This afternoon I experienced a unique sight. My mom was looking beautiful as she always does in a skirt, button-up blouse, and tights, and was on her back under the sink, with a flashlight in one hand and a wrench in the other. There was water leaking through the floor into our pantry and she was getting to the bottom of the problem. My mom has such a variety of skills--it blows my mind sometimes. Not only is she the mother of seven children, but she is currently homeschooling five of them (one is in college, one is only 3). She is an incredible cook, she is creative (even though she won't admit it), and she ENJOYS putting together furniture and plumbing.
What immediately came to mind was: here is a Proverbs 31 woman.
Proverbs 31:10-12 "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." My mom always reminds us of how Daddy works so hard for us every day. She is constantly affirming him and his leadership, even when he is not around. She tries to think of ways to please him and bless him, making sure the house is clean and everything is in order when he gets home. When we have company, she always considers what people will think of him by the way our house, the kids, and she looks.
My mom always emphasizes that this perfect woman doesn't do all these following things at once. They are at different stages in her life. My mother ran a bread business for six years, even grinding our own grain for bread (which she still does, only not for a business).
"She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands." Willingly working with her hands? Does plumbing fit in here?:)
"She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar." My mom always searches for bargains and the best deal. She is not one to spend the money dad makes without due consideration.
"She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants." It wouldn't be morning if Mom wasn't already up, getting breakfast on, or caring for some other household matter. Also, a daily scene is Mom at the kitchen table, studying the Word. Leading by example...
"She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms." Wise investments. Now, Mom doesn't make those big decisions without Dad, but she invest wisely in many other ways. Strengthening her arms...she daily works out and does her resistance training, literally strengthening her arms.
"She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple." My mom isn't much of a seamstress, but she makes sure that we are clothed and cared for. Even when we don't have "all the latest fashions," she reminds us that God has provided and we should be grateful. We have so much more than many others around the world!
"She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness."--Totally my mom! "Strength and honor!" She is careful with her tongue and pours forth wise advice, based on Scripture! She watches over, not only the household, but also the ways of the household, keeping us accountable. "Idle" and "my mom" are only compatible in the same sentence as : "My mom is NOT idle!"
"Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all." Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates."
Amen! I love you, Mom, thank you for your wonderful example! I, your child, rise up and bless you! You fear the Lord and that is evident! I fervently pray that someday I, too, will be like this virtuous woman, like you, even if it means I must dabble in plumbing!