I have been OutClassed!

Ever see this verse?  “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” ~ Proverbs 31:27.  What about in this translation? “She looks discretely to the affairs of her household, and she is never lazy.”  Ouch!

 I used to really feel guilty when I saw this verse.  Today when I read this verse my first reaction was “yep I killed it Monday cleaning part of my house and mopping floors. I was not idle at all.”   “Yep Tuesday I got my work out in and washed some clothes and made an amazing dinner after hosting bible study at my house..Booyah!”   I made my bed, decorative pillows and all the last two days!

It is easy to get boastful and prideful on those days we are killing it with so much energy and checking things off our to-do lists left and right.  But today, I sit still in my PJs.  My kids have been gone for over two hours now and I am still sitting here reading my Bible, praying, answering a few messages, writing this blog.   And you want to know what?  I don’t feel guilty at all.  I know God still loves me on these days as well as the days I am at peak performance.  Actually He probably loves me more on days like today because that is when I really soak up all the beautiful Promises He has for me.  

I expanded on this whole verse, You know the Proverbs 31 Woman.  The famous verses making all us women feel like total slackers.  Yep this used to get me so discouraged.  Not anymore.  God makes us all unique.  We all have gifting’s and abilities especially suited for us.  Who cares if someone does all those things?  I for one think she needed to maybe “lay down the law” and let her husband and kids know that if everyone lives in it, then everyone should pull their weight!  Sure,  I can check off a few of her characteristics and strive to achieve in some other areas, but come on, I don’t go buying fields, but I did buy my husband a great used car recently all by myself.   Up before dawn? I get up first but it is normally around 5:30 and I keep trying to push it to 6 and I have been known to get everyone out the door and lay back down. Gasp! I know….Such a slacker!  I don’t enjoy knitting and sewing.  Nope today I am still undressed so missed that “up and dressed” part today.  The next one that gets me is not in a hurry to call it quits….uhmm I am always in a hurry to call it quits for the day, I am worn out and like my sleep.  I am not diligent in homemaking, I try, I really do, but years of having a maid spoiled me and I just really do not enjoy it so I am blessed God gave me twins and they are huge helps around the house and I no longer feel the need to have a spotless house.  I like a house lived in.   So what am I trying to get at?  Don’t condemn yourselves ladies, don’t compare or try to compete with a Proverbs 31 Woman, or any woman.  That is a guideline and not meant to be achieved perfectly this side of Heaven.  Sure we need balance and need to be striving to be better today than we were yesterday, but don’t feel guilty if the chores are undone,  If you have not got in your work out, If you took a nap or went back to sleep, or if you spent longer in your quiet time.  Yes, the Proverbs 31 Woman may have OutClassed us all, but hey, I will gladly rest in God, soak up His promises, and rejoice that He will work it all out and make us the women He wants us to be.   He knows best and can use a day in your pjs as well as those days you killed your to-do lists.   XXOO, Michelle Bollom

 

 Hymn to a Good Wife

10-31A 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.

Never spiteful, she treats him generously

all her life long.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,

and enjoys knitting and sewing.

She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places

and brings back exotic surprises.

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast

for her family and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it,

then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,

rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

She senses the worth of her work,

is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,

diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need,

reaches out to help the poor.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;

their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.

She makes her own clothing,

and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected

when he deliberates with the city fathers.

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.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,

and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,

and keeps them all busy and productive.

Her children respect and bless her;

her husband joins in with words of praise:

“Many women have done wonderful things,

but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.

The woman to be admired and praised

is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

Give her everything she deserves!

Festoon her life with praises!

 

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary Proverbs 31:10-31 31:10-31 This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation. She is very careful to recommend herself to her husband’s esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her. 1. She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good. 2. She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. She applies herself to the business proper for her, to women’s business. She does what she does, with all her power, and trifles not. 3. She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, without considering whether they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter. 4. She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her. 5. She is intent upon giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully. 6. She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world. 7. Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever. 8. She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessing to her relations. If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her. Every one ought to desire this honour that cometh from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgments. This description let all women daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected, useful and honorable. This passage is to be applied to individuals, but may it not also be applied to the church of God, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his grace has formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellences here described.

How Much Does He Love Me?

This morning I decided to ask a silly question.
Jesus help me to understand something.
How much do you love me?
He didn’t yell down from the sky or appear next to me with a quick answer of conversation. However; I did get the immediate thought.
“I feel everything you feel like a mother does for her child.”
I immediately thought of taking my kids to their first day of a class or kindergarten and all the emotions I would feel leaving them all alone at the bus stop. (They won’t let you in at the school. I’m sure for good reasons.)
Tears going down their eyes and me holding back mine!
Will they find someone to sit with at lunch or will they actually find their class with her teacher?
Even though they are at safe and sound at school we continue as moms to ponder about on the feelings and possible emotions of fear or anxiety they might encounter their first day.
I was reminded of the verse in 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you.”
Why does Jesus do it?
carry all my anxious thoughts and burden…..
It answers my question of how much he loves me.
This much!! (arms spread wide all around me……everywhere I go…..feeling and understanding all that I go through each day)
He does it because He loves you and me!❤️

Light On,
Kelley Allison
John1:4-5

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Who are you looking to?

I woke this morning singing the song “I look to You” by Whitney Houston.  I have loved this song for a while and it has been stuck on repeat during many difficult times of my life over the years.   The first time I heard this was after my dad’s death.  I know that during that time that it was only when I looked to Him could I continue on.  I did not know this song or know Jesus as I know Him now when I suffered the devastating loss of my brother Toby in 2006.  It was after my brother’s sudden death that I knew that I could not do things on my own.  It seemed that I jumped in with both feet seeking God.  I had done religion most of my life, but when I heard about Jesus and that it was a relationship and started learning about the Holy Spirit and reading God’s Promises in His word, well, it blew the door wide open for me.  I have never looked back. 

Sometimes life gets rough and we would like Jesus with skin on to walk those storms with us.  I love the part of the song when she says, “I am about to lose my breath”  Have you ever felt like the wind has been just kicked right out of you?  Maybe it is a devastating diagnosis or news from a doctor, or cancer has given you a limited time left on this earth.  I have walked through that one with a loved one, and recently have another loved one walking through this right now too.  Maybe it’s a spouse that just said they didn’t love you anymore and filed for divorce?  I know a few people walking through that blow right now.  An affair, a job loss, the death of a loved one?  Yes,  the list can go on and on.

 I have walked through many losses in my life and the ones that I did not look to Him were the most difficult to get through.  I say I grieved without Hope on my brothers death, but just two years later I grieved with Hope on my Dad’s death.  The two types of grieving make a world of difference.  Not that they are less painful, but looking to Him brings a peace and comfort I did not know before in the midst of the storm. 

This morning as this song was stuck in my head again, I thought, hmmm strange, I had not heard it in awhile and why do I awake humming and singing it?  Then I felt the Lord impress upon me that not just during the devastating blows Michelle, I need you to look to Me on the everyday little blows too.  I have to confess, sometimes I am not always looking to Him on the smaller things of life. Those moments when we are just bored, over tired, overwhelmed, insecure, lonely, sad, angry, our feelings have been hurt, our kids aren’t listening, our spouses are on our last main nerve.  When we are distracted or stressed or just don’t feel well.  

I am guilty of looking towards opinions or advise of others before Him, I am guilty of looking for something new to fill a void. I am guilty of finding comfort in Cheetos or a big honking piece of cake.  I am a recovering emotional/compulsive eater, shopping addict, approval addiction/people pleaser.  Note and emphasis on the “ing”  Yes I still struggle with looking just straight on to Him for all the little blows that life deals me.  We sometimes like to vent to our family or friends, but we need to remember to always vent vertically!  Send it all to Him, look straight to Him.  Don’t let anything distract us or let us lose our focus.  Keep it straight on and fully looking to Him!  

I am reminded of this wonderful Promise.

The LORD the Keeper of Israel.

A Song of Ascents.

1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
         From where shall my help come?

2My help comes from the LORD,
         Who made heaven and earth.

3He will not allow your foot to slip;
         He who keeps you will not slumber.

4Behold, He who keeps Israel
         Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD is your keeper;
         The LORD is your shade on your right hand.

6The sun will not smite you by day,
         Nor the moon by night.

7The LORD will protect you from all evil;
         He will keep your soul.

8The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth and forever.

What an awesome Promise this is! 

 

Release all those big and small blows to Him.  Keep looking only to Him.  He’s got you covered!  

 

 Enjoy this amazing song!   XXOO, Peace, Michelle Bollom

 http://youtu.be/5Pze_mdbOK8