Friday, December 26, 2008

Proverbs 31 - Working Joyfully

Wow...for having intentions to get through all the revive our hearts emails this month I haven't done so well...only on Day 6! It's been a sick month for this household.....

This what was sent to me on Day 6:

Working Joyfully

If you're a mom, it probably seems like your work is never done, but there is a way to make the work lighter. If you tackle your projects out of a sense of love, you'll experience new energy and motivation.*

  • The Proverbs 31 woman has a heart of virtue and excellence; a godly strength and character that is lived out in the context of her home.
  • This woman is not only a hard worker; she's cheerful about her work!
  • This woman has a different attitude about work because she sees the purpose, meaning, and motivation behind that work. It's love—love for others and love for God. Her love for God makes her willing to work with her hands in providing food, clothing, and cleanup around her house.
Hmm...working joyfully.....Do I do that in all the work that I have set before me? Nancy talks a bit on this here.

And here is the Scripture to accompany it, Proverbs 31. I left the work highlighting in because this lesson continues the theme on women and our work.

10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She 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.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her 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.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Have to admit....I am seeing things in this passage that I haven't seen before though I've read and gone through this passage many times now. :) I've heard it preached on (not often), I've read it and had it hammered at me off and on throughout my life, but taking time to just through it slowly and steadily opens my eyes to new things. Good things can be found in just pondering on piece of scripture.

Verse 13 mentions how she seeks for wool and flax, how she willingly does her work. Seeking is an active me it implies an eagerness to find something. Not just a mere looking or keeping an eye out....but an active involved search. And she willingly does the tasks that she needs to accomplish.

Are we like that? Am I like that? Am I eager to do the tasks that God himself as laid out for me? Ah.....not always! But there are some things that hey...I like to get done. I like having them accomplished (aka laundry). There are other things that I'm happy enough to do though I'm not always happy to do them (aka cleaning up vomit). But somethings I have to admit... aren't always so high on list of want to's (aka the drudgery of daily cleaning). Perhaps what I need is a bit more of a mental shift....seeing more of what I do as a call from God at this particular point in my life as a thing to do cheerfully and not just as something that is a drudgery. it's not just my work...but a God given task. Puts a different perspective on things doesn't it?

I liked this part of Nancy's post:
If I want to be like Jesus, then I need to pray, “Oh Lord, give me a heart that delights to serve, that delights to work, that delights to be spent on the behalf of others. If this is Your will for my life, if these are tasks of Your appointing, then help me to do them with joy. Help me to work willingly with my hands.”

There’s a prayer at the end of Psalm 90 that I’ve made my prayer many times. Let’s offer up this prayer to the Lord: “O God, we pray that You would let Your work appear to Your servants and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us and establish, direct, and determine the work of our hands for us. Yes, establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:16–17, paraphrased).

This needs to be my prayer as well. To just pray that God helps me to have that mental shift in attitude about the tasks that he has given me. Cheerfulness (not always) but willingness and eagerness to do them.... yes!

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