In Part 1 we did a basic overview of the verse, and in Part 2 we covered points 1 and 2.
Now, we continue delving into what it means to be a ‘Proverbs 31 Woman’.
The third insight: ’She keeps herself busy: making wool and linen cloth.’ speaks to me about laziness. She is industrious, and helps to produce for the family. She doesn’t loaf around, doing nothing, but is always productively busy (not to be confused with worldly busyness of running around, having a loooooong to-do list and not really getting much of substance done). I don’t feel like I need to go out and make my own wool and cloth, since those are easily bought. But I do believe I should appreciate where things come from and try and buy (and where possible, make) the best we can afford for my family (which definitely includes these supplements, but that’s a post for another day 😉 )
‘She brings food from afar (like merchant ships)’, the fourth insight, tells me that she sometimes goes out of her way to give them this. This could mean going to markets, driving to a different store, buying from different places or even producing that food herself (‘going out of her way’ in a more indirect sense by growing it herself).
‘She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and tell her servants what to do’, the fifth insight, tells me, once again, that she is not lazy. She gets up early, and doesn’t make a habit of ‘sleeping in’. Look, I love a Saturday morning sleep-in as much as the next person (well, with a toddler that means to ‘sleep’ till 05:00 and try to sleep through another 2 hours of Jake and the Neverland Pirates!) but I don’t do that every day. I find that when I start my day at 06:00, I get a lot more done. I’m in a better head-space when I wake in the calm of early-morning darkness. It gives me a slower beginning to the day, setting a less frantic mood for the rest of the day. I also think the ‘getting up before daylight to prepare food’ speaks more of a way of cooking in today’s time: turning back to slow food, ferments, sourdoughs and things that need soaking. Getting those things going early sets you up for success later. Feeding the sourdough starter early in the morning, for example, ensures that you can bake bread in the early afternoon. Soaking your grains early will ensure that they’re ready to cook for supper. Getting the crockpot going early means tender meat for supper. See what I mean? I really don’t mean grow, harvest and grind your own grain (well, unless you really want to!). To me, this just means being more intentional with my food preparation (which I really need to be, because I don’t naturally think about these things! Thank God for my husband!)
The piece about ‘telling her servants what to do’, to me, means delegating certain things. I like having things done my way. But I’ve had to accept that I simply can’t do everything myself. My hubby cooks most nights (thank goodness!), my eldest folds her own washing and helps around the house (the floors are usually not perfectly mopped, but at least it’s done!) and even the toddler ‘helps’ around the house by cleaning spills and ‘helping’ mommy ‘fold’ the laundry! It’s not easy, but I’ve learnt to let go. Harmony in the house is worth far more to me than perfection, and the best way to achieve this is by working together as a team to ensure an efficiently running household.
How do you work together as a family to ensure that things run smoothly?