Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pass the wool and purchase the vineyard. We've got this, Moms!

"Her children arise and call her blessed." Proverbs 31:28

A recent post by a Facebook friend has had me pondering this verse all week. Certainly you are familiar with Proverbs 31 -- a passage held up and taught to women all over regarding attributes we should aspire to uphold. Young me thought it described a real woman and the very idea was almost paralyzing. Because Proverbs 31:28 didn't just HAPPEN, it was the result of the woman working with wool to provide clothing and bedding for her family; bringing food from far away; getting up early and staying up late to provide all that her family requires; buying fields and then planting vineyards. She obviously works out because her arms are strong, her trading makes money and in her spare time she provides for the poor and the needy. She laughs at worries and always speaks wisdom and goodness gracious and mercy, her husband praises her.

Well, of course he does.

And then, her children rise up and call her blessed.

It sounds exhausting. And lovely. And completely outside of my abilities.

Last week, my husband and I joked that I might actually buy groceries today, if I could find the grocery store. And though I am fairly certain we have a grocery store within 10 miles, I guess if I had to walk it, we could say I brought our food from far away. Maybe?

If the list stopped at "stays up late and gets up early," I might have it mastered. But y'all, on the days that require me to do BOTH of those, I don't laugh much, or function with anything resembling wisdom.

So dear ones, sit with me a moment and hear me when I say this was a list of attributes painted by a loving mother to her son, encouraging him to set his goals for his wife high, not to settle for someone who wouldn't take care of him and their family.

Did you hear me? This passage is beautiful, and inspiring and I absolutely love sitting with it for a bit and contemplating how to prioritize life to resemble these character traits (going to the grocery store is probably a good starting point for me) -- but it is an ideal, a goal, a vision.

And so on those nights when you tuck your children in bed and feel completely defeated, please remember there is not a mama alive today that has it all together, that can say with certainty that she IS in fact, this woman described so eloquently in Proverbs..

I remember vividly when the triplets were little. Preschool Claire heard me say "no" so often. I usually had my hands literally filled with one or two boys trying desperately to help them sit, or stand, or crawl. Sweet Claire would reach for something off-limits and because I could not easily get free to distract her, I would say "no, Claire" with increasing firmness. There were many many nights that I would sit beside sweet sleeping Claire and wish for a do-over day so that I could find the patient, kind Mommy who didn't say NO to her nearly as often.

I have been known to have entire seasons that I wish for a do-over. The year we left Minnesota, the triplets were just-turned-seven. We lived in a split-level house where once you came in the front door, you either went upstairs to our main living area or downstairs to the playroom and the door to the garage. It was practically perfect for a family with two boys who couldn't walk. (I'm sorry, that sentence was dripping with is apparently past my bed...see how that stays-up-late thing doesn't always work out for me so well?)

One day the realtor called and we needed to leave for a showing. I ran around straightening the house like a mad woman all the while urging Claire and Mason to get down the stairs and wait for me. Mason could slide down the steps and though it was slow, it was possible. I had Benjamin on my hip and was moving as fast as me-carrying-seven-year-old-him could move. My voice reached a level of intensity that we should probably just flat out call yelling....when little Claire looked at me and said, "Mommy, I know you aren't really mad at are just stressed out about this move." To which I sat down on the steps beside her and the four of us had a big old cry.

I would like a do-over for that entire season.

Oh dear ones, do you hear what I am saying to you? Tomorrow as you celebrate your day -- and I pray you celebrate BIG -- you might remember some less-than-stellar moments in your motherhood days of this past year. So do I. And so does your next door neighbor. And your Facebook friend. And so does every single mother around you.

The point of Proverbs 31 was to encourage a son. Not to discourage us as women, wives and mothers. Hug your babies. Enjoy your preschoolers. Delight in your elementary schoolers. Engage your teenagers. And my goodness, embrace the college kids as they come home for the summer.

And if you by chance, have some extra wool lying around, would you toss it my way? I think I need to work on bedding or something!

Happy Mother's Day, dear ones!

Little me with my own Mom and Dad! Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Playing dress-up in the basement down those horrid stairs! ;)

With my little girls!

Just being silly with my kids last winter! So thankful for these four who make me a Mother...

Carol - The Blessings Counter