Am I a Proverbs 31 Woman?

Trying to focus on Proverbs 31…My handsome “St. Joseph” – at Disney for our 20 year anniversary.

This question has been on my mind for perhaps too long.  I’ve prayed about my first blog post, and well, I keep coming back to this…”Am I a Proverbs 31 Woman?”

My situation mirrors many women…I work.  For years, I’ve prayed for God to help me to find a way to stay at home with my beautiful 4 baby girls.  I’ve prayed this for YEARS.  However, the doors, windows, or any other path was never open to me.  I also circled with women and men deeply devoted in their love to God and to living a fully Catholic lifestyle.  It was in these circles that I learned more about who I am as a Catholic woman…it is also in these circles that I came to understand the Wallace sacrament of marriage.

In 2002, my hubby, Steven, was severely injured, caused by an eruption of his colon.  He went into sceptic shock, and almost died…several times.  Doctors have told us what a miracle he was to survive the injury, and to live almost to full functionality.  Those were the emergency team doctors, the ICU doctors, the specialists.  Those doctors did not know that the journey had only begun in the ICU.  Steve’s new life took us to places we did not want to go.  Steve’s initial recovery left him temporarily disabled, and without the ability to work.  His full time job, so to speak, was to recover.  This lasted for many years, along with many failed attempts to re-enter the work world.  At this time, Steve and I were still faithful to the teachings of the Catholic church.  We knew it was on God who was carrying us through our ordeal.

As this was happening, I watched my dream and prayer of staying at home go down the drain.  I began to believe that perhaps God was punishing me for something, although cognitively I knew that was not how God worked.  I knew He was providential, and I also knew He loved me.  I knew He wanted what was best for Steve, myself, and our 4 daughters.

I decided at that moment to focus on what I could control, and what God had given me as gifts and skills.  After all, more than anything, Steve needed me.  I knew this with my whole heart.  He needed me, and I wanted to honor the vows of our marriage, “In sickness and in health.”  When I took those vows at 22, I honestly thought that perhaps flu was the worse thing I would deal with until we were in our 80s.  I was wrong.  But the vows were still truth and right.

The amount of medical debt, and other debt we incurred because of Steve’s employment hiatus and illness were extraordinary.  People did help us plenty!  We are eternally grateful for those individuals who cared for us during that time.  That was part of God’s providential care.  Also, the fact that I had a degree that provided a wide-array of choices for employment…well, this was also providential from God.  I never appreciated my ability to work, to provide, to give to my family in this way — work.  Because of my faith journey, and all of what I had seen with my faithful Catholic friends, I always thought of my working as something I couldn’t figure out how to leave in order to get to my real vocation of motherhood.  To be honest, I felt trapped and, to be REALLY honest, I felt punished, as if I had not done something right in my faith journey.  After Steve was sick, I realized that my work was a call from God, for a time.  God was blessing our faithfulness to one another in so many ways, and my work was part of that.  My career has provided for our family.  And, PRAISE GOD, Steve’s current career is rewarding to our entire family, it is Christ-centered, very pro-life, and focused on his role as father, provider, and husband.

I am reminded of the Proverb 31 woman…she worked!  She provided.  She used her hands to provide for the needs of her family…and she didn’t COMPLAIN!  I could learn a thing or two from this beautiful woman!  I know many Proverbs 31 women!  My mother was one.  She was mother first…I never appreciated that until she died suddenly in 2010.  Even though I was 40 at the time, I felt so alone.  Part of her role as my mother was to teach me how to lead…how to construct things…how to be a mom…how to be a working mom – when that is what God is calling you to.  Thank you, Mom.

Are you a Proverbs 31 woman?  Proverbs 31: 10-31 – check it out and see.  We are all called to it…not just to work…but to provide in whatever way God is calling you to provide.

I continue to pray to stay at home with my kids.  I know that is my heart’s desire.  But, I am thankful to God that He has given me gifts and talents that I can use in the mean time.  It’s all in God’s time anyway, right?  I don’t know if I am a Proverbs 31 woman…I try to be.  Maybe I should ask the hubby?

Top 3 strategies I use to become a Proverbs 31 woman:

1.PRAY…PRAY…and then PRAY some more!  In order to know if I am doing things for my own benefit, or because I am being called to it by God, I have to KNOW God.  To know God, I must develop a relationship with Him.  To develop a relationship with Him, I must pray.  It is like using the old fashion rotary dial phone.  “Hi, God.  It’s me, Mary.  What’s going on?  How was your day?”  It isn’t a text message…it’s a 2 way conversation with God..talking and LISTENING.

2.  Spend time in Adoration, bringing your love to Jesus.  Let Him see your heart…your desire to be a daughter of our most high God.  Spend time with Jesus.

3.  If you are married, spend time with your husband more so than you spend at your work.  Call him during the day; leave him notes; send text messages; reserve weekends for your family.  Still do date nights (My hubby and I just purchased season college basketball tickets…that has been fun!).  Go back to the vows you professed in front of hundreds of people…live them out!

Be a Proverbs 31 woman!  She is valued far beyond pearls…

Proverbs 31:10-11: When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.

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Comments

  1. Mary….what profound thoughts. I am moved….I am inspired….I am honored to know you. God’s Providence, which many times we do not understand, and in fact, resist as you so beautifully shared, is all for His greater purpose. The new Faith and Good Counsel radio show for our sisters in Christ and our families have much to learn from the fruit of your experience. For what it’s worth….I KNOW you are a Proverbs 31 woman!
    God bless you, darlin!
    Staci Gulino

  2. I just discovered your blog and this post spoke to me. My husband, too, almost died from a stroke. He made a good recovery but with a physical disability. He was laid off from work about 2 years ago and has had a very hard time finding work. Like you, my dreams of staying home with my two young children are also going down the drain. I am blessed with work to help support my family and God’s providence to make ends meet. Thank you for your honesty with your situation. I feel less alone.

  3. Mary, it is good to find someone that feels the way that I do. My heart’s desire has been to stay home with my boys, but God has other plans. I felt that you were writing part of my story and thank you for lifting that veil that was covering my heart and stopping me from growing in my relationship with God and to be the best Wife and Mother. God bless you.

    • Carmen,

      It has definitely been quite a faith journey through my thoughts and feelings about wanting to be a stay at home mom. God has not opened that door yet for me, and He may never. It is an act of trust, for sure. I will continue to pray for your faith journey, and ask for prayers as well. Keep the faith, and walk where He has you journeying, which is a path only you can travel.

      God Bless!

      Mary

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  1. […] I dealt a little with Proverbs 31 in the very first blog post, you can find here: Am I a Proverbs 31 Woman? […]

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