Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dressing in Strength

Proverbs 31: 17
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.

While one of the shorter verses, this one is incredibly beautiful. So much so, I share its richness with you in the form of a Trinity – in three parts.
  • She dresses herself. In a very literal sense, a Proverbs 31 individual is self-directing and does not need or expect anyone to lay out their clothes; dictate their mode of dress; provide a weather forecast ahead of time; or explain what is or is not appropriate for each day's activities. In fact, the Proverbs 31 individual is well-prepared for anything, both literally and figuratively, as they are dressed in a strength not intended for the weak of will or the weak in intellect and are ready to walk with someone greater than their own self.  Further, counter to conventional wisdom, they are dressed in an attire often associated with a mustang – strong, mystical, wildly passionate; the essence of freedom that can’t stand still. For it is this very strength of will and fierce independence that has provided them with the endurance they have needed to withstand life’s greatest challenges. It is for these reasons they do not require, or expect others to make life easy for them. With a calling from God, they are equipped to live according to His Word. From hardships, they are now dressed in much humility and with an open, malleable heart; transformed into a beautiful image that is in His likeness - pure of heart, with a compassionate spirit garnered with self-control and wisdom. Regardless of weather, this wisdom allows them to cherish rather than fear the narrow path they have chosen. Intelligent and ready to place full trust in Him, they are very capable of discerning whether the outlook is bright and sunny; dark and gloomy; or thundering with fierce winds blowing their way. And yes... while much of the secular world does not fully understand or appreciate the rewards associated with this less travelled path, they willingly follow the lead and needs of others in spite of their fierce independence as rewards have been many. Unconditional love and acceptance has brought much peace, security, and freedom to a life once wild and out of control. From this contentment, the mustang heart of the Proverbs 31 individual has been tamed, awakened with new confidence, and still growing in so many beautiful ways with a new-found purpose of reaching and touching the lives of many in the same way they have been touched. Dressed in self-control, discipline, and wisdom, they are rich in the fruit of the Holy Spirit  - an "adornment" suitably worn for every occasion and every activity.
  • She dresses herself with strength. Strength comes in many forms, and is suitably worn for every occasion and every activity. Strength comes from understanding and living the Word of God; from wearing God’s armor to withstand temptation; and from wearing joy and abundance in having God living within their heart. Strength also comes from wearing the peace of Christ, freeing them from trouble and fear; from wearing the kind of humility that places the needs of others before themselves; and in wearing a contrite spirit from offering forgiveness. It also comes dressed as an attitude that comforts others in the same way they were once comforted. Wearing the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, the Proverb 31 individual is pure, peaceful, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial, and sincere. They are indeed dressed in a strength described in Corinthians 2:6,  as “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
  • She makes her arms strong. Having experienced incredible love and acceptance, the Proverbs 31 individual now takes excellent care of others, placing the needs of others ahead of their own. Tender and wise, they offer guidance and counsel to others, directing them in the Way they should go. Loving them enough to discipline when necessary, they do so without anger or frustration and always demonstrate their great love and self-control. In addition to tending to the needs of others, the Proverbs 31 individual also carries the burdens of others, garnering the required strength from faith, prayer, and good works. Most of all, they demonstrate their love for our Creator through the outpouring of love they have for their community. Striving to not contain themselves within a "bubble", they effectively and intimately use their words and deeds to share God’s Word and Unconditional love to a lost and depraved world - for to separate the two, all efforts would be in vane.
So whatever you do to manifest your life's purpose, be sure to put on your Sunday best, comb your hair, wash your face, and get ready for each new day that awaits you. And remember ... when you do.... don't bother putting on your shoes. Rather, walk barefoot among the people and work diligently with your hands all the while fully dressed in your "royal attire"!

Remember ... touch a life today "The Little Way" by following the lead and need of others.  Also, if you ever thought to yourself, "I wish my community, knew...", then be sure to visit White Light Communications at

~ Theresa


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Managing Family Resources

Proverbs 31:16 “She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”
From a modern day perspective, this scene illustrates a remarkable picture of an individual who has a great deal of freedom in terms of decision-making. Trusted implicitly by his or her spouse, s/he is given much independence in managing a wide range of affairs, including the purchase of land. This is contrary to conventional wisdom as much freedom may actually be had in submitting to the lead and needs of others.

Case in point... as in the first line of this verse, the Proverbs 31 individual "considers a field and buys it." Regardless of gender or era, the purchase of anything...including real estate ... requires careful consideration. In addition to location, s/he considers the advantages the land provides and how the land is to be used prior to purchase. Not irresponsible in anyway with family resources, the Proverbs 31 individual is not an impulse buyer. Rather, prior to purchase, s/he carefully considers whether the land is worth the money and whether the family can afford to take so much money out of savings for the purchase. Prudent, s/he does not rush to purchase the land; checks whether the title is good; determines whether the ground is fruitful; and ensures s/he has sufficient money to pay for the land without incurring debts. This is counter to many today, who get into trouble by making purchases without careful consideration. Such frivolous actions not only use up limited resources, but may ultimately plunge the family into insurmountable debt. How many times have we purchased way more than we need, or purchase items that are not needed to efficiently manage a household? The Proverbs 31 individual is well aware of their family's limited resources and takes much care in respecting and maximizing the use of those resources. It is this thoughtful planning of resources that not only speaks volumes about our character, but about how well we follow the lead and needs of our loved ones. When we maximize our family's limited resources, we say to our loved ones that we truly love them because we seriously thought about their needs and considered their future good.

With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard
Once purchased, the Proverbs 31 individual maximizes use of the land by "planting a vineyard" using "the fruit of her hands". By lovingly planting the seed into fertile ground, the Proverbs 31 individual lays the groundwork for producing a great harvest for years to come. Further, s/he does so not by borrowing money or running into debt, but by working hard; using what s/he can spare from household savings; shopping smart; and keeping a watchful eye on bargains. Again, we can learn a great deal from this verse. Like many things in life, we have a choice. We can either give into our selfish desires and spend money needlessly on our self, or plan for the future good of our loved ones. With common sense and wise use of family resources, we are all capable of harvesting much fruit for the benefit of our loved ones for years to come. With the Proverbs 31 individual as the heart of the family, s/he is someone loved ones can look to and rely on as s/he relies on God for strength, dignity, and common sense to carry out the immense task of managing the family's limited resources.

Remember ... touch a life today "The Little Way" by following the lead and need of others.  Also, if you ever thought to yourself, "I wish my customers, knew...", then be sure to visit White Light Communications at

~ Theresa