Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Becoming ....

Over the last 4 years ... well, really 3 years ... I've started working on selling more on TeachersPayTeachers.com.

I honestly didn't think I'd sell too much. I knew it would be a LOT of work, and I may never see a reward. However, after choosing to stay home with my first child, I wanted to be more like the Proverbs 31 woman. It's a little intimidating when you read the chapter. It calls for a woman who is up first, and goes to bed last ... filling her days with work - tending the home, trading in the market place, working the fields, raising/teaching her kids, and more. I really struggled with this concept. Who could do it all?

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Proverbs 31:10-31
A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

See? She is constantly moving, working, doing. This chapter used to overwhelm me. It was a different culture, and it's not typical for women in my area to go out and select wool and flax. However, I considered how this would sound to a woman in the 21st century. If I were to rewrite this in my own words ... for today's woman, it would go something like this ...

Look for a woman who has integrity and compassion.
She is worth her weight in gold.
Her husband doesn't doubt her abilities, because her actions speak for her.
She looks out for her husband above herself, in every situation, because he is God's kid too.
She is frugal and works with what she has.
She feeds her family well, along with anyone who helps in her home.
She works while others sleep.
She is independent in thought and deed. She doesn't take from her own family's income, but finds ways to make her own.
She works hard for others, and it shows. Her effort pays off, and she continues to multi-task to benefit her family and husband.
She is a protector for the poor and lonely. She reaches out to help in all situations.
Seasons change, but she doesn't fear. She has done what needs to be done.
She makes a home not only livable, but inviting.
Her husband doesn't worry about her decisions, and can focus on his work.
She finds creative ways to care for her family.
Her work ethic displays her strength and dignity. She doesn't worry about the future.
She has learned about God's provision. She speaks wisdom to those who ask.
People come to her for advice, because she has been a blessing to her family.
She is not lazy.
Her family is blessed, and they know it.
Her husband genuinely thanks her, not for her looks, but for her love.
She will be honored and praised for her choice to love people as God loves her.

My real take-away?

  • Love God
  • Be selfless
  • Get up and do
  • Be wise
  • Get creative

After I narrowed this beautiful chapter down, it seems totally possible. 

I may not teach in a classroom, but I totally work. Not for an income, mind you. No, I work for my family. Go placed me here. I love God, so that means I love and take care of what I have. Not only that, I am called to help my hubby. Feeding 4 people on one carpentry income isn't totally easy. Throw in a couple of kids who had to go to the NICU, the ER, have tests, medications, etc. it gets downright tough. I always say "God will provide." I truly believe that. As I get older, I realized that God doesn't work as a vending machine, though. He doesn't just hand out patience when you ask ... nope, He gives you opportunities to learn it. Same thing here. "God will provide," but what am I doing with the abilities He gave me? Am I being lazy? I'm I being selfish?

So, 3+ years ago I got creative. Kevin and my teaching team at the time encouraged me to join TeacherPayTeachers. So, I did. In 4 years, God has blessed my family. Truly blessed us. We have never missed a bill/payment. We have no debt (minus the house). We got a new car 2 years ago, and the money was there. He is the Giver of good gifts.  

Why am I saying all of this? Because it's been on my heart. I'm not posting this to FB or IG. This blog is my smallest platform. I want to praise God, so I will. HE IS A GOOD, GOOD FATHER! He gave me a heart to teach. He then changed my heart to be a stay-at-home mommie. However, He didn't remove my zeal for teaching. He actually gave me a brain to use to make money for my family ... on my own time. 

So, LORD, I'm working toward being the Proverbs 31 woman. Thank YOU for giving me what I need. I want to honor YOU.

Amen

   
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