This morning I looked in my fridge for Miracle Whip. I love Miracle Whip. I tolerate mayo. My husband buys what I prefer. So I went looking and it's a little nuts in there because Mr T. tends to keep things in the grocery bags he buys them in. He also fills the freezer so I don't even see the REAL deal going on in there most times.
I HATE to the clean the refrigerator. I can wash dishes until the cows come home. I can do laundry every single day and pretty much do. I tend to be the one to clean the tub and walls (we have that crappy formica that I had really hoped to avoid when we bought a house, so this is no small feat) and I also clean the huge bathroom mirror, whereas Mr. T gets the floor and toilet, as he should. Men are usually the culprit there anyway. He vacuums and grocery shops and usually cooks (though this could be healthier) and we both change all the sheets (not easy either) and mop the stupid kitchen floor, which is only horrible because I have two short people living there who can't seem to see the messes they make even though the floor is off white. (Hope we get to change that one day.)
No, of all the things we have to do, the thing I despise is the refrigerator. I just hate pulling that darn thing apart to wash it out. I have yet to defrost the freezer to really scrub it.
This morning I thought to myself, "It's time to give this away."
If you have not met the woman from Proverbs 31, let me introduce you to her. She means well, but she has made life hard for many women - usually Christian since she is from the Bible after all - as they strive to be like her. But here's the thing. She's actually misunderstood.
Too many women are probably looking at her thinking, dang she does it all and I have to be superwoman too! But that woman does not say to do it all. Men may have said this and some women may have heard it from people who choose to ignore what this woman is doing. But you have to read the words that are here and not twist them.
Meet the wife from Proverbs 31:10-31:
She's cool, right? MY interpretation of her is:
10 c]">[c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
- Her husband trusts her.
- She, in turn, does what she can to be of help to him - this includes not trashing him to others.
- She works - no one said this was a traditional 9-to-5 job, ladies.
- She goes outside of her borders if need be to get what she needs.
- She's taking care of her family and even the people who work for her. (Note that she has others working for her. THIS is how you do it all, in case you didn't know.)
- She's got her OWN money and she's wise about it.
- She works hard and she's able to do a variety of things too.
- She volunteers.
- She prepare for the future.
- She makes sure her own home has the best she can get for it. (And in doing so, she pretty much keeps things in priority, not neglecting home OR herself. Make a bed out of fine linens and you benefit as well as your husband, right? Right.)
- Her husband is respected, most likely because she chose a quality man in the first place, but also because of her helping him in that way women do - gently guiding them, whispering our opinions but letting them have their pride about things. What's wrong with letting them have their pride, I say.
- Being clothed with "strength and dignity" speaks volumes all by itself, and being able to laugh at the days to come indicates a certain amount of maturity and preparation and also the ability to not stress over small things.
- She's wise.
- She's diligent.
- She's got her children's best interest at heart.
- Above all, she keeps God first and in doing so, so many of these other things become easier to do.
Becoming the Proverbial Woman most likely requires some dying to self - dying to the need to get your way all the time or to be right about everything. If you are even a little bit of a man-hater - and plenty of us have some of that in use - dying to the need to rule him and make him do whatever we think he needs to do to make us feel good about ourselves. How about you take that job on yourself, huh? Go boost your own self-esteem and stop letting it all rest in his hands in the first place. The better you feel about yourself and the more willing you are to do whatever you need to to achieve this (everything has limits. Don't take this out of context.), the more he's going to love your confidence and the glow you get because you're happy. If he doesn't like that confidence, I'd question it.
My search for a VA for my business was work, but just thinking about having help doing the things I don't know how to do or don't like to do lifted my spirits so much. And made it easier to seriously talk to myself about getting someone to come clean my fridge at least once a month. It's good for my family and it keeps me from looking at the fridge with disdain. At some point I'll get a cook too to do maybe 2 meals a week because I also HATE cooking and I refuse to make myself like it. Why waste my time on things I hate? I could be doing other things and my family still reaps the benefits.
I am also more and more unapologetic about disliking the things I do. I know it's hard to imagine a mother NOT wanting to cook, but guess what? I'm not the only mother I know who is this way. So get over your traditional ideas, or at the very least, don't try to hold me to your standards. I won't stick. As I strive to be me more and more, and to let go of the things I never wanted to hold on to in the first place, I find myself unknowingly becoming this woman I do believe is the ideal - ideal, not necessarily what we SHOULD be, but it doesn't hurt to look at her and what she does and think, "What do I want for my family? What do I want for myself? How can I achieve these things?"
Now go do it. You'll be happier for it.