Are You a Proverbs 31 Woman?

Do you ever read about the Proverbs 31 woman and think, Why can’t I be like her?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve found life to feel quite defeating lately. If I were to judge or evaluate my worth purely on circumstances regarding our family—relationships, choices, words spoken, and so much more … I would surely not find my value or worth to be worth much at all. Anyone else able to relate?

I am even told on a regular basis things that devalue who I am, what I pour my heart into everyday, and what I perceive to be one of my God-given purposes in this life.

Is anyone else with me? Life is HARD. Do you ever feel like you are always climbing UP, only to never find that sweet spot of conquering the climb?

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I know, people reading are surely thinking, She has it all. What is her problem? She doesn’t have to worry like so many mothers around the world about where her children’s next meal will come from. Or if they will be safe and warm while they sleep that night.

That is true. I don’t have to worry about our next meal or safe shelter. I know that is a blessing. But life is just hard, and when we as Mommas can’t fix what has been stressed and stretched so far outside of God’s good, it is so very hard. I want things to be different, fixed, better, RESTORED. Now.

When I read the Proverbs 31 passage, particularly verses 10-31, I think to myself, Seriously, Lord? Was this woman for real?

I know, I’ve already heard, she had servants, she may have even been a compilation of more than one person, a guide if you will of what we should strive to emulate. I don’t know the answers there, but I know that the past few months have left me hanging on tight to the Lord and pondering my own version of the Proverbs 31 woman.

I’m not trying to rewrite Scripture. I know some may be offended and think otherwise. It is therapeutic for me to put on paper my thoughts. It helps to sort it all out. Also, I walk by so many Moms throughout my week and wonder if any of them feel as defeated as me.

Maybe you can relate. If so, this post is for you.

A weary and often grumpy wife who wants to find? She is far more precious than her children care to admit.

The heart of her husband trusts her, even when he is on his own for dinner yet again.

She does so much for her husband every day, and yet she wonders why she can’t do more of what he needs.

She tries to remember to remind all of her children to take the trumpet for science class and the doll for American Girl class, but she forgets and wears the weight of their broken hearts.

She runs to the store after a wearying day of teaching children who don’t seem to want to learn, and then she cooks dinner only to be met with complaints about what is on the table.

She gets up at 5 a.m., but somehow by 7:30 she has yet to get any breakfast on the table despite her best intentions. Though hungry little and big people are wandering in and out of the kitchen and must be thinking, What has she been doing all this time?, she can’t seem to get it together!

She works hard at managing the budget given to her and longs for a garden that will feed her family, but she realizes too late that the grocery store will continue to be her best friend.

She dresses herself with defeat way too many mornings and feels completely weary … and it isn’t even 7 a.m. yet.

She hopes the countless hours she pours into her little on-line business venture will one day profit her more than a few dollars per hour of work, that often goes into the wee hours of the night when the house is finally at rest.

She forgets to change the laundry from the washer to the dryer—and people are asking “Where are my clean underwear?” She can’t even sew a button on straight!

She has opened her heart and her home to the fatherless, but at a great cost. She doesn’t understand why her efforts with a right heart seem to leave a trail of hurt. And she feels guilty for wishing the Lord would close her eyes to the needs of the fatherless (though He hasn’t and she knows He won’t).

She is the Mom who has on her coat on a 5-degree day only to realize her 3-year-old doesn’t have a coat much less gloves and a hat!

She can’t sew that button on much less make clothes for herself. Her clothes used to be in style … in the 90s!

Her husband is well-known in the town, which should make her proud, but if she is honest many times she is envious of his successes and the money he makes and accolades he receives. After all, she works hard too but her payment and rewards aren’t earthly and are often not seen until her hours of labor are long since forgotten.

She makes things to sell, but sometimes they just sit unnoticed on the virtual shelf of her store. And she wonders if the time and effort will ever pay off.

She doesn’t feel strong or dignified, and she often cries in anguish when she thinks of the future.

She opens her mouth and all too often wishes she had kept her mouth shut, and unfortunately in those moments the words out of her mouth were anything but kind.

She doesn’t always have much to show for her hard work, and her children often think she doesn’t do much for them (or at least that is what they say).

Her children rise up and with six at least one of them is calling her something … but it isn’t blessed, and her husband rises earlier than she, and is already going about the business of his day when she starts at 5:30.

Many other women do this thing called motherhood better than her … or at least that is what the enemy whispers to her and hopes she will believe.

She knows what appears on the outside is not even important, and she longs for a deeper relationship with her Lord, but she finds it so hard to find in the moments of the everyday.

Chances are the wife or mom in your life are hearing a lot about what she does wrong and how she could do so much better, even if the voice saying this the most is the enemy himself.

Chances are her heart is fighting to believe hope wins out over hopelessness and beauty arises from the ashes and God’s good will prevail and the seeds she can’t see will one day take root in the hearts of her children.

Take heart, Momma, Spring is coming and with it the promise of newness and restoration and bounty and reconciliation.

 

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10 thoughts on “Are You a Proverbs 31 Woman?

  1. Hi Sweet Friend,
    I stayed away from Prov. 31 for years because I could never measure up. I hear your weary spirit and completely identify. Please don’t judge yourself as a failure because your kiddos aren’t getting along and are full of criticism and complaint. Our boys became absolute pills in 7th and 8th grade of middle school. Sullen, disrespectful, withdrawn…I could do nothing right. Some of their comments shredded my heart, and the anger…it was just constant. Now that I have been through my 4th son in puberty, I recognize the signs and my skin has toughened up a little. They also need geographical space to work out how their body is changing and what they are feeling.
    God is faithful…his love endures forever. You have not failed and ruined them as a parent. You are not a failure because some of your children are going to public school. Rather, you are wise enough to see what is not working and detrimental to the family dynamic. You are realizing that right now, at this point in their development and emotional immaturity, someone else needs to speak into their lives as a teacher. Give yourself breathing room to take on only the role of Mom in their lives. I am so thankful for ‘godly others’ who speak truth into my children’s lives when their ears are stopped up to my voice.
    I wanted to encourage you to read a post by Lori McCary…she is at Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more. It’s called Only God sees…it was such a timely word and refreshed my perspective.
    You are not alone.
    Hugs,
    Sarah

  2. So sorry you are going through all this Leslie. Maybe you could assign dinner duties to some of the older kids on certain days? My son made mac-n-cheese last night while my husband grilled turkey burgers. I only have 2 kids, but even these small helps make such a huge difference. I don’t know how receptive your older ones would be to helping cook meals, but you never know. Jack is always completely thrilled with himself when he makes scrambled eggs for dinner for everyone! He even has a secret recipe! And letting the kids cook means you probably aren’t eating a super-healthy dinner, but if it’s only once a week, it won’t kill anyone. And they’ll be happy making something they like eating too!
    And remember to take care of yourself. If your kids think you don’t do enough for them now, then stop doing some of the things you are doing and see if they notice. Slow down. And take it easy on yourself too. You are a beautiful person and a wonderful mother. I can tell!
    Sorry about giving so much advice. I hope I haven’t been overbearing. Hugs for you!

  3. I think we’ve all felt completely taken advantage of by our kids. Multiplied by 6 is that much more heartache. My daughter has almost grown out of it but we had considered buying the tapes they offer on the radio about difficult children, those that say they hate you, have tantrums, etc. She is slowly growing out of it. My son was so easy. Have you thought you do too much for them? Are you trying to compensate because they have already had too much pain in their lives? Maybe ask the older kids point blank what would make them happy so you can really get to the root of the problem. Does each need more one on one time with you or the Pres? I don’t know. Just thinking outloud. You have a huge heart and I pray one day the unappreciative kids will change their views.

  4. Praying for you and the family. I’m sure you know it’s not “our job” to judge other people. Don’t judge yourself so harshly either. God knows your heart. He’s with you 🙂

    The cooking helper idea is a great one. My three daughters went from helping me pick one meal a week to preparing a side dish to preparing a full meal for us and their grandparents. Now, all three can cook a full meal with very little direction. They’re 17, 15 and 13 but I work outside the home now so I’m grateful we worked on the skill when I stayed home with them. And, I used to make them use conversions and practice their math skills…nothing like cooking a batch of cookies with only 1/2 teaspoon and 1/3 cup to measure ingredients!

  5. Hang in there. I wish I had answers or solutions to offer you. I take comfort in knowing that even Paul, who wrote so much of what we hold sacred today, considered the Christian life to be a FIGHT – not a party, not a women’s brunch, but a fight. Keep pressing on, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. I am praying for you!

  6. I am part of the fortheloveofmykids yahoo group. I don’t think I have commented on your blog before but I had to share that I had been feeling like a failure too a month or so ago and what helped me. I started making a list of my successes this past year and my kids successes instead of focusing on all my and their perceived failures. I put things on my list like getting all my kids to the dentist and in for a yearly physical, making it through how many months of homeschooling, all the times I read them books, the fun outings we had, the healthy meals I did cook when I had time, the hugs I gave them, the times we spent talking, the birthday celebrations, and the time we prayed. You have had a rough year but I bet you and your kids have also had many successes too. Amy

  7. Oh, do I ever identify with your feelings here! And yes, it’s hard. Really hard. Some of what we are facing is so hard, even this way-extroverted momma doesn’t talk about it to anyone. But HE knows. HE hears. AND HE is faithful to find ways to meet me where I’m at, to find ways to show me TRUTHS that I’ve forgotten, to speak to me of hope and healing when I feel like there will never be either.

    I pray for you that you, too, hear HIM amid the din of the defeats of the day. (I so did not intend that alliteration!!!!!) What a gift your honesty is here in this post – so many moms can be connected with the threads you weave here – praying that HE blesses you and lifts your eyes up to HIS truth about you today. Thank you for baring your reality for us. Love ya, my friend!!!!!

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