If you’re a Bible person, you most likely know Proverbs 31. If you’re not, it reads like this:
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
Well of course no one can find her. She’s a damn-super-hero!
I used to read this and I tried so hard to like this woman. But honestly, she just seemed over-worked and way under-paid.... Who was she? Was she a mom who home-schooled? Or a mom who was really good at getting up early and baking bread and cookies? Or she was a business savvy woman? Or she was a seamstress? One thing I knew was she was anything but ME. I was none of the Proverbs 31 lady.
But I’m starting to wonder if this was just a list of the possible types of a Proverbs 31 woman. That she didn’t have to be or do it all. Maybe she was parts of it. I mean, it does say “A wife of noble character, WHO can find?” Like truly, who can find her. Who can find ALL this. Maybe it just shows all the different types of kick ass woman out there! Or maybe it’s all that we should strive toward but not fret about getting it all right all the time.
I think that if you draw a line and one end is your birth and the other end your death. Everything in between is your life. That’s one way, one dimension to look at your life but if you were to turn the line it would be a dot. That dot being a culmination of ALL of you, all your moments, all your story. SO I mean, MAYBE, there’s a chance throughout a lifetime I could hit all the bullets of what a Proverbs 31 woman looks like. Maaaaybe. But for now… there has always been one little tiny line in that passage that has stuck out to me. It’s this:
She can laugh at the days to come.
What the hell? She can be a work-mule AND laugh? I'm screwed. And this line has consistantly and continuously left me perplexed by its meaning.
I’d try to laugh. Like make myself laugh:
Tee Hee and Hee Hee.
Har. Har. Har.
[insert musical notes here and sing I love to laugh from Mary Poppins.]
I tried it all. None of it made sense. Until I realized, that this laugh. It’s sacred. This laugh is special. It’s within. It’s a deep, inner peace. This laugh is a deep trust.
This woman knows it’s going to be okay, that this too shall pass and that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Maybe she can even find humor in how it all plays out?
…Or maybe she lets go and learns to love the ride!
I've been learning how to laugh. It's been a process. But Maybe we can all laugh a bit together as we learn to love the ride.
And now... may you, today, find that deep inner trust and peace.
May you laugh.
(Or maybe today, you just think about laughing. Because let's be honest, learning to laugh is hard work. Thinking about it might just be enough for your today.)