Sow & Gather

ProverbsWoman

How Do You Measure Up?

loveMarci AnthonyComment
Proverbs31 #sowandgather

Proverbs 31 – The Wife of Noble Character NIV

Take a deep breath, it’s a new year. A time for new challenges and new experiences and maybe even a new you. The year 2016 is in the rearview mirror and 2017 is now in full throttle. Now is the time to stride boldly into the New Year proclaiming the name of God ahead of any future choices. 

While I’m not one to make a lot of New Year’s resolutions, I do try to pick a few character flaws to work on throughout the year.  Notice I said a few character flaws-- if I tried to work on all of my flaws, I would probably get too bogged down with self-pity and depression. I would never get anything done! 

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is found in Proverbs, specifically the section entitled The Wife of Noble Character. What I love about the Proverbs 31 wife is found at the beginning. Proverbs 31:10 states “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Even in today’s society this is a meaningful and positive comparison. When I begin to assess those flaws I need to work on, I remind myself that as a child of God, I am worth more than earthly riches.  

So many times throughout my day I feel like I am being pulled in many different directions, and I feel totally overwhelmed. It’s in these moments that I remind myself that God has created me to fulfill my daily duties. God has provided each of us with the resources and experience to accomplish whatever may come our way. The Proverbs 31 wife arises early, works with her hands, prepares food, takes care of her family, is mindful of her budget when shopping,  does not overspend, but invests wisely, working from sun-up to sundown.  

One of the areas I am constantly challenged with is in the area of service. Every year I try to pick an area of focus-- it may be a local shelter, church mission or disadvantaged group. There are so many service organizations that need assistance. Once again, Proverbs 31 addresses this in verse 20, “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”  

Sometimes in life we take things too seriously. Consequently, this year one of my focuses is to have fun, laugh more and enjoy life. I love those shirts that say “life is good.” Sometimes I feel that we forget that God created this world for us to enjoy. We need to stop the stress and “laugh at the days to come,” as stated in verse 25. 

My last challenge for this year is to remember and memorize verse 30:  “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” So, how do you measure up? Instead of trying to compare yourself to the Proverbs 31 wife, why not focus on verse 30 and put God first in 2017. 

Dig Deeper |

2 Timothy 3:17; James 1:4; Proverbs 12:4 

Action Item |

Take time to read Proverbs 31:10-31, instead of focusing on the areas you need to work on, make mental checks next to the areas that you are succeeding in…give yourself a pat on the back.       

Prayer |

Dear God, I am committing myself to put You first each and every day. Thank You for Your love and for Your Word, which helps instruct me in the areas where I need more focus. Help me to develop more Godly character traits. Guide me in the areas where I lack experience. Help me to turn my daily stresses into lighthearted moments. Amen.

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Happy Mother’s Day…I Think!

MothersMarci AnthonyComment
#sowandgather #mothers #mom #proverbs31

She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.  Proverbs 31:17 (NLT)

We have come to the month when we celebrate all mothers. As a young woman, I would listen to moms say, “All I want for Mother’s Day is some peace and quiet.” I was so offended by the sentiment. Why wouldn’t a mother want to be with her children on Mother’s Day? THEN I BECAME A MOM.

Motherhood is exhausting and can many times literally wear us out to the point of feeling lifeless.

That brings to mind the phrase from Proverbs 31:17. As I was reading through this Proverb, I was happy when I read this phrase. “Ok, this is one I know I have got in the bag,” I thought. BUT as I began to think harder, I began to ask myself some really tough questions and I would like to ask them to you too.

      Do you have energy for the right things?

      Do you work hard on eternal or temporal activities?

      What kind of strength do you possess? Physical strength? Emotional strength? Spiritual strength?

You see, as I pondered this idea of working hard, having lots of energy and flexing my muscles, I began to wonder if all of this energy I am expending is long lasting, good and right. Each of us needs to answer that question for ourselves, but let me give you a few guidelines as you answer.

1. Measure your activities by Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

While this verse has been my life verse throughout motherhood, I have to continue to place my schedule right up against it and EVALUATE! You notice the words “sit at home, walk by the road.” While these words are not to be interpreted literally to the point that you must sit at home to teach your children the word of God, it does imply effort and work of the parent toward spiritual teaching. I fear that as moms of students we have allowed our really good activities to trump spiritual guidance. If I am going to be exhausted at the end of the day due to hard work, oh, I truly want it to be because I have worked so hard impressing my children with the truths of God.

2. Get your strength from the right place.

Ephesians 3:16-19, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

There are so many ways to keep and maintain a healthy body and for the most part, moms do a great job of staying physically ready to handle challenges from their students. However, we do struggle with our souls being strong enough to handle all that is thrown towards us. The above verse is seriously a favorite of mine. We simply cannot be filled with the miraculous strength that God gives without spending time with Him, thus being filled with His Spirit inside!

3. Compare your goals to your time commitments.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I share this verse with you because it is my own personal goal for my children! I constantly have to look at my numerous time commitments to determine if they are matching that goal. Choose your own verse/goal. Compare your calendar to that goal and make sure that your spending the most time working towards that goal.

Are you strong, energetic and hard working in the right areas??? If so, keep up the good work, but if you have some work to do…..DO IT! Don’t wait, today is the day!

Action Item |

Prayerfully consider and implement Steps 1, 2 and 3 above.

Dig Deeper |

Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 3:16-19; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.