She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. Proverbs 31:15 NIV
This is the most convicting verse in the Bible for me right now. When I was younger, in my teenage years, I was an early riser. I lived in a 3-bedroom home with 5-6 other people, and I valued a warm shower more than sleep. I spent many summers at camp waking before the sun in that same race for a warm shower. Early in my marriage, I remember quietly sneaking to the kitchen to make breakfast for my husband. Often I worked 7 AM shifts with the occasional 5 AM shift for holidays or inventory. Even during our separation, I usually worked the 6 AM shift at Sonic. If I wasn’t at work early, I still had to wake early to get my niece and nephew to school. With all this history of waking early, I thought I had this verse in the bag. Been there, done that, got the Proverbs 31 Woman t-shirt. Ha!
In all my haughtiness, God gave me twins on top of twins. Waking up early is certainly a challenge these days. And, every time this verse comes up, I sink into my seat shamefully. Even this morning, after staying up late doing homework, my husband got up early enough to get ready for school, listened to some of the Gospel of Luke, made biscuits and fixed Aniston’s plate and drink for her, and rode his bike to class. I’m sure he was there 10-15 minutes early. As usual, I was still half-asleep in bed nursing babies when he left. I may have stayed in bed later had Jonah not come into the room (half-naked) holding up his finger and saying, “Mommy, got poo-poo.”
After taking care of that mess and making it to the bathroom just in time to avoid making a mess of my own, I fixed myself a cup of coffee and turned on the tv for the kids. I told them I was going to my room. I went to my closet and opened up my Life Lessons From Women in the Bible book to Week 4, Day 2, The Proverbs 31 Woman: A Disciplined Worker, and that dreaded convicting verse. But, there’s no use avoiding it. After all, I did pray for this. Joshua has been praying for this. Maybe you’ve prayed for me, too. If so, thank you. This is the conviction I needed, the affirmation of what I already felt. It’s time for me to stop using my babies as an excuse for not waking early and tending to my duties. It’s time for me to start managing my household. I used to rely on Joshua to help me, and God took that away. God wants me to rely on Him!
A Proverbs 31 Woman is a disciplined woman, and that is my personal goal. This will require training daily through prayer and meditation on God’s Word, as well as application of the message God delivers. Today his message was crystal clear, undeniable. As Dr. Rhonda states on pg. 81, “The Christian is not limited only to personal willpower.” Praise Jesus! As an equally encouraging note, she later quotes God’s Word from Hebrews 12:1, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (NIV). In response to these encouraging words, I am praying for The Holy Spirit to reveal my own personal way to be woken up earlier in the day, so that I might manage my household the way God would have me to.
If you share this conviction, feel free to join me. I’d be happy to share my struggles, strategies, and strength through prayer.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV
Once again, I recommend Life Lessons From Women in the Bible as a personal or women’s group bible study. It has brought both joy and conviction to me over the past month.