Today has been one of those especially trying days that comes with being a mom.
I got a paycheck today....which was then immediately spent on bills, food, etc. Christian was in day care for this process. I came home and got started on some things that absolutely needed to be done. It was a low-stress kind of day.
Then, the storm hit. Christian was home.
My house is now demolished. If you know me, you know I can't stand mess. He refused to eat dinner. He stomped at me. He spit at me....TWICE. He got a spanking and several time outs. During his bath, he splashed me and completely soaked my pants. It wasn't anything bad, but it was a lot of little annoyances that add up to a big frustration.
When Christian went to bed (and got up twice to "go stinky" - which he didn't need to do), I decided I needed some encouragement. I looked on Facebook and that sucked. I looked on Twitter. That was worse. I turned on 7th Heaven because I wanted to watch a mother really work hard taking care of her large family. That just made me feel worse because Annie Camden is almost perfect and rarely loses her temper with her children.
It finally clicked. If I need encouragement, where should I look first? The Bible. Duh!?
A quick Google search and this is what I found:
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." (Proverbs 31:10-30)
This is under the heading: "Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character." You know what though? It is about so much more than a wife. It is about a mother. It is about a housewife. It is about a working woman. It is about women, period. I want to pick parts of this out and reflect on how they sparked something within me.
Proverbs 31:15: "She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants."
This is the story of my life. Leave out the female servants. I'm not getting into that. I am up at the weirdest hours doing crazy things for my son. Whether it's cooking, changing sheets because of an accident (which are rare these days, thankfully), or consoling after a bad dream. My sleep has been seriously altered over the past three years and I'm not sure it'll ever be the same. That's ok though; I'm working to raise a wonderful little boy who deserves the attention.
Proverbs 31:21: "When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet."
I know that I'm doing everything that I possibly can to take care of my son. I make and sell things. I work. I sell what I don't need. I help others to earn extra cash. I make sure his needs are provided before I even think of what I want or need. I have no worries about him and what he has.
Proverbs 31:24: "She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes."
I laughed when I read this part of this. I just started making a blanket for someone to purchase. I also have some other crocheted items I'm selling. It's just interesting that this was in this passage. Ha!
Proverbs 31:25-26: "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
This is a testament to all women who work to take care of a house and a family. We are strong. We are dignified. We have to endure so much as women without the pressure of children. Add in a child or two and the strength that we need to have increases exponentially. We raise our children and take care of the household while keeping our respect intact. That is impressive. Women are impressive. That is inspiring. The part that really made me giggle: "she can laugh at the days to come." God recognizes that we are going to have days that suck beyond the telling of it. We are strong enough to just laugh it off. These days are GOING TO HAPPEN. It's all about how we look at them when they are over. Hopefully, the last part is true about me in more than one way. I hope I am a good teacher to my son as well as my students. I pray that God inspires the teachings that I impart on my students and helps me to raise my child in the way that He intends for Christian to be raised.
Proverbs 31:28: "Her children arise and call her blessed..."
I sure hope Christian calls me blessed. Tonight, at the end of it all. After I had fussed and spanked, lectured and given time outs, he told me that I was beautiful and perfect. He said, "Tomorrow, Mommy, I want to be perfect like you." Now, I don't know if I really want my child to think I'm perfect...but it sure was nice to hear.
Proverbs 31:30: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Why, oh why, did I not just look at my Bible before I got so freaked out about how the last part of my day turned out? This is all I need to know. I need to fear the Lord. I need to turn to Him, especially when I'm annoyed. He loves me and will help me when I'm stuck or frustrated. I can be charming and wonderful, but that doesn't matter in the long run. What matters is that I love God and that I teach my son to do the same.
Man, I am ready for Church on Sunday. I'm needing some more time with Jesus. Days like this remind me of how happy I am when I leave Church. I love sitting there and being taught a lesson, reflecting on it later, and really letting it sink into my soul. I wish my pastor knew how wise his words are and how God has inspired him to teach things that really matter to me, specifically (and to others too). Come on, Sunday. (God, help me make it to Sunday!!!)