Thirty-One {31 Days of Wisdom}

Unfortunately, the Proverbs 31 Woman has become some kind of caricature of femininity in this post-modern culture we live in. When her address is mentioned, eyes either roll with irritation or sink low with condemnation and feelings of not being good enough. Yet God sees fit to include her likeness in the pages of Wisdom and the twenty-one verses about her were written actually as a blessing rather than a “To-Be” list for all women who would come after her.

As one friend pointed out, if you read carefully you won’t misunderstand and believe this is a daily docket of her life. She does not do all these things in one day and most likely not in one season either. Verse 28 says, “her children rise up and call her blessed,” indicating when her children grow up, they realize how blessed she is to have been able to care for her family, her employees, her community, the poor, and of course her man. Perhaps her life ebbed and flowed according to each season of the year and each season of her life because she knew who gave her each day and breathed life into them.

I started this project of 31 Days of Wisdom because there are some things in my life right now that require an extra measure of wisdom, the kind I know I don’t have and the kind I know can only come from God. I need it to guide me and help me before a word is on my tongue and before I take any actions. I also wanted to treat it as a writing project… to read the words and then respond immediately in my heart. These posts were both excercise in writing and of the soul. In the last month, I’ve learned a bit about writing and blogging, but I’ve also learned more about me and my God:

1. I need to watch what I say. Words are powerful…what they say and when they are said. In almost every chapter there is something about what our conversation can do for a person and a situation. I want to be a life-giving person in word and deed and in a split second a word or two coming out of my mouth can take life and with that… much more time to repair.

2. Wisdom is like a garden that requires tending. The vegetables I planted in the Spring are all gone. The tomato plants were so prolific I literally couldn’t keep up with them. I let them go too long and their vines were attacked by aphids and all kinds of things of which I have no idea about. The fruit shriveled up and their branches became dry. The word of God is seriously prolific… it’s living and active and it’s amazing what happens when it comes to life. But to live by it and live through it requires tending. To get wisdom, one must pursue wisdom, one must ask for it. Solomon who wrote these Proverbs knew that well. He could have had anything he wanted, but instead he asked for wisdom. God gave it to Him and then some…. But if I ignore it, like the tomato plants in my yard, the fruit will shrivel and be tasteless…useless and the branches dry. Living water, every day.

3. The Proverbs 31 woman taught me the necessity of accepting the seasons we are in. This is not the season in my life when I can write a blog post every day. I was getting stressed out about posting every day, until I gave myself permission not to. Hence, the 31st post on November 2. But who cares? The point was to read the Proverbs, not to keep up with a non-existent standard.

4. I love to have written. When I did sit down to write, I gave myself a time limit, a goal and God fed my soul. God has created me to write, and to write is to create, and when I do so… I am grounded. My best {my favorite} writing comes from when I see Him moving among us… in whatever and where ever He has us. Writing settles my mind, it settles my heart and it releases all the stuff inside me that can come out in unproductive ways when not stewarded wisely.

5. I want my children to rise up and call me blessed. In the journey through Proverbs this month, a lot of what I read and locked my mind on had to do with raising our boys. At the end of the day, I realize Jesus is everything. And because of that, when I look in their eyes I know this is the one thing, the only thing, I desire for them as well. For Jesus to be their everything. He has to do that work in revealing Himself to them… calling them out and bringing them along. Yet in the meantime, He has chosen Steve and I to make it real to them. The faith, the doubt, the failing, the redemption, the grace the mercy… all of it has to be real in us if we want them to birth their own real love for Jesus.

So November is finally here and I will go back to posting less often, but hopefully more often than before! If you’d like to subscribe you can do so via email or a reader in the upper right of this screen.

Thanks for being on the journey with me.

Recommended Reading

I read my blogs through Google reader which is a much more efficient way than going to each individual blog you like to keep up with.  It’s also helpful because you don’t have to read everything… you can scan and read only those that pop out as interesting to you.

A few of my friends have asked me which blogs I read so in addition to the ones you can find on the links to the right, I thought I’d post a few things I’ve found noteworthy over the last couple of weeks.  I’m posting these not only for the two people who read my blog, but also for me to come back to these one day when needed {see post on “How to Write a Book Proposal” or “Baked Oatmeal”}.

Ed Stetzer from Lifeway Research has begun a series on The Pornification of American Culture. This is an important read for anyone… especially parents. It’s harder to keep away from porn than it is to find it now and Ed has some important things to say on the matter.

Jenni Catron is the Executive Director at Crosspoint Church in Nashville. She has a lot of compelling things to say about leadership. Many people are obviously aware of their leadership, but some people lead without even realizing it.  Some people embrace being in leadership while others shy away from it.  In this post she writes about leadership at all levels.

Bianca Olthoff has written some very honest words on food addictions and surrender.  Something that we can all relate to no matter what your poison, addiction, or idol of the moment may be.

Brett McCracken via the Jesus Creed blog has some thoughts on what divides Christians.  Not that the list is anything new, but the comments are really interesting in terms of seeing what ideas are out there.

Ann Kroeker’s Food on Friday post from last week.  Baked Oatmeal. I’m definitely making this.  As soon as I have some time to make anything other than a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

Rachelle Gardener is a literary agent who blogs about publishing.  She has a very straight forward post here on How to Write a Book Proposal.  One day.

Leave it to the Gypsy Mama to keep us all grounded when it comes to our illusions of the perfect life.

My favorite thing I thought on this year was on Habakkuk.  The study of it was so moving for me and thankfully God has put it in order for me to develop it into a 4 part teaching for Point Loma First Church of the Nazarene’s women’s retreat in October.  I’m wondering if I can somehow incorporate some of Jon Acuff’s commentary on Habakkuk.

The women (In)Courage always have some good offerings on their blog.  This is a good reminder along with some good recipes that taking a meal to someone is a wonderful way to serve.  We have benefited from many hands over the last couple of months bringing us delicious meals and giving me one less thing to think about.

What about you?  Have you come across any interesting blog posts lately?