I have to share one more personal story because it’s so fresh in my life. I just had my third baby 6 weeks ago and we chose to use a midwife and have a home birth. At my first appointment/ interview with my midwife I asked her what the difference between birthing at home or at a birth center is. Medically, there is no difference in care. But it depends on the families preference and that “most woman feel safest where ever they are most comfortable.” At that moment the choice was a no brainer for me. 1. I hate everything about going to the doctors office and hospitals. I get anxiety like you wouldn’t believe. And 2. The idea of a home birth offered me so much more control over my surroundings than I would get anywhere else. I was able to prepare for the birth far beyond what I was able to do with my previous pregnancies. It all worked out to our complete enjoyment as we had a successful home-birth in the comforts of our own home. And to quote my husband in the moments after Jacson was born, “that was easy!” Not the words I would use, but the sentiment rings true. Get the full birth story here.
Maybe we are a bunch of homebodies and were just ok with it. Haha.
With my own personal experiences behind us. I want us all to reflect on the biblical Proverbial woman. The proverbs 31 woman to be exact. Now, let us note this is a poem, taught to King Lemuel by his mother; to instill in him the importance of finding a good, scratch that, a GREAT wife. She is not describing herself here. I am sure she wishes she were, but in reality she is describing the IDEAL woman.
Now that I have a son. My perspective on his future spouses is a bit from that of my daughters. With the girls I am excited to imagine what kind of son in law I may be so lucky to welcome into our family. With my son, my first thought is, “I hope I like her” and my second thought is, “I hope she is like me.” Hahaha! Just keepin’ it real.
I imagine King Lemeul’s mother felt similar and envisioned only the best of the best of the best for her son. Someone that with the right seeds and desires planted in her young heart, may one day grow and become the very multi-faceted and talented Proverbs 31 woman. There are too many great passages to look at here and interpret them in regards to cultivating and designing your home. So… we will focus on 2. First:
Proverbs 31: 16-17
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She CONSIDERS a field. Now before anyone thinks they need to go out and buy a field, let us focus on the word considers. Here is a woman who has a dream in her heart to buy a field. But rather than acting rash, she considers it. She makes a plan. She prays about it. She does her research. And then she buys it. Further, she buys it out of her own earnings. This is money that she has scrimped and saved and put aside, for probably a long time in pursuit of this dream. Again, emphasizing the time and dedications that she put into the plan in itself.
Next she plants a vineyard and works vigorously with her own arms and hands. We already know she is not idle in her lifestyle. She is a go-getter. She makes her dreams happen for herself. She relies on no one else to get what she wants and she becomes stronger for her diligence for her planning and preparation. She becomes stronger and wiser.
In cultivating a home this passage illustrates my number 1 piece of advice. Make a plan! Don’t act rash. Otherwise you will find yourself at HomeGoods where there is a pretty sofa that is too pretty and too well priced to pass up. But when you get home, you realize the color clashes with the other items that you also recently and impulsively bought on a weekly trip to Target. Without a plan. You will spend more money- even when you think you are saving. You will never achieve the cohesive look that you ultimately desire and you will always be moving 1 step forward and 2 steps back. In design a wise woman will set a budget for her space. Itemize out each item that she ultimately wants to buy, will make changes, cuts/ savings, splurges, and thrift finds along the way that fit into her plan and will be pleased with her efforts and the extra work. She will put in some elbow grease to make an old dresser into a new show stopping piece of one of a kind furniture. And she will be much stronger and wiser for first CONSIDERING her field!
You can see some of my other tips for home design based on the Proverbs 31 passage in your handout, so I’ll just breeze through these before I make my last point:
More Tips from Proverbs 31 as to designing your home:
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”