Ladies, I will fully admit that when I picked up Lisa’s devotion for this month’s Faith Art Box, I think I made an audible “ugh”. The Proverbs 31 woman. If you’ve spent a good amount of time in church or reading Christian books, you’ve definitely come in contact with the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman. And likely been told that it is a measure for you to strive for as a wife, mother, and woman.
Like Lisa, I was not thrilled at the prospect of trying to fill the shoes of this woman, who gets up with the sun and goes down after the moon. Who is busy at work for her family, cleaning, shopping, preparing, dressing, and caring for everyone. All, while being a woman of honor, respect, beauty… and joy. That’s right… JOY. Not only does she do allllll the things well. She does them with joy. Sometimes I do feel like I can do all the things, but with joy? Questionable, at best.
But Lisa opened up my eyes to so many things when I dug deeper into this chapter of Proverbs. First, nowhere does it say, “girl, you need to be all of this, and more”. It is simply the description of a woman who is living and serving well – who has her priorities straight, who invests her time and energy in the right places. She was designed specifically for this life that she lives, just as God has designed us specifically for the life he has for us. And a life designed by God will look completely different from house to house, woman to woman.
There is so much in Proverbs 31 but we also have to take into account what isn’t there. In biblical times, women didn’t work out of the home. They also lived in very tightly knit communities and families. Women had HELP in the form of friends, family, neighbors and the community. This was not a woman going it alone. We, so often, directly or indirectly isolate ourselves and think that we are expected to do everything, alone. I can tell you, that is not how God intended us to live this life.
Above all, the Proverbs 31 woman LOVES and OBEYS her Lord God. God is first in her life… above her husband, whom she respects and honors, above her children who she clothes, feeds and cares for, above her home, which she makes comfortable and presentable. God first. And, of all of her notable and desirable qualities, her love and respect for her Lord rank highest v.31. I have no doubt that this woman of strong faith leaned on God more often than not, in order that she might be able to do all of the things this chapter describes. She found her identity in Him first, not in the works of her hands.
For this month’s entry, I wanted to have a significant place to write a lot of notes. I decided on making a pocket of out a piece of the devotional card. First I cut out, scored and folded the pocket together (using my tag as a guide to make sure I got the right sizing).
I taped down the pocket edges using super-strong double-sided tape. I added the Identity in Christ title with the stickers and wordfetti in the kit and finished it off with a bit of coordinating striped washi tape from my stash. I loved the look of the pocket with the accent bow so I tucked that in as well.
The top of the page felt blank to me so I buffed in a little bit of Creative Retreat’s new pigment inks into the top of the page (I used Mermaid Teal and Bonsai). Next, I stamped in His Beloved and used white embossing powder to make it pop. I added the little I AM sticker as well and buffed the edges with a little more of the ink. Next, I wrote in some of the qualities found in the Proverbs 31 woman using a green pen. Lastly, I hit it with a little bit of dark teal watercolor splatters, and added a bit more of the striped washi.
I used a little bit more of the splattering watercolor to highlight my Proverbs 31 header (The Woman Who Fears The Lord). When it dried, I added in the heart sticker for an extra highlight.
I went to work on my journaling card next. I added the title Live with Purpose at the top. Next, I went verse by verse and summarized the best qualities described, using the fun wordfetti from the kit for keywords.
I finished off the card with a bit of delicate polka dot lace ribbon. I love this card and all the sweet reminders.
This page got a little more busy than I wanted, but I still like it. This entry was actually worked on over the course of a couple of days. I really took a long time to process the devotional material. It was really powerful!
Friends, my prayer for you is that you don’t look at the Proverbs 31 as an impossible measure of perfection, but instead be inspired by a woman who loved her Lord with her heart, soul, mind and strength. Through God, all things are possible… and he will love you and treasure you no matter if you do all the things, or simply rest in him.