Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
Can I be honest? For many years if I were to be asked who my least favourite Bible character was, it would have been that impossible “excellent wife” of Proverbs 31. She runs a perfect household, makes clothing for her family and half the town; she weaves her own bed linen, dabbles in real estate and farming and still has time to exercise and watch her husband collect accolades. It says she never let her lamp go out at night. Well, she’d have to stay up all night with a workload like that. At the time, when I was in a place where this scripture was used like a trudgeon by workaholic “ladies’ teachers” (the modern equivalent of Pinterest super-achievers) who said we could do it all if we were organized and disciplined enough, I was lucky if my kids’ socks matched and we could arrive anywhere within the same hour an event was scheduled to begin.
Finally one day, an older woman (with the teaching of kindness on her tongue) laughed at me when I went on a rant about the dreaded Proverbs 31 woman.
“She didn’t do it all in one day, dear! That was a life-time achievement award kind of speech. Relax. If God grants you health, life is not over when the kids go to college.”
Now that my children are grown I understand better. Those years with little ones and acting out teenagers seemed like they would always be my whole life. They were important years, and I beg young mothers to realize they go so fast and children can’t wait until you have time for them. They do come to an end (and I cried when they did). You don’t have to accomplish your life’s work before you are 45. You don’t have to do everything on the same day, or even in the same decade! Leave something to look forward to. Relax once in a while. Take time to enjoy your life where it is right now. Be thankful for matched socks.
I have the time and freedom to pursue creative interests now. Instead of depression and exhaustion there is gladness because I am old enough to see how God delivered us from so many cliff-hanger episodes before. I can smile at the future.
And my light doesn’t go out at night -so I can find the bathroom.