"She watches over the affairs of her household; and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27
As I handed my oldest son a broom and my youngest son some window cleaner and paper towels, I said,"You must do what you have to do before..." and they finished "you can do what you want to do." This is a saying I taught my kids a while ago when teaching them the importance of priorities. Sure, they can go play after they do their homework, but they need to get their chores done first. I use that phrase so much in my house, that I catch my sons repeating it to each other when they discuss things that need to get done. Seriously, they do. I want my kids to learn that there is a time for work and there is a time for play, and they seem to have picked it up pretty easily. It also seems to prevent any groaning, strangely, when they ask if they can go play outside or watch tv. When I start saying this, it's like they understand that I'm not telling them they can't play, they just have to do what's necessary first. I love it!
So last week my own words continued to repeat in my head when I started to sit down to finish that book that is getting oh so good or when I started to lie down for a little nap while the sink was full of dishes. I have had so much on my plate the past few weeks, that my defense mechanism just wanted me to hide from it all in hopes that it would magically get done on it's own. When I hit those moments, the phrase "you must do what you have to do before you can do what you want to do" continuously repeated itself in my head until I got up and "did what I had to do."
At first I was kind of moaning about it. "Ugh! I there's just so much that needs to get done!" or "::sigh:: Really? The trash needs to be dumped again?!" Then God laid on my heart the picture of the Proverbs 31 wife. She has been my goal since I had the luck to stay at home. If I want to be like her, then I need to work like her. And if you read the entire section, Proverbs 31:10-31, you will see that she is one busy lady, but she takes the time to enjoy life. Check out verse 25: "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." This Proverbs 31 Wife gets it. She must do what she has to do before she can do what she wants to do.
What I want to do is please the Lord by serving Him and my family; by helping those around me who are in need; by providing for my family clothing, food, and the desire to come home to a clean and peaceful house; and by setting a good example of how to balance daily devotions, meals, the budget, and doctor appointments all while resting in the Lord. The Proverbs 31 wife provides such a great example of how to stay busy for the Lord, and I can only hope that my husband and children will, too, one day "call me blessed and honor me for loving the Lord".