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!)!