Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

Happy New Year from the Looking Glass By Kathy!  I am excited to kick off another blogging year, and finally finish the last 4 parts of the 14 Ways A Wise Woman Builds Her House.

Ushering in a new year always begins with me making lists of the various things I want to do, need to do and have to do. I have all sorts of apps on my cell phone to help me with list making.  As I get older, I heavily rely on these.  It comforts me to know that God is also a list maker. Consider:

1.  The 10 Commandments (Exodus 20)

2.  The Things He Hates (Prov. 6:16-19)

3.  The Fruit of The Spirit (5:22-23)

4.  The Qualities of A Maturing Christian (2 Peter 1:5-8)

5.  The First Century Churches Worth Noting (Rev. 2:1-3, 22)

For months now we’ve been focusing on a woman who is a planner. Read past posts here.  The Proverbs 31 woman planned ahead. Take a look:

20 Her hands reach[n] out to the poor,
and she extends her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all in her household are doubly clothed.[o]
22 She makes her own bed coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.

In my world, if I’m going to reach out to the poor and needy, not be caught off guard by the onset of winter and still present myself in a (regal) classy way, I need to plan ahead.

Reaching out to the poor and extending a hand to the needy: In my world, there are many opportunities to serve the poor and needy.  Many.  Sometimes my planning ahead will look like signing up to physically give/minister to the poor and needy on a specific date/time and/or asking God to show me when and where I can help.  I can plan to purchase or donate much-needed items.  In order to plan ahead, I need to put the time to do that on a list and give it a deadline date.

She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed: I’m not sure how well in advance the capable wife prepared for snow since she didn’t have a 7 day (in advance) weather report at her disposal.  Even though it snowed in Jerusalem approximately every other year, I’m sure she was always prepared for it.  If I know there’s a impending weather event, I make a list of things we may need.  Gas in the car, batteries, medicine, food, charged cell phone or iPad anticipating any outings, salt for the walkways, etc.  I even make sure we have some fun treats to snack on.  Planning ahead is the key here.

She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple: Matthew Henry’s commentary elaborates on this verse like this: ‘In verse 22 she makes coverings for herself. “Her clothing is fine linen and purple.” What does it mean she makes coverings for herself? It could refer to a coat, a cloak, a shawl, some kind of a wrap. It also can refer to pillows, blankets, bed coverings. She made coverings for herself. She…the implication here is she made her bed beautiful. I mean, earlier in the Proverbs the prostitute did that to seduce the man. Here is the godly woman making the bed a place of loveliness and comfort. She adorns the beds of her house for herself, for her family, for comfort and for beauty. And then her clothing is fine linen and purple.’  Did you know that January is the best time to purchase bedding and linens?  Sales, sales, sales.  I’m saying purchase because most women are not going to make these (nor do they have to). Consider how you can plan accordingly as a Wise Woman Who Builds Her House.

+First Look: Does Proverbs 31:20-22 speak to your heart about planning ahead?

+Through The Looking Glass: How do you plan ahead?  What helps you build your house as a wise woman?

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Do You Hear What I Hear?


From The Archives!

Originally posted on The Looking Glass:

There are frenetic sounds all around me.  Do you hear what I hear?  It seems that everywhere I go during the Christmas season, I can hear the hustle and bustle of people trying to ‘get ready’ for Christmas.  Do you hear what I hear?

I hear footsteps scurrying from store to store, the sound of fingers clicking away at keyboards sending messages and making online purchases, voices saying “Merry Christmas”. I also hear parents yelling at their kids, people yelling at the cashiers, complaining about everything under the sun to anyone who will listen.  Do you hear what I hear? 

I don’t know about you, but when I am drowning in the sea of hustle and bustle, I want to put the earplugs in.  I want to drown out the frenzy and anxious, negative vibes and fill my heart with joy and laughter.  Oh, I desperately need that.


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Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

In the last nine blog posts, we have gotten a chance to really see how a WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE. The wisdom this woman has in building her house allows her to plant a stake in the ground for her family.  She is not a woman who feels like she has no place in this world.  She’s confident that she does. She doesn’t entertain the idea that she is a non-entity in society.  She knows her worth.  She knows the value of her contributions.  She allows Christ Jesus to lead and guide her.  She knows the worth of her prayers, opening her home, raising godly children, etc.  [Read past posts starting here.]

Last time we peered into the life of the virtuous woman’s business mind in Proverbs 31:16.  She earned money and reinvested the money she earned.  To take this a step further, we said that the Virtuous Woman would do well to consider the return on the investments she makes both physically and spiritually when is comes to building her house.  Her investments of time, talent and treasure need the same consideration as if she were making a BIG purchase! She needs to count the cost to live out her best yes! That is certainly food for thought!

Let’s take a look at Proverbs 31:17-19:

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
    is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
    diligent in homemaking.  MSG

I love the way this is worded.  Let’s dig further into the life of this Wise Woman.  As a practice, I get up in the morning and dress for ‘work’.  My ‘work’ clothes consists of sweatpants and a t-shirt.  I always believed that dressing for ‘work’ helped shape my mindset for the day.  Staying in pajamas all day…well…that would mean no work for me.  Some days I am eager to get started with my agenda.  Some days I like to linger a bit over a hearty breakfast and a good cup of coffee.  If I’m in my pj’s all day, I do not have a mindset to work but to relax.  That’s just me.  I try to steer clear of that. I give myself a deadline to accomplish the many tasks I have and I always make time to connect with God.  That’s a non-negotiable.

As A WISE WOMAN who BUILDS HER HOUSE, consider this: the way we do our jobs at home is directly related to the way we approach our job.  If I greet the day with “Good Morning, LORD”, my day is off to a grateful start.  If I approach my day with “Good lord, it’s morning”, then everything is built on that mindset.  I could only  pray that my day gets better from there.

Question, do you know the worth of your work?  Do you consider it to be mindless or less than?  I would encourage any woman struggling with her God-given work and its worth to talk to God about it.  I know that He will help you see the worth in the work He’s given you to do.  It’s essential to building your home.  The Virtuous Woman loved her work so much that she was in no hurry to call it quits for the day.  I want to believe that she loved creating an atmosphere for her family to thrive in – NOT just survive in everyday.  I want to believe that she received such joy from watching them thrive that she kept going.

Is there something that needs caring for at home?  A tattered sofa?  Neglected windows?Bare walls?  Have you considered re-purposing things to gain a better use somewhere else?  Perhaps moving a piece of furniture to be better used in another part of the home? Back in the day, I loved having a Christmas table that was beautifully coordinated.  I loved the look of a tablecloth, napkins, runner and perhaps a window covering that matched. Since I couldn’t afford those things ala carte, I bought 2 of the largest tablecloths they made.  I used one for the table and the other I cut up to make 6 napkins and a runner.  If I had anything left over I made a window topping.  I smile when I think about that now.  I loved connecting with my creative side.  I feel close to God when I do.  Have you connected with yours?

Lastly, if you awake eager to build your house, know the worth of your work, and aren’t in any hurry to call it quits for the day, I’d like to think that you are diligent in homemaking.  What do you think?

Happy Homemaking!!

+First Look:  What might God be saying to you from these verses (Prov 31:16-19)?

+Through The Looking Glass: Consider how you prepare for the day.  Does it prompt you to work diligently?  Do you call it quits before you begin?  Have you tapped into your creative bent?  How do these verses equip and challenge you to build your house? 

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Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

When I was a little girl, my dad and his brothers owned, brokered and sold real estate.  So as I continue my trek through Proverbs 31, I can resonate somewhat with The Proverbs 31 Woman’s real estate/business mindset and ultimate transactions in verse 16:  She looks over a field and buys it, then, with the money she’s put aside, plants a garden.   

I chuckled when I read this scripture.  As a young bride, a stay-at-home mom and mentor to other stay-at-home-moms, I had difficulty placing myself in this verse.  What did this verse mean for the average, ordinary woman like me and the ones I mentored?  My husband and I were sacrificing a great deal for me to be at home with our kids.  I pondered verse 16 a lot: Look over a field? Consider buying it? Plant a garden in it from the gains of my purchase?  I tried to make it hit home.  How about walking into a garden shop and considering which pot I could afford, buying several pots, selling some and using the money I earned to plant herbs in the pots and sell those to make more money?  That was a thought.  Or I could take a look at my life and consider making an investment in the Kingdom of God and then bloom where I’m planted…well you get the point.  As a Wise Woman who Builds Her House, let’s not miss the point.

Consider this from Portrait of A Godly Woman:Every woman doesn’t have to go into real estate and horticulture — the principle here is that this woman uses her mind. She does not act on a whim, but logically analyzes a situation before making a decision. Her goals are not only short-term — she envisions the long-range benefits of her decisions.”  Radiantly Purposed says this: “This woman was making a major purchase.  She was closing deals, negotiating, making offers and clearly was never intimidated by any competition that could outbid her.  She was also a saver.  The money that she set aside [from the gains] went to plant a garden and I’m sure reaped multiple benefits.”

This woman had good business sense.  She earned money and made investments.  She was wise.  View this verse through the lens of your family.  A Wise Woman who  Builds Her House saves for the best yes!  She doesn’t spread herself thin.  She does well to consider where she’s going and how to get there.  She would do well to consider the return on the investments she makes both physically and spiritually when is comes to building her house.  Her investments of time, talent and treasure need the same consideration as if she were making a BIG purchase!

Where can you, as a wise woman, plant yourself to bloom? Where is the fertile soil on which you can thrive and have overflow to pass on to others?  Consider if it will be well for your family before you make that purchase. Ask yourself, “Can the Kingdom of God get a good return if I make that investment?”  If so, then buy the field and continue to plant seeds and reap a harvest of blessing.  Just something to consider.

+First Look: Look up Proverbs 31:16 in several different translations.  Rewrite it the way you understand it for your own life.

+Through The Looking Glass: Consider the investments you make.  Did you consider the impact they would have on your family?  Do they yield a good return?  

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Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

Photo Credit: theinspiredcafe.com

As I continue to move through 14 Ways A Wise Woman Builds Her House, specifically focusing on Proverbs 31:10-31, I find myself constantly challenged and encouraged as a wife, mom and grandmother.  Last time I shared with you from Proverbs 31:10-12–The Perfect Wife. [Read that post here].  As I said in that post, my heart’s desire is to be this kind of wife.   A wife whose marriage reflects Christ in the way I respond to and care for my husband.  Sometimes I fall, but I am determined to get right back up and surrender to God in this area again.

Today in Part 8, I would like to take a look at Proverbs 31:13-15:  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.” NIV.  The Message says it like this: She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.  She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.”  In these verses, we see that this wife is industrious, a planner, determined, she cooks and she delegates.   

As I mentioned in my last post, don’t let this woman intimidate you.  Let her spur you on to upping your game.  Ok, let’s chew this in bite-sized pieces.

a.  She shops around for the best yarn and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.  I so admire women who work with their hands in this way.  Back in the day (as a young wife and mom), I was that wife.  In my attempt to be the perfect Proverbs 31 wife and mom, I shopped for yarn and fabrics and I knitted and sewed.  I had a cousin who taught me to knit and I had a friend who taught me to sew.  They mentored me.  The same friend that taught me to sew gave me my first sewing machine which I still have.  That was 35 years ago.  I made clothes for my children, myself, and others.  I made curtains, pillows, tablecloths, etc. for my home.  I knitted sweaters, hats, scarves and slippers for my children.  I amazed myself.  I took so much pride in the creativity of my hands. I knew at that point God could make anybody creative.  After all, we were created in His own image so we possess that ability as well.  I must say that this newly discovered work of my hands deepened my purpose, my potential and my passion as a homemaker.  I felt like I was a very strong and very real contributor to my husband and our family as we were desperately trying to make ends meet.  This was the part that I could invest.  Today, in this season of my life, it is no longer a necessity nor a priority but I did enjoy it.  The principle is: Be Industrious.  I no longer shop around for the best yarns and cottons to knit and sew, but I do shop around for clothing and household goods that are less costly but well made.  If I know I can make something cheaper than I can buy it, I don’t hesitate to pull that sewing machine out and get to work.

b.  She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. I would love to sail to faraway places and bring back exotic surprises for my family.  It ain’t happening though.  I set my sails to enter the ports of Target and Wal-Mart.  Exotic surprises? Does French toast and Colombian roast coffee count? Swedish meatballs and Italian spaghetti sauce?  I hope so, lol!!  I will definitely go out of my way for a good deal though but nowadays, I’ll settle for any place that’s within driving distance!  I get online ads for my favorite stores and I make a plan to shop that gives me the best productivity for my day.  Have a plan.  Make a plan.  In considering what’s a good deal or not, count the cost of travel and time.   The principle is: If Its Worthwhile, Go The Extra Mile.

c.  She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.  This woman is determined to get the most from her day.  A snippet on this topic from www.radiantlypurposed.blogspot.com says it like this: “She is not struggling to get out of bed at 8am or even at 11am.  She makes sure her family has food before they awake so that no one leaves home hungry.  She also organizes her day.” She is up on her feet, moving about early in the morning. She has a heart and mindset to greet the day first.  The only way she can get up before dawn and make all of this happen is that she had to plan this beforehand.  Nothing is left to chance.  Breakfast items have been accounted for the night before, clean dishes/utensils are available to serve the food on, and her day is ordered.  It doesn’t say in these passages, but I am sure she greeted God with a “Good Morning, LORD” instead of “Good Lord, it’s morning”.  Her attitude is what makes the loving difference in living out her deep commitment to her husband and her family (and her servant girls).  While I don’t have “servant girls”, I do have a stove, fridge, washer, dryer, iron and running water.  Just wanted to make that clear, lol.  The principle is: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Get clear about what you’re trying to do and make a workable plan to do it!

As you can clearly see, The (modern-day) Wise Woman Who Builds Her House is a woman to puts first things first.  Her ultimate desire is to reflect Christ in all she does. He leads the way.  She follows. Her family is well taken care of.  He is glorified.

+First Look: Which passage are you having difficulty wrapping your mind around?  Which passage is encouraging to you?  Why?

+Through The Looking Glass: How might Christ be reflected in your life in the areas mentioned in this post?

Please leave your comments below.  Also, visit www.radiantlypurposed.blogspot.com where some snippets were used for this post.

Posted in Homemaking, Lessons from Scripture | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments