As I begin to read Proverbs 14, I am stopped by verse one:
Every wise woman builds up her home,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
As I read through Proverbs on a monthly basis, this reminder always makes me stop and ask myself, "Gail, are you building up your home or tearing it down."
I learned as a young woman to set priorities as follows:
#1 - G-d
#2 - My husband
#3 - My children
#4 - Anything else
This set of priorities keep me focused on the right things. Once that is remembered, I have to realize that every choice I make affects my home and family.
Time alone with G-d and the Holy Scriptures sets the tone for my whole day. I don't know about you, but when I wake up, I have to make a choice. I choose to focus on G-d and not the world. I can wake up happy as a clam. Then I turn on the tv to watch the news and my smile goes away. Better to get alone with G-d and keep my mind in a happy state than to listen to all the terrible things going on. I can hear the news later.
Because I am married, my husband comes next. Working alongside him as his helpmate is important, because we are a team. I ask myself, "What can I do to bless him today?" I pray for him daily, and stay attentive to his needs, the meals, the laundry, keeping things orderly, clean and neat in our home, and supporting him in his work in the ministry. He makes me a priority, too. His first words to me every morning are, "Good morning, gorgeous!" Wow, what a way to start the day. And then he gets me a cup of coffee. He knows my needs.
My children have left the nest, but they are still a priority. Praying for them is the number one thing I can do for them every day, and I do. I try my best to always be available to help them if they need me. I connect with them, whether they connect with me or not.
This reminds me of the joke about the Jewish mother who says, "You never write..you never call. Never mind I spent hours in labor bringing you into this world!" Seriously, I don't think there's a mother in this world that wouldn't love to see her child's face, and hear his voice, every day of her life. Because they are young and busy, I maintain the love connection with phone calls, social media messages, cards, and gifts of service. I have one grandson, and he's like one of my children, so he's included in this priority.
Everything else, including the synagogue, my writing, my art, my friends and a million other things, are after all of the above.
One word of wisdom for the younger women about synagogue/church work. A mentor told me years ago to only have one job of service. If you take more than one, you are taking away someone else's opportunity to serve the L-rd. I had to learn to say, "No". It wasn't easy, because I want to please others and I like to help in many areas. Over-involvement outside the home can be a trap...a trap that can harm my family and tear down my home. When I am over-involved, it leads to stress and fatigue. I try to remember this.
Do I always keep my prorities in perfect order? No, far from it. But this is my ideal and my goal, and it works very well for me. When I do this, our home is a place of peace and rest.
Each time I read through Proverbs, something different jumps out at me. This is ADONAI quickening His Word to my heart.
As I go through this month of studying Proverbs, I hope you'll join me and read the chapter, too. I'll share what stands out to me for that day.
I'd love for you to share something He shows you through the day's reading.
I'll be linking these posts to the 31 Days event at The Nester
This 31 day series will focus on the things I learned from Proverbs, as well as some things from Torah study, and will add in a sprinkling of what I've learned from Judaism.
I will be posting daily through October 31. To read the posts, just go to the Labels section on the left, and click on "31 Days of His Wisdom".