CIBH marriage

CIBH: I do aspire to be a Proverbs 31 woman. It’s just easier said than done…

A Praying Wife…

I’ve recently been reading “Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie OMartian.  It’s a hard read for me.  Every time I pick it up, I feel like layers of me are being stripped.  Facades that I have purposely cultivated to protect myself from past experiences are being torn down.  It’s uncomfortable.  It’s unsettling and I hate it.  It’s one of the reasons it has taken me so long to get through the book.  Shoot, I’m still trying to get through the book.

When I was a little girl, I never wanted to be married.  I always knew I would be a mother, but I never really planned out a wedding.  When I got to college, I played around with what a wedding would love like.  I even had a little black notebook of things I liked in wedding accouterments, but truth be told, I didn’t really see me as anyone’s wife.  I saw the strength of the women around me doing it by themselves and, despite it being hard…very hard, they were doing it.  I could too and maybe be a wife one day.  But it wasn’t a priority.

The one thing that I DID want to be though was a Proverbs 31 woman.  My great grandmother, whom I’ve mentioned more times than not on this blog, was absolutely a Proverbs 31 woman. That woman was truly created with God’s heart in mind.  She loved everyone even those who spitefully used her.

She gave out of her plenty and her want.  She was a nurse, a counselor, a fervent prayer warrior.  Some people would treat her so badly (through omission or take her for granted) and she never said a word.  She did all she could for others and only when she was under the influence of dementia did some of her pain come out.  She made foods and clothes.  She could make a meal out of nothing.  Soups would last for days.  Meals would come out of of nowhere.  Thank you cards and letters were written regularly.  Phone calls just to check on those she knew were under the weather was a daily task.  I remember watching her pull out her address book and go down the line calling distant cousins talking with them and making sure they were okay.  How I wanted so much to be like her.  Every time I read Proverbs 31, I thought of her and I still do.

This was Mama.  Every way.  Every word.  Now the crazy thing is I don’t think there is anyway I can stack up to what the passage is asking.  The woman that is so sweetly honored is a woman of quiet spirit.  She gets up before the sun rises, preps breakfast.  She’s an entrepreneur to supplement the household.  She’s submissive.  She sews.  She cooks.  She cleans.  She is never idle.  She is always busy doing something, making something.  Her children love her.  The neighbors love her.  Her husband loves her.  She’s, in short, perfect.

I’m not.  Seriously, I’m not.  I don’t get up before the sun unless there is a newborn crying or an emergency.  I’m already not looking forward to the sleep deprivation I’ll be experiencing when the new baby arrives.  Some of it I’m experiencing now.  I like cooking, but I firmly believe in leftovers.  There was a point I was cooking something new everyday until I realized we were throwing away food.  So, I stopped.  Food is cooked, leftovers are for lunch, and if there are any left over, we have it for dinner the next day.  Otherwise, I tend to try and cook on Sunday, Monday and Thursday.  I have cooked on Friday, but more oft than not, I invite the family to “go for what they know”.  I don’t think S. likes this new attitude, but I get tired of cooking then cleaning the entire kitchen because no one else is willing. But again, I’m not my great-grandmother who did it all.

My sewing skills are limited to hemming on occasion and sewing on buttons if needed.  I am not a seamstress like Mama was.  I can’t create amazing outfits like some of my friends.  I’m just me and I’m okay with that.  My time management seems off. I never seem to have enough time to do all that I would like to do.  I’d love to decorate the house in regal splendor, but a lot of that costs money.  Still Mama and my MIL could make a house look amazing with just things from thrift stores and castaways.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do the same, but I certainly want to try.

I think the thing that I feel the most passionately about is my desire to be a wife that my husband is proud of.  I have a tongue and, though I do a pretty good job of keeping it firmly in my mouth, I sometimes allow it to rule the day if I feel offended.  I know a Proverbs 31 wife is valued above rubies and a quarrelsome wife is the bane of existence.  That is mentioned over and over again in the Word of God.

So I get it. Being quarrelsome is definitely not something I aspire to be nor something I want to make a habit of being.  I personally think I do a good job of this.  But I have to learn to balance disappointment and annoyance (especially with these pregnancy hormones).  I have to learn to go to my Bible and to prayer instead of going to Godly wives…even for Godly counsel.  Still, I believe subservience is different from submissiveness.  It is important that the difference in known.
I watched my great-grandmother read her Bible daily.  I certainly remember when she was really going through, Mama sat at the dining room with her Bible and in her room with her hymns.  I remember wondering as a younger child why Mama didn’t speak up for herself when people took advantage.  If I at seven could see the disrespect, surely she could.  Still Mama never spoke a word.  She just endured.  God blessed her even when she was sad and disheartened.  While her marriage ended, even he honored the woman that she was.  You truly carry stature as a Proverbs 31 woman when your ex-spouse still honors you in speech and is able to maintain a cordial interaction with you.  There aren’t too many women that will comfort the new spouse of their ex through food and prayer while they are sick.  Mama was that woman.  
In contrast, I find myself speaking out when my feelings are hurt.  I don’t do this in malice, but definitely in frustration.  I also find that I would rather withdraw and spend time with myself.  I know it is paramount that I maintain my relationship with Jesus Christ and that I speak to Him first.  I know that I am to seek Him first in all that I do anyway.  But I sometimes feel like I am doing a lot of this solo, which was why the sermon spoken today was right on time.
The guest preacher spoke on the “tombs of our life” and returning to them to be able to be carried to the next season in our life.  As an example, he spoke on the morning the two Marys approached the tomb that was to have contained Jesus’s body.  The preacher asked why the return to the tomb.  As Jesus was dead, all associated could have simply returned to their home in mourning and continued on with their lives.  But because they returned to their “dead place”, their “tomb experience”, they were met by an angel and were blessed with amazing and wonderful news of Christ’s resurrection, and then later by Christ Himself.
The preacher went on to remind the congregation that far too often we experience these tomb experiences we withdraw and avoid them.  This is not the answer because it is often the very thing we need to experience to get to our crossroad.  The sermon spoke very well to me to some very serious thoughts and conversations that I have been having with myself.
So I will continue to focus on being all that God wants me to be.  I will focus on seeking Him first in all that I do.  I will remain open to those tomb places. Perhaps, that Proverbs 31 characteristic shall ultimately become me at once.

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