I had a nagging restlessness for several years when we were passing through the dark times in our marriage. Afraid that “the world would pass me by” that I would grow old, hidden behind closed doors, never to improve or express my gifts. I developed a depression that left me sad for several years.
Back then, I did not know how to apply the wisdom of the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs to my life. She did it all and had it all! She built her house, ran more than one business and reached out to the poor. Everybody in her household was safe and affirmed. How she managed her hours, we don’t know but she is highlighted center front in the Bible. Her husband praised her, raved about her, and her children “rose up and called her blessed.”
I began to understand my God given freedom. Inside were passions to develop, even the responsibility to. I thought of working in the business world. And out of nowhere, an appealing job offer popped up at the Research Park where my husband worked near the University. It was across town, and it was a full time job. It paid money! Without it I was afraid I would pass into eternity with no accomplishment, no excitement and no fulfillment. I was tempted to accept it.
Now, suddenly there were many options. Why work in the business world? To have more money, to spend, to leave the drudgery of housework behind and just get out! But a new thought quietly entered the argument in my head, “You do not need more money; you need to learn how to spend less.” That was the answer for me. I chose not to leave my privileged position. Not yet had I put together the Old and New Testament realities of the Wise Woman. In Proverbs she had opportunity and freedom to express herself at home and in the marketplace. It was a new idea: I compared with this woman the New Testament expression of a wife (keeper at home meaning “to rule a family); then she became significant and powerful. Both the Old and New Testament showed the same wise woman; my vision began to expand. For hours a day I studied the Bible, and began writing what I learned, while the boys were in school.
Developing my interests further, I became a professional aerobics instructor during the daytime school hours. It brought exciting satisfaction to me. I’m glad now that all the questions came into my head . . .
My dream, my prayer from a young girl had been to marry a good man who loved me. We had three sons by now: my fulfillment was staring me in the face.
There was plenty of work to do: phone calls from school for an injured son, or sick boy, a drive to the airport to send my husband on a business trip, or helping out with school functions, or managing a house, sending everybody off loved and equipped every day – if I worked full time I would miss all of these opportunities. Instead I would choose quiet times with all of my “men.” If my husband had a bad day, I would be there when he needed me. If my children were at home sick, I would be there.
The drudgery was in my head: our home was small, but it was efficient enough. I began in earnest to try to find a thankful heart.
At home, my time was less stressful as I recognized my interests. A study of health in the Bible, exercise and writing became my serious hobbies. I would be available if my children were ready to talk. (Many times, even college boys want to talk to Mom). I wouldn’t and didn’t miss those times. The home will be guarded by me! I am the guard of my house! I am a she-bear! What and who I allow to enter (and only them), will enter my house.
Your gifts and dreams will be yours! Every part of your life, every decision will have long term meaning.
You and I will stop being skin deep when finally we understand that digging deep within and developing into a quietly confident whole person demands time and effort. A quiet assurance will come when you know that you are uniquely gifted spirit, soul and body. Restlessness leaves. The fear that life will pass you by will slowly disappear. God is truly involved: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Jesus said many times, “the kingdom of God is at hand”. Look at your hands; they are right there, available to you. They always have been. Learn to see what is at hand; start there. When you are down and discouraged, start anew!
I’m glad now; I followed my heart; regrets are few. Those amazing people, Eric, and our sons Josh, Si and Zach got my best effort.
This is innate power; “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength…” (Isaiah.30:15)