Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Proverbs 31 Woman - Encouragement for Tired Moms

I made a general post about this on my personal Facebook wall and couldn't believe the amount of feedback I received. Feedback from other women and moms, all overwhelmed with life, and striving to be perfect, to measure up. Playing the comparison game (we all do it, don't be discouraged), and EXHAUSTED. I knew I had to do a blog post to encourage others who are going through the same struggles.

I can't be alone when I say I grew up hating the Proverbs 31 woman. Who wouldn't, right? She is perfect.

Admittedly, it used to make me sick. I always saw her as the perfect wife and mother, thrifty, quiet, submissive, and meek. Everything that I tend to NOT be! Where she was quiet, I constantly questioned authority. Where she was thrifty, I was too impatient to look for a deal and just went without (or spent too much).

Have you read this chapter lately? I have avoided it for a long time (years, even!), because I always seemed to get discouraged by her perfection.

Recently, I woke up with this chapter on my heart. I grabbed my extra strong coffee, sat at my kitchen table, and opened up the book of Proverbs.

Now I'm wondering: where in the world did I get any of the above ideas about this woman?

She is hardworking. She is generous. She loves and takes care of her family. She advocates for them. She takes care of herself. She is energetic. She is a planner. She is STRONG. - She is everything I have been striving to be for a long time, I just haven't realized it!

Why is it that we focus so much on what seems to be impossible? Yes, she is thrifty, like I had remembered, but she is also all of the above traits that I identify with! In looking at what I thought I could never live up to, I missed seeing the strengths that God has already given me!

How much do we miss when we are focused on only those things which we are lacking? What if, as a teenager, I had picked up on the fact that this woman is strong, and a hard worker? Instead, I focused on what I thought I could never live up to!

Here's the one verse that gets to me though, and it's my own fault for not picking up on it for so many years:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity. She laughs without fear of the future".

This woman is not meek and mild and quiet. She doesn't spend her life worrying about tomorrow or today or how God will provide. She trusts that He has a plan. She works hard. She is strong. She has a close bond with her family. She doesn't allow worry to rule her life or take away her joy.

Now let's look at our own lives. We are PRECIOUS to our God. We are called by Him to be strong for our families. We, who focus so much on our imperfections that we forget how God REDEEMS us.

Where we are tired and drained, He is strong and able. He equips us with His strength to get through things we never dreamed would be possible to survive! How many times have we been in situations, wondering how we would make it? Yet we always do...

God made you to be you. He made me to be me! He gave us our strengths, and helps  with our weaknesses!

You, friend, are amazing. No matter what you are going through right now, no matter what frustrations you may have experienced when you first read about the Proverbs woman. No matter how drained, strained, tired, beat down, or angry you may be right now: You are amazing. You are enough the way God made you.

Today, wherever you are, read this passage and see which of this woman's gifts God HAS given you. Ask Him to change your perspective. I promise, you will be blessed!

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