PROVERBS 31: A BIBLICAL CAT CALL

The other day my mom texted me that she needed my muscle at 10:30am on Sunday morning to help my Grandma move.

It just so happened that I was in the presence of a smart a$$ at the time.

“Skipping church to move Grandma?” he teased.

“I just do what I’m told, besides – it’s just a typical sermon on Proverbs 31.”

“All the more reason you need go!” he facetiously taunted.

I immediately let my mom know she had been called out as a bad influence, keeping me from corporate worship, spiritual growth and whatnot… Her reply?

“You can tell what’s-his-face that you can either hear about the Proverbs 31 woman or you can see her in action!”

You gotta love her quick sass! He did.

A couple of weeks have gone by since that little conversation and I really hadn’t thought twice about it. The past month has been a whirlwind of commitments, none atypical to the demands of “normal” adult life. But as the volume of professional i’s that need to dotting increased, the same amount of personal t’s needed to be crossed.  And my perfectionist self started to crumble under the pressure I put on myself to be everything to everyone.

Be the perfect employee – manage my accounts flawlessly, create revenue, think strategically. Be a good daughter – my mom needs me, especially with grandparents health declining! Darn it- I haven’t talked to my dad this week – is he even in town? My brother-in-law is out of town – I should call my sister! Have I encouraged my brother figuring out post-college life? Have I sent a birthday gift to my best friend? Uh-oh…she moved this week – I don’t have the new address and more importantly, forgot to pray for her during that process.  Shoot, did I wish my triathlete friend good luck today? Whew. Remembered. Call Grandpa in NY. Visit Grandpa in Charlotte. Visit Grandma in Charlotte. Go on a date. Invest in date. Pray over date. Be mentally present for the date. Oh – and civic responsibility! Develop an informed opinion on the candidates and on each issue important to our nation. Volunteer at church – small groups start again, be sure to lead. Remember your community, too! Lunch date with an under privileged kid. Don’t forget to pick up a gift to give. And financial responsibility – closing on a condo is a full time job in itself. Get the Financial advisor those papers, talk to realtor, lawyer, insurance broker. And me! Do I look pulled together? Dressed, washed, painted, shined, etc.? Have I worked out today…er, this week?  Is my home clean – laundry done, grocery shopped? And don’t forget your 8am flight tomorrow. Cue guilt: I haven’t sat in quiet adoration and thanksgiving.

At one point, I was so overwhelmed I just got a manicure and called it a day. How do you do it all and accomplish it with a graceful, quiet spirit and not hyperventilate? After all, I want to invest in everyone, everything on the list. It’s just that a day is only 24 hours!

I guess I really SHOULD have listened to that sermon on the Proverbs 31 woman! If she is the pinnacle of a worthy woman, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to revisit her approach rather than try to be all things, to all people in and do it perfectly. Here is what I found…

This lady might take care of the poor and run errands like a champ, but the 21 verses that describe her begin and end with the focus on her spirit. “A wife of noble character – who can find? …a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

She is bold (she approaches each task with independence), and she is also a realist (beauty is fleeting –the worlds standards are not what we are to be pursuing). She isn’t intimidated by the pursuit of accomplishing the tasks before her, but she realizes that she does it on God’s strength, not her own. She doesn’t serve from the bottom of an empty, tired spirit, she serves from the overflow of what the Lord has empowered her to do. Meg: Have you prioritized the Lord today?

She has strong principles (clothed with dignity) and is totally trustworthy (her husband has full confidence in her). She is investing in godly friendships and they approach her to speak life and wisdom into them (faithful instruction is on her tongue). She is not forcing her 2 cents down their throat. Meg: Have you asked for wisdom today in your relationships?

She is a good steward of the time and money God has entrusted to her. She opens her arms to the needy – she has the resources to do so because of her hard work. She is a hard working business woman who never “eats the bread of idleness.”  Not only does she “consider a field and buy it”, she then plants a vineyard with her earnings. What a woman! She is a wine drinker! Meg:  Is anything on the to-do list a waste of resources?

She has no anxiety (Laughs at days to come). Not because she has solved world hunger or baked the perfect apple pie.  But because the people whose care she has been entrusted with have been taken care of.  She has invested a lot of time in responsibilities outside of the home, but she prioritizes and ultimatley praised by her family. The entire town doesn’t “rise up and call her blessed.” It’s not even her church or her friends who say it. It’s her husband and children. That makes me believe that the people closest to her see her spirit in action – a confident, calm, diligent commitment to the Lord. Meg: Do people around you see Christ in you? Have you allowed Him to write your to-do list for you?

We can all have this spirit, single or married.  When I closed the chapter, I had a renewed commitment to being found Spirit filled by anyone who crosses my path. And just maybe a man “respected at the city gate” will be able to say that did find a wife with noble character. One can only hope that I’ll get a ruby out of the deal too.