Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Life Lessons | Proverbs 31: 11

"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." (NIV) Once again as I look at Proverbs 31, I am forced to ask myself questions about myself and how I can better do my job as a wife and mother. Yes, we all (I'm first in line here) want to say that we are perfect and need no growth whatsoever, but, truth be told, we all have areas where improvements can be made.
Full confidence to me means total and complete trust. Can Brian have total and complete trust in me when he is out at work all day? Yes. Can he trust me to be faithful to him? Yes. Can he trust me that I will care for our daughter and meet the needs that she has? Yes. Can he trust me to do my job here at the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.)? Yes. Can he trust me to not go out and spend the money he worked so hard to earn on frivolous things? Yes. Make up some of your own questions concerning your situation. Can your family or spouse have total and complete trust in what is expected of you?
"...and lacks nothing of value." Today especially, our economy is on the front page of newspapers and is the first topic of news programs. So many times we equate value with monetary issues. Question for me- am I doing my part to see that Brian's hard earned money is being put to good use? I don't know about you, but I learned from my mother to view shopping as a game. When you go, buy what you need or will need but see how little you can actually spend.
Two of my favorite words are COUPONS and CLEARANCES. Because I am part of several baby clubs in our local supermarkets, I receive coupons for baby items by mail. I also go through the coupon section of the Sunday paper- probably the best dollar spent every week. (I now buy two papers at $0.50 each so that I have coupons for each item in Buy One Get One Free deals) I love going into a store with my coupons (not only for baby items) and leaving only paying about 1/2 of what I should have paid.  (My favorite shopping trip to date was last Sunday at Winn Dixie.  I spent $91 and saved $109! Brian and I were high-fiving each other as we walked out of the store.)

I also love scouring the clearance racks. I have already bought Addie dresses and other clothing items in sizes 18 months and above because you really can't pass up price tags that say $1.97 on items for babies that grow out of things so quickly (she was under a year old at the time that I originally wrote this post on Yahoo 360). In the long run, I will be saving Brian money because he will not have to buy clothes for Addie at full price when she reaches those ages. (I leave the price tags on until I use the item bought because I like seeing Brian's reaction when he sees how little we have spent.)
We also have Addie's picture taken every month during this first year (she has changed so much since her one month picture). This is possible without making us bankrupt. Certain department stores have wonderful coupons for having pictures taken. You either pay $8.99 for a good sized package plus a free 8x10, or their other coupon gives you the free 8x10 and you pay $3.99 each sheet of pictures you buy. Plus after buying anything at one particular store, on your receipt there is an offer of 15% off of your next purchase by going online and filling out a survey. (Also, we had the Portrait Studio membership which eliminated the sitting fee and gave us other discounts as well.)
However, money is not the only thing of value. There is also time. Do we spend enough time with those we love? Do we really give them our attention and focus when we are with them? Or are we physically present and hope that will be enough for them? If you have read Gary Smalley's The Five Love Languages, you will see that one of the languages is Quality Time. I am finding with Addie that this is her love language. She can be in a room with me as I am getting things done, but she really blossoms when she is my focus during the time shared. Obviously, there are times when I have to be busy (getting dinner ready, cleaning, etc.), but I can make sure that I spend enough time with her (focusing on just her) that she feels her little "love tank" is full. Others need Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Physical Affection (hugs, a pat on the back, etc.), and Acts of Service. Are we giving these things to those who need them so that they are not lacking anything valuable to them?
We all have different situations. This week ask yourself, "Can others have full confidence in me?" and "Are those around me lacking anything of value?" I hope you all find the process of growing and improving as exciting as I do.

As I mentioned in an earlier paragraph, this was written before Addie turned one.  Now here we are almost three years later, and I can see how I have definitely grown in these areas and I can also see how this has rubbed off on Brian and Addie as well.  When we go grocery shopping together, he now asks if I have a coupon for this or that if he wants to throw something in the cart.  Once, Addie asked Brian if the ice cream he had gotten was Buy One Get One Free. 

I am finding myself fitting into our daily schedule times to make sure that my husband and daughter are getting their particular love language.  As mentioned above, Addie's is Quality Time.  We now have a designated playtime in her room and girl time.  Each is about 30 minutes, and I usually try my best not to answer phone calls or texts during that time so she is not cheated out of time that belongs to her. 

"Can other's have full confidence in me?" was one of the questions I asked of myself in the above post.  Overhearing Brian talk to others let's me know the answer to that question.  And it makes me happy that as I try to improve myself as a wife and mother, my family is pleased with the woman I am becoming with the help of the Lord.

Memorize Proverbs 31:11.

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