The Proverbs 31 woman. Just the mention of her name is likely to garner groans. (Can’t you just picture the hyenas on Lion King saying, “Mufasa!”) Now, of course it’s quite probable that this wasn’t really an ACTUAL, live woman, but rather a conglomeration of ideals held by Solomon’s mother (and all of the mothers of boys said, “Amen!”). Nevertheless, it seems most real live, in-flesh women I know have a strong reaction when her persona is brought up. Reasons are many, but one was pointed out this week that I hadn’t noticed before…
“She reaches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle . . .” Prov 31:19
REACHES OUT, people. To the “distaff,” which apparently refers to an instrument used in sewing/weaving, as well as the “spindle,” which sounds suspiciously like an instrument of torture but actually has the same meaning as distaff. And here’s what gets me–it said that she reaches out. In other words, she’s looking for work to do! Is this woman crazy? There’s enough work hunting *me* down to last me ’til kingdom come!
Or, so I thought. Then I took a deep breath and let the words of scripture sink in. Am I reaching out my hands to the distaff? Nope. I think I’m taking my spring fever laziness a little far, if you know what I mean. I feel desperately in need of a break. And that’s been since about … October. The truth is, making myself really *do* any housework around here has felt like a true chore, and I’ve been avoiding it as much as possible, with the result that things have become messier than usual and I’m cranky. I have to get things cleaned because after my visit to a Vancouver showroom I have actually ordered my new kitchen countertops after putting it off for over a year.
I was pondering it this morning and decided that perhaps the truth is that the enemy wants me to think that my work around the house is a drag and takes forever and should be avoided, but like so many other things in life, there’s a funny contradiction to be found: the harder I work at the truly important things–the things I’m called to, whether laboring or nursing or ministry or homeschooling or hospitality–the more I ENJOY them! He’s had me fooled for a bit; I’ve not been “reaching out (my) hands to the distaff.”
But I’ve learned my lesson! Yesterday I mopped my living room ( I started to type “moped”–that’s how it sometimes is, LOL!) and ran a ton of laundry, straightened shelves, wiped down the buffet; and this morning I worked in my kitchen. I have a friend coming by today, we’re planning to attend the fair tonight, we’ll do school tomorrow, and the beach is on our to-do-list for this weekend. As far as this summer goes, I’m going to try to let the kids really enjoy their vacation, and attempt to put into practice another Proverbs 31 thang . . .
“She works with her hands in delight” Prov. 31:13