Monday, June 07, 2010

Life Lessons

"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 dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls." Proverbs 31:11-15

One of the first things we did when we moved to our new city was introduce ourselves to our big town library. We've been in heaven ever since we did. Oh, we loved the library that we left behind, but this one has so much more material on the shelf- we don't have to request near as much from other libraries, and then wait for it. The kids have been in heaven, and my pile of books to read has grown immensely. One of the things I was tickled about finding at the library was a larger selection of Amish fiction. I know I've said it before here, but I love reading about the plain life- I can see myself living it sometimes. Sometimes a book will inspire me to go a little further with housework, or bake an extra something, but this time, as I wrapped up a book I was reading, I really felt like I needed to go read about my old friend, the Proverbs 31 woman again.

"She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

For the last little while, I've almost felt like I've been in a bit of a funk. I almost feel as if I've been extra tired as of late. On the one hand, I've been pointing out to myself that our home is much bigger, and it takes that much more effort to keep it, but that would require that I actually do a lot of housework. Now admittedly, last week was our first week off of school, and as such, the kids and I all took it as kind of a lazy week- for a few days anyway. I spent some time reading, and this time, when I finished up, I didn't have this dreamy thought of "I could live like that if God wanted me to." Instead, I found myself chastised, almost. I felt like it was being pointed out to me that I've been idle.

Last fall someone pointed out to me that my love of cooking came from God. It was a blessing, and it was a tool that I could use to do so much for God. I thought that was awesome- I'd never heard it put that way! Then the holidays came along, and with limited resources I did what I could to enjoy the holiday cooking season, but then after that, it was like my desire to cook just kind of fell away. I really had to concentrate to come up with ideas for lunches and dinners. I always had an excuse. For a while when Andy wasn't working, I just had to make do with what we had, and that was that. Once he went back to work, we were preparing to move, so I was trying to use what we had on hand so we had to move less, and then of course, after we moved, things were crazy for a few weeks and we spent a lot of time utilizing our new found conveniences. And my poor food blog has suffered considerably- where I was posting every day for the longest time, I'm only posting a few days a week.

No more. I've identified what is going on. What I considered just a funk- something everyone goes through at times- is not a funk, but in fact, it's the enemy trying to foil me. And I will not be foiled. I've had cooking funks before, but they've lasted a week or two at the most. Several months? That is not the case- what this is, is the enemy trying to rob me of what brings me joy- and trying to rob me of the opportunity to be a blessing to those around me. And more so- to be a blessing to my husband. He works so hard to bring in provision for the family, the least I can do is provide the delicious meals to sustain him as he works throughout the day. More than that- could it be that some of my lethargy could also be caused by diet? Man truly cannot live by bread alone...

"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." Proverbs 31:21-22

As I'm thinking about everything this morning, I find it just like God to use a work of fiction- something I was reading purely for pleasure- to show me where things are going wrong. To show me how my actions are not pleasing to anyone- not to myself, my kids, my husband, nor to my God. I am not honoring anyone by sitting around all day, doing the minimal amount of housework- just enough to keep the dirt at bay and clean laundry about.

And so today is a new day- and it kicks off a new week. I find it completely ironic that this was brought to my attention at what truly is one of our busiest weeks of the year. But it will be filled with joy- and at the center of it- at the very heart of it all is this:

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5

A life of idleness is not a life of love at all. I want the life filled with love- I want my life to be an example of love for everyone around me. And so today it will begin again. I have a new resolve- completely thanks to the God who lives in me- who sees what I don't and brings it to my attention. I will love God with all I have, and in doing so, I will show my love to all around me by doing what it is that I do best. And in the end, God will get the praise and the glory for giving me the abilities HE gave me.

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