Monday, October 15, 2012

Stir, and Stir in Grace

I enjoyed this weekend's conference on becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman.

We studied the passage some. Talked some about its history. And discussed ways to apply it in our modern homes and families.

And then I preached grace.

I believe to preach Proverbs 31 without also preaching grace is to set women up for comparison, guilt and feelings of failure. Counter productive feelings.

Each of us will naturally excel at different verbs in the verses of Proverbs 31:10-31. Some will excel at the cooking. Some will excel at the organizing. Some will excel at the making and selling of products. Some will excel at the decorating. Some will excel at the speaking and teaching. Some will excel at the care taking of others. Some will excel at the sewing.

For a lot of us that last one - sewing to provide clothes and bed coverings - has morphed from sewing them to shopping for them already sewn. We can at least claim we excel at shopping!

Except my friend Suzie. I've never seen a woman who hates to shop for clothes as much as Suzie. And she very rarely does it, only then with some prodding and usually a couple friends along to help. But, wow can Suzie ever sew!

I think I got sidetracked there on my friend Suzie. Anyway, my point is don't put pressure on yourself to do all of these things equally well. Or equally as well as someone else. Take inspiration from them but then look at where God has gifted you and stir up that gift.

Odds are that's the gift that is tied somehow to your specific God-given purpose or calling.

Of course we can't ignore all the other verbs in the passage - we still have to feed ourself or our family even if we hate to cook. But that's why they jar spaghetti sauce. And why people with cooking talent write cookbooks.

And it's why they do those demonstrations at Williams-Sonoma. (Well, not entirely ... they also do them to sell products. But you don't have to buy.) I now send those ladies Christmas cards because they've taught me to cook. And cooking was not part of my natural skill set. At all.

I think I digressed a moment again. What's my take-away application here? Oh, here is it is ...

Whatever your "Proverbs 31 gift(s)" is, do something today to stir it up.  And ask God to help you cover the bases on the rest of the verbs. Because His grace is sufficient for you, and it shows up best where you are weakest (2 Cor 12:9).

I'm off to grade papers and prep for this afternoon's class (part of my teaching giftings). {Oh, and to listen to Bob Marley's song Stir it Up because that's now on my mind.} Let me know what you'll be doing today that taps into something you're skilled for.

And if you're not sure what you're innately skilled for - I can probably help you find that out.


  1. I'm so glad I don't have to be good at everything in Proverbs 31! Thank you very much for reminding us that it's OK to not be good at everything, and that taking advantage of conveniences is OK. :-)

    It's not listed in Proverbs 31 but today I was a mom...a mom who really misses her college-age daughter but sent her back anyway, after a wonderful weekend with her (she and her brother surprised me by coming home!).

    I asked God to protect her, to lead and guide her and to remind her of what she knows about Him--and to follow His will. Then I thanked Him that He entrusted her to me.

    Now I'm setting about my work "vigorously" (verse 17); my work of writing and encouraging Christians through the newspaper I publish.

    Thank you for sharing YOUR gifts of writing and encouragement through your blog and devotions!

    1. Hi Shelly. Good to hear from you. How sweet that your kids wanted to come home and surprise you. Sounds like you'e done quite a few things well where they and home are concerned!

      Let me know if I can supply any columns for the paper - I'll be glad to write "vigorously" too. Blessings!

  2. Being a Proverbs 31 woman is an unattainable goal for me, or at least it seems to be.
    I am glad there is grace, and lots of it.

    1. I understand. We hold these two beliefs in the same hand:

      1) We are sinners and our best efforts are but filthy rags apart from God's grace. (Isa 64:6)

      2) We are new creations in Christ and nothing is impossible with God. (2 Cor 5:17 and Luke 1:37)

      Blessings and grace to you.

  3. Rachel,

    Loved this post. I know what gifts the Lord gave me - Speaking and teaching. I have a Masters in Religious Education. I worked in a church for 3 years and loved every second of it. The only problem was I don't know why the pastor hired me. He hated everything about me and what I tried to do. He wanted everything exactly as it was almost 80 years ago. Since I am now 65 I never experienced that. To make a long story short I left that position after he told me he was changing everything I was doing. Then he blackballed me in my community and I could not get another position. Even at this ripe old age I still would love to be involved. I am asking for your prayers. I am content to be what the Lord wills for me.


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