Mommy Needs an Attitude Check-Living a Proverbs 31 Life

Welcome  Do you ever have days when you want to run away from home?  I mean, as an adult, pack up your toys and just leave.  At least for a little while.  I think we all do, because we just get so overwhelmed in our daily duties as adults, especially as caregivers to our children, spouses, and sometimes even our parents as they get older.  I’ll admit, I’ve had this fantasy more than once, but I’d never really give up my role as wife and mom, not for anything in the world.  So today I am sharing my attitude check and how spending intentional time studying Proverbs 31 gave me a new perspective.  And in case they’re already asking “What’s for dinner?,” I have an easy one-pan oven dinner that is also pretty healthy.

roast chicken with sweet potatoes
Sheet pan dinners free up time to get other chores done.

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Food For Thought  Being a wife and mother was always a goal for my life.  I love that I am called “wife” and “mom.”  But there are days, or different times of the year (like August, if you’re a teacher!), when I can get really weighed down by all I have to do.  We encounter stress and fatigue from trying to fit it all in, especially while trying to maintain a full-time outside-the-home job.  And to all of you moms with multiple children…I salute you, and admire you, and wish I could be more like you (but more about that a different day.)  I feel like I have a lot to keep up with just with one!  But sometimes I start to wonder…what about “me” time?  What about getting to do/eat/watch/read what I want?  And can I please have a clean house longer than 15 minutes!?!?  Then the negativity starts coming through…am I expected to do it all, why am I expected to do it all, am I appreciated, does anyone even care?  So when these thoughts start coming through my mind, I know that mommy needs an attitude check!

First, I probably need to clarify that my husband is actually really great at helping out, especially if I let go of my control issues and just let him.  He also has a very laid-back, easy-going attitude, so when the house doesn’t get cleaned as well or we need to do grocery-deli dinner night, he does not care at all.  In fact, he’d much rather I let some of this stuff go, than have a melt-down because I’m trying to do too much, but remember, I’m a recovering perfectionist!  Even so, it is a PRIVILEGE AND HONOR to care for my family.  I would much rather cook and clean for these two, than live by myself in a perfectly tidy apartment with all the “me time” in the world.  So when I need to regain my focus and have a better attitude about all the tasks that go into being a mom and wife, it’s good to check in with Proverbs 31.  Proverbs 31 has become kind of synonymous with being a Christian wife and mother.  I have been familiar with this chapter in the Bible ever since college, but at that time I didn’t have a practical application for the message, so it didn’t mean as much.  But in the past couple of years, I’ve spent more intentional time reading and praying about the words in this epilogue to the Proverbs.  By intentional I mean reading it with a clear desire to gain, and apply, the wisdom given in the text.  So today, I’m going to share what I think about “The Wife of Nobel Character.”

When I studied, I first wanted to be sure I understood the term “noble” in this context.  Here, noble means having qualities that people admire and respect.  Sounds good, so how do I do that?  From my reading I came up with these 14 behaviors I need to be exhibiting to become a wife of noble character:

  1. She does “good” for her man (v. 12); I’m going to talk well about my husband and treat him with respect and kindness.
  2. She does the shopping (v. 13-14); I take care of all the grocery and household shopping and any shopping that pertains to our daughter, like school supplies.
  3. She’s up before everyone else (v. 15); when I was working full-time, this was a must because not only did I have to get myself ready, but also our daughter.
  4. She does the cooking (v. 15); I LOVE to cook for my family…cleaning, not so much!
  5. She works and invests (v. 16, 18, 24); I worked outside the home as a public school teacher for the past 17 years.  I don’t “invest” our money, but I am in charge of the budget and bank accounts.
  6. She stays up late (v. 18); many nights I would stay up late working on lesson plans or prep for school after our daughter had gone to bed because that was when I could fit it in.
  7. She does the sewing and takes care of the clothes (v. 19, 21, 22); I have no talent for sewing, but I wash the laundry and make sure we all have clean linens, as well as the purchasing of new clothing items.
  8. She helps others (v. 20); check out my blog about service
  9. She has a good attitude (v. 25, 28); some days I just have to laugh, like knocking over the entire canister of spaghetti noodles, sending noodle shrapnel everywhere in the kitchen, and trying to salvage some of it for dinner!
  10. She studies (v. 26); I will only get better at what I’m trying to do if I read, study, and pray about it.
  11. She manages the budget (v.27); I have a personality more tuned in with organization, due dates, and numbers, so I take care of getting the bills paid on time.
  12. She is not lazy (v. 27);  I always have something to do, and I don’t spend a lot of time doing “nothing.”
  13. She takes care of the kids (v. 28); I get our daughter ready for school, help with school projects and permission slips, and drive her to activities and play-dates.
  14. She respects God’s authority (v. 30); I get my family up and going for church on Sundays and share prayer and Bible study with them, but also spend time studying and praying on my own.

The life of a Proverbs 31 woman is a busy one, for sure!  But it is worth it to be called blessed by one’s child and to be praised by one’s husband (v. 28.)  Oh, how I do love when my husband compliments me on a home-cooked meal or says thank you for the clean bed sheets, fresh from the dryer!  So, I will check my attitude, and try to live with noble character as I wash the dishes, fold the laundry, and pack the lunches, thankful that I have two wonderful people in my life to do that for.

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Today’s Scriptures  In addition to reading Proverbs 31, I use the following verses for my “mommy attitude check.”

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men.”

Titus 2:4-5 “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

Proverbs 12:4 “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”

Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

Today’s Recipe  We may be tired, we may be busy, but there’s still time for a homemade dinner.  There are many tricks to getting the family fed when life gets busy–slow cookers, semi-homemade, meal prep, dump and bake freezer meals, casseroles, left-over re-mix, and sheet pan dinners.  All of these help me keep my family fed so we rarely have to rely on take-out, fast food, or packaged and processed meals.  Today’s recipe is Oven Roast Chicken and Sweet Potatoes cooked on a sheet pan.  While the chicken and vegetables roast in the oven, I toss a salad and then use the rest of the cooking time to go through my daughter’s backpack and school papers, read the mail, prepare any bills to send, start laundry, etc.  Dinner is basically “hands off” so I can get some other stuff done.  Plus, one pan equals less clean up equals more time for mom!

Oven Roast Chicken and Sweet Potatoes (serves 4)

  • 3 lbs. mixed bone-in chicken pieces, rinsed and dried
  • 1 red onion, cut in chunks
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBS grill seasoning
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees; line large sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place chicken, onions, and sweet potatoes on sheet pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and fresh cracked pepper.  In small bowl mix lime juice, brown sugar, grill seasoning, and olive oil.  Drizzle over chicken and vegetables, gently rubbing the marinade into the chicken and coating the vegetables.  Roast in oven for 50 minutes.