The Good Wife


I know what you’re thinking, and no… while I did watch The Good Wife the first season and found it enjoyable – this post is not in fact about the show.

It’s about something else altogether – something kind of different from our dear wife on television.

This is about the true definition of a Good Wife. The one set forth in Proverbs 31  – and what she might look like today.

Proverbs 31:10-31

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

I want to take just a moment to stop here and really look at these first three verses. As women, this is something we see our entire lives. We look for someone who sees us as more precious than jewels, who trusts us implicitly in all things, and that we never feel the need to walk away from.  What kind of woman does it take to snare a man like this… well – read on!
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

Now I see this as the typical working mom here. This is the one we all know (and sort of envy a little). Even though we know she works tremendous hours… she still has time to:
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.

Yeah, that gal – the one that’s up two hours before she needs to be because she cannot trust her family’s nutrition to just anyone. They will leave her care well fed from a home cooked breakfast.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.

The powerhouse executive, who still makes plenty of time to make every single ballet recital, AWANA award ceremony, and Sunday morning program. She is a career woman, yes… but her family is an always will be a top priority in her life and it shows.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

And with everything else she has going on she still finds time to volunteer at the shelter, or church… never hesitates to prepare an extra meal for a family in need; and is usually the first name on the list for the prayer chain.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.

If she doesn’t make them herself, she makes certain that her clothing and that of her family is a compliment to her husband and herself. She ensures that without wasting money, they all look good and wear clothing that is comfortable and clean. She doesn’t squander, but man she can make her kids look so cute with bargain finds!
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.

The fact that she is an amazing wife and mother shows in the fact that she is also an amazing friend and coworker. She’s known by everyone around her as one of the nicest and most giving people you’ll ever meet. Yet she is a fierce prayer warrior who stands in intercession for any and all who ask.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She never fails to be on time and ready with anything she needs to do. She shows the world her grace and silent strength. She does not fear the end of time for she knows her heart and the hearts of those she loves are right with the Lord and they will join him one day in His Kingdom.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

She does not spend her spare time “catching up on Facebook” or doing unnecessary tasks. She spends her spare time doing things that have meaning, and that benefit her family.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Nobody has anything bad to say about this woman. She is loved by everyone she meets. She does not evoke jealousy among other women for they long to model themselves after her, and treasure her friendship and open advice. Her children nominate her for “Mom of the Year” every single year, and the essays they write bring tears to the judges eyes. Her husbands eyes never roam, for he knows that his heart, hearth, and home are are top priority and he loves the fact that she has eyes only for him. She makes him proud in the way she handles not only their household, but her working and church life as well.

This is the wife we should all strive to be. The woman we should all desire to become. The prescription for the Good Wife is right here in Proverbs. We could learn so much from her. We could become this wife – should we only try.

How do you see the Proverbs 31 wife?

 

Dear Friend


Dear Friend,

So, it’s been eight months now. Almost six since we spoke. Five since you “secretly” unfriended me. You talked about me behind my back. Called me names, trashed me to any and all who would listen. You did. My friend. A “best” friend.  I don’t want to rehash our relationship… or lack thereof on the internet. Instead… well I’ve been doing my own research – and study. Quiet contemplation… These verses have made me see things in a different perspective. Maybe they will you too.

James 1:19-20 ESV

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Colossians 3:12-13 ESV

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

1 John 4:20 ESV 

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

James 4:11 ESV 

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

Psalm 101:5 ESV

Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

Proverbs 17:17 ESV

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

 

Just a little food for thought. If you’re struggling with a friend now – these are some of the best verses to contemplate upon.

Happy Wednesday!!

 

 

 

 

 

A-Z Blogging Challenge – April 10


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I is for Intelligence

Intelligence is the perception of knowing things. Being “smart” is often equated with intelligence. I find that some of us don’t see that we are intelligent about certain things. Not everyone can know everything; but everyone knows a lot about something. You and I are intelligent about something. Maybe it’s raising kids, cooking, gardening… something.

I have learned a lot about relationships, and people in general. I’ve learned a lot about life and how to live it to its fullest. Do I know everything? Oh hell no I don’t… not by a long shot – but I am intelligent about it.

What have I learned in my 30+ years of dating experience? Here’s a list of the top 5 things that increased my “Relationship Intelligence”:

  1. If it seems too good to be true – it probably is.  This is just one of those “common sense” things (you would think), but I’ve met plenty of women who say “He just seemed so good that I couldn’t help myself”. 
  2. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right.  This one goes hand in hand with the above, but needed to be said. If you are in a relationship and something just doesn’t feel right… chances are that’s your “spidey sense” telling you that something’s not right. If you think there is a problem, chances are – there is.
  3. You can’t be “In Love” overnight.  Y’all… I have heard of love at first sight… and in some ways I do believe in it. In the sense that you can like someone enough at the first meeting that you truly want to fall in love. But love is an emotion that takes time to build and nurture and you can’t find it in one day.
  4. Don’t rush – if it’s right, it will still be there tomorrow.  So many women (and men) fall into this trap. You meet someone you think is just perfect for you… and you want to spend every waking moment with them. You want to get to know them now. I’ve learned that typically you can’t learn that much about a person doing this… anyone can be on their best behavior for a week or two… take your time, spend weeks and months learning about someone before committing long term.
  5. Don’t take anything for granted. Ever. If you think that your relationship can thrive when you aren’t putting effort into it – think again. Everything worth having/doing is worth effort. Great relationships don’t just happen. They require nurturing and effort. Put in the amount of effort needed to keep it happy, healthy, and lasting.

What have you learned from the good and bad relationships in your life? Any advice you’d offer to a younger you now?

 

A-Z Blogging Challenge – April 8


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G is for Going All Out

Going all out… giving it your all… pushing boundaries… making the most out of any given situation.
For so long in my life the idea of going all out was foreign to me. Well, not really foreign… I went all out, or all in at work for sure. But in other aspects of my life I was just there. Existing but not truly living. Not giving it everything I had.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I have always been, and always will be “all out” with my kids and grand kids… but for myself – it just wasn’t what I did. As long as those around me had what they needed, were happy, and satisfied I was good. I didn’t need to focus on myself.

Boy… was I ever wrong. Last year, a long time friend told me that I was not the same person she’d known 10 years ago… No, I guess I wasn’t. I had given up. I wasn’t going all out any more. I was on the tail end of ten years of a life I really didn’t want to live. Settling for less because that’s all I though I was worth. I was depressed, anxiety ridden, and laden with guilt for feelings I couldn’t control.

I couldn’t discuss my feelings with anyone then, everyone around me was too close to the situation to look at things objectively – and to encourage me to do what was really right for me.

As time crept by, and my depression deepened I realized that only one that could pull me from the abyss was me; I had to make some tough choices… and I had to Go All Out to make changes that benefitted me.

Now, looking back at the other side of the situation, sure – things may have been done differently and the same result come of it all. However, when the choices were made and the deed was done – it was best for me, and really for everyone else involved.

In the end… I learned that if you’re going to have the life you really want for yourself, be who you really need/want to be you can never stop putting everything you have into everything you do. You have to Go All Out!

How are you living? Are you all out? All in? Are you living it to its fullest; or are you settling for what’s comfortable because you don’t want to “rock the boat”?

The Five Stages


Most often we hear the five stages in reference to death. But grief takes on many forms. You can grieve the loss of anything…  the thing most closely resembling death though, is the end of a relationship. You begin to fee cut off from the things you loved. Even if the end of said relationship is valid – you have some grieving to do, no matter what the situation. Its how you handle that grief that makes or breaks you.

I have looked at this from my perspective, with the loss of the relationship so fresh… and though to myself – just where am I on this list?

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Even though I was the one who initiated the breakup, there is still some amount of denial that the whole thing is taking place… in one way there is a sense of relief that you won’t have to deal with all the stress and anxiety; there is also a certain amount of things you might miss. We all know that even a bad situation, if it goes on long enough provides a certain level of comfort. When that comfort is stripped bare and laid open there is some denial.

Anger is another thing that factors highly into a break up, and there have been several instances in the last few days where I have felt my anger boil. Each time I must tell myself that regardless of how I feel about things – I have to look at it in a logical perspective. Of course things are going to be difficult – he is going to be difficult. I just ended a 10 year relationship. I put my anger in perspective, and it settles down.

Bargaining – ok, so let me just be painfully honest here… the moment the words “I’m not coming back” left my mouth I instantly regretted them… for a moment. Then I felt like I maybe should have bargained for a better deal in the breakup. You know, contact with his kids or something – but the more I think about it – the more I realize that bargaining isn’t going to give me anything that I want or need in my life. While Little Man is very, very special to me, as well as the other kids – I have to allow him to do what he feels is best for his kids.

Depression is something top on the list for me at the moment, but not for the reasons you may think. I do not regret making this choice. I know that it was the right thing for me. However, I am just a bit depressed over the loss of the kids in the situation. I feel some depression that things didn’t turn out differently.  Over all though, I have moved on through this stage.

Acceptance is where I feel I am at currently. I have accepted that  my life will never be the same. I embrace that fact truthfully. “If you do what you’ve always done… you get what you’ve always gotten”. I accept that now that I am on my own, I have to make some serious changes to my lifestyle. I must move on and take care of myself – without the aid of someone else… I embrace that as well.

All in all, I’m doing okay. I have my moments, but don’t we all? Today is a good day, and tomorrow promises to be even better. In the end, it’s all about the tomorrows.

 

Creativity


This is the final post in the series based on Mama Kat’s workshop prompts for last Thursday.

Creativity:

the quality of being creative;

the ability to create.

 

A few years ago, I was into making jewelry. I made all kinds of necklaces, bracelets, and other things. I really enjoyed it – and my creative self was free and happy.

Now, I don’t do that any more… I became discouraged, and after losing everything I had and over $1000 worth of completed work I just gave up.

So often we do this in other things… for example – my youngest daughter grew up with a couple of kids (I’ll call them H & A for privacy reasons) that she was very close to. Now all them are in their 20’s and both H & A live a pretty “wild” lifestyle… two days ago, after posting a very dark poem about suicide on his FB page – A took his own life. He gave up. Obviously, he wasn’t being heard. He tried to reach out, but nobody listened. But, that’s no excuse to give up. If you’re passionate about music – you keep making music – it doesn’t matter if you’re the only one who hears it – you do it for yourself. The same goes with writing, singing, or any other creative talent.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t being heard… you cannot give up!

I know that kind of sounds hypocritical given recent events in my life. But there is a big difference between giving up, and letting go. Letting go is the act of releasing from your life negatives that are not forwarding your well-being. This is what I did. If I was planning on giving up, I would have done so long before the 10 year mark. I would have quit 2 years in – because it was hard.

Letting go is one of the hardest things you can do. It means admitting that even though you did your best, you still were unable to make it work. It means putting that project in the proverbial can and leaving it alone. It means a lot of things, and not all of them are pleasant.

So, no matter what you are doing right now remember – don’t give up, but do let go when the time comes. To hold on to destructive things, relationships, or anything else is to stifle your creativity.

 

Release


Second post in a set of five based on Mama Kat’s Workshop prompts.

Release: To set free from confinement, restraint, or bondage.

This word carries a magnitude of connotations for me right now. I am having a hard time with the release of emotion that these major life changes I am making brings. Day before yesterday I cried for three solid hours… for  no reason. Yet, afterward I did feel better. I felt a break, or a release of sorts of all the pain, anger, resentment, and anguish I have been wallowing in for the better part of the last 8 or so years. I felt a release of stress and tension as the tears washed down my face.

I realize that I have hurt people deeply with my choices… that is not lost on me, and the guilt over that  is overwhelming sometimes. But if you stay in a situation that is unhealthy for you because you feel guilty about making a change – then you’re not doing any one else any good.  I understand that – I must choose to make myself happy before I can create happiness for anyone else in my life.

For now I am embracing joy, and releasing negative. It’s all I have to hold onto in this moment.