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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: The Perfect Woman

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The Perfect Woman

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: The Perfect Woman

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

January 5, 2010

The Perfect Woman

This morning I have something brand new in store for all of you. I've been thinking of doing this for several months, but didn't have the readership or the interest in the idea that I seem to have now. I decided a few weeks ago that with my blog following growing, I wanted to add some new things. As a mother, wife, and growing Christian I deeply value the input and opinions of other women. Especially women with whom I have a lot in common with [I mean, that is why we all blog, isn't it?] I have met some amazing, smart, witty ladies via blogging and I want to introduce you to some of them. Every 2 weeks or so, I am going to be featuring a Guest Blogger here on Beautiful Mess.

Capitol Heights Mommy

My bloggy friend Mandy at "Capital Heights Mommy" has agreed to be my first Guest Blogger. I am so excited about what she has written and I think you will be do. Mandy is a recovering perfectionist from Sweet Home Alabama. { Had to throw that in Bama Girls have to stick together! Even if she is an Auburn Fan...haha.} She is married to Sean who is a missionary witih Child Evangelism Ministries. Together, they have one unbelievably adorable daughter named Maddy who was born in December of 2008. She claims to struggle keeping the laundry done and dishes washed [don't we all?] She is a devout Follower of Christ and had a beautiful outlook on life, marriage, and parenting. You simply have to go check her out. So...without further ado, I will turn it over to Mandy!

The day was getting closer. I couldn’t ignore it even though I pretended to every single morning. I said to myself, “Why oh why did I choose to do this?” I must be crazy to put myself through this every other month. Did I really believe things would change? No. And yet… there I sat every morning getting closer and closer to the end. When the morning came on the last day I knew the only thing to do was be strong and face it. I sat down, opened up my Bible and read it… Proverbs 31.

So maybe I am being a little dramatic but I just can’t be the only woman out there who is more than reluctant to read about the “perfect” Proverbs 31 woman… right? Every morning I read a chapter from the book of Proverbs so on months with 31 days I inevitably must face everything I am not as a woman, wife and mother. I know there are wonderful women out there that L-O-V-E reading about this all encompassing woman of wisdom, grace and amazing work ethic. I must confess… I am definitely not one of those women! It’s not that I think the Proverbs 31 woman is outdated or sets us women back. On the contrary; I want to be like her desperately yet every other month I find myself falling extremely short of who I want to be.

Let’s see… I do not like getting up while it is dark. I wouldn’t know how to buy a field or a vineyard. I like to go to sleep very early when possible. I can be quite lazy at times. I definitely couldn’t even begin to patch a hole in my husband’s pants let alone actually sew some new creation. I wish every word out of my mouth was wise, but my husband can attest to my lack of common sense; and I am not always sure if my husband has full confidence in me. (Although if asked I am sure he would say, “Of course I do!”) I couldn’t continue on this road. There had to be some way to not feel like a failure every time I got to that passage of Scripture. I thought about skipping it but… yeah, that wouldn’t really work. So I set out on a quest to find out how to become the kind of woman that seemed to be so illusive to me. I have read article after article, posted questions on message boards and studied Scripture to get new insights. In doing so I have found six principals that I think have and will continue to help me slowly become more like the Proverbs 31 woman. Perhaps, some of these may help you… (I am writing from a stay-at-home-mom’s perspective and I in no way claim to be any kind of biblical scholar on the issue of Proverbs 31. These are just my own personal reflections.)

1.) In order for my husband to do his best working outside the home, he needs to have full confidence that I am running everything smoothly at home. Can I handle the kids? Is there going to be dinner? Will we have clean socks and underwear? He handles problems all day at work. I am sure the last thing he wants is to come home and handle problems all night too. {Proverbs 31:10-12}

2.) This woman has a brain and she uses it. She is able to weigh in on big financial decisions and she is able to handle money responsibly. Not only that, but she uses her talents to help out her family. I may not sew but I did do something before becoming a wife and mom. God has given us all talents. I know how to teach children. I can play an instrument. I worked at a bank. Maybe you don’t want or need to supplement your family’s income, but is there some talent God has given you that you can use to serve your family, church or other people with? Perhaps it is writing, decorating, cooking, or I don’t know, heart surgery… whatever your talent or skill is, how can you use it to serve others? {Proverbs 31:16,22,24}

3.) She is not lazy. She knows what needs to get done and she gets it done. But it never says that she gets everything done all in one day. That is an encouragement. It only says that she works most of the day. I stress over my house not looking like a picture from Southern Living Magazine, but according to this passage what counts is that I work at it daily, not that I always keep everything perfect. {Proverbs 31:15,17,18,27}

4.) She has compassion for those in need. I wouldn’t suggest giving money to a person on the side of the road, but there are things we can do to help others. Giving food to a food bank, bringing items from your house to a rescue mission or a homeless shelter or even financially supporting other agencies that help those in need are simple ways we can show compassion for those who may be struggling. {Proverbs 31:20}

5.) Her children and husband think she is a great woman. Our children grow up watching our example. Do we gripe and complain about our role and work load? Do they see Christ in us? Do we teach our children how to become competent adults and a viable part of society? I know that we may not hear from our children how much they adore us after age 3 (and probably not at all when they are teens) but when they are grown and gone will your daughter want to be just like you? Will your son want to find a wife like you? I don’t know about you, but to have my kids feel this way as adults would be one awesome Mommy award! {Proverbs 31:27-28}
6.) This one is the most important: I must “fear the Lord”. I must walk in His ways if I ever hope to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. If I do not acknowledge Him and my need for His help then all of my attempts at becoming like this woman will remain just that… attempts. The closer I get to Jesus and the more I let Him guide me then the more I will be able to become the woman I desire to be. I can’t do it on my own. I need Christ to change me from the inside. {Proverbs 31:29-31}

I have a very long way to go, believe me. But, this month when I get to that last chapter of Proverbs maybe I won’t feel like such a failure; like I am striving for something impossible. I have seen this passage from a different, more attainable light. Hopefully this month, I will have hope when I read about this “perfect” woman… hope for what I really can become someday. It won’t happen over night (even though I wish it could). It is a process. Maybe you struggle with the idea of being or not being the Proverbs 31 woman. I would encourage you to take small steps and remember it is not you that can make this possible, it is Christ in you.

I was so excited when I received Mandy's post in my email. Proverbs 31 [and Titus 2, for that matter] is a hard passage for me to read. I want so badly to be all that God has called me to be for him, my husband and my son. As Mandy has said, it can be frustrating and upsetting to see that we don't measure up to the standards God has set as women. Yet, when we think about it, no one ever does. I am never going to be the perfect woman. I am never going to be the perfect wife. I am never going to be the perfect mother. Only one has ever graced this Earth with perfection...and it was a man, Jesus. If I were to allow it, Satan could really use that reality that I will never attain perfection to drag me down. But that can't be the case. Rather than focusing on what we can't do and where we don't measure up, we have to keep our focus on Christ and know that he can do anything.

Those areas that I lack the Proverbs 31's characteristics the most are the areas that I have to surrender to Christ day after day. I have to trust him in knowing what he is doing and [here is the key, ladies] allow him to change me. I have to let him do it. If I refust to budge and refuse to do anything different, if I refuse to acknowledge the things he has shown me I do wrong, then I will never get any closer to who he is wanting me to be. It's a process. It's a journey. That's why they call your spiritual life a "walk" because it doesn't end. It goes on and it changes daily.

Thanks so much, Mandy for your wonderful post!! I hope everyone will head over her way and pay her a visit. I promise once you get there, you will be back! If any of you are interested in becoming a guest blogger here on Beautiful Mess, please email me. I have a lot of spaces to fill over the next year. Happy Tuesday Everyone!


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At January 5, 2010 at 8:40 AM , Blogger Chrissy MacCEO said...

This is a great idea, and something I have pondered, too.

I really enjoyed your reflections on that Proverb. Your raised some great points for a Stay at Home Mom & her role in a marriage. Thanks!

At January 5, 2010 at 9:55 AM , Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Mandi - GREAT job with Proverbs 31! I relate to so much of what you shared - especially with the falling short part!

And Courtney - it's good to cybermeet you!!!! You have a great name :-)! lol!

I'm going to start a Prov. 31 series on Wednesdays over on my blog - starting tomorrow - I'd love it if you all stopped by!

Walk with the King!

At January 5, 2010 at 1:11 PM , Blogger Together We Save said...

What a wonderful idea!! This was wonderful. I enjoyed your Proverb reflections.

At January 5, 2010 at 2:01 PM , Blogger Kimberly said...

All I can say is WOW! Well, not really. I can always say more. :)

Mandi, you have totally changed the way I will look at the Proverbs 31 woman from now on. In the past when someone would mention her I would just roll my eyes and say, "it ain't gonna happen." Not because I didn't want to be like her, but because I was looking at it as an "all or nothing" thing. Thank you for changing my thinking!

And thank you, Courtney, for having Mandi "over"! I will definitely be checking out her blog. (Thanks, also, for the follow on my blog! Glad to have you!)

At January 5, 2010 at 6:33 PM , Blogger ModernMom said...

A wonderful idea! Lovely post:)

At January 5, 2010 at 8:25 PM , Blogger Ashley said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us! I loved what she wrote, but also what you wrote afterward. This entire post was such a blessing to me, and I honestly needed it. I may not be married or have children, but that is what is so great about the Lord, He can speak to you even when it isn't exactly aimed at you.

At January 5, 2010 at 11:04 PM , Anonymous Kari said...

Great post Mandi!!! I love that we can share the real stuff on our blogs & know there are other moms out there in bloggy land that understand.
I'm so happy I met you Courtney!! I'd love for you to be a guest on my crazy blog, too:)

At January 6, 2010 at 12:15 PM , Blogger Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

Great thoughts, Mandi! I've always liked reading Prov 31, but not b/c I thought I was "all that". I think I see it more as a goal. However, our homeschool group leader HATES (DETESTS wouldn't even be too strong of a word here) that passage. Apparently, you are not the only one w/ strong reactions to Mrs. Prov 31!

Great job on your guest post!

At January 6, 2010 at 5:26 PM , Anonymous Alyssa said...

So blessed to be finding all these wonderful Christian women's blog. I came here from Courtney's blog Women Living Well where I had met Mandy. Great post Mandy, I'm glad you reminded me that my house doesn't have to look like a Southern Living magazine.

At January 7, 2010 at 10:52 AM , Blogger Sherry said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on Prov 31 woman. I have heard it said that she is not real, but that doesn't mean that I don't need to give up on trying to be a better wife and mother. :D

At January 9, 2010 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading Mandy's perspectives on Proverbs 31. I found it refreshing, insightful and inspiring. I like your blog and I will be visiting it often:-)!



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