Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Being A Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 17

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t always have a lot of energy. I don’t usually go about my daily tasks with a lot of energy. I would imagine if I did I’d get a lot more done. Typically I drag myself through any daily tasks that need to get done. Of course, that’s when I get around to them.

Today’s verse, in my Transformation Study Bible says,

“She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.”

Ok, I’ll be honest here. I’m not a fan of household chores. I would rather be outside mucking out a barn stall, pulling weeds in my garden or mowing the lawn. Vacuuming, dusting, dishes, laundry etc. aren’t at the top of my “exciting” list. In fact, just the opposite. I tend to put them off as long as possible. I know, not ideal, and not very beneficial to my family.

I have a ton of room for growth in the area of going about my tasks with energy.

Proverbs 3117[4]

Now, you can see the difference in the wording of the verses, but also similar. She works vigorously or energetically. Can you picture in your mind, what it looks like to work that way in your tasks?

I think again, we go back to where our heart is. Are you like me and go about your tasks with the attitude of, “ugh. just get it done, Mimi. it really won’t kill you…maybe.”

Imagine, well, I’m imagining, what it would be like if I had a different mindset, a different heart attitude towards the work I do around my home. What if I went about it saying, “Thank you Lord that I have dishes to wash, that became dirty with the food I was able to provide them. Let me remember that by doing this task, I bring you honor and bless my family.”

Yes, I know that’s easier said that done. Hello, I’m 44 yrs old and I know I’ve had this conversation with myself before. When it goes from our head to our heart, that’s when the change begins to happen.

We also see that the Proverbs 31 woman is a strong woman. She sees her work and is able to do it. We, as women, come in all different shapes and sizes. Physically sometimes we can only do so much. What I think we need to do is know what we CAN do. God isn’t going to call us to something that’s not physically possible. He simply wants us to be a hard worker. I think we can all accomplish that!

What is ONE thing around your house that you can change your outlook about?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Being A Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 16

I know that as I go through these verses, several could be lumped together, but in my stubbornness, I’ve decided to still do them one by one. Even when they make me wonder how in the world I’m going to make a blog post out of the verse.

One thing I don’t want to do with scripture is make it more than what God is presenting it as. This next verse definitely goes along with the previous 3 verses. The proverbs 31 woman is always taking care of things. She’s always keeping busy.


A year ago I started planning a move from Virginia to Maryland. Being 2 hours away from Fred wasn’t conducive to building a relationship with him. That meant in the month of August I was going back and forth (four hours round trip) looking at housing options in the area. I made that trip so much it was overwhelming. I should’ve actually listened to Fred and his suggestion to begin with and I would’ve saved time and money.

What finally worked out was getting the house Fred had been living in; his original suggestion. God’s timing is so amazing. Fred had bought a house that had him moving out the weekend before I was able to move into the rental. It worked for what my needs were and it was in my budget. In essence, I “considered the field” of homes available to me and chose the one that fit best into my finances, and what was clearly ordained by God with the timing and all of the other little details.

Out of my earnings, I haven’t planted a vineyard this year, but did plant the beginnings of a beautiful floral garden at Fred’s house. We already saw a hummingbird at one of the bee balms I planted. I hope to plant more flowers for fall and have more blooming next spring. The garden (vineyard) is my happy place!

At our house in Minnesota, I had a large vegetable and fruit garden. I loved having zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and raspberries. That vineyard saved me money in the long run. I don’t know that I’ll be able to have a vegetable garden at Fred’s house. That’s something in the “wait and see” mode.

Now, you may not have a green thumb, and you may not need to find any real estate, but I think it’s important to take care of the real estate you live in. No, my house isn’t the tidiest of homes, but it’s in good condition. I talk to the landlord if something needs to be fixed or I try to fix it myself. I also try to keep bills down to a minimum.

You also may not be able to plant a vineyard because you have no room or you simply have a black thumb and kill anything you come into contact with. In our society it’s not necessary to do that any more. Not like they did back then. If you’ve never even tried, maybe give it a go this spring/summer. Some things are too late to plant from seed, but you could always plant something that’s been started at a local landscaping store. If you’re in an apartment or a rental, you can grow vegetables in large pots. Any garden center will be able to help you get started. It’s also so relaxing and enjoyable!

How do you spend your earnings? Do you use wisdom with those earnings?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Being A Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 15

I. Am. Not. A. Morning. Person.

I never have been, never will be. I burn the midnight oil and wake up when it’s time to get the kids off to school. Not a minute sooner. I try to go back to sleep, in fact, in between waking up my boys. It doesn’t always work, and I typically sit there with my brain already hard at it.

Now granted, I typically only get about 6 1/2 hours of sleep every night, if I go to bed at midnight. So, I’ll never be the early bird catching any worms.

That all being said, today’s scripture shows us that a Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t spend her time being idle. I’m not saying she doesn’t rest, I’m saying it tells us she is productive and uses her time well. Oh to be that woman! I have no doubt she didn’t live with ADD!

Proverbs 3115[4]

I actually like how it reads in my Transformation Study Bible. I know, you’ve heard that before:

“She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.” Proverbs 31:15

I’m not a breakfast maker. I’d love to aspire to be that woman, but there are a few problems with that scenario. First, Fred’s breakfast, by choice, is a Hershey chocolate bar and a Coke or a Swiss Cake Roll and a Coke or a donut and a Coke. Don’t blame me, this started long ago before I knew him. But, my boys’ breakfast isn’t much more stellar. I do get up and get them their milk and Pop Tart (ugh, yes, I just admitted that), and get their lunches ready for school. I make sure they’re ready to go and then send them off to catch their bus.

So, needless to say, none of us is big on breakfast. When I finally get around to eating, it’s just a bowl of cereal. If I made a full blown breakfast, I don’t think any of us would move for days…or even know what to do with it all.

And we don’t have servant girls any more, so that doesn’t apply to us, but it shows us that the Proverbs 31 woman provides for those around her. She makes sure people around her are kept busy and that they have what they need. It shows me that she’s thoughtful, not just of her own family, but of others.

Being in a relationship with Fred means I need to be more conscious of others. He is looking to go into the ministry and as such, I have to have a perspective of looking out at what others need. This is an area of growth that I need. I definitely have a heart for others, especially those who are in need. I just need to learn how I can bless Fred and his ministry(ies) as well as God.

In all of the Proverbs 31 woman’s acts, she blessed and honored her husband, her family, and most of all God! That’s what is so vital. Does God receive the glory? Would the servant girls be able to look at this woman and see the face of God through her? Same with her family. Would they see Christ in the life of their mom and wife?

What about yours? Would your family and others say they see Christ in you?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 14

Becoming a wife and a mom doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Some women are skilled in the home, specifically the kitchen, others can muster up a recipe or two, and yet others burn water. I would have to say I’m in the middle. I can cook, but I’m no chef. If I have a recipe, I’m good to go.

My dad likes what he calls, Mama Mimi’s Lasagna. It’s lasagna, plain and simple. Nothing to write home about, but for my dad to give my food a name, that’s saying something! He also mentioned recently that never in his wildest dreams did he ever see me as Susie Homemaker. lol He said it with the sound of being impressed.

I like being home. I loved being a stay at home mom. I do enjoy cooking meals when I have the opportunity. My boys and I are super simple when it comes to dinner and I’m usually not sure what we’re going to eat up until the moment I’m making it.

Today, our verse takes us on a ship to far off lands…just for food!

Proverbs 3114[4]

Now granted, we can get into our SUV, Crossover, or Minivan and run to the grocery store or farmers market to get the food we need at any time of day. Back in the day, not so much. Can you imagine “grocery shopping” in biblical times? Nothing close to what we have now.

Regardless of how we get our food or what time of day it is, does our food, our meals bless our families? Does it nourish them? I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say that mac & cheese or hot dogs and fries are a staple on our fine dining menu at our house.

I know not every woman has the skill for cooking, but, where is your heart? Is your husband the cook? Let me tell you what, Fred…he’s amazing! That man can grill pretty much anything! He can also make delicious stuffed shells and his asparagus is to die for. Last night he made a fantastic lasagna. No, I’m not ready to call it Papa Fred’s Lasagna! pffffftht

If your husband’s the cook, do you get the groceries? If he makes a list of what he wants and needs, will you go out and get them? You don’t know which brand to get, which size, or how much? Ask. Have him go with you a few times so you can write down the brands. Maybe there are some products he’s fine getting a store brand whereas with others he likes a specific brand.

Maybe throwing together a 4 course meal isn’t your cup of tea. What about baking? I love to bake and I’m not half bad at it. I don’t get the opportunity to do much of it because the boys and I always have so much left over.

Take some cooking classes! There are so many ways to do that: community education, local colleges, William Sonoma, and so on. You can even take them as a couple. Hello date night! There are so many ways to learn!

If you have a desire by bringing them food, whether you’re on some merchant ship or the groceries are in the trunk of your vehicle, then follow through. Find a way to bless them. Do they have special treats that you can surprise them with on occasion? There are various ways you can bless your family in this area. Take some time to think about how you can do that.

If you could learn to make one meal, what would it be?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Being A Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 13

Now we’re moving into the part of being a Proverbs 31 woman where I think some women may bristle. I don’t get a bee in my bonnet reading these next set of verses, but I know I fall short of them. I think because of my ADD, I get very distracted and do other things that the things I should be doing.

Verse 13 talks about our work as women. Unfortunately, there has long been a battle between women who stay at home and those who go outside the home to work. I’m certainly not going to feed into that because both are very commendable things.

Proverbs 3113[4]

What we can see from this scripture is that she isn’t afraid of work. She keeps busy. That means in various ways she takes care of her family. She either provides for them by doing work around the house or working outside of the home.

God has designed us to have a huge part in our homes whether we have children or if it’s just you and your husband. He wants us to give of our time and our energy to our family. What we bring to the table, with eager hands blesses our loved ones.

This whole part of scripture shows me how much a Proverbs 31 looks outside of herself. There is a selflessness to how she lives her life. She constantly thinking of serving her Lord and her family.

I can’t be characterized as that woman. Not in the slightest. I DO work, but from home. I was a stay at home mom for 15 beautiful years. I’m doing a job now I enjoy tremendously. But again, I believe there is a heart matter at work here. How do we go about our work? Do we work with eager hands to give glory back to the Lord in what we do? Do we work knowing we’re blessing our family?

I’m thinking the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t just randomly or haphazardly grab wool and flax. I have no doubt she took her time, diligently doing the best work she could. That’s what we’re called to as well. God will grow us in this, if we allow him.

Do you do your work with eager hands, wanting to bless your husband?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Being A Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 12

I’m not sure about you, but I’m not someone who lives their lives intentionally every day. Most days I just go through life, like I think many of us do. I don’t consider what I’m going to bring to the lives of those I love.

I’d imagine if I lived a life of intention, I’d be able to pour more good and positive things into their lives, especially Fred’s. Today’s verse, verse 11 we’re given the task of deciding what we’re going to bring to our boyfriend’s/husband’s life.

Proverbs 3112[9]

Ok, so this verse doesn’t require us to have a degree in rocket science, but it’s one worth discussing.

You know how we can be, ladies. We can be whiny, crabby, argumentative, hard headed, inconsiderate, any number of things on any given day. This goes for everyone, but sit back and consider the good you can bring to your husband’s life, simply by your attitude. We can bring to their lives by trying to put aside those attitudes as often and as well as we can. Really, this goes with everyone, but I’m focusing on the men in our lives.

When you’re with friends, family, co-workers, church attendees, how do you talk about your man? Do you discredit him in front of others? Do you talk about him like he’s hung the moon for you? Do you make him sound like an idiot or do people walk away from you saying to themselves, “Man, she’s got a fantastic guy in her life!”? If we speak well of our men, we’re doing good and not harm to him.

And yes, it does say, “all the days of her life.” Well, we’re not going to get it right every single time at every single point in the day. We’re human and that’s just a fact of life. That’s where grace and forgiveness come in.

Colossians 46[4]

In the end, it’s really our heart condition. What is our heart towards the man we love? Does it desire to bring good, and not harm? What are our daily intentions toward him?

Can your husband testify that you want to bring him good?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 11

Oh boy, going through Proverbs 31 is going to be quite a challenge. In a good way, but a challenge nevertheless. Why? Because currently, it is showing me all of the ways I have failed Fred. Now, you as a reader might think that’s a bit strong to think I’ve failed him, but I can assure you, I have.

This isn’t a “waaah waaah waaah” session. No need to feel sorry, for Fred yes, but not for me. It is very eye opening and heart opening. It is revealing to me how much harm can be done to those you love when you don’t follow God’s plan, his design.

Proverbs 3111[4]

The Transformation Study Bible says it this way:

“Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.”

Husbands and wives need to trust each other. It’s essential to any relationship, but especially the marital one. Of course, I have to go by the “girlfriend” version of it, but trust starts there.

I’m not one who’s big on trust with men who are close to me. I’ve mentioned it in the past and that’s where I plan on letting it stay. I’ve carried around a lack of trust for so long, it’s part of my identity. Fred received the fallout of the men who haven’t been trustworthy in my life. Lack of trust is no way to build a relationship.

On the flip side, I can say with confidence that when it comes to trusting me, he can’t.


Trusting someone doesn’t just have to do with fidelity. Trust is all encompassing. Can he trust me with his heart? Can he trust me with his emotions? Can he trust me with his children? Can he trust that I will build him up and not tear him down? With how I have been behaving, Fred would have no reason to have any confidence in me. That being said, I know Fred knows my heart. He knows that I am not intentionally trying to hurt him or anyone else. Ok, well, there might be a couple of people I’d like to hurt, but we’ll save that for another blog post. Maybe. Ok, highly doubtful.

So, how do you build confidence in your significant other? You build them up face to face and around others. You parent with love (yours and his if you have children). You look outside of yourself, your “rights”, and look to the needs of others; including those inside your home and outside of it. You treat him with respect.

Ephesians 533[4]

I also don’t speak about or look at other men improperly. I have never said once, “Oh man, he’s hot.” I also try not to even entertain thoughts of finding another man attractive. Really, it’s not helpful to your emotions or state of mind. Even if it’s some stranger or an actor. I understand how some people might look at it as no big deal, but I don’t ever want him to think I’m thinking of another man.

The next part of this verse talks about lacking nothing of value. Basically he has everything that’s important. He’s not lacking anything in his life.

Isn’t that what we want for the men in our lives? We don’t want them to lack anything! We want their lives to be full and abundant. WE have such a huge part in that. As girlfriends, as wives, we have the opportunity to enrich the lives of our men! That’s such a huge calling.

And ladies, I’m not saying men don’t have their part in the relationship, they do. This is simply one part of scripture that I’m covering right now so that I can learn to be the woman who can love, support and honor the man in her life. I have a long way to go in this. Getting rid of my own agenda and picking up what God is calling me to, is what needs to be done in my life.

What about you? Do you need to do the same? Can you go to your husband/boyfriend and ask him if he has full confidence and trust in you? Does he feel like his life lacks nothing of value or what’s important? Granted, some men might feel that because they don’t like their job, don’t have a 52” Smart Plasma TV, and don’t drive a 2014 Audi R8 that they ARE lacking things of value. That’s not what I’m talking about here.

It’s about the richness, deepness, and security of their home lives that I’m referring to. In the end, that’s what’s important.

Does your boyfriend/husband have full confidence in you?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Verse 10

When I first met Fred, one of the things he used to say to me was how he saw me as a Proverbs 31 woman. I knew how far off the mark he was with his observation, but from a couple of thousand miles away, that’s what he expressed. (Right now I know he wishes he could eat those words, along with many others)
I on the other hand knew that being a Proverbs 31 woman was the furthest thing from who I truly and and tried to explain to him, “I’m just no that woman.”

In scripture, the title of this section is “A Wife of Noble Character.” When I read that the first time, after having gotten to know Fred and he started referring to me as this woman, I did a bit of swooning. See, his last name is Noble. I wanted to also BECOME a Mrs. Noble once I started to get to know him, so it all worked well in my head!

What I’m hoping to do is continue, for now, with my break from the Love Dare because a lot has happened since Day 8. Lots of books can be good and helpful, but THE Book is where I need to turn to, and where I’ve been turning to.

I’m not sure that I’ll ever fully be a Proverbs 31 woman or that I’ll even have the chance to be a Mrs. Noble, but what I do know is that God is in the business of healing and changing us when we allow him. That’s the crux of it all. Wanting to change and allowing change are two very different things. I’ve wanted to change for a very long time, but allowing it to happen hasn’t occurred.

I’m the person who says, “I want to change, God. Ok, now I’m going to do it.” Somehow in the back of my mind I think because I’ve said I want to do it, some of God’s non-existent ‘I want to change’ fairy dust will poof me into a new person. And I’m sure God looks down from his throne thinking, “Oh, you’re going to do it? Be sure to include me when you’ve come to the end of yourself.”

Well, once again I’ve come to the end of myself. I’ve been here before, but this time? This time I can see and feel the work he’s doing, as I have before. I’m being intentional. I’m doing it by the power of the Word and the truth of his Word. It’s all I have left. Wish it was where I had started. I still have so much to learn on this faith journey.

We’re going to start out and go verse by verse and we’ll see what God reveals to me, and hopefully to you. Here is Proverbs 31:10

A wife of noble character[4]
One of the definitions of “noble” is:

“having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals”

Ok, so honestly, I don’t possess fine personal qualities, BUT I have very high moral principles and ideas. That second part can be a very good thing to have, especially in this world today. Unfortunately, I’ve taken morality and become legalistic. Let me tell you, it’s a fine balance of having high morals and not being legalistic.

Now, while I may be 100% right in my morals, forcing someone else to live by those morals when they don’t agree with them, is also 100% wrong. Yes, there’s nothing wrong with me sharing my views, getting upset and throwing a tantrum when those morals aren’t followed is as far away from being Christ-like as I can imagine a Christian being.

If a man were to find a woman who showed she had good personal qualities and had high moral principles and ideas, it shows there a beautiful worth to it! She’s worth far more than rubies. Rubies are a precious stone. Imagine how precious they were back then when they used those words to describe this woman.
Imagine how rich a man’s life would be if he were to find a woman like this. Talk about swooning. I think Fred would be mooneyed at me if I were actually this woman. And this is where it starts, at the beginning. Women, we need to be women of noble character!

I think of how I haven’t been this woman with Fred and I’m ashamed. God has been revealing the pride I’ve been living with and forcing on Fred because of my “high moral principles”. The commentary in The Transformation Study Bible says this:

“Marriage doesn’t change a person’s character. If either the husband or the wife has character weaknesses, marriage will only reveal and accentuate them. A husband or wife who hopes to change his or her spouse after the honeymoon is destined for disappointment.”

Yes, the all mighty, “but I can change him,” has resonated with me. Change after the honeymoon? Why not before? I mean, hello! Remember my moral principles? Yea, they’re godly, so what are we missing? It’s NOT complicated. If he would just listen to me and figure out how right I am, well, he’d be much better off, sheesh.

Yea, can’t you feel the love? I tend to start off with right motives and finally move to a place where I’m just beyond ridiculous. No where near being a “noble” girlfriend/wife. Just because God has spoken to me and brought me to a place where he wants me, I have felt it my duty to bring Fred into that knowledge as well. All it’s done is create a wedge and driven us apart. There’s no sign of me being a woman of noble character whatsoever in that behavior or attitude.
Wait for the Lord[4]
GOD, God has to do the work! It’s his work to do. He sent the Holy Spirit for a reason. He didn’t send Mimi! You would think by now I’d know I can’t “fix” anyone! IF there’s work to be done, God has to be the one to do it. Not me! I know, quite the revelation, but there are a few things I’m quite stubborn with and take a long time to get through my thick skull!

Looking at 1 Peter 3:1-2 explains this perfectly. Even if what I say to Fred is ignored, that doesn’t mean I harass him relentlessly. It means I share what God has laid on my heart and then I need to live a godly life and allow God’s Spirit to do It’s work.

And the thing is, in this time of waiting, I’M the one who has to be still. I’M the one who has to say, “God’s will be done.” At that point, I have to let it go. Now, easier said than done, I tell ya! But, I’ve had some good experience with it over the weekend and God, yep, he’s been faithful at each moment. He is changing ME! He keeps showing up every time I cry out to him and hand everything over to him.
From there, I can start my journey on being a Proverbs 31 woman!

What would you say you’re characterized as?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Celebrating His Last: Field Day

Have you heard of the book by Karen Kingsbury called “Let Me Hold You Longer”? It’s a book that encourages us as parents to savor the “lasts” our children have. You know we celebrate their first steps, first word, first day at school, but what about their “lasts”?

field Day 2014[5]

The last time they crawl, the last time they breastfeed, the last time they go to kindergarten, etc? They have just as many lasts as they have firsts.

Water Balloon Toss[5]

Today I’m celebrating Doodle’s last field day. I don’t even recall him having field day last year. I went as a visitor this year, not a volunteer. It was so great. I got to walk around with him and his partner for the morning.

Field Day 3

I was really impressed with all of the stations the school had set up for all of the kids and the entire school did it at the same time. I tell you what, this is a small school!

Field Day 4 Connect Four Racing[4]

One of the best parts were all of the water activities. They really thought of everything that kept the kids cooled off! Everything from squirt gun fights to water balloon tosses to water ball toss! These kids were all sopping wet by the end of the morning!

Squirt Gun Fight[6]

There were also a lot of fun games to play inside. I had to keep an eye on these boys because they moved so fast I almost lost them a couple of times. Inside they had some bowling activities, food competitions, LEGO games, and much more.

Water Guns[4]

Needless to say, this was a fantastic way to have a last field day! I was so glad he was here to have all of this fun! Next up, elementary school graduation! I’m not sure I’m ready for that. He’s my youngest, that means I no longer have any kids in elementary school. Gulp!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blogging, I Used To Do That

Well, it’s been about a month since I blogged. Things have just been crazy around here.

At the beginning of the month my oldest daughter was here for about 5 days. In fact, we even left out of airport gates that were right next to each other about an hour apart. Here back to Minnesota (sad mama) and me, down south.
Where did I head? I traveled to Arkansas for SoFabCon ‘14. I was there for a week and came home Mother’s Day to a crazy busy evening.

The next week I started new tasks at my job with Collective Bias. I’m starting to get into the swing of things, but it’s a lot of work. I’m finding that I’m having a lot of my weekend available, but those weekends have been filled up with so many other things.
I’ve been to NYC and it was a lot of fun. I love going up to our work office there.

The boys and I also went to Virginia a couple of times to spend time with my family. We love going there. It’s kind of like a mini-vacation every time we go there. When Baby was here, we went to a tea room by my mom’s house. The last time, a week ago, we even went mini-golfing with my parents. Oh my goodness, that was so much fun.

I was doing the Love Dare, and that’s been put on the back burner for this month. Fred was gone before I went to NYC and then I was gone for that week. Then, and then, and then. I stopped on Day 8 I think, but wrote Day 9 while at the conference. I just never got it posted. I haven’t started it up again, but I will.

I really need to get back to blogging. That‘s the bottom line and where I need to start. I’m not even sure where to start. It’s been so long, I’m not what to blog about.

One exciting piece is hopefully adding another writer to my blog. We’ll see if that comes about. I’ve been hoping to adding a new element because I definitely can’t carry it on my own while working full time.

So, I’ll try to be back. I have a lot going on still, but I’m hoping I can get my act together asap!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.