Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman Part 8

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

I had to do a little research on this one, as I was drawing blank.  There are two things I really get now about this verse.

First of all, while I have never delved into spinning before, from what I hear, it's a pretty monotonous chore.  So we get a sense here that while the Proverbs 31 woman's days are busy, that doesn't necessarily mean it's always exciting.  Sometimes the work is drudgery, yet she does it anyway because, well, someone has to do it!  Do you have one of those chores you just dread doing?  I do.  I dread ironing.  Most of the time, it piles up until I have no choice but to get it done.  Then I'll just iron as needed and it becomes a perpetual pile.  Then one day, I'll get a good burst of energy and just decide to grit my teeth and get it all done.  It feels so good and accomplished that I wonder why I let it go so long, and then I'll vow to keep up on it better.  And of course, the cycle starts all over again.  LOL!

Here's a bit of a challenge for you (and me!).  Think of one chore that you dread doing.  Next time it needs to be done, let's not look at it as a chore, but as a way to bless our families.  (Psst, blessings that no one notices are still blessings nonetheless.)  For instance, the bulk of my ironing consists of my husbands work shirts.  He works very hard and sometimes long hours, and I know it blesses him and helps him out big time to have his shirts ready to go when he needs them...without having to ask me to iron them.  When I remember that, that's usually when I get my burst of ironing energy.  But when I look at it as a dreaded chore, it breeds selfish resentment every time the pile grows, and really, what good does that do anyone?

This verse also seems to tie the passage together a bit.  Earlier, the Proverbs 31 woman sought wool and flax.  Now, she's putting it to the spindle and making something out of it.  We will see in the next verses that she has made clothing and coverings for herself and her family, and quite possibly for the poor that she stretches her hand out to.  I look at it like this: in finishing what she started, she is not only providing for her family, she is not being wasteful.  How many of us have gone out and bought things for a new project or idea, only to have those things sitting somewhere in a corner or cabinet months later?  Come on, I can't be the only one guilty of this!  ;)  This ties back to making wise financial choices.  Before you buy that knifty-knitter (a-hem) or whatever you need for your new idea, REALLY think about whether or not you're actually going to complete that project, or follow through on that new idea.

So, ladies, let's put our hands to the spindle and make sure we do what blesses our families, even if it's boring or drudgery.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thoughts to Ponder

I'm currently reading a book called Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity, and found this quote interesting:

Boredom with the ongoing grind of the real world leads to predictable responses: "Let's rent a video/go shopping/surf the Internet."  Spiritual seeking leads to a bunch of uncomfortable questions: "Why am I bored?  What void is this boredom telling me I need to fill?  What will I discover if I just try to sit through my boredom?"  Most days, most of us would rather rent a video than wrestle with our soul's hunger for meaning...     Henry Sessions, 1999

Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman Part 7

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

The Proverbs 31 woman knows that her merchandise is good; other bible versions I've seen say "profitable" instead of "good."  Whether she's making goods, growing food, handling financial matters, or just plain taking care of things around the household, she knows that she's giving her best.  And "her candle goeth not out by night."  Even when the sun goes down, her job is not done.  I think of us mothers today, we don't always get to have a peaceful night's sleep do we?  It was the same back in the days of the Proverbs 31 woman.  She didn't shirk her duties just because it was night time.  If something needed to be done to care for her household, she did it, no matter what the time.

Putting the kids to bed doesn't automatically mean we get to "clock out for the night."  Even if our kids are old enough to sleep through the night, sometimes they get sick in the middle of the night, or they have nightmares.  I used to LOVE my sleep, and before I had kids, I used to wonder how I would fare with my sleep being interrupted, and if I would be able to be loving enough to be comforting when that happened.  :)  I still love my sleep, but I don't wonder about being able to comfort my kids' middle-of-the-night woes...I just do it.  God is faithful to equip.  :)

For some of us, kids aren't the only things we need to tend to late in the night.  Sometimes, that is the only time I have to get done any housework that I didn't get done with the kids earlier in the day.  When you have your kids working along-side you as you clean, not as many things seem to get done.  ;)  Some women also may have an at-home job to help out with the bills that they can only work on at night after the kids are in bed.  Or they have hobbies that help bring in a little income during tough times.

There could be many reasons why wives and moms need to burn the midnight oil.  The point of this verse?  Know in your heart that your doing your best, and "do what you gotta do" to take care of your family and household.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman Part 6

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
Proverbs 31:17

This verse, I think pretty much speaks for itself.  And I am convicted here, because it's something I need to pay more attention to.

The Proverbs 31 woman is physically strong.  She can hold her own when it comes to physical labor because of her strength.  She can take care of what needs taking care of around her household, and we can bet that she has plenty of energy to get it done, too.  Well, I know for a fact she at least has much more energy than I have as of late.

This really makes me think of one of my husband's occasional frustrations with me.  I try to keep my order of priorities straight: God first, husband second, kids third, and then everything else.  Am I perfect about it?  Absolutely not!  But, a lot of the times, I let myself fall into the "everything else" category.  With many things, that should be the case, but let's be honest, wives and mamas.  In order to take care of all those other things, we do need to be concerned about our own health.  If we are sick, or weak, or have no energy, what are we really going to be able to do for anyone else?  Are we giving our family our absolute best?

The more I look into nutrition, the more I'm convinced that we can fix so many ailments (and I'm not just talking flabby arms and fluffy tummies here) with proper diet and exercise.  I'm not going to delve into nutrition too much in this post, as that could take up way more room than I have, but if you visit my food blog, you will get an idea of the kind of diet I am reaching toward in order to help battle my Multiple Sclerosis.  Different people need different diets, so do some research and find out what's best for you.

Exercise is so important for physical health, and getting and staying strong.  I have slacked off big time from what I was doing not so long ago, and I can tell.  You can really accomplish so much more when you are in shape!  I seriously need to get back on track.

Walking has to be one of the easiest, cheapest, most convenient way to exercise.  When the weather is cooperative, the kids and I are out walking almost daily.  When it's cold and wet outside, or if I just feel like getting a bit more of an intense workout in, I'll pop in a Leslie Sansone walking video.
Leslie Sansone: Walk at Home - 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk  Leslie Sansone: Walk at Home: Walk Away Your Waistline! 
These are great workouts, especially for those who are just getting started with the whole exercise thing, but challenging enough for workout gurus who are just looking to change the routine up a bit.  Seriously, Leslie's workouts are my absolute favorites.

Of course, non-TV workouts are endlessly in abundance as well.  Once you feel yourself getting too comfortable with walking or your go-to workout, start branching out.  Even playing with the kids counts!  Here is a great resource for practical workouts that will really get you strong.  I will put a disclaimer on that last link and say that while Mark's philosophy about evolution doesn't line up with what I believe, his nutrition and exercise ideas on their own line up with what I have researched and found to be healthy.  The nutrition especially is extremely close to the MS Diet, so, despite our different underlying beliefs, I still enjoy and benefit from his blog.  :)

So, ladies, let's make sure we're taking care of our health, and that we are keeping ourselves fit, for the Kingdom and for our families!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman Part 5

She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
Proverbs 31:16

There are many things I see in this verse.  First, the word considereth.  It doesn't say that she bought a field, it says she considered, and THEN bought a field.  This shows wisdom and careful judgment, especially in financial matters.  It shows that she did not make snap decisions...she wanted to make sure she was getting her money's worth.

How easy is it these days to take for granted the hard-earned dollar?  It seems that recently, many people are tightening their belts in the financial department...the economy sure isn't what it was a few years ago.  Yet, we are still for the most part, a throw-away society, as well as a society in debt.  Foreclosures and credit card debt are at an all-time high, yet people continue to buy what they cannot afford.  For some, the thought never crosses their mind to go without because they don't have the cash.  Then the bills come.  Then the collectors start calling, who are then made out to be the bad guys because they are trying to get someone to pay a debt they agreed to pay when they signed the credit card slip!  I won't play Miss Perfect here.  Yes we do have some debt.  But, we are paying it.  WE accrued it, it is OUR responsibility to pay it!  No one else's!  It's getting harder and harder to find people out there who are willing to take responsibility for their actions.

Anyway, I got off on a tangent I hadn't meant to, but apparently I needed to rant a little.  :)  I'm stepping off my soapbox (for now!) and getting on with the subject at hand.

The point is, we all need to show wisdom and discretion when it comes to finances.  Here in our home, hubby is almost completely in charge of finances.  Not because he's the husband, but because that's his "thing," and it's most certainly not mine.  :)  Now, that does not mean I have no affect on the finances.  I'm in charge of all the shopping in our home, among other things that can have an effect on how efficiently (or inefficiently) hubby's hard-earned money is going out the door.  Am I making wise choices at the grocery store?  Am I making *healthy* choices at the grocery store?  If I'm buying junk food, even though it's "cheap," I don't consider that a very efficient use of money.  Am I making sure we're not wasting things around the home that cost money?  Water, electricity, gas?  Am I making good use of my *hands* (there it is again!)?  Attempting to fix broken things before throwing them out and deciding we need new?  Am I being careful in my de-cluttering, making sure I'm not getting rid of anything that hubby may need/want later?  (Don't ask me how I know about that one!)  To put all of this more simply, am I considering any and all financial ramifications to my household for the actions I take (or sometimes, don't take)?

The next words in that verse that stick out to me tie in with what I mentioned above, but really deserve a separate look, too.  Back in verse 13 we talked about working with your hands, and now we have a reference to planting a vineyard.  This, too, ties in to being efficient with the finances.  Using your hands, and using your skills or acquiring new ones can save money, too.  In this verse it talks specifically of gardening, basically.  By nature, I am not a green thumb, although I am a wannabe.  :)  If you have the capabilities of growing your own food, even if it's just a few pots on your deck, give it a try!  It's a very satisfying feeling (not to mention economical) to feed your family something you grew yourself, or even together!

So remember, consider, spend wisely, and learn to use those hands!  :)