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Monday, February 9, 2009

"I don't have time to be a woman!"


"Being a woman is hard work." - Maya Angelou

How many times during the course of a week, a day, an hour, do you look like the woman in the above image?

You're cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, changing diapers, homeschooling your children, paying bills, shopping, running errands...or maybe you're in your office for 8 hours day, or at the front of a classroom, or working the over night shift in a hospital...whatever you do during the course of a day, your doing it as that role - the role of a teacher, a nurse, a secretary, a mom, a grandmother, a daughter, a caregiver, a wife. Think about it for a minute, how many roles do you play during the course of a day? How many people pull you in every direction possible during the course of any given day?

Now, think about how often you get to play one of the most crucial roles that our Creator meant for us to play - so crucial a role that the Bible devotes much to the topic - the role of being a woman.

When we think about what women are "supposed" to be like, maybe images of a damsel in distress come to mind, or maybe the "perfect housewife" image of the 1940's, or maybe Wonder Woman combined with Donna Reed...what, in your mind, is a woman?

What does God say a woman is? One need just to do a few minutes of research online into biblical womanhood to find God's image of what a woman is and what her place is in the world and in the home. We are designed, by God, to be wives, mothers, lovers, friends, help-meets, care givers, and even, sometimes, heroines. Being a woman is hard work! We are expected to be so much in any given day that often times we lose our sense of self in all of the hustle and bustle of life. We forget, or push aside, what it means to go from the picture we looked at earlier, to something more like this:

...softness, gentleness, and...time for our self. It is important that we remember to take time to be a woman - not a mom, wife, daughter, care giver...but just a woman and all that it encompasses - strength, compassion, gentleness, wisdom, beauty, passion - how often do you allow yourself to be a woman as opposed to a woman who is busy playing a role.

Now don't get me wrong, we need to take on the roles that God gives us - and we usually enjoy them too! But when we lose our sense of womanhood - of what it means to be feminine - we are missing out on one of the most glorious blessings that God has given us! We are surrounded by what society says a woman is, every day, millions of times a day it seems - stick thin, covered in makeup, wrapped up in fashion, meaningless reality shows, and expensive household items that we "can't live without"...that is what the world says being a woman is...let's briefly take a look at what a woman is according to he Word of the Lord:

Proverbs 31:10-31

"A wife of noble character, who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies."

(A good woman is a treasure!)

"Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life."

(A woman is trusted by her husband because of her wisdom and good sense. She only brings good things into the family through her ways.)

"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 arm 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."

(A good woman is industrious, creative, frugal and doesn't spend her days simply watching television or being slothful. A good woman is a hard working one!)

"She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy."

(A woman is generous to those in need and doesn't hesitate to share with those who are less fortunate or in need.)

"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."

(A woman take care of her family and prepares the household to face any circumstance - from harsh winters to a failing economy. She works to ensure that she always presents herself in a way that is not only pleasing to the eye, but pleasing to the spirit as well.)

"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."

(A woman is a confidant of her husband and works alongside him to support him in his endeavors.)

"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come."

(A woman has confidence in her ability to take care of her family and utilize her husband's money, or other resources, to ensure that her family can face anything that the world can dish out - together!)

"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

(A woman is aware of what is going on in the world and does what she needs to do so she is able to best guide her family through difficult times.)

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

(A woman's home is her castle. It is her domain. Regardless of weather or not a woman works or is a housewife, her home is her responsibility that she does not take lightly. Even at the end of the day, when she is exhausted, she looks around and takes pride in the home that she has worked to create for her family.)

"Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her saying:
'Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.'"

(A woman who lives the way a woman should, according to the way God designed it, will be honored, respected and adored by her husband and her children. Though, we should know that our real reward comes from knowing our Heavenly Father is smiling down on us and our efforts!)

"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!"

(What a wonderful reward for the hard working woman - knowing that while being a godly woman may not be a glamorous job, and we may not spend our days in spas, shopping or being famous...because of how we honor the Lord in our role as women, we will be praised and loved by the Lord our God - our reward given to us in eternity!)

What a beautiful example of what God indented a woman to be!

So, as we go about our days - running our kids to rehearsals and practices, preparing dinner, cleaning out the mustard stains on our carpet, taking care of our family finances, caring for our parents, praying for a husband, praying to have a baby, volunteering in our community, grading papers, working the late shift - and maybe even fitting in a shower somewhere...let us remember to be the women that God designed us to be - for it is in our role as godly women that we feel truly useful, blessed, and complete! Let's pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for making us women and we thank You for caring about us enough to create us in such a unique way that if we strive to let You shape our womanhood, we will reap the benefits and love not only from our family, friends and community, but most importantly, You - our Creator, our King, our Lord and Savior. Thank You for Your love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. Help us to be the godly women You destined u to be. It's in Your Son Jesus' name we say, Amen.

In Faith,



Blogger Denise said...

Beautiful beautiful post my friend. I love you.

February 9, 2009 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger you gotta wonder said...

Well said. Happy Monday to you and all of the women of the world!


February 9, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Anonymous purplegirl48 said...

I LOVE coming here every day for the encouragement and love I find in the devotions. I always find what I need. Thank you! I have been stiving to the this woman!

February 9, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Betsy Markman said...

Wow. The cheery smile on that woman's face as she's doing all of that housework brings out both cynicism and wistfulness in me. I'd love to be that homemaker, but I'm not.

Jesus alone can transform me into the kind of woman you described. I ache for Him to do that, and I'm trying to learn to cooperate with the process.

I hope by the time I figure it out, I still have kids at home to benefit from it...

February 9, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Mary v. Martha. It is a struggle every day.
Thanks for this post.

February 9, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Shannon Jacobyansky said...

I find it hard to be the Proverbs 31 gal...LOL! I'm looking forward to tomorrow...I'm having some ladies over for brunch and fellowship. We need fellowship with other women. It is actually a free therapy session! So I challenge you and others to take some time out this week and share it with another woman in fellowship!

February 9, 2009 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Adry said... more than any other day in my entirely insane life did I NEED to read this. I have been so overwhelmed lately with being this Prov 31 woman. I'm always being told how much I am this kind of woman and no wonder I'm so exhausted and overwhelmed. It just seems all too much some days, like today...taking a solo flight out of state for a few weeks seemed so tempting. I feel like I have to get back to the fact that God made me a woman to hold up and hold together my family, be a blessing to my husband and children not to be Wonder Woman. I have lost one thing for sure and that is regular fellowship with other women and perhaps getting back to this i will be able to find my "self" and therefore enjoy even more the roles God has given me. I love my life. I love my family. It is time I started to love my "self" again.
Anyone want to come over for some coffee????

February 10, 2009 at 1:42 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Awesome insights, great reminders and practical application. Incredible post!

February 10, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

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