rats love compost heaps, so I never even started it.   I turned off the General Hospital (going into Luke and Laura withdrawal), and tried to stop poisoning them with my Italian cooking.  Yep, I was on a roll!  I still worked outside the home, but we really needed the income to pay the bills, so that’s the way it was.

Child #1 complained that the soup got cold in the thermos and the PB & J got mushy.  Child # 2 was upset because he no longer had any lunch time trading power.  Child # 3 said the sheets were “too tight” since I started actually making the beds and not just pulling up the covers. Jim thought I was crazy.  It seems that he never wanted a “yes” woman, a woman who hung on his every word and waited on him hand and foot.  He couldn’t believe it when I got up with him and packed his lunch, but he didn’t like that I wrapped his sandwich in plastic wrap instead of waxed paper.  I upset his morning routine. He was used to having “alone” time at 6:00 a.m.  I thought he was going to have a heart attack when I started doing his laundry again (I hadn’t done his laundry for about 15 years [a story for another time], and when I started doing it again he started complaining that his clothes were too soft because I used fabric softener.  Seriously?!?!  I am trying to be a Proverbs wife here, buddy!  Geez!!!!  Now I have to repent again for evil thoughts!  Man, I missed the General Hospital and idle carbs!! The kids didn’t seem to like me any better, either.  So, God, since I’m such a failure, I’ll just go back to to the way it was and repent morning, noon and night.  Which is exactly what I did. My efforts at super woman lasted about a week.

The years went on, the kids grew up and survived me as their mother.  Jim is still happily doing his own scratchy laundry, and I am now looking at the Proverbs 31 woman through older, wiser eyes.  You see, there is the final verse that I always seemed to ignore: ” Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”    Ahhhh.  I see it now.  It doesn’t matter what era of mankind you live in, 400 B.C. or 2014 A.D.  The Proverbs 31 woman is summed up as one who fears the Lord.  You see, it’s not our works that make us pleasing, but the fear (love, reverence) of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, our desire to please Him, and allow Him to mold us, that will make us the Prov. 31 woman.  This is what will make our husband praise us, our children honor us, and those at the “city gate”–those that don’t know the Lord, will want to have what we have.  As we submit to the mighty Hand of God in our lives, we reflect Christ, and that is the secret!  It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom, a working mother, a single mom, and childless wife or a single woman. It doesn’t matter if you pack snacks and make beds.  It matters that you try to be the best “you” that you are, and build your relationship with God. You will be a Proverbs 31 woman when you let go and let God lead and guide you. The only way to become that woman, is to yield to Him, and let Him clothe you in His righteousness. I can really get into a very deep study about this, but that is for another time.

I am humbled to know that I am a work in progress, being honed by the refiner’s fire. I love my husband and I do honor him.  I know how blessed I am to have him.  I especially appreciate how he has always loved me just as I am: sarcastic wit, unmade beds and all.  I look back on my life and see many things I could have handled differently and better, especially where the children are concerned, but I can honestly say that I tried my best, and all three of them are pretty amazing people.   I count it all as part of the learning process, and accept that fact that perfection is not possible, but the process of being perfected is pretty awesome!  So yes. Yes. I am that woman, in 2014!

I am reminded of of one of my very favorite verses: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time”. (1Peter5:6)