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Thursday, February 9, 2012

For All of Them are Closed in Scarlet: The Proverbs 31 Journey

"When it snows, she has no fear for her household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet." 
~Proverbs 31:21

I put on mismatched socks this morning.  

They were the same color at least. 

 I'm a far cry from the quintessential Proverbs 31 woman...or, even from a marginal copy of the Proverbs 31 woman, probably.  She's a tough act to follow, isn't she?   

I've been a grad student/wife/expectant mother, a full-time stay at home mother, a full-time public school employed working mother with a stay-at-home homeschooling husband, and a part time working mother who shared at-home parenting duties with a part-time working father. 

 Did you catch all that?  

When my daughter was born, we set out to make certain that she was never in any kind of child care, and we accomplished a variety of ways.  I have my opinions, strong ones actually, about which of those ways was best for our family..but that is a topic for a different post.

The point is, that I have filled a number of different variations of  mother/wife/breadwinner/homekeeper roles...and no approach was easy.

Womanhood is tough.

But, back to my socks.  How one reaches 44 years of age, and still has two mismatched socks on before she realizes that  there is a problem, is beyond me.

Yet, our model for ideal womanhood:
"has no fear for her household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet". ~Proverbs 31:21

Scarlet clothing had special significance in Biblical times.  It wasn't cheap.  It required the acquisition of expensive dyes...dyes that would not have been wasted if used on inferior material.  
This is a woman who made certain that her family was cared for...shielded and protected.

Seriously, I'm just glad when there is something clean for everyone to put on.

And yet, we are not called to mediocrity.  We are given examples of remarkable women to emulate.

So, what are we to do?

I think it varies by life stage, and according to circumstances.  Sometimes, we have the opportunity and capacity to accomplish everything that we wish to for our families.  Other times, we have so much on our plates that we can only do the bare minimum.

It is my opinion that young women preparing for marriage, and young couples who are in the early stages of their marriages, will do well to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the woman has every opportunity to dedicate herself fully to homekeeping, being a wife, and motherhood.  It just works better that way, in my opinion.

But, even when a woman has the blessing of full time homekeeping, things can be overwhelming, at times.  Those are the times when the demands need be prioritized.  

When it comes to clothing, ....clean, suitable to the season, and mended are what matters.

Our Biblical model's scarlet clothing was of sufficient quality that it protected from the elements, was comfortable, and reflected well on the wearer.
Those are the things that matter.

If you are the type of woman who has perfectly symmetrical color specific rows of towels and sheets lining her linen closet, and never shares the couch with an unfolded load of clean laundry...from yesterday...then you'd best check the left sidebar over there for a post that is more appropriate to your needs.  (Go ahead, we won't be offended).


....Now that Polly Perfect has left the room, lets talk about this clothing thing.

Don't tell my mother-in-law, (seriously, don't), but sometimes you just need to get the laundry in the machine.  You may be surprised to know this, but the world will not stop turning if you occasionally mix the lights with the brights.  (I know this for certain, because I have...gasp...done it.)  Clean is the number one priority; your family needs clean clothes.

It's okay, (really, it is), to not fold the socks and underwear.  Better to have unfolded socks and underwear in the drawer... than unfolded socks and underwear on the couch.

Besides, if every member of the family has to come to a family sock drawer (or wicker basket, or...) in a central location, then you get to have contact with each member of the household before they set about their business for the day, which is pretty awesome, especially if you have teenagers.

Consider putting everything on hangers in the closet.  It is faster to slip an item of clothing on a hanger when it comes out of the dryer, than it is to fold it.  Also, when items are hung, it is easier to see what you have.  If things are in drawers, kids (and sometimes adults) rifle through them and make a mess.  It's okay to hang tee-shirts.  Really, it is.

A plastic hanger holder like this: 

will help prevent a tangled-hanger-monster from developing on your couch on laundry day.

The primary thing about Proverbs 31:21, is that "when it snows, she has no fear for her household".  She accomplished it by clothing them in scarlet...which can be pretty beautiful.

But if the tee-shirts are clean, and there is a nice warm sweatshirt hanging in the closet, then you've met the same goal, for now.
Press on, sweet're doing fine. are.

Pax Christi

Ever Grateful - Reversible Table Runner

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  1. So, so true! And since I'm not Polly Perfect, I stuck around and gathered some great tips! Thank you!!

  2. I am with you on the laundry I rather hang them up then fold them:) Great post Thanks for linking up to the NOBH

  3. Love this post!


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