This week I have been doing a little evaluating of my current life. Back to full time work, two girls graduating high school, a home to manage, friends to see… As I pondered my own frustrations, disappointments, I also saw a post from another hard working mom asking if there was such a thing as balance. Another young mom messaged me asking how I managed, what could she do different.
As women we all struggle. It is hard to be all the things we want to be. Sometimes we have choices, other times the circumstances of our lives dictate whether or not we have choices. As Christian women the struggle can run deep. Not only do we hold ourselves to the standard of the world, but we hold ourselves up to the Proverbs 31 woman and create expectations we often can’t meet.
Going back to work at age 50 is a completely different experience from that of my 20s. It’s not better, it’s not worse. It is just different. Experience has taught me. Struggles with anxiety and fear have moved me. As I thought about the questions of dear friends, as I pondered my own momentary frustration I was reminded that today matters. What I choose today is what matters most. Who I am today affects my tomorrow. I cannot be all things to all people at all times, but I can be who I need to be today to the persons God brings across my path. I can choose today to return home from work and turn my attention to the ones I love most, preparing food, washing clothes, caring for their needs. There is not a lot of time for relaxation, for outings, for extra time with friends. But that is okay. All too soon the girls will be gone, their adult lives unfolding. I will no longer have the chance to wash their clothes, light a candle to say welcome home, cook their favorite meal. When that time comes there will be more time for friends, for personal rest.
Life is a journey. Spiritual growth is a journey. I can have it all, just not all at once. Each season brings new opportunities. Each season requires saying no to some things, so others can be cherished. As I read back through scripture I am reminded the Proverbs 31 woman lived a full life. She too experienced and lived her life in seasons. And most of all, I am reminded that what God desires I learn from her is her character traits- patience, love, perseverance, joy, hope.
Remember. God has you in this season to do His work where you are at this time. You won’t be able to do it all right now. But over a lifetime you just might have the chance. Be patient, love well, persevere, and hope in the future.
Proverbs 31:10-31New International Version (NIV)
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.