Saturday, March 1, 2014

What remains? (Proverbs 31:30 & 31)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. (Proverbs 31:30, 31 NLT)

When I am honest....I have no idea if I could ever measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman.  My knee jerk reaction is to be snarky about her...mostly because it may be the only way I can feel like I could even be in the room with her...and it helps me realize that my snark is a defense when I feel inadequate...well at least sometimes it is....and oooo...that feels a little ugly to realize that I'm using it to bring someone down in order to feel better about myself.  YUCK.  That is just nasty.  Now...if I put on my how can I look at this from another perspective hat...maybe I feel inadequte because I don't extend enough grace to myself....that I am viewing myself through eyes that aren't forgiving or loving...eyes that find fault with myself...and may I say...Yuck to that as well.  Maybe the perfection of the Proverbs 31 woman is not how I would describe me...but I think there are amazing ways my family would describe me that may be more than I could ever dream or imagine.  I don't say that to sound conceited...I say it based on things my family has said to girls telling me how much they miss (when I went back to work) the way I greeted them when they came in the house...that they could feel my excitement to see them.  A poem Evie wrote for me that talked about silly little details like a trip to Target when we were goofy together, nice things Bill says when I'm being particularly hard on myself...there are unique contributions that I bring to my family that they love and they love me for sharing that with them.  That is amazing...and it means the world to me.  But it comes from love for each other...this love will not fade...nor will God's love fade for us.  It is through our respect or fear of The Lord and his sacrificial love for us and our response to that love that can allow us to love ourselves and others in our lives that in a way that honors God.

Lord let me respond to your love by caring for those you've put in my life in a way that honors you.  Amen.

Mrs. Golden drinks a little (Titus 2:3)

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. (Titus 2:3 NLT)

Dah gone 48 can I deny I'm one of the older women?  At least with a straight face....well probably not.  So I can't be a heavy drinker either...emphasis on "heavy"...(smile)

But we also have a responsibility to teach...that is not something to be taken lightly....the rest of the surrounding verse and the devotional materials for today's passage talk about needing to be intentional in our love for our husbands....being intentional is the best way to not take something so important for granted.  However, if I'm totally honest...I get a little cranky that things aren't "effortless"  I want things to be easy peasy...but that isn't a true reflection of life...and at when we seem to live at such a break neck speed, if we don't "intend" to do something it really is all to easy to let it slip away...even if it was very important to us at one time.  When I make an effort to blunt a criticism or try to think about what the other person may have been thinking or feeling when they didn't do something the way I wanted done...I'm much more likely to extend grace to my child or my husband....and you know the funny thing...then I find it that much easier to extend grace to myself.

P.S.  the title of the post is a reference to a play (Miss Reardon drinks a little) that I did an Oral Interp piece from when I was a junior in high school