Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday # 8 - Strong Women

Continuing our study of Proverbs 31 today:
       ע 25 (She is) Clothed with strength and dignity,
        she can laugh at the days to come. **

Have you ever thought of yourself as clothed in strength and dignity? I think this is a picture of a true lady.  Jackie Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth come to mind as secular examples.  Catherine Marshall and Anne Ortlund are authors who exemplify these qualities in the writing world.

Sometimes I think being a lady is a lost art.  I'm thankful for a grandmother, as well as a mother, my aunts and many other G-dly women who have taught me the fine points of lady-likeness:

To speak with grace and kindness
To dress, walk, stand and sit modestly
To be polite and have good manners
To ignore coarse comments and jokes, smile...and change the subject
To act with poise and politeness in all situations
To avoid gossip
To talk with others with interest (not to be self-centered)
To say "please" and "thank you"
To notice the needs of others and respond  
To respect others, and expect the same

My sweet husband says one of the first things he noticed about me (at age sixteen) was that I was a lady.  I like that, because it was then, and still is my desire.  Am I perfect in every way?  No, but the Father is not finished with me yet.

I come from a long line of strong women.  Some would call them hard headed or stubborn, too, and I've been called those names myself.  Experience has taught me to harness my strong will and submit it to the Father. 

I used to think I could accomplish anything I put my mind to and even bragged about it.  Then, the Father taught me a new lesson about His strength when I ran into something I absolutely could not accomplish.  The goal was related to a sales business I was in.  I set a goal and could not reach it, no matter how hard I tried.  I prayed, I worked night and day, and yet nothing came together and the goal was not met.  My career in that field was finished.  I remember lying on the floor of my living room, crying out to G-d, feeling  He had forsaken me. 

My Father had not forsaken me.  He was putting a great big STOP sign in my path and telling me to go in a different direction.  That new path led eventually to being in ministry with my rabbi husband, which I could not even imagine at the time.  Because of His strength to overcome my strong will, I was led to so many blessings.

His strength can accomplish so much more than mine.  I've learned through trial and error to trust His strength instead of my own.  Because of this wisdom, I can laugh at the days to come.  

If you've ever been a worrier, you will find that statement laughable.  Worriers live in the future, imagining "what-ifs" about their problems.    I know because I've indulged in worry at certain periods of my life.  I don't want to live that way.  G-d is faithful to lead us and work in our lives, even when bad things happen.  He will show us what to do when we trust Him.  

Who comes to your mind when you think of the term lady?

**Quotations from The Complete Jewish Bible

I'm sharing this post with:
Spiritual Sundays

Let's Get Social Sunday

A Wise Woman Builds

Hearts for Home
Favorite Things 

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy you shared this post at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop . Big Hugs