The ancient Proverbs 31 woman of the Bible amazes me. She was a multifaceted, multitalented superwoman. Everyone praises her and even her children “rise up and call her blessed.”
I am far from her on many levels. She had business sense. I don’t.
She bought and sold land; I’ve done neither. I don’t sew or mend things like socks. I own no business, am on no city committee and have never graduated from a leadership class.
But she and I are both mothers. Proverbs named all the roles she had as a woman and I have had many roles. I am daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister to Susie and wife to Charlie. Over 30 years ago, Annie was born and I was became mother. No role I have ever had has been as rewarding as my role to the trio who call me Mother.
Yet, I fell short at many things. I was not an organized housekeeper and the Proverbs 31 woman was. I didn’t get unnerved if John Scott put his feet on the coffee table. Annie and Buffy could sometimes eat in the living room (gasp!) and that was OK. The laundry was pretty well kept up but dusting and vacuuming were sporadic. Many times I cringed when unexpected company came around.
I would have rather been on the trampoline with my kids watching the clouds rather than sorting clean socks. My dining room table was always a constant source of distress with stuff piled high from school books to bills, Buffy’s coloring and drawing, the kids’ games, school projects, sometimes baseball cards and Holly Hobby paper dolls.
I am sure the account of the Proverbs 31 woman was written after her children were grown. Now mine are all grown and the training and letting go is behind me, although I have never been very good at letting go. But I have found that I can still nurture them even though they are grown; it is just in a different way.
Did the Proverbs 31 woman think about the future? I have. I’ve wondered: What will the children remember about me in 40 years? Will they remember that the house was always in perfect condition or that I was willing to let things go and bend the rules to accommodate their creative juices?
I hope now they remember the fun things we did and not the fact that they had no socks matched for the next day. I hope now they remember me taking them swimming at the old YMCA nearly every day in the summer even if housework and laundry suffered.
I hope they remember my aim to expose them to the care of animals by keeping pets around the house. I hope they remember how I tried to show them how to reach out in Jesus’ name to those in need when we attempted to feed a homeless man over a period of months.
I wanted to just pass my faith in Jesus and my heart on to my kids. I wanted them to understand, God loves them and being sensitive and always treating others the right way was our duty. I wanted them to understand that a strong faith in God builds hope and the older they get and the more trials they face, that hope will sustain them.
I am filled with pride and yet at the same time humbled by the three who call me mother. Their characters, personalities and spiritual mindsets as adults today amaze me in spite of all my shortcomings. I guess in that way, they rise up and call me blessed.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: