As I sat in the pew at church, I couldn't believe my ears when the preacher said turn in your Bibles to Proverbs 31. That Proverbs 31 woman is bad for my self-esteem, so why did he have to go there on Mother's Day - the one of three Sundays a year when my children attend the same church I do?
I have tried many times to be like Miss Prov. 31, but I was born into a carnal nature.
She is like the merchant's ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (Prov. 31:14) When I was a stay-at-home mom, I enjoyed planning menus, shopping for and cooking daily meals. But those days are a past memory. Now, I "bringeth food from afar" by saying "four double cheeseburgers, two fries and sweet teas, please" into a speaker, then driving around to the window to pick it up.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household. (vs.15) I kept my eyes focused on the preacher's face as he described memories of waking up to find his mother in the kitchen and a home-cooked breakfast on the table. I didn't dare look to my right, where I felt my eldest teen's accusing eyes, one eyebrow raised like, "Are you kidding me?" I have never been a morning person, and my youngest takes after me. However, James has always been an early riser. My own memories of his childhood consist of the little guy standing beside my bed, shaking the mound under the blankets, "Mommy, wake up. I'm hungry." I would answer, "I am awake, Sweetheart." But he never understood. "No, I mean wake up with your feet on the floor."
Even today, I am like the Proverbs 32 woman, who "masheth the snooze button through another hour." And I know it isn't "meat," but Pop-Tarts are advertised as a complete breakfast. I should get extra credit, too, because they come "from afar." At least I am unaware of any Kellogg's factory close to Thomson.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. (vs.18) Ah, finally I measure up. I can't weave fine linens like Miss 31, but I can write a good story. And I work until at least midnight every deadline day. The rewards of this are walking in the door late to find my non-early rising son bright eyed and ready to tell me about his day. I lay across my bed and listen as he plays his latest favorite song or describes the highlights of his performance in the ballgame that day. Before I know it, once again a son is shaking the mound under the blanket. "I'm listening with my eyes closed," I assure him. He usually sighs and tucks my blanket in.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed... (vs.28) And I really am.