I’ll admit it: I don’t like her. The woman who seems to have it all together. The one who has her husband, children, and family singing her praises seems to make my blood boil. I might smile at her from across the aisle at church, but deep inside I’m steaming mad. Who can compare with perfection?
And for most of my motherhood I saw the Proverbs 31 as only perfection. Comparing myself to her left me feeling empty and disappointed. So when I read Shauna’s title, Identity: Finding the Proverbs 31 Woman in the Middle of Kid Choas, I’ll admit it ruffled my feathers. I rolled my inside eyes and though, Great, another book with ten steps to finding peace as a mother, but it ends with disappointment and feeling like a failure.
I put off reading her book for almost a week. Until I picked it up and scanned the first chapter. This line stood out and stopped me in my tracks. When I read this line, I knew this book was going to be different.
You are already a Proverbs 31 woman.
Shauna goes on to explain how we already embody so much of who the Proverbs 31 woman is, without even realizing it! The rest of the book took me on a journey inside my heart to see who God has made me to be is the perfect mother for my children. No, I am not without flaws, and yes there are areas I need to improve upon, but I’ve found it an amazing freeing truth to realize God picked me!
The one truth that stuck out for me was the fact that I am SO MUCH MORE than just a mother. God has made me to be more and for a much deeper purpose than just motherhood. My identity is in GOD. And resting in that dispels the feelings of failure and silences the enemy’s wounds of guilt.
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The Proverbs 31 Woman―you either love her, or you hate her. She will either inspire you to greatness, or she will remind you of your weakness.
Rising early, working late? No thanks. I can’t compete with that. I am definitely not a morning person. Does that really mean that I’m NOT a Proverbs 31 Woman too?
Great. More guilt!
Years ago, when the kids were little, I remember having a conversation with the Father in the middle of Walmart, of all places. (Yes, God shops at Walmart.)
I had been complaining to Him about how busy I was. I couldn’t compete with all of the other SuperMoms around me who ‘really had it together.’ I wasn’t rich enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t skinny enough. I wasn’t popular enough.
I remember saying, “Sheesh, God. Proverbs 31 sucks. It’s not fair that I have to do ALL of this stuff and Erwin doesn’t. He just gets to be the husband and be served all the time. I’m so tired. I can’t keep doing this.”
In hindsight, I realize now that Erwin had never demanded these things of me. It was I who put unrealistic expectations on myself, trying desperately to be the ‘good wife.’ I was trying to live up to the Proverbs 31 Woman and exhausting myself in the process. No wonder I didn’t like her.
Out-of-the-blue, I had one of those almost-audible moments of hearing God’s voice. This is what He said,
“Shauna, you are ALREADY a Proverbs 31 Woman. You see those boots in your cart?”
(I had about six pairs of winter boots in my shopping cart. Walmart was having an incredible end-of-the-season sale, so I was buying every size available because I knew that at least one of my four kids would need them next year.)
“Well, that’s just like verse 15, ‘She rises early and provides for the needs of her household.’ It’s not about being a morning person and working yourself to death—it’s about foreseeing the needs of your family BEFORE THEY ARE EVEN AWARE OF THEIR NEED.
“Your kids don’t even know they need boots next winter, but you do. You ARE a Proverbs 31 Woman!
“I’m proud of you!”
That moment RADICALLY changed my perspective on Proverbs 31 and my abilities as a wife and mother.
I realized that I had been looking at this all wrong. It’s not about working harder and performing better. Proverbs 31 isn’t a crazy ‘To Do List’ that I have to get done in one day. NO!
Proverbs 31 is a BLANK CHEQUE of purpose and destiny that I GET to accomplish in my lifetime!
· I GET to buy and sell land.
· I GET to be creative and profitable.
· I GET to be strong and beautiful.
That’s awesome! I’ll take it!
We don’t have to hate her anymore. We don’t even have to compete with her. This creative and interactive study into IDENTITY and finding out WHO GOD SAYS WE ARE will have each of us breathing a sigh of relief.
You’ll love this book on your own, but you’ll love it even more when you do it together with friends. Perfect for Mommy groups and Ladies Bible Studies.
Find yourself in the unconditional love of a Good Father!
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