Old Passage, New Version

Most of us are probably familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman (found in Proverbs 31:10-31). Although she sets the bar high for us women, I can always find something in this passage to inspire me to be a better wife or mother. I've been doing a good deal of self-reflecting these days (since I haven't had the energy to do much else) and I have found some definite areas I need to work on. The good news is that we have a perfect example of a woman who "does it all" ... with beauty and grace... and without losing her mind! Hopefully, these verses will inspire and encourage you as well.

I LOVE The Message translation of this passage. It helped me read it in a new, fresh way and made it very relevant for today.

Also, take note of the verse that says, "She senses the worth of her work...". Sometimes as a stay-at-home-mom I question the "worth of my work" when others are out doing things that can seem much more important or productive. This verse served as a good reminder that there is worth in devoting this chapter of my life to raising my child (soon to be children). Even though helping Carter with his ABC puzzle for the one millionth time might seem trivial, there is worth to be found there. The same goes for meal planning, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. It has value- and I've found that if you approach it with this attitude, the attitude of a servant, then the tasks become far more meaningful.

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

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