So, What is the Virtuous Woman?

So, What is the Virtuous Woman?

I have noticed in my con­ver­sa­tions with other women that many peo­ple seem to mis­un­der­stand the idea of what it is to be a vir­tu­ous woman. It appears that some fall into the camp of believ­ing that it is a holier than thou, pietis­tic char­ac­ter­is­tic. Not really attain­able. Or at best, a forced pub­lic face of holi­ness. I have heard, “Oh, you’re the ‘vir­tu­ous wife’.” As if I believe I am some­how ele­vated in my esti­ma­tion of myself, and think I am the one and only. Please, let me be clear when I say that I desire to con­duct myself in such a way that I bring honor to Christ, my hus­band, and my church in the way I live. I also know that I fail mis­er­ably.  A lot. More than I like to admit pri­vately or pub­licly. I have no delu­sions of who I am based on my own merit. And yet, Proverbs 31 extols the vir­tu­ous woman. She is a good thing. And she is a real thing. She isn’t some fan­tasy that no woman can hope to become. We are not to say, “Oh, well, yes, that sounds all good and fine, but REALLY, I can’t be expected to be that.” And then go on our merry way ignor­ing this per­son: the vir­tu­ous woman.

I came across a won­der­ful blog post by my friend, Kelly Craw­ford, who blogs at Gen­er­a­tion Cedar,  the other day where she dis­cusses this very topic.  She gave me per­mis­sion to share her post with my read­ers. You can find the orig­i­nal post here.

What You Need to Know About the “Vir­tu­ous” Woman

by Kelly Crawford

Beautiful blond sexy woman warrior with sword outdoor

A big smile broke out across my face yes­ter­day when I was show­ing my girls how to study the Bible using a Strong’s con­cor­dance. I had cho­sen Proverbs 31:10 and we were look­ing up the word “virtuous.”

If you grew up in a Chris­t­ian home or church, you are well-familiar with talk of what it means to be a “vir­tu­ous” woman. Some women don’t even like to use the word any­more because its mean­ing has become jaded, its image attached to self-righteousness piety (sadly, but true). At best, we think it means “good, godly, pure.”

I was so sur­prised to see the word in its orig­i­nal Hebrew. Look:

a force, strength, abil­ity, might, effi­ciency, wealth, army

And the writer of Proverbs rightly asks, “Who can find this kind of woman?”

I sub­mit, she is still hard to find. She is hard to become. She is hard to raise. But we must com­mit to the task.

I’ve seen a dis­turb­ing trend among young moth­ers and wives the last few years and I’ve thought a lot about our response to it. With the abil­ity to “peek” into the lives of oth­ers so eas­ily through face­book and blogs, I see moth­ers who strug­gle, com­plain and all but give up on their task, con­clud­ing it’s too hard. They are weak, frail and emo­tion­ally volatile.

And I con­fess I’ve been her.

I think we need more pluck. I know I do, and I cer­tainly want my girls to have it. But pluck is such a small word now. We need vir­tu­ous women.

It’s ironic that the stereo­type of women who devote them­selves to home, believ­ing God has made them helpers to their hus­bands, should be “pathetic” and “weak.”  The Bible gets blamed for “oppress­ing” women and giv­ing them a so-called lower station.

But it’s in the Bible where we find that a vir­tu­ous woman is akin to an army, a FORCE, to be reck­oned with, no doubt. And as we raise our daugh­ters, we know they need to be strong to hold up to this ardu­ous task of rais­ing the next gen­er­a­tion, as that work is done in the grind­ing out of days and weeks and months and years.

So we’re not talk­ing here about “mak­ing sure they know how to mop.” That’s not the pic­ture of the vir­tu­ous woman I see from Proverbs 31. There’s a whole lot to her, to know­ing how to be effi­cient in all areas of life, to rul­ing her home well, to man­ag­ing dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties and chal­lenges, to edu­cat­ing her chil­dren, to being wise, to com­ing along­side her hus­band and bear­ing him up, to sav­ing money, to mak­ing money, to being alert to the needs around her, to min­is­ter­ing–she is an army in one lady.

I know that one lit­tle Hebrew word has breathed new life into my efforts as I seek to raise vir­tu­ous women. Effi­cient, mighty, able women. May we raise up a strong force for the glory of God!

- See more at:

I am so thank­ful to Kelly for writ­ing this. She shares so many of my thoughts. A vir­tu­ous woman. Yes! An army. A force. Ladies, we have a gigan­tic job before us as we raise our chil­dren, run our homes, min­is­ter to our church body, and love our hus­bands. It is not for the faint of heart. Kelly has helped breathe new life into my min­istry in my home. A vir­tu­ous woman. Yes, please. I have three daugh­ters I am help­ing to raise. These words have empow­ered me with a bet­ter vision for how to attack this chal­lenge before me. I pray it equips you as well.




Sheer Genius…and Its Mom

Sheer Genius…and Its Mom

Have you seen the Piano Guys video of their ren­di­tion of Angels We Have Heard on High that’s been float­ing around on Face­book recently? I saw the video link for days upon days before I finally clicked on it tonight. Incred­i­ble. For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link: Piano Guys: Angels We Have Heard on High I’ll wait while you go lis­ten to/watch it.

So, I just watched this, and do you know what went through my mind?

What kind of moth­ers did these men have?

That’s what I won­dered. I imag­ine that they had to actu­ally spend time explor­ing in order to get to the place where they are so com­fort­able around the piano to play with it like that. This is not nor­mal, folks. In case you didn’t notice, most peo­ple don’t do these things with a piano. They are com­fort­able with it. They aren’t afraid of get­ting it wrong.

And their moth­ers likely let them explore more than I think I have done with my kids.

Here’s the deal: I’m a rule fol­lower. And those guys, they are break­ing a lot of rules. And it’s magical.

Here’s to allow­ing our chil­dren break some rules in the name of explo­ration. Here’s to let­ting go of the fear of the unknown and allow­ing them to expand their under­stand­ing of things. And run­ning with it. They might actu­ally sur­prise them­selves and every­one else in the process. This is sheer genius. But it isn’t in a box, neat and tidy, and fol­low­ing anyone’s rules. Cre­ativ­ity is like that.

I’m inspired to let my chil­dren play around with things in ways that seem out of the ordi­nary. Not in a destruc­tive way, but in a way that I might not have ever con­sid­ered before. I don’t want to be the lim­it­ing fac­tor in their lives. God gives some peo­ple eyes to see things dif­fer­ently than we do. Do we fight that or embrace it? Why do I strug­gle with this con­cept? Why do I rein them in when they are think­ing of unique ways of tack­ling a project or a prob­lem? I think I am try­ing to save them from mak­ing mis­takes and wast­ing time. Or from being seen as silly or unusual. But, it is in the dif­fer­ent that our imag­i­na­tions are cap­ti­vated. Bril­liant minds do things dif­fer­ently than the sta­tus quo.

And I’ll bet they have moms who give them the free­dom to explore. Let’s be those moms.

Photo credit: Pinterest

The Hope That Never Disappoints

The Hope That Never Disappoints

Have you ever sat there and won­dered what on earth God is doing?

I mean, some things just don’t make sense.

Like long-necked giraffes and mos­qui­toes. At least the giraffes are cute, right?

Some days I just can’t make heads or tails of things.

Last week we got word from our friends from back when we were first hav­ing babies and liv­ing in Oki­nawa. Their 18 year old son died in a hor­ri­ble roll over acci­dent last week­end. His mom and brother were in the car with him, and they are fine. This young man was a fresh­man in col­lege, with great hopes for his future. And now he’s gone so sud­denly. We grieve with them, and just can’t seem to fig­ure out why. Other than the fact that we know that God is sov­er­eign and that He pre­or­dained the num­ber of his days before there was one of them, like He has done with all the rest of us, too.

And then, my mother called this week­end. To tell me that she has breast can­cer. They are going to be aggres­sive with her treat­ment. The words all ran together for me as she was shar­ing her med­ical terms and sit­u­a­tion. It was hard to digest every­thing that she was say­ing. But I did hear that it has spread to her lymph nodes. They are doing more tests, more scans, and plan to start chemo soon.

I know can­cer strikes so many peo­ple. It is an evil, wicked, curse from the fall. But, we have been mostly unscathed by can­cer in our fam­ily his­tory. And this seems to be a diag­no­sis that has come out of nowhere. We never saw this com­ing. But I sup­pose that nobody ever really sees it coming.

So we sit. And pray. And wait. And hope.

What else can we do? It’s at times like this that we real­ize how puny we are. How unable we are to ordain our days. How pow­er­less we are in the grand scheme of things. Life and death are not in our hands. Thank­fully, they are held care­fully by the One who cre­ated life.

I’m thank­ful that the Lord has opened our eyes and hearts to His truths and His love. We are able to cling to Him because we have the assur­ance that He hears us and loves us. It’s not an empty grasp­ing for some­thing, any­thing. I pic­ture Faith, in her sweet con­fi­dence run­ning to her daddy with open arms and a pucker on her lips for his cheek. That con­fi­dence she has that he loves her and will receive her with joy and com­plete accep­tance. That’s how we need to be with God. Hon­or­ing, yes. Respect­ful, yes. And com­pletely con­fi­dent of His ten­der care and love for us. He’s not some fig­ment of our imag­i­na­tion. He isn’t some great imper­sonal “intel­li­gent designer.” He is a liv­ing, per­sonal God.

Who is sov­er­eign over what­so­ever comes to pass.

We may never under­stand why God is allow­ing things to hap­pen as they are. We do know that tri­als pro­duce per­se­ver­ance; and per­se­ver­ance, char­ac­ter; and char­ac­ter, hope.

Now hope does not dis­ap­point, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3–5

And that’s just the thing. The love of God. Poured out in our hearts.

That grief, that sor­row of the tri­als and death and can­cer. It pro­duces hope, which doesn’t disappoint.

Sure, it’s a process. We won’t nec­es­sar­ily be there at the begin­ning of a trial. But, we can choose to cling to the promise, can’t we? We can choose to trust that the One who formed us so care­fully in our moth­ers’ wombs will be true to His Word, as He always has been. We can hold on with those white knuck­les, refus­ing to let go, let­ting the fear slip from our hands in favor of the hope that is ours. Remem­ber­ing that tears are not a sign of dis­be­lief, but rather, are an out­let that the Lord designed for our good. They are cleans­ing, refresh­ing, safe. We can cry and hope in the same breath.

I love my dear, beau­ti­ful mother. I’m not ready for her to go just yet. I don’t know that I will ever be ready. I know my friend wasn’t ready for her son to go. The thing is, we don’t know the num­ber of our days. We don’t know that we have tomor­row. Death sneaks up on most of us. That hor­ri­ble, wicked thief.

Remem­ber to love your chil­dren, love your hus­band, love your mother and father. Love those whom God has put in your life. Today. I think we all need these reminders because we take too much for granted.

But, much more impor­tantly, love God. Rest in Him. Stop striv­ing against Him if you are. He is faith­ful and true. And oh, so forgiving.

We may never quite under­stand why God allows can­cer, gave giraffes long necks, or made mos­qui­toes. But, I trust He has a pur­pose in it all. I pray that this trial will pro­duce such a beau­ti­ful hope in our fam­ily. For my mom, my dad, my broth­ers, and my chil­dren. I pray that we won’t waste this one. If you think of it, please pray for us. That we will per­se­vere in love. That I will know how to min­is­ter to my mom. She lives so far away. And that her hope will never waiver.

I’ve linked up here: Joy­ous Notions, Cor­ner­stone Con­fes­sions, Sim­ply Help­ing Him. Be sure to visit these sites for more blog posts that might inter­est you!

It’s not about me. Or you.

It’s not about me. Or you.

Faith said some­thing to me the other day in pass­ing. It delighted my heart and gave me much to ponder.

She said, “Mommy, I can’t imag­ine you scream­ing. You’re usu­ally so calm.”

Ah. Well, while the Lord has cer­tainly done a huge work in my life, it hasn’t always been this way in our home.

You see, the Lord gave me three boys first. I remem­ber very clearly hav­ing three boys aged 4 and under. And hav­ing just moved across the coun­try. And being extremely frustrated.

Why wouldn’t they obey me per­fectly? Why did they have to make messes con­stantly. And dirty so many clothes each week? And DEMAND my time and emo­tions and work I had the baby, who stayed up until 3am most nights, want­ing to nurse and never sleep­ing in his crib. He would finally fall asleep and stay that way if I put him in a lit­tle seat. And then there was the strong willed two year old. He wrote the book on being strong willed. Don’t worry, I burned it. The book, that is. And then, the four year old was push­ing bound­aries, grow­ing way too fast for me.

I was exhausted. And ready for preschool to start so that I would get some of my old life back. I was so selfish.

I had a dear friend pop by one day. The boys were being lit­tle boys. I obvi­ously had not fig­ured out this par­ent­ing thing. In a moment of des­per­a­tion, I started count­ing to three to get my son to obey.

Seri­ously. And it embar­rasses me to think about how ridicu­lous I must have sounded.

My friend, oh how I love her and thank her daily for this — in my head, she has no idea how strongly she impacted our lives that day, said to me, “What hap­pens when you get to three?”

Blank stare.

I had never got­ten to three before. The obe­di­ence usu­ally hap­pened around 2 ½.

She sug­gested that I should require obe­di­ence just because I gave instruc­tion. I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops, stand on my head, or go through the rou­tine of counting.

Blank stare.

I never counted again for obe­di­ence. Now, I cringe when I hear moth­ers doing that. I won­der who is being trained. The mom or the children?

Slowly, I began to learn how to par­ent my chil­dren. How to teach them obe­di­ence, how to love them more. And patience grew.

And I real­ized that it wasn’t all about me. My chil­dren sin because they are sin­ners. They don’t do it to get me mad. They fell with Adam, just like I did. And so they will strug­gle with obe­di­ence and lov­ing and self­ish­ness. Just like me.

The Lord worked in my heart to give me com­pas­sion toward my chil­dren in this strug­gle. He man­aged to give me a joy in the midst of the strug­gles. It’s noth­ing short of a miracle.

And so, by God’s grace, my lit­tle daugh­ter thinks that it would be unusual to hear me scream. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for show­ing me a bet­ter way to be a mother, to love, to show them Your grace when they struggle.

And no, I don’t do this per­fectly. Not even close. But, my heart soars with joy and delight to think that my lit­tle Faith thinks it would be unimag­in­able to hear me scream.

Of course, her big brother said he could bring a snake by to show her what it would be like.

And that would do it.  I think I’ll pass.

I have more thoughts about this topic, but I think I will save them for another post. May the Lord bless you as you strug­gle through the days of rais­ing chil­dren. It’s no easy task, that’s for sure! I pray that they will be blessed as you seek the Lord for wis­dom to get through your days.

Remem­ber, it’s not about you. It isn’t about your com­fort, your ease of liv­ing, your per­sonal agenda.

But it is about your growth, your walk with the Lord, your cling­ing to the cross of Christ daily.

Walk in peace, in joy, in patience. You are rais­ing a gen­er­a­tion that will par­ent your grand­chil­dren. Let that sink in.

It’s not about me. Or you. It’s about Christ. And His children.


Goodwill Treasure

Goodwill Treasure

I took my girls to the Good­will store the other day. We were search­ing for var­i­ous items. Skirts and such for the girls.

I always love look­ing at the odd things. Won­der­ing what I might find stashed among the var­i­ous bas­kets and triv­ets and what­ever those things are. Most of the time I come up empty handed.

This time I found an old Sam­sonite Train Case. It looks like it was almost never used. It is so pretty in all its but­tery yel­low glory.

train case

It took me back to when I was a lit­tle girl. My mom had one of these. She stored her make up in it when we trav­eled. I always loved play­ing with it. As I looked this old piece of lug­gage over, I was 6 again. Those latches felt the same as they did back then: sturdy, firm, and oh, so click­able! I used to open and shut it con­stantly. {My dear mother is prob­a­bly read­ing this, just shak­ing her head laugh­ing because she had no idea. Makes me won­der what mem­o­ries my chil­dren will have that I am obliv­i­ous to!}

So, I did what any other woman miss­ing her mama would do: I bought it.

Now what? Haha. It’s not like you can take it on an air­plane these days. And since most air­lines charge per checked bag, I can’t see check­ing it either. I haven’t rid­den in any trains lately.

So, I googled train cases.

train case knitting

Have you ever done that? You might be sur­prised with what you find. I know I was. Peo­ple do so many dif­fer­ent things with these old cases.

Sewing boxes. Make-up kit. Knit­ting box. Craft cen­ter. Writ­ing center.

train case writing station

 ele­ments of style

Charg­ing sta­tion! Who thinks of these things? I men­tioned in another post how I am not good about think­ing out­side of the box. This time it is lit­eral! I love this idea.


train case charging station

cool mom tech

What do you think? What would you do with your vin­tage train case? What should I do? I’m really lov­ing the charg­ing sta­tion idea. How con­ve­nient that would be to have them all together charg­ing in my sleep. But I also like the writ­ing sta­tion idea. Note cards, sta­tionery, stamps, and a cou­ple of pens all tucked neatly out of the way.

Oh! And I can add some style to it with some vinyl. Or decoupage.

 train case maps


So many options. I was so over­whelmed with the ideas out there, that I started a Pin­ter­est page for Train Cases! Go check it out.

Oh! I for­got to men­tion I found some of those old Pyrex refrig­er­a­tor dishes. Yup, I’m miss­ing my mom.

pyrex greens


Fea­tured Image Credits

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...