Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'll Never Be "The Pioneer Woman", the "Simple Mom", or the Woman from Proverbs 31


Dishes still in the sink at 3:00 p.m.

What started out as a simple New Year’s resolution to help the less fortunate has turned into a life-changing process. Serving others affects me hugely - no question. Surprisingly, the blogging portion of this project is proving to shape my inner being as well.
There are over 50 million blogs on the internet, so perhaps you’ve heard of them. Maybe you even subscribe to a few hundred. Two of my favorite blogs at present are The Pioneer Woman and Simple Mom. 
I adore the women of these blogs. These ladies can do everything. Why wouldn’t I want to read about a happily married wife as she homeschools her adorable children and afterwards everyone pitches in to clean around the house as she pulls out her favorite apron and whips up her organic, food-pyramid, planned dinner for a party of 8 and manages to photograph the whole experience and display her artistic layouts in annual scrapbooks? 
They remind me of another woman I’ve read about. The woman from Proverbs 31.
If you’re not “churchy” like me, you may have never heard of this Biblical super-woman. Found in the Old Testament, the author of Proverbs writes positive-living advice and inspirational quotes of wisdom. In the very last chapter of this book, there is a description of “The Wife of Noble Character.”
Now of course the internet didn’t exist in Biblical days. But if it did, this woman would have 700,000 followers on Twitter.
Here’s why I don’t measure up to the woman from Proverbs 31:
(Scripture from paraphrase “The Message”)
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.
Okay, I think my husband trusts me for the most part. I’m good there.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.
When Edd and I are in the midst of “heated discussions”, I can get pretty spiteful. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.
I tried. I took a sewing class. Twice. I can’t sew.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.
Does Egg Flower Soup and Sweet and Sour Pork from Chen’s Chinese Restaurant count?
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.
My kids are up before me and I shuffle to the kitchen to get them something to eat. Don’t even ask me about plans for the day.
She looks over a field and buys it, then with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
Seriously, a whole field? Where did she get that kind of money and how did she have any left over? 
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work, and is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
I take the kids to school, come home, pour a cup of coffee and surf the internet for an hour. I’m still in my pjs at 10:00a.m.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.
I would love to be able to decorate my house all “cutesie”, but I’m happy if my dishes get done.
An example of NOT diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
Finally. Something I’m actually doing. Once a week.
She does’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. 
I take my kids to the Columbia outlet.
She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
See above re: sewing. I dress in gray and black yoga pants.
Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.
Well, he doesn’t participate in the local government, but he is respected at work. Don’t see how I help with that though...
She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. 
Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
Why is the Bible so adamant that I sew?!? And most of my clothes come from Target. 
I do usually smile about tomorrow, unless I have to go somewhere I don’t want to go.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
I attempt this. I know I fail sometimes, but it is my goal.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.
Heck, yes! Voice lessons, Taekwondo, theater class, play rehearsals, and homework.
Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise.
I am lucky here. The family often tells me how much they love me and Edd always thanks me for being a good mom.
I read “The Pioneer Woman”, “Simple Mom” and Proverbs 31 because I dream to be like them. Unfortunately, I think when God was handing out motivation genes, I was in the other room watching Project Runway. 
So I will accept that at age 41, I am who I am. I will continue to read these blogs for inspiration and ideas, but the dishes may still be in the sink when the kids get home from school and I might only complete 3 items out of 10 on my to-do list. 
When I pray, I thank God for loving me even though I’m not the perfect woman. Who knows? Maybe as I continue working toward my goal of having the “nature of a servant”, some of these other qualities may fall into place. 
Not the sewing though. I’ve given up on that.

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