“A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies” Proverbs 31:10b
By: Jennifer Mullen
There is no woman who is more intimidating to me than the Proverbs 31 Woman. Every time I read over those 22 verses, I see where I am failing as a wife and a mother. She is nothing less than superwoman!
There are people who God has put into my life to give me glimpses of what this woman looks like in our modern-day. In the past I have fallen into the trap of making comparisons of them to myself, but the LORD has shifted my thinking. He has taught me to look at these women not as threats but as gifts. Within the gift of relationship with them are opportunities to be mentored and to grow.
When I first met Gretchen, she was on the leadership committee at our local chapter of MOPS. She was the “Director of Hospitality”. I have a dirty little secret…hospitality is NOT my gift! The thought of hosting a party at my house causes me to break out in cold sweats. My cooking skills are more than wanting. So right off the bat, I felt inferior to her.
When I joined MOPS, I was so green as a homemaker. I had a 9 month old baby and had just quit my job to stay-at-home. I had no idea what that meant other than I didn’t have to be anywhere in the mornings. Our income was cut in half, and I was coming to the realization that eating out every night for dinner was no longer an option. Not only was this because of the financial aspect of it, but because I had a colicky baby which isn’t fun in a restaurant.
At one of our meetings, Gretchen spoke about meal planning. She came with spreadsheets, calendars, typed shopping list, and a list of meals that she was proficient at cooking broken down into categories. The other mothers were engaged and asking insightful questions. As I sat there listening, my chest began to tighten and tears welled up in my eyes. I was thinking, “Really?!?! This is my job now? This is what I am supposed to be doing? I can’t do this!”
Gretchen gave us a disclaimer that it is her nature to organize and that planning was modeled by both her mother and father. The importance of that disclaimer passed right over my head. It wasn’t until years later that I understood that this was her strength and God was using her to encourage not to discourage.
About 6 months ago, I finally gotten to a place where I felt confident of several of my recipes, and I was ready to take meal planning to the next level. I called Gretchen and humbly asked her to mentor me in this area. She agreed. As we sat in Starbucks, she met me where I was. Instead of telling me where I would end up, she told me where to take the next step. I am making progress week by week.
Last Thursday I woke up before the sun, so I decided to get a head start on my day. I was so proud of myself. By the time my family was up, I had a crock pot meal cooking, some chicken baked and shredded for later, my daughter’s lunch packed for pre-school and breakfast ready for my kids. In the quiet of the morning the LORD reminded me of Proverbs 31: 15, “She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family.” In that moment, I felt that I had caught a glimpse of that superwoman within myself. The Father let me know that though I may not be perfect, but I am a work in progress! I am thankful that He has put people and tools in my life to help refine me.
Look around yourself at the women in your life. Don’t be discouraged. Draw from each others’ strengths. Instead of jealously or self-defeating thoughts consider the fact that God places specific people in your life to sharpen and to equip you!