A Proverbs 31 life

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." ~Proverbs 31:30
My whole life, I’ve been told that women should strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman.
And my whole life, I thought that meant a woman who took care of her husband and kids and was the appropriate amount of respectful and submissive (as women are often encouraged to be) and just put together so perfectly.
In some ways, it is.
But have you ever really read Proverbs 31? Not just Proverbs 31:30, quoted above, but the whole chapter?
The Proverbs 31 woman is a fierce creature. She doesn’t lower herself in any way, but has the full respect of her husband. She handles her business, manages the family budget … Shoot. The woman buys a field and plants grapes.
She also cares for the poor and those in need.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” ~Proverbs 31:25
I wish I could laugh at the days to come.
In our heads, we have this image of what we thin…

Poor as church mice

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. ~Earl Wilson
This has been a stressful month and it’s only Jan. 17.

It’s really kind of a series of stressful months in our house — it always seems there’s more month than money.

Coupled with that is the feeling that we always somehow find a new and unexpected bill in our box each month.

Especially since I had surgery in September.

I certainly didn’t expect all of the bills that came from that. Due to our income, we did get a break on one of those, but we still have plenty of others to make up for it.

Does it ever feel to you like the bills, the worries, the general stresses of life are overwhelming?

For me, it does. Financially, things are tight for us. Christmas this year was a lean one, with small gifts and a lot of homemade stuff going out instead of store bought stuff.

I always feel nervous when I give someone a homemade gift. Will they appreciate the time and effort that went into it? Will they use it o…

The wonder of children

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. ~Rabindranath Tagore
There’s a permanent art installation in our Boyle County Public Library as you enter the building’s rotunda. It’s of a bunch of colored glass “balloons,” called “Time Zippy,” created by the talented Stephen Rolfe Powell.

I love working in that area, because there’s a heater, a plug and it’s actually decently cozy for an entranceway. The other day, I was sitting there working as children came in. Several, actually, came through while I was there, walking in with their families. Each one seemed more amazed at the balloons than the one before.

I’ve no way of knowing how often those kids came into the library, but each looked at the glass balloons as if it were their first time seeing them.

Isn’t it amazing how kids are amazed by everything? I loved seeing their little eyes light up in awe as they saw all the colors hanging from the ceiling. Some would exclaim, “WOW!” or something similar as they…

Carrying life's garbage

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
~Psalm 51:10
This Saturday, I loaded up garbage at the house and headed to the dump. We don’t have regular pick up at the house and have to transport it the few miles out of town to the local convenience center a few times a month.

What I failed to connect in my brain was, it being Veteran’s Day, the convenience centers would be closed.

It was only after I got to the entrance and noticed the closed gates that I made that mental connection. That meant I had to turn around, take all of that garbage back home and unload it, to be hauled away another day.

First off, let me say, I understand the importance of celebrating Veteran’s Day. I’m the granddaughter of a veteran, the niece of other veterans and I have friends and other loved ones who are veterans. I don’t mean to negate the importance of that day at all. It just threw me off this year, as it was a Saturday and the first day I’ve not covered local Veteran’s Day even…

Thy will be done

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” ~Matthew 6:10
“Thy will be done.”

There’s a lot of power in those words.

Throughout my life, I’ve heard that phrase. I’ve said that phrase. But, honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve really understood that phrase.

When we say, “Thy will be done,” do we truly mean it? I think in many cases “Thy will be done as long as it isn’t too hard, too painful or puts us too much out of our comfort zone,” is what we really mean.

Matthew 6:10 is probably one of the most well-known verses using “thy will be done.” It’s part of the Lord’s Prayer.

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”~ Matthew 6:9-13 KJV
I remember, as a young girl, my grandmother had a …

The biggest failure

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." ~John 14:6

I mess up.
A lot.

I’m an imperfect being.

And I’m a major introvert with slight anxiety. That translates to mean, I don’t do well with confrontation or serious, firm talk. It usually ends in me (unsuccessfully) attempting to hold back tears.

It’s not that I’m a dramatic being. It’s just that something within me seems to literally fall apart and any self-control I have simply disappears.

And, in the case of confrontations, I tend to feel like I’ve let people down.

When I let people down, I feel like I failed them. Or myself. And that’s a big thing for me. It’s hard for me to handle that. Sometimes, that stress leaks out through my eyes.

Recently, a friend passed away. I wouldn’t call this person a super close friend, but slightly more than an acquaintance.

I failed this person on the biggest level I could ever have failed a person. And dealing with that has made this a tough…

Surgery update: I'm back! (Sort of)

Drugs are not always necessary. Belief in recovery always is. ~ Norman Cousins

So, today was my first day back at work. To say I was nervous would be an understatement.

Thankfully, it wasn't a terribly hard day for me.

It was a hard day in the world; blog on that coming soon.

For those who missed my post on my surgery: on Sept. 20, I had surgery to repair the umbilical hernia that had developed in my abdomen.

I first noticed something was wrong in late July or early August. I tried to put it off a bit, thinking maybe it was some kind of tummy ache. I knew it probably wasn't — I'm one of those terrible Google self-diagnosers. My husband and mom pestered me to get it checked out, and I felt really terrible, so I finally consented.

That in itself was problematic, since I haven't had a "primary physician" in probably 10 years. There's one or two I've gone to locally, but usually I avoid the doc as much as possible. Honestly, largely because I hate trying to fig…