I am not superwoman
She watches over the ways of her household (Proverbs 31:27)
I am not a superwoman and I don't even try to be one.
I only do what I can manage and nothing more.
This means some jobs are left for another day.
I only have 1,440 minutes in every day and some of that time I'm sleeping - I can only do so much.
Don't stress about the things you haven't manage to achieve today and don't try and do too much in one day. Whatever you can't manage will still be waiting to be done tomorrow. Working out what is important by prioritising your activities is a good way of organising your day. Making my husband a home-cooked healthy meal each day is far more important that dusting the house. The dust isn't going anywhere but my husband's health might! However washing the clothes on a regular basis is important otherwise we will run out of clothing. Likewise, keeping the pantry well stocked is something I need to keep on top of - not good to run out of my husband's favourite foods.
Many women read Proverbs 31 and feel overwhelmed and guilty that they cannot match the amount of work they do compared to the noble woman of chapter 31. And no, most of us couldn't manage everything she did or certainly not for any length of time. What we need is her "attitude" to work rather than the amount of work she did. Remember, she also had maids, we don't!
Passionate in whatever she did: she put her heart into every tasks she undertook. Whilst housework can be dull at times, or even for me having to go off to an office during the day may not be my hearts desire, but that doesn't stop us from doing our tasks with passion and with joy (and a smile). Notice that our noble lady never grumbled or wished for something better or more exciting.
Wise in all her undertakings: She made intelligent business decisions, she choose her words wisely, she thought before she acted. In our modern day world, using our time wisely is so important. We can be easily be distracted by the internet, the TV, by magazines, by shopping malls, coffee with friends. And whilst there is nothing wrong with these activities - all things in moderation. This isn't just a problem for the modern woman, Paul asked the older women (in Titus 2) to teach the younger women to be homemakers because like modern women, they were "too busy" with their friends gossiping and meddling.
Trustworthy and had integrity: Her children and her husband had complete confidences in her and knew that she would do "good and not evil". She was a woman that could be trusted with all that she did. She didn't do any shifty deals under the table, her business dealings were honest and above board.
Selfless in serving others, not only her family, but "extending her hand to the poor and needy". We too can help those less fortunate (or older), perhaps by lending a hand to a neighbour - my neighbour has trouble bending and has a dodg hip so I help out where I can, it was weeding the other day.
Gracious in her kindness to other, in her speech and her readiness to be hospitable. She was the sort of woman that worked with a smile of her face and never grumbled when asked to help or when unexpected visitors arrived.
Content with her life, she didn't spend all her time dreaming of something better or different, she accepted the role God had given her and got on doing the very best she could. She was at peace and remained positive. I could constantly go on about having to work in an office, or I can accept my situation and thank the Lord that it fits in well with my family - find the positive in whatever we do. Being content is a choice and if not learnt, can lead to a miserable life.
Courageous, for she was not anxious about the future because she knows that whatever happens, she can trust the Lord. Her trust never wavers and nor should ours, even when we are thrown something unexpected and difficult. And if the Lord does take us out of our comfort zone, we need to have the courage to trust.
As you can see from this list, these seven qualities aren't about the amount of work the noble woman of Proverbs 31 did, its about her attitude when doing her work that is important. No one expects you to be a superwoman, no one expects you to go to bed exhausted every night or be completely stress out about your long to-do-list. However, whatever you do, do it with a cheerful heart, with contentment and grace, with love, joy and for the Lord. And remember, you cannot do anything without God, nothing.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
And . . . don't compare yourself to other women. Some women are able to do amazing amounts of activity in a day and still have the energy to do more. But most of us can't. Be realistic.
And . . . if you are really struggling with managing your home, getting yourself organised and creating a schedule, trying to find the right balance - find yourself a Titus 2 woman who can help you through these issues. Two heads are far better than one. No one should have to struggle on their own and we aren't expected to. And if you are an older woman, look out for those young women who are struggling and lend a hand, they really need your help.
Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
The seven qualities of a beautiful woman used in this post are from Cynthia Heald excellent book's "Uncommon Beauty: 7 qualities of a Beautiful Woman" . I would highly recommend this book, it contains many little treasures that show us how to be beautiful women, but not the beauty of the modern woman, but of a Godly woman.