She’s the woman we all love to hate, and she used to really bug me. The woman Proverbs 31 praises so highly—she’s just too perfect. She meets everyone’s needs with a smile and looks great doing it. And she gets up early, well before sunrise, and gets right to work. Ugh.

Through the years I’ve tried to follow her example. I had my couponing-and-three-store-menu-planning phase, my make-crafts-and-sell-them phase, and I’ve even had more than one let’s-get-up-before-the-sun-and-get-this-day-going phase. But eventually I learned I was trying to copy this much-maligned woman’s activities rather than her character.

What the Proverbs 31 woman actually models for us is a godly life. She’s a wife and mother, a homemaker and an entrepreneur, but she could just as easily be a college student, a single mom, a grandmother. She’s faithful, diligent, industrious, generous, compassionate, kind, and wise—all virtues the book of Proverbs advises women and men to develop. Why? Because they honor God and make life work.

When we fear (respect and honor) the Lord, we begin to understand the world and ourselves as His, which is true knowledge. Taking what we know to be true and applying it correctly is living with godly wisdom. That’s what the book of Proverbs is all about, and that’s what the Proverbs 31 woman is good at.

Turns out there’s no reason to dislike her after all!

 

Diane Stortz

Diane Stortz

Diane Stortz writes best-selling books for children and adults. Her goal is making God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her newest book, from which this post is taken, is Encountering God’s Heart for You: 365 Devotions from Genesis to Revelation, available for pre-order now. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys! www.DianeStortz.com

Encountering God's Heart for You by Diane Stortz

Encountering God’s Heart for You by Diane Stortz

 

 

 

 

 

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What item in your closet should probably be thrown out? If somebody rummaged through my clothes, they’d most likely choose the ratty ol’ black sweater. It’s faded, a bit threadbare, and stretched out of shape. But it still hangs in my closet…for a reason.

When my mother passed away, my sisters and I packed up her clothes. We each took a few as mementos. I chose the black sweater, already worn with age.

If I feel a bit down, I slip my arms through the sleeves. It is almost as if my mom is hugging me once again. My mother was a deep believer even though she suffered the death of two children and my father becoming a POW in WWII. Through it all, she used her experiences to God’s glory and comforted many during her eighty-plus years on earth. When I wrap myself in that sweater, I feel her God-endowed wisdom and comfort.

Paul spoke of the comfort God gives us to pass on to others. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 13:3-4).

One day, after I am gone, maybe a family member will go through my clothes and wonder why I kept that old thing. If she feels the urge to slip her arms through its sleeves, I hope she’ll realize why.

Julie Cosgrove

Julie Cosgrove is an editor and writer for Cru Canada’s internet ministry, Power to Change. Her income, like any missionary’s, is dependent upon prayer and financial partners. She is also a professional speaker and a multiple award-winning author of ten novels with four more under contract.

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I have always hated driving in unfamiliar cities because I couldn’t watch the road and my map at the same time.

In the past, I worked hard to memorize directions and search for the next turn while maneuvering through traffic.

Even getting in the right lane to turn can be a challenge when I don’t know the area.

 

Rather than venture out, I often chose cowardice and stayed home. I could imagine myself embroiled in a major accident while floundering through alien streets.

However, I am quite grateful for the GPS on my phone. A holder on the dashboard keeps the map on the phone visible, and a voice tells me where to turn.

Can you imagine groping your way through life? Praise God we don’t have to do that. In Psalm 119 the Psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

The Lord promised if we lean on him and seek his Word, our heavenly Father will reveal the next step. I discovered that to be true many times while raising my five children. God always gave me wisdom when I pleaded for help.

Praise God for his assistance while we walk through life’s bumpy streets.

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former homeschool mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

 

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