On January 31st, 1999, my husband got down on one knee and asked me to spend my life with him. It was as good of a proposal as any. Surprising, romantic, and flattering. There was something special about this proposal, however, that reassured my heart this proposal was straight from the Lord.
In the back of Eric's bible, he showed me a page where he had been keeping a list...a list of all qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman. He explained that for the entire 7 months we had been dating he had been watching me...watching me and then reading all about the Proverbs 31 woman.
I remember wanting to melt into a big black hole as my unflattering characteristics flashed through my mind. Eric, however, remembered the dating months quite differently than I did. Each time he saw something in me that reminded me of "her" he would write it down next to the list of characteristics he had going in the back of his bible.
Fast forward 14 years, and I still am trying to keep up with this fantastic lady! I try to burn the candles at both ends...be trustworthy with my husband's pay check...work at all things as if I were working for the Lord...bring in foods from afar, ahem, (the organic grocery store in Ames Iowa.) You get the point. Each night I lay down my head, I can make a whole list of areas I have failed if I allow myself to.
Every once in a while, Eric will jokingly say something about her...you know...her, staying up too late, or her, the one that decided not to cook one too many times this month. But he NEVER criticizes my decisions in the end. He is very supportive and understanding, but his words are very important to me.
This morning on the way to our Classical Conversations group, he said something out loud that I really needed to hear. He wasn't joking, or being all too serious. He was just being himself, Freudian slips and all...
"Kids, did you know that your mommy got up at 5:30am this morning? She made us breakfast potatoes and bacon, and she juiced us our favorite juice! Great job Mommy! Kids, isn't Mommy the best Proverb's 31 woman......................on Tuesdays?"
Wow...hard to hear. I turned and looked at him as he tried to repair his sentence, and reassure me that he thinks I am like "her" everyday of the week.
I know his words were accidental, not thought out, or planned. He was simply trying to compliment me on the fly and that doesn't pan out much for the poor guy, even though he tries. Despite his pure intentions with his compliment, the words still stung deep into my heart. I went on with our morning, but once I got home and had some time for head space, I could end up at one place only...the cross.
Search my heart O' God. If there is any truth to the statement that accidentally came out of this kind and gentle man's mouth, please Lord hold me close, and gently scrape away the scales that blind me. If there is any truth here Lord, please reveal it to me tenderly as my heart might break. If there is something to be learned here, Lord, conviction to be had, please whisper softly Lord because my ears may not withstand your words.
Proverbs 31:10 "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." Amanda, be a treasure to your husband each and every day I gift you...it is a GIFT. Do not take it for granted...
1 Thessalonians 4:11 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anyone." Amanda, allow your hands to age beautifully. Work hard, and simplify so you don't miss one opportunity to serve me...
1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and find clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight." Amanda, remain quiet and gentle, and surround yourself with things of my beauty...allow yourself to wear purple and be reminded of the work I am doing in you.
I am sure there will be much more to come as I mull all of this chapter over. I have read it a million times, but God's word is so fresh and new.
How have you been doing in these areas? I pray that my processing while sipping on this cup of joe will encourage you to process as well. We are all in this together and I would love to hear your thoughts...