13 – Fearless

Audio Lesson: https://youtu.be/mRpgq-MucJw

She fears not for her household for the snow, for all her household are dressed in crimson.

Can we just stop at she fears not! Fear is driving our current world. We are paralyzed by it, consumed by it, drugged up in hopes to ignore it, physically sick because of it; it controls our lives.

Perfect love casts out all fear. Love is fears exact opposite. Put two magnets together and they repelled each other. Put love and fear together and one is repelled. Unlike magnets that equally move apart, we get to choose if it’s love or fear that will leave.

We have to be able to accept love. We have to accept perfect love – God’s love. It doesn’t matter how much we think we love him, or show our love for him by doing good to others. That love does not conquer fear. That love is effort and when tested, will crumble.

We also have to accept the fact that nothing we can do will ever make God love us more or less. That’s not up to us, that’s up to him and his love is unconditional, it is equal to all, and it is the only weapon against fear.

The rest of this verse simply states that she is prepared. Once again we see her life is in order, she isn’t caught off guard because winter has arrived and she wasn’t ready. She knows it comes every year. The hats, boots, mittens and winter coats are neatly piled in the front closet waiting for the snow to fall. She’s prepared. She’s organized. She’s ready. Most of all, she’s not afraid!

13 – Handy Mandy

Audio Lesson: https://youtu.be/uu0nGhGiGFg

19 She stretches forth her hands onto the distaff, and her hands support the spindle. 20 She spreads out her hand to the poor man, and she stretches her hands out to the needy.

You gotta get your hands a little dirty. She isn’t afraid to.

The distaff is the part of a spinning wheel that holds the wool. And since she has already sought out the wool, along with the flax, she is finishing the job. Once again we see that she is engaged. Not one to sit on her hands waiting to be rescued, or for thing to happen, or for life to change; no, not this one. This one buys the wool, threads the wheel, and supports the spindle.

She is also very caring. She uses those same hands to help the poor and assist the needy. It takes more than just a pair of hands to do this. It takes time, a kind spirit, and a listening ear. Not everyone who is needy carries a sign with them.

We are surrounded by people who are needy. Their needs range from being homeless, to being hungry, to feeling lost and alone, to just needing someone to talk to, someone who cares.

When we are too busy, we miss them. When our minds are filled with other voices, we can’t hear them. When we forget that we are to be kind, we pass them by, shrug them off, ignore them, and in some cases, wish they would disappear.

You gotta get your hands dirty sometimes. It what good warriors do.

11 – An All Nighter

Audio Lesson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3-mHlyy9CI

She advises that her merchandise is good her lamp does not go out at night.

She doesn’t just think it, she knows it. She knows that what she accomplishes is good and she is relentless, never turning off the light, never calling it quits.

It’s not easy to be confident in your finished projects. Doubt, anxiety, insecurities plague all of us. If this one has any doubt, she doesn’t let it rule her. Perhaps it is the fact that she is disciplined, or that she is organized, or that she can actually see a profit, or that she won’t settle for anything less.

She is confident in the finished results of whatever she puts her hands to, and down deep, she knows it’s the best she has to offer, thus it is good. How could it not be? This one takes life seriously, lives it to the fullest, takes advantage of every opportunity and has strong arms. Above all that, she’s not a quitter. She refuses to give up. She takes the time to learn what she needs, works diligently to perfect it, and in the end, is satisfied with the final product. And it’s good!!

10 – Strength

Audio Lesson: https://youtu.be/g7yLip3lVic

She girds her loins with vigor and strengthens her arms.

Sometime we read scriptures as some spiritual metaphor and sometimes we can just read it literally. I’m going with literal on this one and it’s called being physically fit.

I’m not sure I’ve ever described someone to have vigorous legs. It’s an image that makes me laugh. It takes work to have vigorous legs, or in other words strong legs. It doesn’t just happen and if you are anywhere over the age of 39 you know it doesn’t keep happening. It requires exercise and sometimes it requires a lot of it.

In my time managing a woman’s clothing store, I had a lot of opportunity to observe women’s behaviors when it came to accepting their bodies. The average age of our customer was 50 plus. I learned early on that most woman over 60 don’t like their arms, thus they don’t go sleeveless. I decided I wasn’t going to be that woman, so I started lifting weights 3 times a week. I don’t want bulging biceps, but I refuse to repeat the words I’ve heard from hundreds of customers, “I hate my arms.” There so much else to hate in this world, I don’t think flabby arm should be the priority.

Vigorous legs and strong arms. This is a woman who takes care of her physical self. She makes it strong, she keeps it healthy, she plans to be around for a while.

9 – CEO

Audio Lesson: https://youtu.be/I4_os4Rg5TY

She contemplates a field and purchases it; from the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She not only buys and sells land, she turns it into a vineyard! She is a wise business woman who can hold her own.

Not everyone is destined to be CEOs, CFOs, or an entrepreneur. But a basic understanding of business is required for anyone to survive in this world.

Budgeting money, dealing with people, managing your time, prioritizing you day, setting goals, managing debt, buying a house, renting an apartment, need I go on? A person who can’t manage their time is unreliable. A person who can’t control their spending is a risk. A person who can’t manage others is destined for a life of chaos.

Perhaps we all are destined to be CEOs for that is what it takes to manage our lives.

8 – Servants, I have many

Audio Lesson: https://youtu.be/1kyVPYuurX8

She gives food to her household and an allotted share to her maidens.

I managed a women clothing store for two years. It was an interesting experience. During my time there, my little store did fashion shows. We would take eight women and dress them up in three outfits and then allow them to parade through a crowd of other women who are all wishing they knew how to put together outfits like these. It was quite fun and the women had a great time. At the beginning of the fashion show all the newly named models are prim and proper. Buy round two, a few begin to sashay. And on the final round, there will undoubtably be one or two who felt the need to show off their chorus line moves. It was all great fun.

One of the last events that I did was for a large… as not to offend anyone, lets say… Organization. It’s one of those Organization where large numbers of people go on a Sunday morning and a fewer number attend Organizational Meetings throughout the week. These newly named models who attend this Organization unanimously won the ‘nastiest group we’ve ever encountered’ award. It’s a new award as we’ve never needed it before.

As a writer, I could go in many different directions with this topic. But the one that is blasting like a fog horn in my ears is taken from a little Proverb called the Virtuous Woman. That famous one; where the woman gets up before dawn, is wise in her business dealings, tends to her children’s needs for which they in-turn rise up and call her blessed; all while her well known husband sits at the city gates. Ya, that one.

There is a one liner in this well known Proverb that tells us this rare woman cares for her servants. Most of us would not admit we have servants and many would say we would like a few. I would ask to consider who are our servants?

I believe its the woman who checks me out at the grocery store, or the teacher who spends eight hours a day with my grandchildren. It’s the kid who takes my dry cleaning and young women who writes down my order and dutifully serves me my food. It’s the guy who has been assigned to answer my customer service call, and the barista who hands me my latte. These are my modern day servants. And if I want my children to someday rise up and call me blessed, I need to care for my servant’s needs. Seems simple. Seems like a Proverb that has been taught in most… Organizations.

So what is to be done with the “nastiest group we’ve ever encountered”? I will serve them, as long as they are in my clothes, they are my servants and I will care for their needs. I will also pull a leader of this Organization aside and gently and honestly share my thoughts on the subject. And I will remind myself every day that I am to care for my servants, no matter where they work. After all, my children need a reason to call me blessed and my husband needs something to talk about while he sits all day at the gate.