If you haven’t caught #Fitchthehomeless, click here. My good friend Rachel has been working on Skid Row for years and has some insightful things to say in THIS RESPONSE. She shares a powerful reminder to always give dignity and honor to the people we are ministering to. For those of you who have been involved in serving, you know even with the best intentions, it can be all too easy to forget how our words and actions come across.
“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” (Prov 31:10 MSG) Or, in the NIV, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies”
I never thought too much about Proverbs 31 until my friend Aleica told me the story behind it. In the Hebrew, it is an alphabetical acrostic that Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, would have sung or recited to him. Each phrase is a character trait she wanted him to look for in a wife.
It’s interesting that God saw fit to save this ancient wisdom for us. He must still feel it’s important for men to look for these qualities, and for us as women to try and learn them. In addition to scripture, I’ve had the blessing of learning (well, attempting to learn) from my own mother. In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve written the modern-day traits I’ve seen lived out by my own mom, following the order of Proverbs 31.
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.(vs.10)
My dad trusts her and she has made his life better in every way. She never tries to hurt, shame, or take from him. (vs.11-12)
She has always worked hard: as a special ed teacher, a mom of four, a neighbor, a friend, a servant in the church. (vs.13)
She has traveled the world- from Egypt to Australia, Europe to Latin America. She was sport to backpack on her honeymoon and had to hitchhike her way home after getting lost in the mountains. Who is she!? (vs.14)
She does not get up early. She’s a rebel like that. She stays up late and makes sure everything gets done. She is never moody. Her peaceful and loving spirit is what keeps our home together. (vs.15)
She feeds anyone who crosses her doorstep. Growing up, she stretched out my dad’s salary to feed 3 growing boys, my dad, and me. She silently prepared thousands of breakfasts, packed our lunches, and we had a home cooked dinner around the table nearly every night of my life. I believe most of who I am today was shaped at that table. Today, she hosts 30 people every Tuesday for bible study without batting an eye. (vs.16-19)
She extends her hand to the poor, welcoming anyone and everyone into our home and church. She knows the name of every neighbor living on her street (in Orange County I might add), and makes a point to walk over with baked goods on a regular basis. She often invites them to church, even when they’ve turned her down before. She gets the life story of our grocery checker before we pay the bill. This used to embarrass me. It’s only now that I am appropriately astounded at the rare and powerful gift she provides others and the security she has in Jesus that gives her the courage to do so. (vs.20)
When you shop with her, she will buy you what you want:) It’s awesome. (vs.21)
She made our clothes growing up. I’m ok that she only does this now upon special request. (vs.22)
She brings honor to my dad’s name. Good choice, dad. (vs.23)
“Strength and dignity are her clothing” (vs. 25) She is strong. She gave birth four times without pain meds before it was hip. More importantly, she will not make me feel bad if I one day do the opposite.
“She smiles at the future.” (vs 25) Well….mom is a BIG worrier….But, she trusts my dad 100% to provide and be there for us.
She is the most kind, patient, and sacrificial person that I know. (vs.26)
She works hard is not lazy. (vs. 27)
My siblings and I love her dearly. (vs.28)
In a culture obsessed with beauty, my mom wears hardly any makeup and never has. I tease her for it but deep down I know watching her wake up every day truly satisfied in who she is, just as God made her, has made a lasting impact on me and how I view my worth.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” vs 30.
I love you, mom.
And to all you moms out there, for all the different ways you live Prov 31 out in your own way, I hope you feel loved and celebrated!
Yikes…is this long overdue? Yes. The answer is yes. It helps me feel less guilty to tell you that this past month was crazy… in good ways:) Found out my brother and his wife are having a baby girl!! I already love her. I can hardly wait to meet her and begin passing on the playbook for getting on her dad’s nerves.
Started a new job that I love, book stuff, moved (went a lot better than last time),
Everything came at once. Needless to say, reading had to go on the back-burner a little. Whenever I did get the chance, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? was a welcomed distraction!
Before we get into it, and so I don’t lose anyone who didn’t read, our next fiction book will be my bff Heather’s favorite- House of Spirits by Isabele Allende. A warning, apparently it’s a little graphic and violent. It follows a family during the 1970′s Chilean Revolution.
Overall, I LOVED it. I realize I’m going to have to hate a book sooner or later or you all won’t trust me. I can’t lie, and this one I did enjoy. For anyone interested in mental health, Seattle, Antarctica, Microsoft, or architecture, this book is for you! I found the hilariously honest windows into these worlds fascinating!
Did you hate her or love her? I’ve heard both responses. I’m on her team. She was one of the most interesting and hysterical characters I’ve read in a very long time. Though sad, I appreciated the authentic look into a family with eccentric tendencies and how they are passed on. Bee, for example, was brilliant and noticed everything….except for where her mom was concerned. She had a loving blind spot for Bernadette that led her to be crazy at times. Best part? Am I wrong or did the author get you to identify and want to identify with Bernadette? She made crazy look good!
Overall, the book reminded me to simply be honest and have real conversations when they need to be had. SO much calamity and pain would’ve been avoided had mom, dad, neighbor, child, ANYONE been upfront with the people involved. I won’t give away the ending, but even in the wrap-up, there were permanent consequences for the family given they all decided to keep pride, hold back, and communicate behind each others backs. I’ve tried to get better at this and find it’s always scary to be vulnerable and honest. In the end, at least for me, whenever I push myself to do so, I feel braver and more at peace.
What about you? What did you think?! About the need to create, outside impression of Christian culture, etc.??
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a red flag. We are on the letter “I” and this was inspired by two stories from last week.
A few helpful facts.
I started a new job. I’ve decided not to say where so I can talk about people without getting in trouble. Somehow that sounded moral in my head and doesn’t exactly compute now. …Anyway.
All you need to know is it’s in an office that houses three different companies. There are lots of young professionals and it’s been really fun getting to know everyone. My co-worker, we will call her Lady K, has been an exceptionally good find while navigating my new surroundings.
Me: Guess who I met over the weekend? Aaron, he said he was a friend of yours.
Lady K: Mack Attack
Me: What is that?!
Lady K: It’s his nickname because he makes out with so many girls.
Me: Oh, good.
Me: So what’s the story on Tom? (Works in the building next door. Wasn’t sure if he was my type but had a friend in mind)
Lady K: Who? Kissing Bandit?
Me: Serious?! …Is this going to be a thing??
Lady K: Well, he’s made out with three of the girls that work here already. You decide.
I’m not opposed to a good time, but when it is your reputation, it’s too much. Don’t guys know we talk?? A girl is likely to walk away when she hears he’s earned himself a frat boy nickname. What’s the phrase “Don’t ___ where you eat?” …It’s real. Be careful out there:)
Don’t forget to join the launch contest for 2 tickets to Mumford. 2 days left!
**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers. They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?” Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.
(image Michele Scarpelinni)
Thanks for stopping by! Isn’t it beautiful?! I can say that because I didn’t make it! (Check below to see who did)
As a thank you to my followers who have been with me this far, and as a way to meet some new ones, I’m giving away 2 free tickets to Mumford and Sons on June 2nd. Just share, tweet, or pin to enter. You have to be a follower to win! (Click any of the icons to the right, or at the bottom of the page to follow the blog, twitter, instagram, pinterest, or like on Facebook) CHEERS!!
Last week I was invited to speak at APU and at Forest Home. Since I didn’t feel I could pull off two separate talks, I spoke about the book of Esther at both, each with a different take away. In doing so, I feel like I’ve been living with her story for the past month or so and figured I might as well get a blog out of it:)
If you haven’t read it recently, please do. It’s ten chapters and reads through like a short story. We meet young Esther in the middle of her already tragic life. Both her parents have died and she is forced to live in the King’s harem. Eventually she has to risk her life by meeting with the King to save her people.
What fascinates me about Esther is that it is the only book in the Bible that never mentions God. He literally doesn’t “show up” in the story at all. There are no miracles, no speaking to anyone, no tangible representation period. One writer I read described it as an ”unreligious book” since there is no mention of temple, the law, not even a prayer is spoken…
I appreciate this context because I find it is more like the setting we live in. God doesn’t usually show up in our lives the way we read about in scripture. He doesn’t perform spectacular miracles or speak to people in the way we often wish He would. Just as Esther must have looked at her circumstances and wondered, “God are you there?” We, too, wonder the same thing.
When we read Esther’s story from our vantage point, it’s crystal clear that God was working behind every circumstance to accomplish His purpose. We can see His hand moving behind the scenes in the smallest details at each turn. Since Esther wouldn’t have known this in the moment, she had to live by faith. For her, this meant making decisions and taking action without knowing the outcome. I believe we call this courage.
There’s this moment in Ch 4:16, when Esther decides she is going to put her life on the line. She tells her uncle to have everyone fast for three days on her behalf and then she will go to the King. It occurred to me this week that Esther didn’t wait for the results of the fast, she committed to her plan regardless. She didn’t fast in order to hear what she should do next, but made her choice ahead of time and fasted as a request for success. There’s a big difference.
God doesn’t always expect us to wait for confirmation or signs. Sometimes, we are meant to seize the moment and trust Him to be in the details on the other side. Just as God doesn’t tangibly appear in the book of Esther, she doesn’t say anything about Him, either. It’s only by her action that we see where her trust lies. In the same way, I wonder if our ability or inability to use courage often reveals something about our own faith. In a way, courage is an outward expression of an inward belief. We either trust Him with our steps or we don’t.
Easier said then done;)
…. What about you? Any thoughts on courage or taking action?