Not a Proverbs 31 Lady

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I remember reading this proverb for the first time and thinking, “That is not me.

Let me introduce you to the Proverbs 31 lady: She is someone who is always on the go. She’s innovative, good with numbers. She’s got a good home. She’s not afraid of what the future has in store for her. She is never found doing nothing. She’s strong, mentally and physically. She’s also a business lady.

I’m not insanely inventive, and I suck at math. I’m no business woman. I’m a fair cook, and I’d love to get better, but I’m no chef. I’m not a busybody. I’m almost always anxious; the thought of the future fills me with fear & dread. I don’t have my own home. My arms aren’t that strong, though I’d like to believe that I exercise my mind quite a bit.

Now, I know I’m not selling the prettiest picture of myself, and even though I feel led to write this, I’m super embarrassed about the image I’m portraying. As I write this, I’m finding myself thinking things like, “Is this enough? I do my best to better myself, but is my effort enough?

But the Proverbs 31 lady is also the following: She’s trustworthy, she’s eager, and hospitable. She’s humble, creative, helpful, welcoming, wise, and kind. She loves the Lord. She is all that 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says.

4″ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.”

When I was a teenager, early in my faith, I’d read articles on the Proverbs 31 woman. The messages I got from these articles were hurtful, and put doubt in my heart. Which is really sad, considering I was reading with the voice of supposedly godly women who are supposed to uplift and encourage young women. The message I received upon reading them were “If you’re not a perfect mirroring image of this woman, you are not worthy enough to be called a child of God.

But this woman is more than the simple mold of a Proverbs 31 girl- she is, in fact, a child of God.

I strive to be better than I am, and I believe that I am worthy to be called a child of God. It’s the gift that was gracefully given to me (and to you), when the price of death was paid on the cross where Jesus died. Though Proverbs 31 is a stencil on how a wise woman can be, I think it’s also a calling to be different in areas (e.g: just because you can’t sew, doesn’t mean you’re excluded from the kingdom of God).

We as children of God, should embrace our special individuality. I’m 100% here for it. Are you?

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To Dwell Is To Repent First

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dwell

(dwɛl)

v. dwelt dwelled, dwell•ing. v.i.

1. to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside.
2. to exist or continue in a given condition or state.
3. dwell on or upon, to think, speak, or write about at length or with persistence; linger over.
To dwell is to remain. To focus. And this is what Jesus wants: For us to be still so we can focus on His voice and hear what He has to say.
Here’s my problem: I dwell too much. I don’t sing my loudest, and I am often too still. This is often my mindset when I enter in worship. The Lord calls us to be still in His presence, but recently I’m discovering that I’m too still.

There comes a point where we’re no longer still in the Spirit- we’re no longer worshiping. We’re frozen in our unrepentance. We’re not joyful in our worship & praise because we haven’t lifted our burdens to Jesus.

That’s me. I feel like I’m pretty much frozen stuck. I still love the Lord with all my heart. But I’ve gotten to a point where I’m no longer basking in the presence of God- I’m just standing there.  This is a big problem. I imagine Jesus standing there and saying to me,

“Where’s your joy, child? You’re redeemed! Saved from Sheol! Rejoice!”

So here’s my repentance: Lord Jesus, I’m sorry that I haven’t been apologizing for the offenses that I’ve done against you, when that’s the first thing I should be doing. Have mercy on me, please. I don’t know what I would do without your mercy, and I’m so grateful. I’m not worthy enough to receive your merciful hand. 
Your love changes everything. You are the epitome of goodness, and this makes me want to be better for you. You deserve so much better than what I give. You have taught me better than this.
I’ve been sick for multiple days now, and I feel like that has robbed me of my joy. Please renew my strength to obey & follow the things you say. It’s not what I say that goes, but what you say that goes, because you are my Master. I love you & revere you. You are so kind & merciful to me. Bless you, amen.

So friends, are you ready to go into this weekend in praise & rejoicing? Are you ready to dwell in the presence of God & be joyful because of the salvation which Jesus has gracefully given to you? I’m excited to see what this weekend brings!