Monday, May 9, 2011

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Yesterday my husband and I were talking about Mennonite women we encountered on Saturday. I was saying that they encompass the life I dream of. We went to a Mennonite farm that had a giant greenhouse on the property. There was a little ice cream machine outside and 2 ladies (with their 3 little boys) were selling soft serve. When the woman collected my money I noticed how BIG her hands were. And not like big ladies hands, like big MAN'S hands. And I was in awe. These women had big, strong hands to help them with all their hard work they did each and every day! The wonderful things they do every day with these hands. And it made me giggle at my little, girly hands.
 I  have been really trying to learn more about the wonderful Proverbs 31 woman. And the more I learn about her, the more I learn that she wasn't a trophy wife by any means. This man didn't marry her because she had manicured nails and wore runway style fashions. She is a solid rock for her husband. This woman strengthen her arms and is an industrial woman. She is not afraid to dig into hard labor and true grit. Hard working, loyal, strong, smart - all which made her beautiful!
There is a story of the godly wife of the well-known Jonathan Edwards. Sarah was such a beautiful help meet for this man. He would get so caught up in his studies. One time he realized that there was work he had not tended to in the field, only to discover Sarah had gone ahead and seen to it’s completion. This woman was not afraid to get her hands dirty, and yet she put a feminine ribbon in her hair before she came to the meal table.
We live in an age where we do not appreciate nor encourage femininity. We have “take your daughters to work day”, and generally encourage our little girls to think like their brothers about their lives. The high calling of motherhood is certainly rarely encouraged. But, on the flip side, it seems that in our haste to embrace femininity in our homes, we turn to some Victorian view of women where they sit in their frilly dress, sipping lemonade all day. True ladies would be afraid of spiders, faint easily and certainly wouldn’t get dirty. 
But this is not what the LORD, in Proverbs 31, called us to do. Not to sit around and look pretty. We as women, wives and mothers, are truly the backbone of the family. We think of our families before we think of ourselves, working hard day and night to make sure everyone under our roof is taken care of. Being a wife and mother is more than sitting around eating bon bons, or getting dolled up to be draped over our husbands arms. IT IS HARD WORK! And I am learning every day to embrace and love it more and more!
We started our (BIG) garden yesterday. Nine garden beds, flowers in pots, fruit bushed in the yard. I dug in and got my hands dirty (enlisted my 6 year old daughter too). And when I was done I felt so PROUD! Proud that I will be in charge of growing our food. Proud that I will learn how to properly freeze and can the harvest. To make jams from the fruit and pickles from the cucumbers. And PROUD that my husband has all his trust in me that I will take care of things like this.
Peace to all you women out there (no matter whether your work is in the house, or outside the home, you work hard!)!


  1. What a wonderful post! The Amish and Mennonite people fascinate me.

  2. I LOVE this post! What a encouragement! And yes hard work but so rewarding!

  3. Great post. Following the Proverbs 31 woman inspires, defeats, and rejuvenates me by turn. If I could find half her gumption for my everyday life...

  4. I love this: "Peace to all you women out there (no matter whether your work is in the house, or outside the home, you work hard!)!"

    YES! Amen!


  5. Hello Caroline

    Visiting from the link up today. I really loved this post and, while I love historical novels, I have never been a 'girly girl'. We have something in common in that I could see me wanting to live as you do. When I was growing up I wanted to live on a farm or somewhere in the country I could grow my own food etc.

    Thanks for such a great and inspiring post. When I look down at my chapped hands and short nails, I'll remember it! ;-)

  6. I enjoyed this, thank you for sharing this bit of encouragement!

  7. I, too, look at those who live a much more simplistic life and long for the same. Great post. Thank you.

  8. Mmm, yes...the simple life is a good life. It's not *simple* by any means...but is definitely differant from the world. I am not mennonite...but we homeschool with an anabaptist curriculum, garden, can, raise chickens and live simply. It is a joy! :)
    I wish you the best with your gardens this year as well as your canning! I just happened upon your blog. It's wonderful to meet another Christian sister!

    Katy :)

  9. Don't know if you still receive comments from this blog
    : ) but I am interested in using the picture of the Mennonite ladies in the fog at the top as a book cover for a book I am writing. I was wondering if it is your photo or if you could direct me to whoever has the rights to it. Thank you! You can e-mail me at lael at harrelson dot com