Beautiful Adornment

Danielle 16, Denise 15, Delaney 13 yearly pictures 214

“She makes bed coverings for herself;

her clothing is fine linen and purple.”

Proverbs 31:22

Many years ago we went into a home goods store that was going out of business.  We were able to find a comforter, accessory pillows, and sheets that matched for our bed.  We brought the set home and decided to paint our bedroom too.  Once everything was completed and the bed made I told Dave, “I feel like a queen.”  The bedding set was a rich red with gold designs.  Not only did we have a beautiful new bedroom, but we also were able to redo it on a very thrifty budget.  I felt doubly good.

As we have looked at these verses in Proverbs 31, we can see the diligence, hard work, and compassion for others.  This lady is very people oriented.  The verse shows us that she also takes care of herself, and puts a priority on her personal appearance and the appearance of her home.  This is not her major focus, but it is important enough to be a priority.  This lady pays attention to the complete picture by caring for her family, those in need, herself, and her home.

The bed coverings can also be translated as tapestries.  These are fine woven cloths that are elegant, costly, and beautiful.  The tapestries would be used to decorate her home.  The bed coverings were also made of these tapestries and show us that she cared for not just the appearance of her home that others would see, but also her most intimate dwelling, her bedroom.  This gives us another glimpse into what was important to her.  She made sure that the bed she shared with her husband would be pleasing and inviting.  Although she was busy with caring for her family and looking out for the needs of others, she also placed an emphasis on caring for her husband and making him an important part of her busy schedule.

As wives, myself included, we get so busy with the cares of this world we often take for granted our husbands and the needs they have.  We often spend so much energy throughout the day we forget about our husbands and end up taking them for granted.  If we watch a new couple together, they spend every possible minute together.  They enjoy just being together.  As our marriages mature and grow, we allow the cares of this world to get in the way of what was once our number one priority.  Balance is certainly key, but this fine Proverbs lady manages to continue to place emphasis on her husband and his needs.

The last part of this verse looks at the outward appearance.  As young ladies we spent time making sure we looked attractive and appealing, especially when we were dating our husbands.   As time goes by and the daily routine bogs us down, we forget how important our appearance is.  Our clothes go out of style and our look is still that of days gone by.  It is difficult to remain stylish on a limited budget, but this lady manages to make herself clothing of fine linen and purple.  She took the time for her physical appearance and remained stylish and well-groomed.  Some Christian ladies get the idea that in order to be godly they must also be dowdy.  Not this lady.  She wears fine clothing that is stylish and well kept.  I frequent Salvation Army a few times a year.  There are treasures to be found at resale shops if we take the time to look.  One of these trips found me looking for a new purse and I happened upon a Kate Spade purse for $8.  Normally this purse would have cost about $200 so I stumbled upon a deal.  We must not be discouraged when we attempt to stay stylish on a budget.   It does take time and effort, but the trade-off is worth it.

Ladies, don’t be afraid to be stylish.  However, we must be careful that we stay within our budget so we do not spend our grocery money on the latest fashions.  This verse in Proverbs comes after many others that focus on the care of her family and others in need.  Stay balanced and pay attention to detail.

Questions:

  1. What is your definition of attractive? What do you do to make sure you remain attractive?
  1. How well do you balance the needs of your home and your own personal needs? Is getting a manicure more important than paying the electric bill?
  1. What does your husband stress as important in your home? My husband likes a home that is not cluttered with everything put away.  I do try to keep the house picked up and the clutter to a minimum.
  1. Do you pay attention to the detail and beauty of your bedroom? Do you see this as important?
  1. What could you do to make your appearance, your home, or your bedroom what God intended it to be? It may be you are too focused on these things.  It may be these things do not get enough focus.
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The Dusty room

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We took Danielle to begin the next phase of her life on Friday as she began the journey of a college student at Cedarville University.  What a joy for me as she experiences all the wonderful things at this great university that her dad and I experienced.  What a comforting thought to know she will become even more grounded in her faith by hearing great men of faith share what God is doing in their lives.  She will have a better grasp of doctrine and theology as she takes Bible classes and learns how to integrate her faith with the other aspects of her education.  She will make many new friends which she has been longing to do for so long who will also build into her life.  So many good things that my dear, sweet daughter is embarking on in this next stage of her life.

I cleaned her room when I got home.  It took me some time to muster the courage to go into her room and start the process.  Yet, it needed to be done.  She reminds me of myself as I found so many cute things that she saved.  It is hard to let go of the memories that these objects or notes reminded her of.  I didn’t throw anything away, okay maybe a few things, but I put it all away in a box that we can go through later and share the memories together these things remind us of.  We moved out her desk and in its place I put my Grandma’s chair and the quilt that my Grandma spent seven years making by hand.  This lovely quilt is now being showcased on a lovely quilt rack.  Now that Danielle’s room is clean and the clutter put away, it doesn’t looked lived in anymore.  No more skating equipment scattered around the room, or miscellaneous paper, or empty candy wrappers. No more stacks of library books sitting next to the bed waiting to be read.  No more sleepy girl to wake up every morning.

As life marches on and we see the next stage that begins to unfold, we must live life not with regret but with joy.  Joy over the many shared experiences, joy over the next stage of life to unfold, joy at watching my sweet little whippoorwill leaving the nest and flying on her own.  I realize so much more how important people and relationships are.

As I begin to enter a new stage of my life, I want to remember to embrace every moment.  Live life to the fullest.  People are special and need to be reminded of that.  Enjoy the sweet memories from the past and treasure every opportunity to make new ones in the future.  Messy, dusty, smelly rooms need to be embraced because they show a life well lived with memories being shared from every corner. I will shed many more tears as I miss having Danielle around every day, but life marches on and this next phase is good.  After all, do I want a thirty year old daughter living in our basement living an unproductive life when there is so much in this world our God created and planned for her to do.  So with sad excitement I say to me and I say to Danielle, Carpe Diem…seize the day and make the most of every opportunity God has given us.

Planning and Preparation

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“She is not afraid of snow for her household,

For all her household are clothed in scarlet.”

Proverbs 31:21

Planning and preparation.  Living in Michigan, the snow is going to come along with winter and cold temperatures.  Fall is a beautiful time as the leaves change and the temperatures are just right for a sweatshirt without the encumbrances of a winter coat.  As much as I want the fall season to linger, the cold temperatures of winter come upon us at times without warning, and usually earlier than I would like.

Planning and preparation.  This verse is rather straightforward in its meaning and interpretation; however, the scarlet seems to have a few different meanings.

  1. The word scarlet has also been interpreted double garments meaning that the clothing this wise lady prepares for her family will keep them warm when the cold temperatures come. It took planning on her part to acquire the material and measure family members, given she had to make the clothes.  She could not wait until the first frost to decide she needed to get started on making clothes that were suitable.  She had to plan in advance knowing that it may be warm today, but the cold weather is coming.  When our daughters were small, I was able to buy the clothes they would need a year in advance.  I always went at the end of the season, and bought what they would need for the year to come.  Not only was I able to be prepared, but I was also able to buy nice clothing on a tight budget.
  2. The word scarlet is used often in the Old Testament to signify a costly piece of cloth. In order to make the scarlet color an insect, coccus ilicis, was used which was found on the leaves of the oaks in Spain and other countries east of the Mediterranean.  The cloth was given its scarlet color by dipping it in a liquid made from the bodies of these insects.  Exodus 28:5 says, “And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.”  Scarlet along with other fine materials was used in the making of the tabernacle as instructed by God.  This was such fine cloth that it is equated with gold.  It was obviously a costly cloth, but this woman made sure that she provided well for her family.  We know from previous verses that she was wise in the way of business, so she used her business savvy to acquire what was needed to provide for the needs of her family.
  3. This verse can also be looked at figuratively. The snow is compared to the difficulties that come upon us in life, and the scarlet is compared to the blood of Christ that takes away our sin.  As a woman of wisdom, she teaches her children there will be difficulties and challenges that will come into our lives (snow), but as we cling to Christ and His finished work on the cross (scarlet), we can be prepared for the difficult journey of life.  The cross provides hope.  When we lean on God during the course of our lives, He will provide direction through the snow that comes.

Planning and preparation.  Whether we look at this verse literally or figuratively, we can see that this wise woman prepares and plans for the days to come.  She lives life purposefully, planning for the literal and figurative storms of life.

Questions:

  1. How well do you plan?
  1. Read Proverbs 14:1. How does this verse tie into Proverbs 31:21?
  1. Read James 1:2-4. How does this verse tie in with the figurative meaning of this verse?
  1. Read Daniel 6. What came about in the life of Darius as a result of Daniel’s faith in God and his testimony?
  1. Read Genesis 50:15-21. How did Joseph view the trials in his life?
  1. As a woman and/or Moms we are examples, like Joseph and Daniel, to those around us. When the snow of life comes how well do you handle these things?  Are you an example or do you run and hide?