MOTHERHOOD

"About every true mother there is a sancity of martyrdom-
and when she is no more in the body, her children see her with
the ring of light around her head."

Godey's Lady's Book, 1867

THE ART OF DOMESTIC BLISS

.....in a time lacking in certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of it's lost heart. -Louise Bogan
“And there are my children!
My darling, precious children!
For their sakes I am continually constrained
to seek after an amended, a sanctified life;
what I want them to become
I must become myself”.

~ Elizabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward

Proverbs 31 Devotionals







Proverbs 31  Devotionals


Day 1 Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.



Definition - Virtuous: adjective
Having or showing virtue, especially moral excellence.conforming to moral and ethical
principles In accordance with principles of right or good conduct: ethical, moral, principled,
proper, right, righteous, rightful, right-minded.Morally beyond reproach, especially in sexual
conduct: chaste, decent, modest, nice, pure,chaste.



King Solomon in Old Testament time was known for his wisdom (that is, up until the end of his life when he turned to pagan worship). The Lord had given the gift of wisdom to Solomon per his request. Much of the book Proverbs in the Bible, and the wisdom therein, comes directly from Solomon’s hand.







Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks directly about a virtuous woman. If we look up the definition of “virtue”, we will find explanations of moral excellence, goodness, and the ability to conduct oneself with ethical principles.
The word "chayil" is what God uses to describe His idea of a choice woman.You have probably always heard it translated as the "virtuous woman."The Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary



explains that the term "chayil" was used to describe great forces and armies. A woman said to be "chayil" would possess a certain strength, might, and power!

The Proverb 31 Woman is no wimp. She is a woman of great strength! She is a woman of purpose. She is a strong contributor and asset to her home. She manages her affairs well. She is business-like, intellectual, and above all else God- fearing.

Her husband and children proclaim her as blessed. She is a "virtuous woman".The virtuous woman places all of her trust in the Lord. She knows that only through him, she has "come this far by faith."

When her child is sick, she is able to say
"All is well" as the Shunammite woman.



She is full of good works like Tabitha,



after her deliverance from difficulty
she sings" Miriam's song."



She possesses the wisdom and judgment of Deborah,



and pours out her heart before the Lord
as Hannah did before she received the
blessing of Samuel.



And she realizes when she lays
her head down each night, that as
Mary, in her own unique way,
she is truly blessed among women.



She knows her redeemer lives and never fails to thank him for "Just another day." She is a woman of vision, and destiny. God has placed within her Spirit a ministering to others. She is not ashamed to wash the feet of Jesus with her tears and dry them with her hair because he alone is her life-line. Her head is held high, her steps are sure, and her words are well thought over. Her appearance portrays her royalty having divine DNA within her very soul.




Yes, she knows the storms will come, the winds will blow, there will be times when there may be sickness, trials, and heartache. However, her conclusion of the matter is this, she is assured that there will be times of joy, laughter, and deliverance with life more abundantly; this is the promise of her Father in heaven.


Joseph Smith often alluded to the bible in his writings and discourses, as the following will demonstrate. The 13th Article of Faith, of course, borrows liberally from Philippians 4:7, where the apostle Paul speaks to the saints: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."


The writings of both Joseph Smith and Paul on this subject could be summed up in : We believe in being virtuous. The concept of virtue combines every noble and decent human characteristic, quality, attribute or desire.

The word "virtue" derives from the Latin term virtus, which means manliness or worth. An earlier definition of virtue was, in fact, manly qualities such as valor, strength, courage and conviction.





Long ago, the word came to be applied to the female sex as well, as in the scriptural passage, "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies" (Proverbs 31:9). Significantly, the First Presidency very recently has added the attribute of "Virtue" to the Young Women theme (see Dec. 20 Church News, p. 3).




In fact, the qualities that comprise virtue are applicable in appropriate ways to both women and men, to young as well as old.





In the scriptures, the word "virtue" is used to mean not just goodness but also occasionally the power to heal. See, for example, Mark 5:30, Luke 6:19 and Luke 8:46, wherein we read that virtue went out from Jesus and healed the afflicted. See also, Alma 31:5, which states that Alma, in an effort to reform his people, thought it expedient that he "should try the virtue of the word of God."

It is important that virtue should have this double meaning, for godly qualities can heal both the one who has them and the one who is influenced by them.The Virtuous Woman, where can she be found? Women say with me- I am she, because I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.






If we compare the concept of virtue with a disciplined, prepared, lifestyle, the two would strongly parallel each other. In other words, a preparedness lifestyle contains many of the same virtues as those listed in Proverbs 31:10-31.







We will be looking at those virtues during the next 30 verses. Of course, this set of scripture verses refers to a woman in particular, but in truth the principles apply to all who desire wise living.






Day 2 (11) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.


Definition: Trust: Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.



Custody; care. Something committed into the care of another; charge.
The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one:
One in which confidence is placed. Reliance on something in the future; hope.






Her actions are not based on how others treat her or by what others think, her character remains steady, and she remains reliable and dependable. In his heart, her husband, has full confidence in her; her integrity, wisdom, and discretion in the use of his assets and in the care of his interests. He is at ease when he is away because he knows that all is safe with her and she would never do anything to cause him sorrow, suffering, pain, or distress.





He is not suspicious, worried, or jealous, because she is trustworthy. He can confide in her and trust her without reserve and will have no reason to regret it. He can safely rely and depend on her to do what he would do, in the manner he would do it. He believes in her securely, his trust is well founded because she will never let him down or do anything to harm his personal gain.



Her husband trusts her in the management of their resources and her industriousness adds to the family income.






He will never stop getting good things, he will lack nothing of value, and he will have no lack of honest gain or need of dishonest spoil. She will greatly enrich his life. Their marriage is an intimate relationship built on complete trust. She is sexually pure and works to maintain and retain her sexual purity emotionally, physically, and mentally. God is making them ONE, of one mind,& one heart






.What God is saying is that the husband can trust in her decisions and knows that he can depend on her for support. It is hard for a man to have such a responsability for a family. A wifes support is a necessity. I believe that " he shall have no need for spoil" means that his wife makes him complete.



There was no need for outside influence, be it financial needs, sexual needs, emotional needs, or physical needs.










Consider in this story the integrity that Abigail showed. David’s men had protected Nabal’s men and sheep from outside forces (1 Samuel 25:15-16). As soon as Abigail heard of her husband’s insulting behavior toward David, she began to make preparations to make up for his foolish actions. Without telling her husband of her plan (1 Samuel 25:19), she and her servants prepared a largeamount of food and drink and traveled to where David and his men were camped (1 Samuel 25:18-20). Abigail prevented certain disaster regarding herself and her family by humbling herself before David (1 Samuel 25:23-31). Abigail did an extraordinary thing when she took the blame for the sin of her husband (1 Samuel 25:28). She humbled herself and interceded for her people before David. Desiring to intercede on behalf of one’s family requires a character of humility, sacrifice and personal cost. The result of Abigail’s actions was that David’s heart was softened and he was kept from bloodshed that day. He accepted her offering and granted her request (1 Samuel 25:35)








Besides having God as diety the wife helps to make the man feel complete. Believe it or not women but God did not give you your husband so that you can make him who you think he should be.
God gave you your husband so you could pray for, hold up, strengthen and uplift this man, while God was tearing down, uprooting and creating him into the man of God that he was called to be.





It is vital that we as woman are on our knees in prayer doing warfare for our Husbands so that they can be the leader that God has called them to be.

Psalm 45:10-11, eagerly awaiting the next set of instructions the Lord has for a bride...




Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
Hearken, consider and incline...three words used to get our total and undivided attention. What is the advice that the bride is to listen to, what is it she should stop and think about, what is it she should be willing to accept that the psalm writer is about to say directly to this woman who is about to embark upon married life?



We find that she is told to forget her own people, and her father's house.... In other words, the bride must break off all her prior relationships, all other bonds or alliances that have formed and separate herself forever from all that she has known since birth, clinging only to her husband, the king. Does it mean she should never speak to others or never spend time with them? No, of course not!



But she must readily understand that her primary focus and heart's desire is to be toward her husband. Hence, she must now put all of her efforts into building a close relationship with him - above all else - and love him with singleness of heart and mind. Her newly acquired husband is not to be added to the bottom of her personal list of special people and activities or personal goals, for the king deserves more than leftovers! He is to be placed at the TOP of his wife's list, as most important to her...Proverbs 31:11
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.









Where do you have your husband placed today on your list of priorities?How much effort are you putting into building an intimate relationship with him? It is wise counsel that this young woman is being given, and we would all do well to take heed to its constructive encouragement! Many husbands today are tended to and loved only if there is nothing else the wife is busy with such as children, or grandchildren, a part-time job, activities with "the girls", decorating pursuits, Sunday school projects and church responsibilities, home school commitments, the computer etc.









Only when the wife has accomplished all that she has wanted to do first or all that she considers top priority and has enough energy, thought, or even time left to spend on or with her husband is the king remembered, let alone reverenced. Yet these women are traumatized when their spouse ends up in an adulterous affair!
Let's be honest , sometimes the attitude we take toward our husbands is this - "He can wait; who does he think he is anyway, a king or something??" In fact, we're guilty often times of behaving as if our husbands were a "royal pain" rather than a king! And God says it is foolish of us....





Day 3 (12) She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.




  • having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified;full
  • morally admirable
  • estimable: deserving of esteem and respect;

    • beneficial: promoting or enhancing


    • well-being;

      • agreeable or pleasing;

        • of moral excellence;

          • adept: having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude;

            • thorough;

              • dear
  • dependable: financially sound;
  • most suitable or right for a particular purpose;
  • resulting favorably;
  • effective: exerting force or influence;










As we continue to look at the character qualities of the virtuous woman, we now see that she has an honorable pursuit —her desire towards her husband is “to do him good.” The verse also mentions that she does not “do him evil.” What a contrast!

What does it mean to do a husband good? It means that she has her husband’s happiness in view constantly. She is intent on lavishing every possible good upon her husband. Her pursuit is to love him, to do him good at every opportunity, not for praise or payoff, but simply because she knows that is what God wants her to do.




Where does all this goodness come from? It comes from her servant’s heart. She takes seriously her God-given pursuit to love her husband and she does it heartily as to the Lord and not to men. She knows that the work she does as a wife should be done as a happy servant of the Lord—just like Colossians 3:23-24 tells us: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” She knows that it is God that will richly award her for her good efforts.







Unfortunately, a lot of women in our country have rewritten Proverbs 31:12 to say something like this, “He should be doing ME good, and not evil all the days of his life.” They are more concerned about having their needs than they are about meeting the needs of their husband. I have been caught in this trap before. They have seen what God says in His Word about how the husband is to be the head of the home and the wife is to be the helpmeet, and they have decided that God does NOT know what He is talking about. They feel that they are getting the short end of the stick—they claim to be oppressed and down-trodden. I realized that God knew exactly what He was doing when He established marriage the way He did, and if we want to have a marriage that is blessed by God, we need to follow His guidelines.

Priscilla and her husband Aquila were exiled Jews living in Corinth (a wealthy city in Greece) during Paul’s second missionary journey. Paul stayed with them and together they worked as tentmakers during Paul’s stay in Corinth (Acts 18:3). All three departed after a time for Ephesus (modern-day Turkey), where Priscilla and Aquila remained and served a mission of their own in the synagogue (Acts 18:26). This painting depicts Priscilla as she contemplates the forthcoming journey to Ephesus, leaving her home in Corinth. This is not the first time she and her husband have had to forsake their lands for their beliefs (Acts 18:2), and now they are not only leaving lands and property behind, but are leaving their livelihood as well. Just as Peter and his friends “forsook all and followed [the Savior]” (Luke 5:11), so too Priscilla is leaving behind all she has in order to serve the Lord at her husband’s side.



To be a true helpmeet takes the attitude of a servant. That is easy to say, but so hard to do. All of us have that old sin nature which is bent toward selfishness. Therefore, it is only possible to be a good helpmeet when first of all you are obedient, then secondly, filled with the Spirit. Then you can truly have a servant’s heart and self won’t get in the way. The fantastic thing is that if you put your husband first and meet his needs, God has made him in such a way that he will reciprocate and meet your needs. That is what marriage is all about.




So what about you? As a wife, have you been concerned about doing your husband good? Is your pursuit to make your husband happy? Have you been serving him his favorite meals? Have you been sending him off to work each day with an encouraging word and greeting him when he comes in the door with a happy smile and a great big hug and kiss? Have you been making sure that his clothes are washed, folded, put away and ironed? Have you been making it a priority to run the errands that he has asked you to do? Do you try to keep the house neat and clean and organized like he likes? Have you been praising him in front of the kids and training them to love and respect him for who he is and what he does? Do you encourage his dreams and ideas? Do you let him know that you think he is the best?

Not only is the virtuous woman concerned about doing her husband good, but there is also an absence of evil. The Bible says that “she will do him good and not evil.” What does it mean to do him evil? It could mean many things. It could be doing things that will bring trouble or sorrow or displeasure to his life. It could be doing anything that would cause him not to trust you. It could show up in bitterness, selfishness, resentment, anger, disapproval, or disagreement. The virtuous woman stands strong against the temptations to do wrong, and chooses instead to follow after God’s plan to do her husband good, and not evil.

So what about you? As a wife, have you been doing your husband evil? Is your pursuit to try to irritate him and to try to get your way no matter what? Have you been cooking what you want and telling him to learn to like it? Have you been off pursuing your own plans and dreams while he comes home from work to a cold house and a bologna sandwich? Are you so busy with your own happenings that you don’t have time to keep up with the laundry and the house cleaning? Have you been running him down in front of the kids & others and telling him what a rotten husband he is? Have you been bringing up those things that you know irritate him, just to prove your point?


Notice also that this goodness is there “all the days of her life.” This is a life-long pursuit. It doesn’t end when you don’t get your way or you happen to be tired or when your husband does something to make you angry. The virtuous woman takes seriously and literally her marriage vows to do her husband good forever.” She is to be sweet-tempered and constant today, tomorrow, fifty years from now, for all eternity. Nothing in this life should change her commitment to do her husband good and not evil.
If you as a wife would like to nurture this honorable pursuit in your life, here are some things to consider:
* It is possible for a wife to do her husband evil, or God would not have mentioned it here. In fact, we find many examples in the Bible.




Solomon’s wife drew his heart away from loving God.Pharaoh's daughter who was the wife of Solomon is a figure in Hebrew scriptures who married the king of the United Monarchy of Israel to cement a political alliance with Egypt. Out of his vast harem, she is the only wife singled out, although she is not given a name in the texts. Her influence on Solomon is seen as the downfall of his greatness.




Jezebel stirred up her husband and caused him to do much evil.





Job’s wife told him to curse God and die.







Michal despised her husband David.
You need to recognize the ability in your own life to do your husband evil, and set up safeguards in your life to keep you from going down that path.





* Beware of the enemies of goodness. Good and evil are sharply contrasting things—goodness is desirable and evil is not desirable. What are some enemies of goodness? One of the worst enemies of goodness is the tendency to compare—my husband, my life, my marriage, my financial condition, etc. This causes discontentment and causes your heart to be focused on others or on things instead of on God. Another enemy of goodness is bitterness. When you allow it to take root and grow in your life, the Bible says that many will be defiled. Another enemy of goodness is a stagnant spiritual life. If you are not walking close with the Lord, you will not have a desire to follow His will.
* Goodness does not just happen naturally. We need to plan and practice for it. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:22, Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.” We can either plan for good or for evil in our life. What are you devising in your marriage? If you would like to learn to plan for the good, look for those things that make your husband happy, and do them. Also, watch for the things that irritate him, and avoid them. You will be well on your way to the honorable pursuit of “doing him good.” Then commit to doing it all the days of your life!






Day 4 (13 ) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.




Definition: Seek



To try to locate or discover; search for.



To endeavor to obtain or reach
To go to or toward:
To inquire for; request:
To try; endeavor

Definition: Work
to perform, accomplish, achieve
to do that from which something results
of things: bring about, result in
to fashion, i.e. render one fit for a thing



She is skilled and capable in working with fabric. The modern example would be skilled in things like quilting and sewing, using her hands to create things. And notice that “she works”. There is no hint of laziness in this woman who is praised by God.She “worketh willingly with her hands” She is “willing to get her hands dirty”, as the old saying goes. She is no prima donna! A woman of God is not “above” manual work. Hard work is her motto. It is the essence of her character. It does not scare her, she does not shy away from it.















The Jews have a saying, that there is no wisdom in a woman but in the distaff; suggesting, that it is her wisdom to mind her spinning, and the affairs of her household:
at the Roman marriages, the word "thalassio" was often repeated, which signified a vessel in which spinning work was put; and this was done to put in the brides mind what her work was to be.

The wool was used to make outward garments, and the flax linen to make inward garments, by the one may be meant external principals of living, and by the other internal, acts of religion; both are to be done, and not the one without the other:
She seeketh after these things both temporal and spiritual, both outwardly and inwardly. She is a seeker of his will. The outward acts of virtue which would be wool are, such as hearing the word, attendance to ordinances, and all good works, which make up a wool garment that should be kept; and they should be done so as to be seen of men, but not for that reason: and internal acts of religion that would be the flax linen inward garment are, the fear of God, humility, faith, hope, love, and the exercises of them, which make up the new man, to be put on as a garment; and these should go together; bodily exercise, without inward godliness, profiteth little; and attention to spirituality and internal religion, without regard to the outward duties of religion, are all vain. One may say,

``It is enough to worship and serve God in my mind; what need have I to go to church, and visibly mingle? Such a man would have a linen, without a woollen garment.
One who seeks all opportunities of doing good works externally,and does not seek after the kingdom of God, inward godliness, which lies in peace, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost is clothed in Wool with no linen lining.


She who worketh willingly with her hands;

or, "with the pleasure of her hands" as if her hands took delight in working, as the members of the church does; who are made willing to serve him, as well as to be saved by him; in whose hearts he works, both to will and to do; and these do what they do cheerfully: these do the work of the Lord, not by the force of the law, nor through fear of punishment, but in love; not by constraint, but willingly, having no other constraint but the love of God and Christ; and not with selfish views, but with a view to his glory; and they find a pleasure and delight in all they do; Christ's ways are ways of pleasantness; his commandments are not grievous, his yoke is easy.





14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from
afar.




Day 5 (14) She is like the merchants’ ships;
she bringeth her food from

afar

Definition:Merchant ship: pertaining to or used for trade or commerce: a merchant ship; Merchant ships as classified by operating method (the other is the ocean liner). The tramp steamer, in contrast to the liner, operates without a schedule, going wherever required to deliver its cargoes. The tramp is a descendant of the early merchant ships whose masters (who were also their owners) loaded them with cargo at home to sell abroad, and vice versa....
In spiritual symbolism how is the Proverbs woman like a Merchant Ship.....
A merchant ship must have a Captain...Her Captain is the Lord.Merchant Ships were guided by the a compass and the north star. She is guided by inspiration, revelation, and the Holy Ghost. As well as the scriptures and the living  Prophets. Merchant ships bring precious cargo from distant lands. She brings precious blessings from Heaven to her family.Merchant ships endure storms at sea...Virtuous women have divine protection when spiritual and temporal storms threaten the welfare of their children.Merchant Ships are always active, and well stocked for long journeys.The proverbs woman is busy, and working hard ,stocking up and preparing for the future for her families needs. Merchant Ships unload in different  harbors. These women of valor share their knowledge & talents  in different areas of her life and with different people.Merchant Ships keep nothing for themselves. They carry cargo for others.True women of God are sacrificial and unselfish. Whose lives are spent in the service of others. Who never fail to deliver the best goods to the family. Home is a sweet place when the queen is a woman after God's own heart.
On a Temporal Note: She brings in provisions of all things necessary and convenient for her family, No merchants’ ships, no, not Solomon’s navy, ever made a more advantageous return than her efforts do.

1Ki 9:26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships..............
I Kings 9:28:  And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon."
 1Ki 9:27-28 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought [it] to king Solomon.
Do they buy in foreign commodities with the goods they export? So does she with the fruit of her labours. What her own ground does not produce she can furnish herself with, if she have the chance to, by exchanging her own goods for it; and so she brings her food from afar. Not that she values things the more for their being exotic, but, if they be ever so far off, if she must have them she knows how to come by them.

she is willing to go the extra mile and she is competent in getting it.



What this means to me is she considers the best food for her household and picks it up from a distance considering the nutritional benefits as well as the associated price. Food. A basic need in life. The virtuous woman is making it her business to provide the best she can. Looking for the sources of good quality food to lay a foundation for good health and physical energy.

To meet this situation she always has available an adequate supply of whatever is needed for all those who are under her care, and with the work of her own hands she makes certain that they are fed properly and clothed appropriately.

This enterprising woman has a large pantry, well stocked of all the necessary ingredients to keep her family in health.
The virtuous woman is a good mother and does not consider these homely duties for the wife to be demeaning but rather rejoices in them as a fulfilment of her responsibilities to her family and to society in general. She knows how important her duties are for she is the bonding that glues the family together. Without her special presence the family is but a group of people lacking that warm affection theat only a faithful wife and devoted mother can provide.

Wow! A lot to live up to! The Proverbs 31 Woman is not only wise with what she chooses to work with, she is the one doing the work. She selects carefully the items she brings in to her home, and the foods she feeds her family and servants. Having eager hands indicates that she loves what she is doing and pours herself into what she is doing for household fully. That she can’t wait to get into what needs to be done each day.Bringing things from afar, being like a merchant ship, indicates that she not only made use of resources available close by, but if there was something not good enough (or not available) for her family, she sought further afield to find the right things to bring into her household.


Sometimes we just ‘make do’ with something we’ve found close to home, although it’s not quite what we were looking for, or not quite the right quality, or not quite the right… something, but because of lack of time, resources, or just plain impatience, we tend to ‘make do’. This verse shows that the Proverbs 31 Woman didn’t just ‘make do’, she brought things from afar into her household.The Proverbs 31 Woman was ultimately a wise shopper, careful with the household income, careful choosing the foods and items purchased for the household, careful with what she did with the hours she had, providing for her family in a loving and wise way.


Help me to be wise with what I choose for my family, with the hours I work in my home or out of home, and grant me the eagerness I need to carry out my duties as wife and mother in the way that the Lord  would desire for me.










15 She ariseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion toDay 6 (15) She ariseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household,
and a portion to
her maidens.


In all fairness , I will have to say ...this is my one of my weakest areas. But I have felt inspired to try harder to get up earlier and to go to bed earlier. I am setting personal goals in each verse to improve in each area in my own life.



Doctrine and Covenants Section 88:124

Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
Definition: a·rise



intr.v. a·rose a·ris·en a·ris·ing, a·ris·es
1. To get up, as from a sitting or prone position; rise.
2. To awaken and get up:
3. To move upward; ascend.
4. To come into being; originate:
Definition meat
n.
1. The edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals as opposed to that of fish or poultry.
2. The edible part, as of a piece of fruit or a nut.
3. Nourishment; food:


Proverbs 27;27 And [thou shalt have] goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and [for] the maintenance for thy maidens.
Pro 20;13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, [and] thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
She diligently attends to share as well as to the gathering of wealth, and indeed she is a wise steward for {her lord} has made her vice-ruler of his household.
Luk 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, w
hom [his] lord shall make ruler over his household, to give [them their] portion of meat in due season?
This woman is no fool for she has chosen well the better part of her vocation and attitude to life.
Ecc 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might;.....
Rom 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord...
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men....

The virtuous woman loves her God given role better than her ease or her "pleasure". She is to be found in the way of her duty every hour of the day, and has more true satisfaction in having given meat to her household early in the morning than those who have wasted their money in foolishness and live in the pursuit of "wordly pleasures".
So the verse above could well mean that she was anxious to get her work done (and if there’s a lot to be done in a day then I guess we all feel that way and are keen to get an early start to achieve as much as possible), or perhaps she was pleased with her plans for her family for the day and could not wait to get it completed as she had a great desire to share it with the family. There are a number of ways you could read this. But the end result is, I’m sure, that she had much to do and she was responsible for the end result of what needed to be done.






She works long hours, getting up before the rest of her family, to prepare for her day and to prepare food for them. But it also shows something else. Don’t forget the mention of the ’servant girls’. Verse 15 shows that she didn’t work alone – she had help, in this case, her servant girls. But an important point here is that she also cared for those who helped her. Whilst it is not common today for the majority of us to have servants, it would be an expectation that family members pitch in and help with family matters and errands. The mention of the servant girls shows that she didn’t do it all alone, although she had responsibility for what needed to be done.
Food spiritually may be meant, by her "household" or family, the same with the family of Christ, that is named after himself, which consists of various persons, fathers, young men, and children; and by her "maidens" the ministers of the word; see ( Proverbs 9:3 ) ; who are stewards in the family, and have the food put into their hands to give away; it is by these the proverbs woman gives meat to her household feeds them with knowledge and understanding, with the wholesome words of Christ, with the good doctrines of the Gospel; these have a certain portion given them, and they rightly cut and divide the word of truth, and give to everyone their portion of meat in due season, according to their age and circumstances; milk indeed to babes and meat to strong men; see ( Luke 12:42 )This kind of woman strives to have “all things be done decently and in order” in the home (I Cor. 14:40) She distributes all necessary provisions. She prepares their food early. She is organized and disciplined.
her maidens.


16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a

























Day 7 (16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it:
with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
Definition: con·sid·er
v. con·sid·ered, con·sid·er·ing, con·sid·ers

1. To think carefully about.
2. To think or deem to be; regard as.
3. To form an opinion about; judge:
4. To take into account; bear in mind:
5. To show consideration for:
6. To esteem; regard.
7. To look at thoughtfully.





Definition: Plant

a. To place or set (seeds, for example) in the ground to grow.
b. To place seeds or young plants in (land); sow:
c. To place (spawn or young fish) in water or an underwater bed for cultivation:


Here again we see the Proverbs 31 woman showing us her pattern of industry. She is searching constantly looking for ways to bring assistance to her husband by finding new methods of saving and earning money, all the while never leaving her home duties to do so. Her focus remains steady and unmovable and yet she does not stand still waiting for someone else to do her work for her.

To consider means to devise a plan; she doesn’t buy this land frivolously but very carefully works out how she will pay for it and what she plans to use it for. Her goal is to bless her husband and her family, not to burden them with debt. Furthermore, she pays for it with money she has earned by economy and using her time wisely. This is not the kind of woman who runs to her husband with every need, overburdening him with financial requests. She saves and uses that savings not for her own wants, but to contribute to the family’s needs and wants.
Planting a vineyard helped provide her family with nourishment; to drink, for medicine and even for sacrifice to the Lord. To apply this to our own lives, we can look for ways to use our resources to contribute to the needs of our families. For example, if you have a house full of growing children and those children are eating you out of house and home, well what better way to help out than to plant a garden! And as part of that garden, plant a few herbs to help with sicknesses. Most likely you don’t have extra money lying around to buy a field, so use your backyard. Starting small is just fine as long as you start somewhere. And hopefully as your garden produces more and more, you will have extra to sell to neighbors or friends, so you can put away that extra to continue the cycle. Or you could barter with a friend who raises animals to get fresh meat or eggs or milk. In this way, you are not only saving the money you would spend on fruits and vegetables, but also on other food items.

The point is that we can all find ways to save a little here and there with careful planning. We have talked before about menu planning. Maybe for you, it will all start there. Careful planning of meals will help you save money and also help you feed your family healthier food. The key is in the planning. Consider what it is that is important to you and your family and find a way to make that happen. Pray that God will show you new ways to save and plan. And use what you are able to save for the benefit of your family. Won’t your husband be surprised and rise up to bless you!

A lot of times we let the world define the meaning of success and unfortunately we measure ourselves by the “world’s ruler”, instead of God’s, which is His Word. In His Word, God has given us many examples of successful women and none of their examples are hard to relate to. In Proverbs 31: 10-31, He tells us of the virtuous woman who “seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” As you can see this Proverbs 31 woman was very successful.

This woman actually made enough money to buy a piece of land that she turned into a vineyard to make even more money for her family! If God thought enough of this woman’s example to include her in the sacred scriptures, don’t you think there is something to be learned from her?

The Bible also mentions in I Timothy 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house…” It also states in Proverbs 14:1 “Every wise woman buildeth her house…” I’m not saying that as a woman you only have one responsibility and that is to stay at home and take care of you homes. What I am saying is that if this is the path you’ve chosen, you are to be praised and esteemed, not ridiculed and made to feel less of a contributor than your husband.

Proverbs women raising their children to follow God’s way and to get the true understanding on how to live a Godly life, is this not also being a successful mom? There are many ways to define success. Success is the end result of something planned with achievement.

These days, there are many Proverbs 31 moms taking advantage of both fields through starting a home based business that will allow them the time to take good care of their children and at the same time please their husbands. More and more work at home moms are discovering that through a home based business, it gives them the opportunity to schedule their time to be more flexible with the hours they work so that they can have more time with the family.

While staying at home and taking care of the house and your family, it is a great thing to be able to make some extra income. With the rising cost of living in America, every family I’m sure has thought of this in one way or another. However, being able to bring in extra income AND stay home…what a perk!!
Work at home Proverbs 31 moms have the best of both worlds. They are able to raise their children themselves without having to worry about the influence of any other child care provider on their children. I’m not trying to say that building a business is easy or that it happens overnight, but if you are diligent as the woman in Proverbs was diligent, it can work for you too! We all know that in this day and age that planting a vine yard is not feasible, but it is the pattern laid out for us to use as a guide.

Proverbs 31 women have a wide variety of choices when it comes to achieving success through having their own home based business. All of you have been born with some talent that only you possess. If it is your desire to put that talent to use and start your own business then you have to find that talent and put it to work for you. You will find, especially it if is something you enjoy, that it doesn’t feel like work so much. Setting your own hours is a plus that those in the normal work force are certainly not getting.

Having your own business allows you a bunch of opportunities for income. Think of the many ways that your family would benefit by having you home during the week. The child care factor alone is worth it’s weight in gold, not to mention the savings you would have in other areas of the home such as the use of a vehicle and all the up keep there is when it comes to the high cost of maintenance and so on.


Maybe you have little ones at home who aren’t in school yet and working during the day just wouldn’t work. Think about this…during nap times you have a little bit of time and also after the kids go to sleep at night. If you are doing something you love, it’s a lot easier to find the time to do it rather than if you feel like you are forced into or that you have to.

Proverbs 31 women are doing what they love and are successful because they stay focused on the task making every action count and being intentional. This kind of focus helps them, so as not to have any regrets because it directs them to make the most of their talents and their opportunities.

Proverbs moms are energetic and active causing them to have concrete results and stay focused. They prioritize their tasks according to it’s importance so they don’t lose their edge. Proverbs 31 women will take a large task and divide it into smaller ones to get the understanding of what kind of people they need to get the job done. They have the understanding to what is the most important step to accomplishment by determining who will be on their team.

We all must have the understanding that Jesus spent three and a half years teaching the twelve disciples and how He delegated responsibilities to them. And as we can see the job got done! Accomplishment comes as a result of team work. Team work is the keyword that can bring it all together no matter how great the task.To sum it up. The Proverbs 31 woman considers future money making opportunities. She then acts on them. She is wise in her decisions, even choosing Real Estate investments or a new Business opportunities she can do from home. She is a wise steward.
vineyard.


17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

Day 8 (17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.











Definition: Girdeth Prepared or equipped, as for
a journey or for work, in allusion to the ancient

custom of gathering the long flowing garments into
the girdle and tightening it before any exertion;
hence, adjectively, eagerly or constantly active;
strenuous; striving.

Definition: strength·en
v. strength·ened, strength·en·ing,
strength·ens

v.tr.
To make strong or
increase the
strength of.
v.intr.
To become strong or
stronger.

Definition: loin.

1. The part of the body of a human or quadruped on either side of the backbone and between the ribs and hips.
2. One of several cuts of meat, such as tenderloin, taken from this part of an animal's body, typically including the vertebrae of the segment from which it is taken.
3. loins
a. The region of the hips, groin, and lower abdomen.
b. The reproductive organs.


"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Audrey Hepburn
Proverbs 31:17 "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."

I take this command very seriously. Exercising both indoors and out have saved me physically and mentally. When my body and mind are fit, my soul is strong. When I become lax in this area, my whole family suffers.

I'm a little slow getting this up. However, I hope you'll still join me in strengthening arms and body.

You are encouraged to begin or continue a regular exercise program. Hopefully, you will be inspired to attempt the Physical Fitness Award Program with your family from the Family Home Evening Resource Book. If you can’t get everyone in the family into it, at least go for the award yourself. Print out the chart and cross off the days. As you accrue marks, your weight will normalize and your strength will increase. Healthy and fitness are your rewards. Using The Firmworkouts, you can claim 2 points per workout. Walking 2 miles quickly counts for 1 point. Don't forget to drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and veggies, and get enough sleep every night.




"There is no question that the health of the body affects the spirit, or the Lord would never have revealed the Word of Wisdom. God has never given any temporal commandments—that which affects our bodies also affects our souls. There are at least four basic areas which make a difference in our health—in our growing in stature.
First—righteousness. Sin debilitates. It affects not only the soul, but the body. The scriptures are replete with examples of the physical power that can attend the righteous. On the other hand, unrepented sin can diffuse energy and lead to both mental and physical sickness. Disease, fevers, and unexpected deaths are some of the consequences directly related to disobedience. Jesus healed a man of a physical malady and then told him to “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (John 5:14.) Sir Galahad claimed that his strength was as the strength of ten because his heart was pure.

Second—food. To a great extent, we are physically what we eat. Most of us are acquainted with some of the prohibitions of the Word of Wisdom, such as no tea, coffee, tobacco, or alcohol. But what needs additional emphasis are the positive aspects—the need forvegetables, fruits, and grain, particularly wheat. We need a generation of people who eat in a healthier manner.

Third—exercise. The body needs the rejuvenation that comes from exercise. Walking in the fresh air can be exhilarating and refreshing. Properly directed, running can also have some beneficial effects. Simple sit-ups or sporting activities can also be helpful.

Fourth—sleep. Adequate early rest is best. The Lord states that we should “cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.” (D&C 88:124.) Early to bed and early to rise is still good counsel." Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, September 1988
I never dreamed I could learn so much about clothing from Proverbs 31. However, as I was studying for this verse, I noticed something very interesting. To “gird” your loins means to wrap something tightly around you, usually so that you can move your legs and get moving.

How to gird your loins:

arab men in traditional dressGirding your loins is something you would find people doing a couple of thousand years ago in Near East Asia and around the Mediterranean just before they attempted anything strenuous and physical such as going into battle. The floor length robes would quite likely get in the way so they would need to be tucked out of the way.
This was accomplished by pulling up the fabric of the knee-length tunic so the length in front stopped at your upper thigh, and collecting the excess material in your front. (You pull the material forward so the back of your tunic is snug against your backside.) Next, you tuck the extra front material down between your legs and gather it behind you. At this point, you collect half of the material behind you evenly on each side of your back (left and right). The final step involves wrapping each side of the material around your waist and tying it together in front.
This gets you ready for battle and the robes are neatly tucked out of the way.
It makes sense from this that the phrase has now come to mean getting yourself prepared for some trial to come.
So there you go.
Now if ever you need to gird your loins you’ll know how it’s done.

An Indian woman who has girt her loins for work
An Indian woman who has "girt her loins" for work
As you can see from the woman in this photo, she’s got an awful lot to carry. She’s got no hands left to hold all her skirts, so she just tucks her skirts up into her belt and takes off on her way. Here in America, we’d just trade in the skirts for a soft pair of blue jeans, so we could get our work done with nothing in the way.
In the Bible, the phrase, to gird up the loins, is used for people who want to get serious about something.
  • In 2 Kings 4:29 and 2 Kings 9:1, a man girded up his middle eastern robes around his belt so he could walk quickly. In Jeremiah 1:17, a man girded up his loins so he could stand up.
  • In fact, it seems that men were generally more likely to gird up their loins. In Job 38:3 and 40:7, God tells Job to gird up his loins like a man, meaning, “Job, be responsible! Be a man!” So this is a very masculine phrase, yet here it is, in the epitome of feminine qualities of the woman of Proverbs 31.
Like the woman in our photo, there are many days when we wives and moms just have too much to carry, too much to do, and too many stresses. Our Proverbs 31 woman wrapped strength around her so that she could get her jobs done.
What was the source of her strength?
  • God Himself is wrapped in strength. “The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved” (Psalm 93:1).
  • God makes our arms strong. “His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24). (See also Hosea 7:15.)
  • Strength comes through faith in His name. “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16).
However, I have to come to a point of weakness, where I see myself as I really am, before I can receive His strength.
  • “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
  • “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
What happens is that we stagger along in unbelief (Romans 4:20), collapsing under the load of living, burdened down with too many cares, when Jesus comes and offers to be our strength for us. We must admit our weakness, confessing our sin to Him, and ask Him to reside within us, giving us His strength.
  • “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).
  • “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).
How do we put on His strength rather than our own? Through obedience & praise ( Gratitude)!
  • “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:20).
  • “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3,an excellent Psalm to study!).
  • “Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power” (Psalm 21:13).
When we praise God for what He has done for us in the past, He wraps His strength around us.
Through our praise (which is often a difficult choice in difficult circumstances), we have the ability to
  • Have strength beyond our capabilities. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
  • Have a strong mind. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).
  • Overcome the evil one with the Word of God. “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14).
  • Lift up weak ones around us. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).
In closing, let me remind you of the time that Nehemiah brought God’s Word to the people and it literally changed their lives. God’s Word always does this, if we’ll let it! We hear His Word and obey it, it washes away our sin, filling our hearts with praise and joy. This is the strength with which we need to “gird up our loins” and “strengthen our arms.”“They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, ‘This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’The Levites calmed all the people, saying, ‘Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them
In a very Tangible sense we can strengthen our Loins eating healthy and seeking out to live a healthy life style. As well as exercise.

Strengthening the arms: below are some exercises for strengthening our arm muscles.
Arm Raises: Standing with good posture, using light hand weight (1 to 1.5 lb). This will protect the rotator cuff and boost your upper body strength:
  • 1st set of 10
    • Raise right arm away from your side until parallel to the floor (2 counts).
    • Lower (2 counts)
  • 2nd set of 10
    • Raise right arm in front of you, away from the body, until parallel to the floor (2 counts).
    • Lower (2 counts)
  • 3rd set of 10
    • Raise left arm away from your side until parallel to the floor (2 counts).
    • Lower (2 counts)
  • 4th set of 10
    • Raise left arm in front of you, away from the body, until parallel to the floor (2 counts).
    • Lower (2 counts)
Arm Curls: Standing with good posture, using light hand weight (1 to 1.5 lb). This exercise will increase forearm, bicep, and wrist strength:
  • 1st set of 10
    • Holding weights in each hand, start with your arms at your side, elbows tucked in, palm forward.
    • Slowly curl your fist up toward your shoulder (2 counts)
    • Lower
  • 2nd set of 10
    • Holding weights in each hand, start with your arms at your side, elbows tucked in, palm forward.
    • Slowly curl your fist up 1/2 way up toward your shoulder (1 count)
    • Press elbows out in front of you (1 count)
    • Return elbows to starting position (1 count)
  • 3rd set of 10
    • Holding weights in each hand, start with your arms at your side, elbows tucked in, palm forward.
    • Swivel forearms out, elbows still tucked in.
    • Slowly curl your fist up toward your shoulder (2 counts)
    • Lower
  • 4th set of 10
    • Holding weights in each hand, start with your arms at your side, elbows tucked in, palm forward.
    • Swivel forearms out, elbows still tucked in.
    • Slowly curl your fist up 1/2 way up toward your shoulder (1 count)
    • Press elbows out to the side (1 count)
    • Return elbows to starting position (1 count)
Tricep Presses: These exercises tone the back of your arms.
Lie flat on your back with shoulder to elbow on the floor and elbow to hand straight up (90 degree angle) holding a light hand weight (1 to 1.5 lb) with wrists facing in toward your body:
  • 1 set of 10
    • Lift straight up, keeping your elbows as close as you can to your body (2 counts).
    • Lower (2 counts)
Stand up straight with good posture, using a light hand weight (1 to 1.5 lb). Hold a light hand weight in both hands behind your head:
  • 1 set of 10
    • Extend your arms up overhead keeping your elbows close to your ears (2 counts).
    • Lower (2 counts)


18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.






















Day 9 (18)"She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night”
I love this verse, it is so affirming to me. I'm absolutely serious.
This is a verse concerning self-esteem, a woman who has the
perception that what she offers is good and has worth.
And the next part? You could interpret it on a literal level:
that the candle she produced was exceptional. But, I looked
at this somewhat differently, the candle often being
representative of a person's spirit, her spirit was not
extinguished by the darkness of negativity.
This woman has a sense of herself. Such a sense
comes from the light of her eye; read Matthew 6:22,
" The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light."
To “perceive” means to know from
experience. It literally means
“to taste.” She knew that her
merchandise was good because she had tasted it,
sampled it, experienced it.
“Merchandise” in this verse means
something from which she profited.
This is yet another reference to the business
that she operated. She didn’t just dabble in
this business; rather, she poured her life
into it so that it actually earned money for
her and her family. She “tasted” and
“experienced” these profits. Her
merchandise was profitable and good.
The verse states that “her candle
goeth not out by night.” Stop here!
This cannot possibly mean that she
never went to bed at night.
Nor can this mean that she went to
bed late and got up early (see verse 15),
getting very little sleep. This can’t be,
because it contradicts other portions
of God’s Word.
As in Verse 15 We see God has an important
purpose to getting enough sleep.
She has a lot to accomplish.
Light and Dark
As we take a glimpse of the dawn of time, when God made
a beautiful and perfect world, we are amazed at the handiwork
we see. I’m not a scientist, but the more I read and the more
I discover about creation, the more amazed I become.
In this article, we’re going to look at just a handful
of ways that our God designed this world for our good.
We don’t have time to look at all of them, and we
don’t even know everything about our world.
I encourage you to continue to discover more things
on your own and to share them with loved ones around you.
Let There Be Light
The very first thing God made, recorded in Genesis,
is light.
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God
divided the light from the darkness. And God called
the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
And the evening and the morning were the first day."
(Genesis 1:3-5)
On the fourth day, we read about the forms that this light
took, at least as we can see it from our homes here on
planet Earth.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament
of the heaven to divide the day from the night;
and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days,
and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament
of the heaven to give light upon the earth:
and it was so. And God made two great lights;
the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser
light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven
to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day
and over the night, and to divide the light from the
darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the
evening and the morning were the fourth day."
(Genesis 1:14-19)
We know God made lights in the sky that would divide
the day from the night. The sun is an obvious example of
a light that tells us it is daytime. The moon and stars are
seen best at night. The Bible calls the sun a “greater light”
and the moon a “lesser light.” Any elementary school child
understands how the moon reflects the light of the sun,
and even toddlers enjoy the stars and twinkling
lights of the
evening sky.
God lists several
purposes for
making
these lights.
First
of all, he
wanted
to divide
the day
from the night.
Secondly, he wanted
us to be aware of
time and schedules. The sun, moon, and stars have been
used since the
beginning even to make calendars filled with days, weeks,
months, and
years. The seasons are obvious by the singing of birds
or by leaves
falling off trees, but even in climates where the
weather stays the same,
we know the season by the position of constellations
in the sky.
So God set the heavenly lights in the sky to give
us light, to
“rule” over the day and the night, and to divide
the light from
the dark.
Over 6,000 years later, I can turn on all
the electric lights,
watch TV, surf the Internet, and even shop
– 24 hours a day.
Every morning, the sun still wakes up, earlier
in the summer
than it does in the winter, but it still rises predictably,
consistently, quietly. Depending on what time I went to
bed last night, I might not be aware that it rose.
Or I might notice but I’m disgusted at how early it
comes up. Doesn’t it know I need more sleep? more
dark? more quiet?
Deep inside my brain, God created a tiny gland called the
pineal gland. This tiny gland, about the size of a pea,
is responsible for producing a hormone called melatonin.
Darkness stimulates the production of melatonin,
and light tells it to stop. Melatonin is a powerful
hormone that directs our circadian rhythms and even
orchestrates our sexual development.
The retina of the eye receives light and transmits
the signals from that light to the pineal gland.
The patterns of daylight and darkness received by
the pineal gland orchestrate the production
of proper amounts of melatonin.
God said in Genesis 1 that each new day began with evening.
The Jews continue to observe this today by beginning each
day at sundown. Perhaps the custom of starting a new day
at night tells us something of the importance of darkness?
One of the purposes of melatonin is to regulate our days
and nights. Halfway through the night, melatonin
production
peaks, gradually falling toward dawn. Until very
recently,
in many parts of the world we would have
experienced up to
18 hours of darkness in the winter months.
Now that we’ve
become “civilized” with the invention of bright,
artificial lights,
we may only have eight or fewer hours of
darkness a night.
Night lights, bright alarm clocks, and yard
lights have all
been shown to diminish the production of
melatonin in our brains
at night.
Exposure to bright light at night, enjoyed by those
that work the night shift, has been implicated in disorders such
as cancer. Sitting in front of flashing television screens,
turning on bright lights to use the bathroom at 2 a.m. –
all of these things upset the production of melatonin in
our pineal glands.
Melatonin has many uses, beginning with the oversight
of our
metabolism. Young children produce more melatonin
than adults,
making scientists think that it plays a role in postponing
sexual development. Melatonin is a powerful anti-oxidant,
and it has been shown helpful in reducing the damage caused
by some types of Parkinson’s disease, in strengthening the
immune system, in preventing migraine headaches, and in
helping the heart beat properly. It has even been shown to
help mice live longer! Melatonin helps us dream properly,
which has been shown to keep us from going insane.
It may seem strange to begin our discussion of health
by looking at a tiny, pea-sized gland in our brains,
but it makes so much sense to begin rebuilding our
health by such a simple means. Here are some steps
you can take to allow God’s sun, moon, and stars to
rule over your
days and nights:
Turn off the
television
after dark. Don’t
watch TV in bed.
The same goes for
your computer.
Keep the bright,
flashing lights
confined
to the hours
when the
“sun rules the day.”
Go to sleep as soon
as possible after dark.
Did you know that
your body recharges
itself most between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.?
Your adrenal
glands use
those night-time hours to heal and refresh from
the stresses of the day
. Your liver dumps toxins at night, but if you’re awake,
those toxins
will simply clog up the rest of your body, causing
much damage to
all your internal organs.
Sleep in total darkness. If you happen to live in a rural
area where the only outside light is from the moon
and stars,
you can feel free to open your curtains and let the
moonlight in.
The bright moonlight that comes every month has
been shown
to increase a woman’s fertility and to optimize
dreaming.
Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? If you live in the
city or by
bright lights, use heavy blinds to block the
light. You
can even sleep with an eye mask to block
out light.
If you wake up to use the bathroom at
night, try keeping
the lights off. Did you know that if you
switch on a bright
light in your bathroom, you’ll turn off
melatonin production
in your brain for the remainder of that night?
A wiser course
of action would be to clean up your hallway of toy
s and clutter
and try walking in near darkness (or moonlight)
to the bathroom.
Increase your exposure to sunshine during daylight hours.
We have been taught to be afraid of the sun, yet God made
the sun for our benefit. Are you sleepy after lunch?
Try napping in your backyard. Work in your flower
beds early in the morning, as the birds are singing
and the sun is rising. Read your Bible next to a big
window each morning. Enjoy walks and picnics with
your family.
The production of melatonin in the pineal gland goes on
to affect the production of almost every hormone in the
human body. If you struggle with hormone problems
affecting your thyroid gland, your adrenal glands
(cortisol, DHEA, adrenaline, and others), your pancreas
(insulin and enzyme production), or your sexual gland
s (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and others),
please take into account your sleep habits first.
Many people attempt to simply supplement with
over-the-counter melatonin rather than change
their lifestyles. I would advise you to save your
money and try our Creator God’s method of light
and darkness first. Over-the-counter supplements
can be very powerful, and how will you know that
you are “supplementing” the correct amounts?
The God who made us loves us... and His first way
of showing that love was to give us light and dark.
Verses to Ponder:
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
(Psalm 4:8)
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold,
he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber
nor sleep. (Psalm 121:3-4)
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late,
to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth
his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2)
When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea,
thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
(Proverbs 3:24)
The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he
eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich
will not suffer him to sleep. (Ecclesiastes 5:12)
Rather then she is skipping on sleep in this
verse, the idea here is that her merchandise
was of such high quality that it would last.
The picture in the Hebrew words is that her
light doesn’t get extinguished in the middle
of adversity. Her stuff is built to last! She
knows who her light is and won't let her light
and example be extinguished . Again we see
that a spirit of excellence pervades all that
she does.
So let’s summarize this woman’s business:
She has experienced the profit of her labor.
She sees real profit to others
(her family and others) from her efforts.
She sticks with it. She’s not a quitter.
She doesn’t put others at risk because of
her negligence.
Let’s get practical
How does
this affect
us in our
homes,
as godly
wives and
mothers (and possibly, as business women ourselves)?
Start at home, in the small things.His lord said
unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful
servant: thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(Matthew 25:21). How faithful are you
in house cleaning, laundry, parenting,
keeping promises to others, managing
your time, reading your Scriptures daily?
Discipline yourself. Excellence starts in
the details, but sometimes the details get
overwhelming. Make a to-do list, and
discipline yourself to cross off items
as you do them. Don’t allow procrastination
in yourself. (One friend shared that she
takes her to-do list to Heavenly Father
in prayer each morning, asking Him
what He wants from her time. Then
she makes sure to be obedient, since
her “marching orders” are from
the King of Kings!)
Find out what would bless others. We are
to be governed by the law of doing unto others
what we would want them do to us. We are to
love others as ourselves. Our excellence is not
to make ourselves proud; rather, it is an act of
selflessness for others. To do this, ask questions
of others. Be a good listener. What problems
could we solve by our abilities? What answers
can we give them from God’s Word? How can
our actions leave others with a taste of
God’s love?
Evaluate regularly. The Bible says that
we are to know the condition of our flocks
(Proverbs 27:23). Do you allow time in
your schedule periodically for getting
away and prayerfully evaluating your work?
Know your limits. Do you know when
to stop working? Don’t take on more
than you can really do well. I like the
law in God’s Word about putting a
balcony around your rooftop so that
others won’t accidentally fall off.
Our time and energy need a balcony,
a boundary, as well. Why?
For our own good? Not entirely.
When you do too much, you harm
others by your broken promises.
You could cause hurt to someone
else, and now your lack of discipline
has overflown into hurt to others.
We also can be a Proverbs 31 woman
as we strive to be excellent in all we do.
we must always operate with a spirit of excellence.
As believers
in our precious Savior, we must not live our lives in
a slip-shod manner,
as if what we do doesn’t really matter.
Why does excellence matter?
We are created in the image of a Creator God.
Everything He created
was “very good,” and we need to imitate Him
in our actions.
We need to follow the example of those who
are God’s servants.
If Heavenly Father thought that someone’s story
was important
enough to record for us
in the scriptures, then we need to ask why.
Our everyday work should be offered as an act
of worship to
our God. Every sacrifice to God is to be the best
we have to
offer. "I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service." ( Romans 12:1)
The world is watching us. Our actions reflect upon our God.
His honor and reputation are at stake in our work.
In our verse from Proverbs 31 today, we learn that she
operated with a high
standard of excellence.That is what we must do....
The Proverbs Woman
has set the example before us...now let us go and do.


19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.Day 10 (19 )She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff




Some hands are seamstress and sew and make things. Some would rather hold a book, run over the keys of a piano, knead bread, or type on a computer.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.(Ecclesiastes 9:10).

No matter what skills my hands have, I need to use them in service of my Heavenly Father. I thought it would be fun to take note of all the ways my hands can serve.

My hands can work.

This is the primary way that hands are mentioned in God’s Word. In fact, hands are mentioned in FIVE verses of the Proverbs 31 lady! Her hands are very important to God, and the “work of her hands” shows the character of her heart. In addition, her hands work skillfully and carefully. Her reputation is built on her hands, and her lack of laziness (”slothfulness” in KJV) is evidenced by the amount of production that comes from her hands. Here are some verses:

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:17).

“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” (Psalm 128:1-2).

“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour” (Proverbs 21:25).

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ… Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands…” (1 Corinthians 4:10-12).

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28).

“We beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12).

My hands should be stretched out toward God.

This point is very important. As a mom, I just don’t have the strength to do what I need to do. Ladies, it’s okay to admit this! In fact, it would be wrong not to admit it, for we would be saying (in pride) that we don’t need God, that we are sufficient in and of ourselves.

The moment, however, that I admit my need of God and my own insufficiency, God steps in and fills me with His power. Each morning, and all through each day, I need to stretch out my hands toward my heavenly Father. I am as weak as a baby, as a little toddler, and I need to stretch up my hands to my Papa (”Abba, Father”) and say, “Please carry me!” Graciously, lovingly, He will.

“I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land” (Psalm 143:6).

My hands need to be clean.

By my Messiah’s atoning sacrifice for me, by His blood sprinkled on the mercy seat, I am declared righteous in His sight. But my hands get dirty day by day, with the sin that I do both intentionally and unintentionally. I must wash my hands and keep them clean, just as my children wash their hands before eating and take a bath each day. “Dear Father,” I must pray, “Please forgive me. I confess my sin, and I ask you to wash my hands and make them clean again, so that my service will be pleasing to You.”

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).

I can lift up my hands.

When my hands are clean, I now lift them up in praise, worship, and prayer to my Father. I also bless my Father in heaven and bless others as well. When you see the phrase, “lift up your hands,” in God’s Word, picture a woman who brought her sacrifice to God’s tabernacle, has offered it and been cleansed, and now lifts her hands in thanksgiving, prayer and commitment to her King.

“My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes” (Psalm 119:48).

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” Psalm 141:2).

“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:8).

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:49-51).

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things…” (Acts 17:24-25).

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12).

My hands can clap & Pray.

Just like most attitudes, I’ve found that when I force my body to do something (even when my heart doesn’t “feel” like it), my feelings soon follow and change for the better. When I’m discouraged, down, and depressed, I can use my hands to pray and my feelings will improve. I can also clap in praise of others, encouraging and strengthening them as well.

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph” (Psalm 47:1).

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).

My hands should not be folded too often in sleep!

“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man” (Proverbs 6:10-11).

My hands should build my house, not pluck it down.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1).

“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through” (Ecclesiastes 10:18).

My hands should drop with myrrh and perfume for my husband.

“I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock” (Song of Solomon 5:5).

My hands should do as Jesus did, laying hands on others in love and mercy.

Jesus laid His hands on children in love, and that’s probably where I have the first opportunity to lay hands on others as well. Mom, a hug is one of the most valuable things you can give! Give out love with your hands at every opportunity. “Touch” is not one of my primary “love languages,” Everyone can use a touch sometimes.I need to be more like my Savior, laying hands on others in mercy and kindness.

“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence” (Matthew 19:13-15).

“And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:16).

“Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them” (Luke 4:40).

“And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:11-13).

“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch” (Acts 5:12).

“And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him” (Acts 28:8).

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:14-16).

Another purpose of hands is to pray over others . The tears drop and mingle together, I feel amazingly loved, When others pray for a purpose for me. and we are united in purpose and fellowship. Try it sometime!

“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:17).

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:2-3).



“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6).

My hands should minister to the needs of others.

“Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:34-35).

My hands should be “marked” by my obedience to my heavenly King.

I might need to explain what I mean by this last one, but it seems so significant to me. In the book of Revelation, we read much about a mark in the foreheads and hands of those who worship the Beast and of those who worship the true God. I don’t know exactly what that mark will be, but maybe it could simply be that we are “marked” in the forehead by our thoughts and then in our hands by the deeds that we do. Simply, when others watch our lives, our actions, and our deeds, they can tell if we are serving the “Beast” (this world’s system) or God.

No matter what the mark in the forehead and hands will be, I do know that my neighbors and community are watching me. Am I “marked” by obedience so that it’s very obvious whom I serve?

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).



20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.




Day 11 ( 20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy

God is faithful in His Word to not only give us commands but to tell us HOW to obey, in practical terms. He never leaves us in the dark. For this woman in Proverbs 31, she had learned to obey God’s laws. She didn’t love just in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18). She wasn’t just a hearer of the word; she was a doer (James 1:22).
The poor were to be given fairness in court, even if they couldn’t afford a lawyer (Exodus 23:6).
Every seven years, the fields were to lie fallow and rest. During this year, anything that grew on its own was to be given freely to the poor (Exodus 23:11).
Vineyards were only to be picked one time. The corners of fields were to remain unpicked. Anything that remained was to be left for the poor (Leviticus 19:10).
If a poor man had to sell his property, his relatives had first opportunity to purchase it on his behalf (Leviticus 25:25).
If a neighbor became poor, everyone was to help him so that he wouldn’t have to move away (Leviticus 25:35, 39).
Wages were to be paid daily, before sunset, so that the poor wouldn’t have to wait for relief (Deuteronomy 24:15).
Exorbitant interest was not allowed, nor could food be sold at a profit so that the poor couldn’t afford it (Leviticus 25:36-37).
The poor were not to be sold as slaves but were to be treated as hired workers, with full rights and dignity (Leviticus 25:39-43).
Best of all, during the year of Jubilee (every 50th year), land was returned to its original owners, debts were canceled, and the poor and needy were finally able to make a clean start! (see Leviticus 25)
In obedience to God’s merciful law, our Proverbs 31 woman not only made provision for the poor in her fields and vineyards and promptly paid her servant girls and hired helpers, she also set aside a portion of her income as a gift for the poor and needy.
“ 28At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
29And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.” (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).
Finally, she offered hospitality and care to all those she saw with needs. “She stretcheth out her hand… she reacheth forth her hands…

Eliza R Snow was a great example of Helping the Poor and needy. She was called by Brigham Young to help bishops reorganize Female Relief Societies in 1866. She traveled all over Utah encouraging sisters to join societies "not only for the good of the poor, but for the accomplishment of every good and noble work." (History of Relief Society, page 30) In her new role, Eliza traveled with her counselors, Zina D. H. Young and Elizabeth Ann Whitney, to Mormon settlements in nearly every type of conveyance imaginable, enduring nearly every type of weather.
Due to the efforts of Eliza's presidency, there were Female Relief Societies in the twenty Salt Lake City wards, in nearly every county in Utah, and several other nearby communities by the end of 1868. These newly organized branches of the Relief Society met twice each month. During one of these monthly meetings, they sewed and cared for the needs of the poor, and at the other they received instruction on a variety of educational or inspirational themes. At first, sisters met in private homes, but eventually most groups built halls of their own in cooperation with the brethren.
How can we use these gracious laws of God in 2010? How could we make provisions and ways of escape for the poor and needy who surround us? How can we stretch out our hands with mercy, kindness, and relief for those who are drowning in fear and financial care?
We could start by always leaving a little leftovers, making a little extra food, setting aside just a tiny bit each day.

Maybe it could be a jar for loose change. We could also set aside an extra bit, over and above our tithe by increasing our fast offerings, to be given to those who have a need. Maybe we could fill up someone’s tank with gas. Maybe we could get an extra pair of shoes when they’re on clearance and drop them off at someone’s house. These things are small… and that’s the point. If we all did something small, it would add up, and the poor and needy would have relief.
If someone were to stretch out their hands to them, maybe the urge to escape would disappear. Maybe the fear in the pit of their stomachs would lessen. Maybe they’d find a shoulder to cry on. Maybe they’d find someone who could counsel and guide them toward a better job, or show them how to save, or help them pay off that last credit card bill. Maybe they’d be more willing to listen to the gospel when they saw Jesus living through us.
Here is some cute humor about helping the needy.......



21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with
scarlet.


22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.


23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.


24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.


25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.


26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.


27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.


28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.


29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.


30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be
praised.


31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

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An Island of Security....A Mother at Home

Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife.
  • Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere.
  • Her hands fashion its beauty.
  • Her heart makes its love.
And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be . . .

the light,
the joy,
the blessing,
the inspiration,
of a home.

The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.

A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness.

God sends many beautiful things to this world,

many noble gifts;

but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows

in a mother

who has learned love's lessons well,

and has realized something of the meaning

of her sacred calling.










~ J. R. Miller, "Secrets of Happy Home Life, 1894" ~