I'm late for Sunday School right now. I'll make it to church in plenty of time. I've already read the sermon for today and am eager to hear it "live." Right now, I'm enjoying a moment of "Mother's Day" quietness which only happens after the kids and their Dad leave for church ahead of me.
My favorite Mother's Day themed verse is Proverbs 31:28 which says, "...her children rise up and call her blessed", but really, does that ever happen in real life? I've done some pretty special things for my family a time or two and nobody, not one single body ever "rose up and called me blessed." I may or may not, after accomplishing some (at least to me) amazing tasks on behalf of my loved ones, say something that may or may not sound like, "Ok everyone, NOW is when you are to rise up and call me blessed...says so in the Bible...in Proverbs...now com'on everybody get to it....lemme hear ya...all together now!"
That "rise up and call her blessed" verse lives in that get-all-up-in-your-face chapter of Proverbs which describes the gal often referred to as "The Virtuous Woman," and virtuous she must be because it seems that she possess every skill, talent, and characteristic known to all womankind.
Can I tell you a secret? That virtuous woman irks me a bit. She's so obviously "all that & a bag of chips"! She does it all right. She makes her own clothes, she is a great benefit to her husband, she doesn't sleep much, she is quite a business woman, she dresses well, she is fit, she gardens, she gives to the needy, she dresses her family in coordinating colors (I'm not kidding, check out Prov 31:21), when she spoke her words were full of wisdom and kindness,
...and I bet she always made it to Sunday School on time.
What I'd be encouraged by, is a passage about a woman who's heart, like that of Mrs. P31, loves the Lord dearly, but whose charms are a little more difficult to identify. Give me a passage that talks about a beloved mother who though she has a bad habit of sleeping a bit too late, though she is perpetually behind on the laundry, though her sink is piled high with dishes, though she has to walk through land mines of toys to cook dinner, LOVES her job even though from all external views, she's not achieved greatness!
Let me read about a mom who has yelled too much and too often, who hasn't a clue if she handled the 42 surprises in her day correctly or blew it completely, and who, as a result of those 42 surprises, doesn't know what her family will be eating on any given evening.
Give me a passage on a mother who worries a teensy bit about the future of her little ones, about who they will become, what their character will display, how they will reflect the imperfect image of their mother, and how they will reflect the holiness of their Lord.
It occurs to me though, if I spent my time reading about a mother like that, like me, I might never aspire to better things, to more noble ways of mothering, to come closer to achieving God's ideal. The four treasures God has given me deserve the best mother that I can be, by His grace, not just the best mother I can be on my own. It also seems, that I shouldn't be the mother God has called me to be because my kids deserve it, but instead, because it is the honor due my Heavenly Father.
So, here's to that ol' Virtuous Woman, long may her standard endure. Perhaps she was more down to earth than I'm giving her credit for being. The twenty-fifth verse in this Virtuous chapter is one of my most favorite verses in all of Scripture:
"Strength and dignity are her clothing and she LAUGHS at the time to come."
Real women laugh, they have to. So, I've decided to begin right there laughing with Mrs. Virtue at the days to come which is lots better than worrying about the future and it accomplishes so much more. As for the children, I think that instead of insisting that they "rise up and call me blessed," I shall ask them to please "sit down and call me ...Mommy."