Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Precious Than Jewels - My Conviction

I am feeling so convicted today but it is a very sweet thing. Generally, my guilt over things leaves me feeling condemned and I will pull away relationally..from people and from God.

Today, I do not feel condemned, I feel loved and invited.

What do I feel convicted of? You name it! I have a godly desire to maintain my household (cleaning, organizing, decorating), I have a desire to be a good employee (follow through, be proactive, be efficient), I have a desire to understand my Jesus in bigger ways (theological studies), I have a desire to know my friends better and to be known by them, and I have a desire to be a better steward of my resources (finances, time, gifting); however, since I do not manage my time well, I do not get to most of these things or I do not do them well.

Conviction #1: Lack of Time Management

Proverbs 31:13-14
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.

I think this conviction has been brewing for awhile. I can almost hear myself saying “God, I can do this” and pushing Him aside. I created a schedule for myself last week. Not an hour by hour detail, but I wrote down the times I would wake up and what I would do the first two hours of every morning. Here is where I usually get tripped up in my day. I take the first 2 hours for me…enjoy my coffee, reading, updating my status on Facebook and seeing what my friends are up to, then I am to plunge into the day. The problem is I never get to the “read” and then I spend the next 2 hours frustrated because I am not ready to do the things I need to do as I am not done doing the things I want to do.

My schedule also included the hours in which I would do my bookkeeping job. All the other open hours should be the time I have to do household chores, errands, and visiting friends. On paper, it looked great. First day, I could not get out of bed at 8am so I slept an extra hour, which leads me to...

Conviction #2: Love of Sleep

Proverbs 31:15
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.

I do not get to see my husband much during the day; often it is 7pm before I even see him. The next two hours are spent preparing for and cleaning up after dinner. Then we usually all sit down and watch TV together. Somewhere between midnight and 1am, we usually head to bed. Now, I know 8 hours is an average but it is not my average. I prefer 9-10 hours. I have a pull to stay up longer to be with my husband versus getting to bed earlier so I can start my morning at a reasonable hour. In the end, I do not think I have even connected well with my husband since we have been in front of the TV for hours.

My husband is the cook; he is quite good at. I think I take advantage of this. I know he loves to serve our family in this way and I let him... fully. I do not feel convicted about not cooking; it is a gift and a blessing I hold dearly. I do believe I can contribute in a more significant way and if I did so would probably see my husband more and have more meaningful time together. I could plan on what we are going to eat, rather than waiting for him to drive home and trying to decide what he should pick up from the store. I could do a lot of the prep work before he even gets home. Chop the veggies, get pans ready, boil water, etc. Which leads to my next conviction...

Conviction #3: Idleness

Proverbs 31:27
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

I love one definition of the word idle: to pass time doing nothing. TV has never really been my idea of a great way to spend time. The first few years of our marriage, I did not even want it on and did not find anything worth watching. I recently, however, got sucked into 24, and then back into American Idol, and now the Biggest Loser. So I have three shows that I have to watch. The rest I could care less about and will generally pull out the laptop and occasionally check out what is happening on TV.

TV is not the only issue...I waste a lot of time doing nothing. Surfing the internet, reading the news (which just saddens me), Facebook, reading Blogs, etc.

Conviction #4: Taking Care of Me

Proverbs 31:17
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.

When I think of taking care of me, I think of lying around enjoying me time…I do not think of my health and well-being. I am supposed to be taking a lot of supplements, but it is a lot of work organizing and swallowing that many pills. I am supposed to be avoiding certain foods (that are predominately in prepared foods), so I should be making most of my meals from scratch. I should be going to the gym, to keep my heart healthy and lungs strong.

Conviction #5: Stewarding My Resources

Proverbs 31:16; 18
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

Proverbs 31:20
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

I am learning to steward our finances better…there is still work to do. There are some areas where I am really diligent and god-honoring and some areas where I do not even think twice. There are some areas where I am just plain stingy and other areas where I am just plain indulgent. Not a good balance.

Serving, I do this but I do not believe I do it well. It is something I am very passionate about and feel blessed by the privilege of the manner in which I get to serve. I often find myself on holy ground. Yet I often complain and grumble the moments leading into serving..I’m tired, I have so many things to do, I do not feel equipped, I am not in a good place…they go on and on.

Conviction #6: Wisdom

Proverbs 31:26
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

I avoid theology and theologians. My attitude towards certain points of theology has been that it does not impact my faith or my salvation and there are other more important things to concern myself with. It took struggling through the idea of Election and Predestination for me to see how God used my recent understanding of these ideas to speak the truth in love to someone about His love for us. Without the idea of election, my words would have seemed trite and like christianese. I have a desire to dive deeper into just a few right now…Election, Justification, Atonement, Propitiation, Expiation, and Assurance. Hence the overall conviction I am feeling right now…how and when?

I’ve always seen the Proverbs woman as unattainable. I am beginning to see how she is really just a model of what it looks like to live out biblical womanhood, an area I know very little about.

She is there to guide us and encourage us, not condemn and shame us because we do not live up to her standard. I believe she is in the bible as a gift from God to show us what a standard of beauty really is.


Pastor James said...

I am proud of you my beautiful bride

bina said...

Wow, this is an excellent post! Thank you. I love the way you went straight to Scripture and I can see that you have godly conviction rather than wordly sorrow. This was an encouraging post for me, since I am dealing with many of these same convictions in my life right now! Praying for you and me.