Monthly Archives: March 2011

Deep in thought

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“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16

 

The wife being described in this verse is a smart and discerning person. She goes out and makes informed, financial decisions which produce income for her family. She is making money in some way, because she plants the vineyard “out of her earnings.” So, she has already proven to have some business smarts and now she has money to invest. This makes me think what I can do to help provide for my family. I do have a small income from the childcare services I provide from my home, but am I managing this money in such a way that I would ever be able to invest it?

 

Prior to getting married, my husband and I participated in a Crown Financial Study small group at our church. This is a Bible study designed to teach you what God has to say about money and budgeting and loans. We thoroughly enjoyed it and I heartily recommend it for everyone, especially newlyweds or those about to enter college. I wish that I had known what I do now, back when I was just leaving home. Following the study, we sat down and worked out a budget that we try very hard to stick to. We document everything! If I find a penny in the parking lot at Walmart, I write it down….ok, not really. But it is important to know where your money goes, and where it comes from, if you want to use it responsibly. This is very much a work in progress for us, but I really like being able to look back and see where we have spent our money.

 

One way to keep a check on your priorities is to keep track of where you spend your money…

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healthy habits = healthy life

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I am very tempted to apologize for not posting in the past couple of weeks…but I won’t. The next verse in Proverbs 31 is verse 15:

 

“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.”

 

With the recent time change, getting up while it is still dark doesn’t ask that much of me, though it is still not easy. I don’t care if I have slept for 12 hours or 30 minutes, getting out of bed while it is dark outside is not easy. As I have confessed before, I struggle to stay motivated. Recently, I have found a very good source of motivation, namely, my husband and I have applied to be foster parents and are beginning the process of certification. So, when I am feeling lazy or struggling to get out of bed in the morning, I think of what life will be like when we have children living here. When I was growing up, I thought my mom loved to get up really early in the morning. She was always up before me and had breakfast ready before waking me. It never occurred to me that she got up early just so she could get some chores done before the kids were up; or that we would have been late if she hadn’t already had breakfast ready. I want to be that mom too, and I find it difficult to see myself in that role, because I can’t drag myself out of bed on time, how am I supposed to get kids up and ready for school? So, I have been trying to get up without grumbling and begin the day by helping my husband get off to work and not making him late by laying in bed and making it more difficult for him to get up.  But motivation is only the beginning… for any of you fellow lazy housewives: check out this website www.flylady.com. It’s a little corny, but it provides babysteps for those of us lacking motivation to start getting our houses in order. As she says, “Motivation is what gets you started, habits are what keep you going.”

 

Go forth and create good habits! 🙂

Merchant Ships and grocery stores

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She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” Proverbs 31:14

 

This verse isn’t really that relevant to women today, with multiple grocery stores in every town and a convenience store on every corner, we don’t have to travel far to find food. So, today I am going to say: be thankful. Though, I personally like the idea of living a more self sustaining life and producing my own food. Even if I did, I would only go to my back yard to get it. Growing your own food can be a lot of work, but in the middle east, not a lot could be grown. In any one location, you would probably find one particular crop which thrived. Which meant that to provide a well-rounded diet for your family, you would have to walk miles to a market where other people, who had also walked miles, would be selling goods from other regions. I, personally, am thankful that is not the case today. I don’t fully support what has become of America’s food industry and the ethics or lack there-of, but I do understand how it developed into what it is today, so that we don’t have to be “merchant ships.” I am thankful I can provide food for my family and still get home in time to cook it.

Picky, Picky, Picky

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As you may have noticed, I didn’t post anything over the weekend. Not because, as my husband put it, this is a five-day-a-week blog, but because I was sick and didn’t feel like writing. I’m still not one hundred percent but definitely on the mend. All prayers are appreciated. I am very blessed to have a great husband to take care of me (which really means going to buy me medicine then letting me sleep all day while he takes care of the dogs…that is true love).

 

Today’s verse is from Proverbs chapter 31 verse 13: “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.”

 

Now, for those of us “modern” women, wool and flax don’t mean much, but the message here still applies. Wool, as we all know, is used to make all kinds of clothes, particularly nice warm winter socks and sweaters…Flax is what linen is made from and it is a plant. These two things, wool and flax, would have been the source of most clothing at the time the book of Proverbs was written. And the women made most of the clothes. So, the ability to pick our the good wool from bad wool and good flax from bad flax is symbolic of a woman being able to provide clothes and supply for her family. The second part of the verse is what really hits me though. “[She]…works with eager hands.” I read this and ask myself is it true of me? Sure there are occasions when I get particularly excited about doing something and work eagerly, but is it a regular thing for me? Even right now, I decided to write this so I don’t have to tackle the mess accumulating on the floor in my bedroom. If I am honest, I only am “eager” about my work when it is something new. Like, I get a new piece of furniture and dust it everyday that week. Or we get a new dog and I brush and pet and walk her three miles everyday…then real life sets in and I get tired or something else comes along, and I am not so eager to walk that dog or dust that bookshelf. And this is where another, very well know, verse comes into play.

 

Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

 

I have a very hard time with this, and it is my goal this week to be more eager. Please pray with me for eagerness and excitement about the work we do as wives to serve God and our families.

All the days…

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So, just for the record, the black beans turned out well. I ended up soaking them for about 15 hours then letting them simmer for about 7 hours. We ate them for dinner last night and breakfast this morning and will probably have them for dinner again tonight. Maybe I shouldn’t have made the entire 2lb bag at one time…

 

Anyways, today’s verse from Proverbs 31 is verse 12: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

 

This verse particularly hit me because, being a typical American, I feel entitled to “lazy days”, vacations and sick leave. I mean, it isn’t reasonable or fair to expect me to be the perfect little wife every single day, is it? Even the Bible says to work six days and rest on the seventh, doesn’t it? Yes, we are to model our work after God, who created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. But then what is this passage really saying? Sure, I am allowed and, indeed, should rest one day a week, and I think that fits into this passage very well. If I am to “bring good, not harm” to my husband, then I need to sleep and take care of myself. Trust me, if I don’t get my 8 hours, I am not pleasant to be around. However, not sleeping well does not excuse me from my wifely duties. As humans, we tend to make excuses and say,”It is understandable, why so-and so is acting the way they are considering the circumstances…” And I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with that…until we start using the same excuses on ourselves. I am much more likely to excuse my own behavior than someone else’s because I know my own motives and I can rationalize why I did what I did. But this verse leaves no room for excuses or rationalization. It says plain out: a wife of noble character will bring her husband good, not harm, all the days of her life. So, either I am a wife of noble character or I’m not, and if I am then I will do my best to bring “good” to my husband every single day…rain, flu, snow, sun, pms….doesn’t matter.

A Proverbs kinda woman

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So, I titled this blog “confessions of a lazy housewife” and I meant it. I am lazy and generally unmotivated, however, I don’t intend to remain this way any longer than I have to. I really created this to give myself a “creative” outlet and to document my transformation from lazy to diligent and hard working. In the Bible, the book of Proverbs, chapter 31 provides a description of a “wife of noble character.” So, I am taking it verse by verse to see how I can apply it to my life and thus become the kind of wife and homemaker I want to be.

Today’s verse is Proverbs 31:11 “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.”

To me, this means that my husband should be able to go through his day without worrying about anything at home, because he knows that I have it under control. He can have confidence that if something needs doing I will do it and he will have clean, wrinkle free pants to wear to work tomorrow, because he lacks nothing of value. Spending all day at home, I tend to get to a chore or task that would be easier if he were helping me, and put it off until he gets home. Then the temptation is to bombard him with my honey-do list as soon as he walks in the door. So, I try to have dinner on the table when he gets home for no other reason than it makes us sit and eat and talk and gives him a chance to unwind from the stress of his day job before I put him to work here at home. Also, as I am becoming better at managing the house and keep up with the daily tasks like laundry, I am also beginning to notice how his clothes never seem to make it all the way to the hamper. This never really bothered me before, when I too was leaving clothes strewn willy-nilly throughout the house. But, now that I am taking the time and effort to put my clothes up I expect him to magically do the same, which often leads to frustration on my part. I don’t think that he is excused from helping out at home just because he works full-time, but I want him to look forward to coming home and not be met at the door by myself complaining about the three socks and a pair of boxers I found under the bed that morning. I want him to be confident that I can handle things at home and that he WILL have clean clothes whether he wants to or not.

Soaking Beans

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From March 2, 2011:

 

In an effort to reduce our food costs I am experimenting with all kinds of new foods…or should I say really old foods which I have never tried to prepare before. First up today…black beans. Being the lazy and forgetful person that I am, I forgot to put them on to soak last night before bed. The beans are supposed to soak for 6-8 hours but mine are only going to get about 4 hours worth of soakage. Black beans and rice have been staple dishes for many different cultures all over the world for thousands of years. I have traveled in both the Americas and Africa, and in both places I was served black beans and rice daily. In Belize, “rice and beans” and “beans and rice” are two different dishes depending on which is on the bottom. Not only are beans eaten everyday, they are often consumed at more than one meal a day, and breakfast is not out of the question either.

Traveling for me is always somewhat iffy due to my digestive issues, however, black beans and rice seem to sit very well with me. That, and the fact that I can get a 2lb bag of black beans for less than $2, makes it an ideal candidate for our new food budget. Bar any extreme mishaps, I foresee beans and rice becoming a staple in the White household pantry very soon.