If only I could explain the irony and the journey behind the title of this blog…
For most of my Christian life (40 odd years) I have been rather dismissive of the “Proverbs 31 wife” teachings, annoyed by endless “women’s day” or “women’s collective” events, stereotyping them into hearts and flowers, arts and crafts, wishy washy affairs. “Girly” was an insult in my vocabulary. I hated pink. Hated all the labels and the boxes to put girls/females/women in.
I was the sort of girl who climbed trees and played with toy cars. I was the sort of teenager who challenged drunks down the pub to arm wrestling. I was the sort of woman who painted the outside of the house whilst 6 months pregnant, fixed flat roofs, lifted heavy objects.
Anything a man could do, I would do.
I was also very much a “Martha”. I bought a little card with “The Kitchen Prayer” by Klara Munkres on it, and as it identified my Mum, so it became my identity:
Lord of all pots and pans and things
Since I’ve not time to be
A saint by doing lovely things or
Watching late with Thee
Or dreaming in the dawn light or
Storming Heaven’s gates
Make me a saint by getting meals and
Washing up the plates.
Although I must have Martha’s hands,
I have a Mary mind
And when I black the boots and shoes,
Thy sandals Lord I find.
I think of how they trod the earth,
What time I scrub the floor
Accept this meditation Lord,
I haven’t time for more.
Warm all the kitchen with Thy love,
And light it with Thy peace
Forgive me all my worrying and make
My grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food,
In room or by the sea
Accept this service that I do,
I do it unto Thee.
I thought anything less than hard work, practical stuff, was not for me.
Then it all changed. 45 years old and suddenly a veil was lifted, a stronghold broken, the lie exposed, and I found myself a woman. Made by God. His Handmaiden. Beautiful. Feminine. The how and why is a long story, maybe I will share one day, but suffice to say it has been a shock and a revelation!
Suddenly I’m wearing colour. I’m styling my hair (I had to watch YouTube to learn how to do it). Paying attention to my make up (though I still wear very little). People comment on how radiant I look. How beautiful. They think I’ve lost weight (I haven’t!) because there is something so different about me.
So I’m revisiting my view of the Proverbs wife (I am after all a wife and a mother of four), and learning how to celebrate the strengths of being a woman without denying my femininity.
I’m also learning to “chose the good part” (Luke 10:42) like Mary and have found the time to spend at least an hour a day in the company of my Lord. Sometimes we just sit together in companionable silence. Sometimes I talk to Him. Sometimes He shares with me. Always I come away blessed.
This blog is to record my notes, thoughts and learning from those times with Him, as I seek to be known only as a woman who fears the LORD.