It was an unusually not-unbearably-hot evening when Ellen and I sat outside Starbucks and read Proverbs 31 aloud together. She looked super cute and I was wearing sweaty yoga pants. We'd outworn our welcome and the bucks was shut down, so we sat just outside and when we read these words outloud, I felt all sorts of electric sparks in my heart.
There is so much there for women like us.
And ps - we haven't decided what to call US.
Bloggers, handmade shop owners, photographers, bakers, designers, mamas sitting on their couch after bedtime with a needle and thread and a heart full of dreams?!
Here's the part I'd like to speak to today:
Proverbs 31:17 says, "She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong."
Now I'm all about some strength training & getting crazy with a pair of ten pounders, but I don't think that's what the Lord has for us here. I mean, maybe a little, but not directly.
My husband and I talk a lot about "plates".
What's on "your plate". Do you have a "big plate" or a "small plate"?
Do you have a big "relational plate" or a good sized "task plate"?
Are you working with a teacup saucer or a straight up platter?
I have a tiny plate, relationally and task-wise. People in my life will tell you. If my to-do list is longer than five things and I'm at dinner with more than four people, I'm wigging out on the inside. I like to do things thoroughly and thoughtfully and with a LOT of margin. I want to be three minutes early, and have my assignment done before it's due, and all that craziness. My man, he's got a platter when it comes to tasks. He can have a massive to-do list, three different projects, and feed the kids dinner while doing the laundry and watching a football game and laughing about it all at once.
But the point is, don't fret so much over the size of your plate, but know what the Lord has put on it. Is He calling you to zone in on your family for a while? To minister to the lost around you? Has he put a small business on your plate? A dream? A struggle?
Look at it, ask Him. Don't compare it. It's your plate. For you, from Him.
And then read Proverbs 31:17.
What do you need to handle what's there? To be dressed with strength is a beautiful idea - but it's important that we're dressed with the strength to handle what is ours. I looked up a lot of different wisdom on this passage, and most of them boiled down to: "she puts on her big girl pants and deals with it".
And what is surely implied is, in the power of Christ she does this.
Let's take a long look at our plates today and ask the Lord what it would look like to be dressed in His strength to conquer them. Maybe...
- 30 extra minutes of prayer
- A thicker skin when it comes to blog comments or Etsy ratings
- a more persistent work ethic
- a gentle tongue
- more attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing
- to knock some other things off our plate?
But surely, we're going to have to take a second and evaluate.
Just a minute.
Then, go get dressed.