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“You’re never too old to reinvent yourself.”Jennifer Lopez
I ran across this quote about two years ago, when I started my vision board. At the time, it spoke loudly to me and, really, it still does. My guess is it speaks to you too. Do you ever feel ‘too far gone’? If so, this is for you. We’re all guilty of getting into the daily grind of life and losing ourselves. We become a lot of things (girlfriend, finance, wife, mother, employee, boss, etc.) and we do a lot of things but we fail to evolve our person, our being, what makes us ‘us’. Therefore, we need to quiet the noise of life, refocus our purpose and reinvent ourselves into who we are meant to be.
Women become consumed by the need play a balancing act every minute of our waking day. We become really good at this. In fact, there are multiple studies showing how much better women are at multitasking then men. I loved the example Anushay Hossain used in her Forbes article on this very topic:
It didn’t take long after I got married to discover that one of the secrets to preventing the eventual strangling of your husband’s neck was to accept that men are incapable of multi-tasking. This was more of a defining moment for me than it was for my partner, mostly because I think he already knew what I had just found out: men just cannot juggle life like women can.
When my husband talks on the phone, and I ask him to pass me the remote, he will look up at me in total shock and awe before actually dramatically hissing, “Shhhh! Can you not see I am on the phone?” Normally while I am on the phone, I am simultaneously writing a book, growing a baby, feeding the cat, all while redecorating in my head, and trying to figure out women’s world domination. And that is all just while I am on the phone.
Sound familiar? Like I said, we’re really good at this. We take pride in being able to ‘do it all’. Wear all of the hats that society throws at us. However, it’s because of this cycle that feels like we trade our souls for roles. When we’re buried in work, daunting daily tasks, and possibly 7 loads of laundry, it’s hard to find our way back to the surface. Similarly, it’s hard to find our way back to who we are meant to be.
Why is this important?
We’re so busy on the hamster wheel of life, efficiently spinning, that we miss the opportunities to bring our genuine selves to each of these areas. As a result, this is costly to your family, yourself and society. We are endowed with God’s grace and his plan and purpose inside of us. We each hold unique characteristics that balance this world and bring each of us closer to Him. But when we live outside of this, we shorten the world of this experience.
Instead of being an inspiration, graceful in our dealings and progressive with our lives, we constantly feel the stretch by doing unimportant tasks to keep a certain image, have stress from a life that lacks organization and can have depression caused by the mess we claim to be day in and day out. We have to get back on track; simplify our lives by removing the constant clattering of the world and refocus on what God’s word has for us.
First, some background.
I love when the bible clearly outlines an answer for us. We find this answer in Proverbs 31 and beyond.
Proverbs 31 describes a virtuous woman, which comes with the indirect notion that every Christian woman should be striving towards this character. The woman described seems perfect. I mean, she even has her own chapter in the Bible, plus, she has been the inspiration for thousands of articles, books, and organizations. There’s no mystery around why women seek to be like her. However, the roots of her description may surprise you.
The woman in Proverbs 31 is, first of all, not real *gasp*. Correct, this is not a real person NOR is it even a list of instructions from God *jaw on floor*. Actually, it’s a word of advice from a mother to her precious baby boy. King Lemuel’s was quoting his mother, who was giving him basic words of advice that you would expect from a mother: be a good king, don’t drink too much, find a good woman. The woman in Proverbs 31 is simply her description of the perfect woman. Now, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. But the pressure isn’t off, ladies! Because this is in the Bible,
I do believe they are significant characteristics, even though they are not direct instructions from God.
The Virtuous Woman
Let’s read through the scripture, which really speaks for itself. Because of the length, we’ll circle back.
“A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respectedProverbs 31:10 -31
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!”
Clearly, this woman rocks at life. If she were real, that is. She’s well-rounded, likewise, strong at everything she does from family to community to wealth and beyond. I don’t know about you, but this seems like an awful lot of boxes to try and check off. Good new is, there are some underlying principals that echo throughout, continuously yielding successful results for her. Check out this fantastic summary from the Proverbs 31 Ministries. Read through these principles slowly.
I just love this. It really simplifies an example of what we should be striving for. Let’s simplify even more (I have a short memory!): love God, be a good steward, and be a resource. Unfortunately, none of us are ever going to have our own chapter in the Bible, but let this not discourage us from making our mark on this world. As the new year unfolds, think of these 3 easy principals and how you can use those to reinvent yourself. When we are good stewards of our lives and mindful of our impact, we can be positive change makers for our households and communities. Furthermore, your positive impact as a wife, mother, friend, (continue listing roles) is invaluable and ripples far beyond your view.
It’s time for a refresh. Hence, it’s time for us to refocus and reinvent ourselves. The world is waiting to see what God brings out of you. If you need help getting started with this, check out these other resources: Daily reflection and Morning Routine. Both help you pause and reflect. You are ready for this! Remember, YOU are a lady well-loved.
Photo credit to: People photo created by tirachardz – www.freepik.com