Friday, April 4, 2008

Trying For Perfection

It's the rage these days for SAHMoms to make all sort of claims of trying to be a Proverbs 31 wife. I've had a problem with this for a while. When I read that passage in the bible I feel nothing but guilt and a horrible overwhelming sense of falling far, far, far and did I mention far short of that fine lady. I think she's unattainable and so I rebel at even trying to become her. The fact of the matter is I am not perfect and as far as I can tell, the lady described therein is perfect. I bet she never yells at her kids or gets irritated with her husband.

Anyway, one of the things that sticks with me is verse 15 where the Bible says, "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." I mean, why can't I have a servant girl? No, just kidding, that's not what sticks with me.

I noticed several months ago as Del was struggling through his 5:15 a.m. wake up call and then later at 8 a.m. my daughters coming into my room to get me out of bed that I was a lazy wife and mom. I mean, that Proverbs 31 lady gets up while it's still dark and gets stuff done before her family get up and makes them food. My children were having to drag me out of bed and poor Del was left to be miserable and lonely in the dark while I snuggled deeper under the covers.

Starting on Monday I got up at 5:15 with Del. I got dressed, packed his lunch and chatted with him until he left for work. Then I made myself a pot of coffee and folded two baskets of laundry and then started two more loads. The kids were up at 7:15, and I gave them breakfast and we finished school before lunchtime. Can I just tell you how fabulous this is? I know you already wake up that early. For me, just knowing that I was not being a lazy, selfish shell of a mother and wife has been freeing.

The laundry is done every day, school is getting done consistently, breakfast is being had before 8 or 9 every morning and I'm even getting other projects done like sewing all those clothes I've promised to make and CLEANING THE BATHROOMS. The transition hasn't been totally smooth because we've all been very sick this week, but even so it's been better than when I rolled out of bed at or after 8 to the kids all saying, "Mom, can I have breakfast."

Maybe she is attainable. One verse at a time...

11 comments:

Mrs. Amy Brigham said...

The thoughts you expressed in this post are ones I can really relate to. In recent months, God has been showing me than rather than dwell on what Prov 31 wife is *doing* I ought to be focusing on what she is *being* Doing everything in her little list does not necessarily make one the best helpmeet and mother she can be for her individual family & circumstances. In all the Proverbs 31 wife did, her heart was to serve God first, and her dear family second, and not just a to-do list (something I have struggled with in the past!). Looking at the verse in this light has not only left me encouraged, but has helped me grow as wife & mother in so many ways. :o)

I pray that God will encourage and bless you as you work so very hard to make changes and bless your family, Joanna! When I was growing up, my dad always told me that it takes twenty one days to change a habit or make a change, and not to get discouraged until I reached that mark. Now, just as then, his lesson has really proven true, time and time again. The first week of waking up early, or doing this of that is always so difficult for me, and feels as if I will *never* make this necessary change, but by the time the twenty first days comes around, I've nearly forgotten that I am trying to make/break a habit and it's just second nature. Look towards your Day 21 and hopefully this will prove true for you as well, Joanna! :D

Joanna said...

Thank you, Amy! I really appreciate you thoughts and your encouragement. Heaven knows I need it, especially today. Sheesh, that's already 5 days down! I'm almost a quarter of the way there.

I never thought of it as being instead of doing before, but you're right, that's exactly what the point of those verses are. That's some goodness to mull over today.

Johanna said...

Wow, that is very deep. I have forsaken some of my normal getting up early the past few weeks, which is understandable considering the weeks I've had. But I miss the way I feel knowing that by the time my children get up in the morning, I have already exercised and had time with God. Jerry also gets a better start when I get up early. The past couple weeks with me not getting up at my normal time, I noticed that he has been late to work a few times and hasn't been going to the gym on his mornings either (we take turns). Yesterday, I arranged to meet a friend at the gym at 5:30 so I had some accountability, and I made it a point to get up. It did feel good. Of course, I had to have a nap that afternoon, but I am hoping after I get out of my first trimester, that will get better!

Amy, I loved your thoughts here too. I don't think I can do all she did either, but there are principles there that I *can* follow. It is a big goal, but I think a worthwhile one, too.

Joanna said...

wow, del is late often, too, because i don't get up with him. ok, maybe not often but once a week. is that often? i feel it's my fault because i know that he is *not* a morning person and as i'm supposed to be here to HELP him, i should get my tush out of bed and help him. sometimes he does things like sets his alarm and then forgets to turn it on...can't help him there.

Joanna said...

you're pregnant, too. you have a way better excuse than i do.

Stacey said...

a wise lady once shared with me that she looks at the P31 lady as doing all those thing over the whole course of her life - different things in different seasons of life - not all at once. I've always loved that!

Joanna said...

oh, that's a really great way to look at it, also! i like that.

Rachel said...

When you get up that early.....does it start to go downhill between 3 and 5 pm? Because I wear out so much quicker when I attempt that. Just curious.

Thanks for your advice about meals. That is so helpful! I have dinner in the crockpot as I write!

Johanna said...

For me, getting up earlier doesn't cause too much of a slump, unless I also attempt to stay up late! In my house, kids have a rest time every afternoon. They don't have to sleep, but they do have to be in their beds and totally quiet for at least an hour. During that time, I don't run around like a mad woman trying to finish everything that needs to be done. I sit down and read, watch tv, or phone a friend. And sometimes I sleep, too! For me, this makes all the difference in the world.

Joanna said...

yeah, i haven't had a problem with the slump in the afternoon yet. twice i've been tired in the afternoon but that's it. around 8:30, after the kids are in bed, i'm ready to call it though. it's good for all of us to be on the same schedule. i solve my afternoon slump with either a 15 minute quickie nap on the floor with the two younger kids sleeping and the older two watching a movie or a cup of coffee. i don't survive on coffee either, i sometimes have two cups a day, but it's usually one cup.

Lawanda said...

I always do so much better when I rise early! I just cannot do it consistently.

I always HOPE to do better though! :)

I also hope to be able to go and purchase real estate like the lovely above rubies lady as well! That is something that really interests me. And the passage totally reminds me of my mom. And my mom, she is usually telling me I am doing fine :) So I take encouragement from that! :)