Monday, May 10, 2010

My Time as a Proverbs 31:10 Woman

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”

Since I started this challenge a few weeks ago with my sister-in-law, I have had a lot of opportunities to go “far above”. I’ve tried my hardest to follow through with all of them, but I am human and some of those opportunities did pass by. I did all the laundry but didn’t put it away. I didn’t empty the dishwasher before I went to bed. I let the dust pile up for a few more days. I didn’t get a chance to organize all this stuff I had planned. Sometimes when I would think about those things that I didn’t do I would get discouraged and think that going far above is way overrated! Who has time to be THAT perfect?! But then I remembered that the only way the Proverbs 31 Woman excelled in these areas was because she daily feared the Lord (verse 30). I wasn’t fearing the Lord while I was trying to check off my “To Do List”…I was just trying to do everything perfectly, according to the way I thought it had to be done. Truth is, it doesn’t matter if my house is absolutely perfectly clean when I go to bed at night (although that would be SO nice), what matters is that I have made a difference in the lives of my kids and husband and those around me. It matters that I have sacrificed my time to help Tori color Princess Jasmine and all of her other Princess friends; that I stopped what I was doing to play catch with Jack; that I put away my distractions and play and cuddle with Addison. Once the kids are all in bed, it matters that I take the time to hang out with my husband. I can worry about the laundry, dishes, toys, dust, grocery list, organizing, e-mail, Facebook notifications and TV shows another time. It matters that I make the most of every moment with my family and the people that mean the most to me. Make sure you don’t get so caught up in the everyday responsibilities that you miss the most important opportunities with the ones you love the most. Once I remembered what going far above was really about (being unusually excellent, precious and unique…not being perfect), then it made it easier to look for chances to make a difference.

It was getting to be that time again. When there isn’t much left in the fridge and you are running pretty low on dinner options…grilled cheese on the end slices of the bread anyone? Yes, time to grocery shop…YUCK! Rick already had plans that evening so I asked my Mom to watch the kids for me so I could grocery shop in peace! I could take my time and get what I needed, and I could return all those soda bottles/cans that have been piling up for the past few months! So there I was, off to Wegmans.

I don’t usually return the soda bottles, that’s Rick’s forte…he’s the one that drinks it all anyways, why should I have to touch all those disgusting bottles? Oh well, it had to be done. When I walked into the bottle exchange area (a section that is completely separate from the rest of the store) there was a line at one side and on the other side was a lady with two huge carts filled with bottles, going pretty slow might I add. So, there I waited. And waited. I waited until everyone else was gone and it was just me and the other lady returning our bottles. Being short on time already, I was trying to go as fast as I can. But then, out of nowhere, I felt something bump into me and almost knock me to the ground. I looked over and the lady next to me had fallen and was lying on the ground. I immediately went over to her and asked if she was alright. She apologized and then told me she had gone to chemo that afternoon and was feeling lightheaded but wanted to get those bottles returned anyway. She pulled back her cardigan and showed me her bandages above her chest as to reassure me that’s what the problem was. I sat there on the floor with her for a moment making sure she was okay to get up, and asking if I should call anyone for her. She said she was alright so I helped her up. I watched her struggle back to her cart and begin putting the bottles in the machine. I quickly finished returning my bottles and then went over to her carts and told her I would help her return the rest of her bottles. She said she would be fine but she was still moving so slowly and I would hate to have her fall again and be alone in there. So as we stood there returning the bottles we introduced ourselves – her name is Tamara – and talked a little about our lives and her cancer. She said she was returning the bottles for money to pay for some of the medicine she needed for her cancer treatment. After all the bottles were returned she gave me a big hug and told me how much she appreciated my help and offered me the bottle return receipts. Of course, I told her I wouldn’t take them and that I was happy to help. So we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

I am so thankful that I wasn’t in too much of a rush to miss that opportunity to help Tamara. I hope that through me she was able to see a small glimpse of God’s love and that she will be encouraged. I hope she thought that my actions were rare, uncommon and unusually excellent.

Where you able to go far above these past 2 weeks? Was there something that you learned as you were striving to be like the Proverbs 31 Woman? I learned that it’s not about being perfect, but being able to seize the opportunities that God has placed before you to make a difference and show His love to everyone around you.


  1. Sweet Julie...what a convicting and time-appropriate post! I've been involved in 3 Bible studies this past year, only one of them was a 'wife' study, but the very message you gave tonight is the same one the the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my mind through each one. Great writing! It flowed so well; I could hear you saying it! Keep going girl!

  2. I'm proud of you Julie! You're a beautiful person, inside and out!

  3. Great post Julie! What a great encouragement you are. I, too, fall prey to getting too caught up in chores around the house or lately it's checking blogs online (quickly becoming addictive) and not taking the time with Becca to teach her and simply just be there. I don't want her to look back on her childhood and think to herself that I was "too busy" on the computer or doing chores and didn't put in the quality time for her that she desires. Right now, I am her whole world, her best friend.
    Thank you for sharing your story with that nice lady you met and that you took the time to help someone out :)

  4. What a wonderful story and truly God initiated appointment! You are a blessing.

    I love how you said that it is not about being perfect. Takes such a huge burden off, huh!

    Thanks Julie!

  5. Julie, what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing your life with us and allowing us to see the Lord at work in your life. Every reminder to spend time with our family is needed as we rush through each day so fast. Love ya girl,

  6. Hey Julie! I have a blog award for you! I love reading your blog and feel you deserve it! Stop by my blog, read my post and find your name to find out which award you've won :) Congratulations!

  7. Traci Michele sent me over for a visit! I am your newest follower and looking forward to getting to know you better. BTW, I am seriously addicted to coffee as well, I can't even begin to tell you! Blessings!

  8. What a wonderful woman you are. I love this post because these are the things I struggle with as well.

  9. "I learned that it’s not about being perfect, but being able to seize the opportunities that God has placed before you to make a difference and show His love to everyone around you." This is a great thing to learn.

    I found your blog via Traci

  10. Hi. I found your blog through Traci at Ordinary Inspirations. You know, I've been thinking lately that we tend to put the Proverbs 31 woman on a bit of a pedestal. She was a good and productive wife but I imagine she wasn't perfect. There were probably times she didn't get certain things done or had to sacrifice time for her children, husband, friends, etc. Perhaps we've taken that description a little too literally.

    In everything you did (or didn't) do it sounds to me like you were embodying what the Proverbs 31 woman was (and is) all about. Living, loving, and serving God.