I spread the middle open wide. It’s worn binding no longer groans with the task. There’s Proverbs, and I turn to the last chapter. My journal is now opened to the next clear page, my fingers curled around my favorite pen. One last silent prayer and I’m ready to begin. This I must do.
When I chose my one word for 2012, I knew this was something I needed to overcome. To hold myself accountable, I posted it on my blogging bucket list. Because I determined the first step was proclaiming it. This unspoken fear I have of Proverbs 31. The fear that I don’t measure up. That I might not even know what character I am let alone noble.
After much prayer, I decide to read it slow, asking with each sentence for His Spirit to speak to mine. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in recent years, it’s this:
If I show up, He does too.
If I come to Him with hands unclenched, He readily grabs hold.
And never lets go.
Today was no different. Except for one thing: His agenda was different from mine. You see, He stopped me at the first verse. Before the description of the woman even began.
The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance
his mother taught him.
Proverbs 31:1 NIV
My eyes wouldn’t move passed it. They read it over and over and over:
“inspired utterance…his mother taught him.”
In the Book of the Bible that is considered wisdom-packed. Where men of God, generally of higher stature, share wisdom they’ve gained with us. This King thought it was important to mention he learned his wise words from his own mother.
She was the reason his words were of importance. Why his words are remembered centuries later.
His mother. She taught him.
My intentions were thrown aside. Instead of listing lessons learned from the Proverbs 31 woman, my journal gained lessons I’ve learned from my own mother:
- The comfort of others is more important than your own.
- A song of praise can uplift any mood.
- Some things can be forgotten and ignored. Respect is not one of them.
- Love can be expressed in many forms, but the only way it will be remembered is through your actions. When you lay your own life down.
- A mother’s work is never done. But always flexible.
- You don’t have to know all the answers. You just need to be brave enough to ask for them.
- It’s not where you live but how.
- All that is required to make something out of nothing is creativity.
- There is always someone hurting more than you. Help them and your own hurt will be forgotten.
- A smile is beauty in any language. So take care of yours. And use it.
- Change is merely a challenge of making your new situation better than your old. Embrace it and you’ll see the silver lining.
Before I knew it, I had listed 22 things. 22 nuggets of wisdom my mother has taught me.
Friends, in the portion of Proverbs 31 that describes the woman of noble character, there are 22 verses.
That’s when I felt it. The giant squeeze of love coming from my Heavenly Father. The whispers of encouragement telling me I’m not far off. In fact, I’m well on my way.
Because my mother taught me.
And now that I am blessed with the same title, I’m striving to pay it forward.
How about you? What has your mother taught you? I’d love to hear.
Might I challenge you to write down 22 things the one you consider mother has taught you this Mother’s Day? Consider it your own inspired utterance…
Thanks for sharing your time with me.
Mom: I know you’re reading. You might as well know you are getting the complete list of 22 things, with a few narratives, this weekend. Happy Mother’s Day from me with love!
NOTE: This is the first post of a series I still plan on doing: The Woman of Noble Character. The week before Mother’s Day seemed appropriate to share this portion. Any additional posts when done will be added HERE.
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