Today I’m re-posting another verse from Proverbs 31 that I studied a couple of years ago. I hope this encourages you today, as much as it encouraged me a couple of years ago, and continues to do now that I’ve really tried to fully understand what these verses mean AND apply them to my life.
Re-post from November 14th, 2011:
I’m continuing in my Proverbs 31 series today. It’s been a long day, to be honest. Fitting for these next couple of verses, I think.
I have been a frazzled mess today. A scattered, stressed out, on the border of a panic attack mess today. And the truth is two things. I am too busy. And I haven’t been keeping my priorities straight. Probably because I’ve been too busy. So if you were in my home today, you would see a girl that does NOT reflect these verses AT ALL. I’m ashamed to say it. You would have seen me crying, on the verge of a panic attack last night, and stressed to the max.
I’ve struggled in the past big time with panic attacks and anxiety. Something that hasn’t come back to haunt me much until yesterday and today. And I’m REALLY good at putting on a good front that all is well (to the gals that I had lunch with today who had no idea!).
SO. Taking a few minutes to write this post and to just BREATHE for a few minutes is actually going to do me some good.
The next couple of verses that I’m going to chat about today are:
‘She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.’ Proverbs 31:13-14
I’m sure I could really pick apart this verse to some extent and talk about what wool and flax meant in that time and day. But in light of what I’m going through today, I want to hone in on one small part of this verse.
She works with eager hands. Eager is an interesting word to me. I always thought that it DID mean impatient, sort of. I thought it meant excited and that you CAN’T WAIT to do whatever it is that you’re doing. I mean, right?
Somehow, although I do honestly LOVE my job, I wouldn’t necessarily use eager to describe ANY kind of work. Who really wants to work? I mean, am I crazy in this? I just want to LAY DOWN. Especially today.
Today, one little synonym stood out to me when I went to look up the definition of the word EAGER. It was ENTHUSIASTIC. She works with enthusiasm. A zealousness for her work and for where God’s placed her in her life. There’s no discontent. There’s not wishing for different things in her life. Although, I can imagine that she likely had her moments- especially on the toughest days. She just works with enthusiasm. She is like a merchant ship, bringing her food from afar. She works hard, long hours. And she does it with enthusiasm.
And I’m sure she is exhausted.
There’s no panick attacks. There’s no frazzled, stressed out mess. There’s no crying or sobbing or discontent. There is no anger at her circumstances.
There IS enthusiasm. And eagerness for her work. To help take care of her family in THIS life in THIS set of circumstances that God has placed her in. She isn’t questioning it. She is working hard and making the best of it. Every day. And she is enthusiastic about it.
I have been everything BUT enthusiastic today. I have been kind of a nightmare, I’ll be honest. It’s been a pretty rough day. And although I’m sure I could have gained a lot more knowledge and insight from this verse, this is where I’m at. I’m being gently reminded to be eager and enthusiastic today in my work. And by ‘WORK’ I don’t just mean in my photography. I also mean- actually, I MOSTLY mean, in my home. Where is my enthusiasm and zealousness in my home? When there’s too much to do and I feel the panic rising, I need to remember to stop and to think about this woman. One who chooses joy every day and is delighted to be working hard and long for her husband and family. With whatever line of work God has given her in this lifetime.
Please be encouraged today. You are not alone if you’re feeling frazzled and stressed out. If you feel exhausted and tired in balancing it all. If you’re kids aren’t behaving the way you’d like. Or if your inbox is overflowing and your to-do list is miles and miles long.
I understand. That has been my day.
But be encouraged and remember this woman. A woman who lived a LONG time ago and who didn’t have very much. A woman who didn’t have running water, electricity, cars and cell phones. A woman who had to actually go FETCH her food. From AFAR. And she was STILL enthusiastic in her work. She STILL chose joy.
I think that God will constantly remind me to choose joy in my life. Even though I have SO much to be joyful over. It’s so easy for me to get bogged down and stressed out. But I want to work with eager hands. And an enthusiastic heart. And a joyful spirit.
It’s hard to do. But exactly what I needed reminding of today.
*Yes, this picture is me as a baby. In case you needed to laugh today! 🙂