This week, we are continuing to read The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue at a Time by Courtney Joseph at Women Living Well. If you’re just joining us, during the month of April we’ll be reading 6 sections (only 1-2 pages each) every week.
The Proverbs 31 Woman Rises Very Early
I’ll be the first to admit, I am NOT very good at rising early. There was a period in my life when I was great at this – I’d wake up most mornings around 6:30 and jump right into my morning Bible study. That is just not the case for me in this season of my life. However, I can speak from past experience and say the Courtney’s reasons for rising early are absolutely true. If you struggle to make time for God in your daily routine, I would highly recommend giving this a try. For me the bottom line is being intentional – as long as I am able to make time for God and accomplish my goals for the day, I’m going to continue to sleep in until 7:00 or 7:30.
Do You Have a Dream?
By reading this right now, you’re experiencing my dream. We may be a small group of ladies right now (and I’m thankful for each and every one of you!) but I have big dreams for what this book club can be in the future!! God willing, I know I will get there, but I also know it will take a lot of hard work. So what are your dreams? I’d love to hear about them! If there is something that you’re passionate about, I highly recommend going through the steps that are laid out in this section of our book: Consider, Buy, Plant. Realizing a dream is rarely easy, but as with everything else in life – if it’s God’s will, He will make a way!
Vigorously Clean Your Home
Anyone who has ever had an intense all-day-long cleaning spree knows how exhausting it can be! So it’s really no surprise that the Proverbs 31 Woman was physically fit. Courtney has found some interesting alternatives to traditional workouts that involve cleaning our home at the same time – who doesn’t love multitasking!! I don’t think I’ll be carrying my laundry basket up and down the steps for exercise any time soon, but this does give me some inspiration to tackle my never clean floors.
Burning the Midnight Oil
I am so glad that Courtney clarifies something for me in this section – “Burning the night oil does not mean we stay up until after midnight working.” For those of you who prefer to work at night and maybe even get a late-night burst of energy, Go for it! That’s simply not me. I’m lucky to still be awake at 11:00 PM. Our “night oil time” starts when the sun goes down and we have to turn on our lights, which can be as early as 5:00 PM.
I also like that she addresses the issue of technology. How many of you are like me and don’t go to sleep when you get into bed? I have a very bad habit of checking Facebook one last time, reading emails, and sometimes even getting on Pinterest and wasting an hour that I could be sleeping if I would just turn off my brain and my phone. The Proverbs 31 Woman is not a time waster – she was not staying up late just for the sake of staying up late, she was working right up until the time that she finally let her night oil go out. I’m sure that when her head hit the pillows at night she had no trouble falling asleep since she had been hard at work all day long. I certainly can’t say that about myself most days, can you?
Mundane Tasks are a Hidden Treasure
Does anyone else find that statement hard to believe? Courtney says that “Mundane tasks are the hidden treasure to creating a home that is a haven.” Do you have a home that feels like a haven? No, I don’t either. But do you want to have a home that feels like a haven? I think we can all answer yes to that, and maybe this verse holds the key.
When I think of a home that is a haven, I immediately think of my mother-in-law’s house. When we come to visit (I’m actually writing this post from her house), we immediately feel welcome and at home. She has fresh sheets on the bed for us, some of our favorite foods in the fridge, and the house is spotless – although I don’t think that’s limited to when we come to visit. I know that she doesn’t enjoy cleaning, but she does it without complaining because she enjoys having a home that is a haven to everyone that walks in the door. I strive to be more like the Proverbs 31 Woman (and my mother-in-law) in this respect.
P.S. Your Hands are Beautiful
The key to this is not about whether YOU think your hands are beautiful, but whether GOD thinks your hands are beautiful. Outer beauty is fleeting, but if we judge the beauty of our hands based on the lives that they have touched, it will shine a new light on a part of your body that you probably haven’t considered to be beautiful before. There is a series of questions in this section, but three of them particularly stood out to me:
Am I working faithfully with my hands in my daily life as an act of worship to my Lord?
Am I bringing glory to my Lord with the work of my hands?
Would God think that my hands are beautiful?
Those are challenging and convicting questions for me. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at my daily chores as an act of worship, but if I am serving my husband, I am serving my Lord as well. Maybe having an attitude of serving God with our mundane tasks will also help to make them seem less meaningless.
Your challenge for this week:
I talked a little this week about time wasters. I have found that being conscious of the unnecessary things that take up large chunks of my time has helped me to limit my time spent on them and allowed me to use that time in a more productive way. One example of something that I have cut out of my daily life is games on my phone. I’m sure many people can relate to having once been addicted to Candy Crush or some such thing, but did you ever stop to think about how much time out of your day that can actually take up? It’s really quite amazing how much time you can give up to something meaningless without even realizing it! Maybe for you that time waster is Pinterest, Facebook, or even a TV show. All of these things are fine in moderation, but when allowed to get out of hand they can really hurt your productivity and time with family. So your challenge for this week is to identify your big time waster(s) and work to correct it. That may mean moderating your time or eliminating something altogether – prayerfully consider what is right for YOU.