Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea

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 her food from afar.
 She gets up while it is still dark;
       she provides food for her family
       and portions for her servant girls. 

 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 with 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.
 Give her the reward she has earned,
       and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I'm doing something a little different today... linking to Bernideen's Tea Time Blog as we are celebrating the Proverbs 31 woman on this Mother's Day.  I adore the 31st chapter of the book of Proverbs from the beginning to the end.  With the exception of certain Psalms, it is my most well read section of the Bible. 

I e-mailed Bernideen that I wasn't certain what specifically to write about.  There have been dozens of books written on this area of scripture so it has been well documented, discussed, debated, and held to the heart.  So much to think of and ponder and follow as wisdom.

However, as so often happens during the week, events in my own life helped to focus my thoughts on what this scripture means to me.  I remembered what Edith has said in her books, that the home needs someone who is giving it a lot of thought, whose heart belongs to hearth and home and the people who live there.

I came to realize this week that I have been spending a great deal of time taking care of people and pets and gardens.  As much as my husband cares for the garden, it was not he who battled a cold wind to put bankies on garden and deck plants last night.  He is not the one who checks Victoria's kibble and water dishes twice a day.

He does not text Christopher, asking when he will be home for the night (does he need leftovers to warm up) or to let him know he is being prayed for before the class.  My husband did not help Christopher set four alarm clocks to make certain he was up for his final in time, drive him there and later pick him up... all because it was Mom who realized the importance of the moment.

He does not remind Stephanie to rest even though she has four children and is trying to get settled in a new home.  It is Mom who thinks of her throughout the day and prays for her strength (as the baby is due soon), prays for each grandchild as well as a son-in-law's commute.

It is Mom who thinks ahead to Holidays and birthdays, how to budget for them, what can be done to make the house festive, what food must be prepared as well as new desserts to attempt, and gifts (on a budget) which would bring joy to the recipient.

My husband does not keep back a few dollars from our limited budget to peruse the thrift shop for Beauty or to stop by the nursery for another herb plant or flower when we have "just a little" more to spend. 

He does not think about the cold and windy weather outside, deciding sausage and buckwheat pancakes would be a special treat when loved ones arrive home.  He does not peruse through numerous favorite cookbooks to find recipes for orzo salad or black beans or dill from the herb garden or a near infinite variety of ways to cook healthy on a budget.

He looks at the big picture... the budget and the lawn and the maintenance and all that.  But the little day to day nuances (for the most part) are more feminine.  It matters not if we have children at home or if we live alone.  Women knows that "God is in the details".

"She looks well to the ways of her household"...


Lisa in Texas = ) said...

Brenda~ Thank you so much for this post. It really helped me understand Proverbs 31 much more clearly. It is the details of life. Thanks so much,
Lisa :o)

Anonymous said...

Oh my, so eloquently put, Brenda. I like, like, like this post! :)

Bernideen said...

Beautiful - such great wisdom here!

Mrs.Rabe said...

I love this, Brenda!

The home needs someone who thinks about it! So true...all the nuances of what makes a house a home, the details those are ours! What joy to do for my family.

Anonymous said...

There is so much thought in the substance of your thoughts today. Thankyou Brenda. I am sure someone could write also from the husband's side of things too as they struggle to be the head of the household even if at times they are pressed down by the responsibility and such. Yes our loving God did make us different for different purposes that we come to make a comforting whole life together. Thankyou for gathering together so many of the thoughts and processes we so naturally go through for our families. Yes it is our nature to "look after" our households isen't it. Sarah

Frair John said...

This was one of the readings at my Grandmothers funeral in January. It's always been one of my favorites.

While this is my first time commenting, I've often stopped here for a soothing moment with a cup of tea (a Green Chi at the moment). Thank you for this lovely post.

gail said...

Yes Brenda that is so true. We have the toughest and most responsible job in the world. God knew he needed someone He could trust to care for His children and that's why He created a woman. Hope your Mother's Day was fabulous.

Blessings Gail

Vicki in UT said...

I was thinking along similar lines today, as I cooked a nice mother's day dinner for my mother and handicapped brother to join us. If it weren't for me, holidays just wouldn't happen. My brother asked if we were doing the same thing for memorial day as we did last year. It won't be the same, because that was at my son's house, since their baby was just home from the hospital (I still brought the food, lol) and he'll be out of town, but I can do a barbecue at my house. It is a lot of hard work, especially since I do the clean-up, too, but I find value in providing that for my family.

Manuela@TPOH said...

So true Brenda! I don't usually think about it that way. All those little details. I had to smile about the kibble and water part. My daughter and I are the only ones who make sure that Maxie has water in his downstairs bowl (and yet he loves my husband best LOL)!

I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day!


Vee said...

Beautifully said. It is all about the "little things," which make life ever so much richer.

Lisa Z said...

Well said, Brenda, and for the most part true though I have to admit my husband is quite good at some of the household details like feeding the pets. It's a nice perspective on Prov. 31, though.

Christy@WickedHappy said...

Well said! Another really lovely post. Thanks for sharing it.

Flower said...

Just found you....from Ridgley's blog. I first saw the tea pot..Lavender Rose's mine, too!! It's such a pretty pattern. My set was a gift from years gone by.
I love the details of life..and noticing God in each of them. Fine turning the a good way to work! A goat is good helper with the weeds and with laughter!
Husbands are delighted to see what we wives accomplish just like we are thrilled with their tasks!! It's a team effort.

The Vintage Rose said...

Lovely to see your lavender rose tea set.

Anonymous said...

My dad asked me to help him choose rubies (plural, because it's plural in the Scriptures!) for my mom, for Valentine's Day a year or so ago. I felt blessed to have a mom & dad who modeled this Proverb for me growing up!

Connie in San Diego