I mentioned before that my friend Kathy gave an excellent teaching for the ladies in our church Bible study on Thoughtful Parenting for the Early Years. Well the teaching is now available at our Rubies website under podcasts. You can listen to it here.
Proverbs 31:13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
Do I work with willing hands? I work. I clean my kitchen several times a day. I vacuum, or dust, or clean the bathroom. I teach my children how to reduce fractions and what the latin root word onym means. I put in a load of laundry and wipe the toothpaste crust from the sink. If I only ask myself the question, “do I work?” the answer would be a rather emphatic yes. In fact, I can’t think of time before being home with my children when I ever worked so hard.
But how do I work? Is it willingly? Imbedded in that word is “will”. It carries the implication of submission to what God has called me to in my work. Willingly, not begrudgingly. Willing, not complaining. Willing, not expecting a payback from the people I’m serving. Even beyond simply complying, am I serving joyfully? The challenge isn’t so much whether or not I will work, but in what way I will carry out my work.
I remember something C.J. Mahaney wrote on the TG4 blog:
“My challenge each day is not so much working hard, but cheerfully working hard. If I understand Scripture accurately, I will not glorify God simply by working hard. To truly bring Him honor, I must labor with a cheerful spirit. Therefore, I must not only serve my family each day, but I must serve them with joy. I must not only prepare a sermon, I must do it cheerfully. I must not only labor faithfully in the church, I must do so happily. Merely working hard is not sufficient. It must be done with gladness. It is for my good and His glory that God has given this sweet command, ‘Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).”
How is this possible for a gal like me who is bent to serve self, and when serving others is tempted to complain or expect something in return? It is not possible apart from the gospel. The gospel is this: God, the Son, who could create the entire universe with His words came to earth and served willingly with His hands. Jesus spent time on earth as a carpenter making chairs, tables, and dishes from the very trees He spoke into existence. It is mind-boggling, really. It was with willing hands that Jesus healed lepers. It was with willing hands that he broke bread with sinners. And those same willing hands were pierced through for our transgressions when He suffered the wrath our sins deserved by dying on the cross. Jesus makes it possible for me to walk in the footsteps of the Proverbs 31 woman. May I keep His work ever before me while I attempt to do my own.
I had to find this picture to help you understand why I have to forgive my sister for making me use this as my Barbie’s Beaux. If you don’t know what I’m talking about look at question #18 here. And Zoanna, I’m sorry, I just don’t see it.
Zoanna said I would be least likely to respond to the following survey. Silly Zoanna, don’t you know (by the fact that I have a blog) that I love talking about ME .
1. Where do you work? I work at home. Homeschooling has become a big part of (wonderful and challenging) “job” this year. With two fourth graders, and third grader, and hardest of all in my opinion, a kindergartner (not that she’s hard, but teaching reading…yikes!!! No one warned me.) homeschooling takes up a large part of my day.
2. What color are your socks right now? pink
3.What are you listening to right now? My son scraping the bottom of the cereal bowl with his spoon to get the last few cheerios. He’s slurping the milk from the spoon as well. lovely.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? lasagna last night at the rehearsal dinner for the Gills. that Emily C. can cook!
5. Can you drive a stick shift? yes.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? burgundy
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? my mom
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? love her to pieces.
9. How old are you today? 36
10. Favorite drink? coffee. (used to drink the vanilla breve latte from Starbucks hot in winter, iced in summer, until my metabolism decided to say, “hey, you’re 35 now, so I’m going to take it easy, slow down, etc.”)
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? my little guys playing baseball and soccer; my husband playing softball (okay, so I don’t exactly watch the whole game, I talk the entire time to my friends, but I do see him up to bat sometimes, so doesn’t that count?)
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? absolutely!
13. Any pets? no.
14. Favorite food? dinner: Maryland steamed crabs; dessert: flan
15. What was the last movie you watched? second half of a Night At the Museum
16. Favorite day of the year? Christmas
17. What do you do to vent anger? Me, angry? nevah! It depends on who/what I am angry with/about. I use my words as weapon of choice. Sad, really. I think it would be better if I threw things or something.
18. Favorite childhood toy? Barbies. But I have bad memories of having to let my sister’s friend use my handsome Ken doll while I had to use Sonny Bono who makes a nasty looking Barbie. I’m healing. Maybe I’ll throw something to vent a little anger over it.
19. Cherries or Blueberries? too hard. I looooove them both!
20. Do you want your friends to post this? yes, please.
21. Who is most likely to respond? Most people I know have already done this.
22. Who is least likely to respond? Donna Bishop who has been very quiet on her blog lately.
23. Living arrangements? Single family home
24. When was the last time you cried? I’m not much of a cryer. Probably on Sunday morning in worship.
25. What is on the floor of your closet? shoes
26. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? it would be my friend Michelle, or my cousin Mary if they read my blog.
27. What did you do last night? went to the rehearsal dinner for the Gill wedding.
28. Favorite smells: I love when my husband wears cologne…just faint so that only I can smell it when I kiss him. I love my perfume right now: Versace Bright Crystal. loooooove it!!!!! I like the wild honeysuckle candle from Bath and Body. For natural smells: bread baking; freshly mowed grass especially if it has a bit of onion grass smell; Maggie’s morning cheeks; laundry out of the dryer (okay, not exactly natural, but it is a favorite); lilacs
29. What do you regret the most in life? how I handled motherhood from the twins’ second year through their fourth year.
30. What are you most afraid of? My children not walking with the Lord as adults (how lacking in faith, I know, but it is my biggest fear).
31. What are your favorite types of hamburgers? mushroom and swiss on grill.
32. Favorite breed of dog? I think mini-pins are cute
33. Number of keys on your key ring? 5
34. How many years at your current job? full-time mom: 9
35. Favorite day of the week? I love Sunday for being with God’s people, worshiping corporately, and hearing the Word of God preached; and I love Monday because it’s Jason’s day off and we spend precious time together as a family
36. Which states have you lived in? Kentucky (for my first 3 months), MD
37. Favorite Holiday? Christmas
38. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery? almost died riding the back of a motor scooter in Bermuda (okay, so I didn’t almost die; but I could have!!)