Monday, July 13, 2015

My Take on Proverbs 31 and How I Manage the Calling...

As women, we have a tendency to beat ourselves up when we don't do everything perfectly. We, by nature, will always compare ourselves to someone. We will always feel as if a part of our value comes from how well we run a home.

I pray that you know that your value does not come from what you do, but it comes from who you are.

"Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13

Sometimes our kids can have cereal for dinner, and that is okay. Sometimes the laundry sits in the dryer for days. And that is okay.  I do believe we are given a command to care for our family in a God-honoring way. I believe that scripture has given us a clear picture of what a honorable wife looks like through Proverbs 31. Instead of looking at this as an in-accomplishable task, I want us to come together as women, loving God and loving our families.

Proverbs 31:
[b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 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.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    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.

I once heard a pastor say that all of these qualities cannot be found in one woman, but that these characteristics are a combination of several honorable woman, and we should not put that kind of pressure upon ourselves.

I do not not agree. 

I believe that the Lord has charged us with this expectation. Will we fail? Yes. And each day, the Lord's mercies are poured out upon us, and grace is given for us to try again. 

I believe the problem lies in the fact that we live in a society that has made these expectations almost impossible. Often times the task of carrying for our home and our family is given a negative outlook from society. We finish the day feeling overwhelmed, undone, and exhausted. I truly believe that the enemy does all that he can to steal the joy from our lives. We should take delight in the ability to care for our families and loved ones. Have I figured this out yet? No. But..

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

We make other woman that we see on TV, facebook, magazines, and even our colleages, our comparisons instead of the woman from Proverbs. I believe we need to rally around each other, encouraging one other, sharing ideas, thoughts, and scripture that could help us to be strong, godly woman, caring for our homes. We should finish the day, thankful for the opportunity to invest in the lives of those around us, for the meals that were served, and for another day to shape, mold, and point our loved ones toward Christ.

And ladies, please do not think that I have this altogether. I've spent the last ten years trying to figure out a balance of work, life, cooking, and cleaning. It is still, and always will be, a work in progress. There are so many days that end in tears from complete exhaustion and the feelings of failure. There are days when I almost resent the family I love so dearly because the task of caring for them seems just too great. 

That is why I need Jesus so desperately. And I need you, too. I need godly women encouraging me to keep at it. I seek advice, ask for tips, ideas, recipes, and suggestions, so that I can end the day snuggling with my littles, soaking in their grins and giggles, without the blanket of burden that the enemy can easily drape over our homes.

So, I do try to "get up while it is still night and provide food for my family." (v.15) And I try, with all of God's grace, to "watch over the affairs of my household, and not eat the bread of idleness." (v. 27).

Taking care of a family is hard. Kids are messy. Husbands can be even messier. And they all need to eat. All. the. time. Taking care of humans is tough stuff. Wonderful, yes. Tough, yes. There have been many Mondays, and I know there are more to come, where there is not a home-cooked meal on the table and there are crumbs on the floor. If someone else cleans your home, and you pick up take-out every night, I believe with my whole heart that you can still fulfill Proverbs 31. I am simply sharing what works for me. 

What matters more than any cooking or cleaning you will ever do, is that you are seeking the Lord on a daily basis. Let me encourage you to make it a point to spend time with Him each morning this week. Invest all of yourself into knowing Him - and your family will reap the benefits of a mama/wife who gets her strength from the Source of Life. 

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

Ladies, we need each other in this. So, scroll down for a practical cooking and cleaning schedule. Consider next week's meals planned. Ask Jesus to live in you and through you as you give of yourself to serve your family. I am praying for you.

The schedule below has helped me care for the needs of my home without leaving me feeling completed defeated. I am praying that you can use this schedule, or one that works for you, and feel empowered and motivated to honor God through your work as wife/mom.  

Cleaning Routine (this normally takes about 45 minutes each day):
Monday - Laundry (including all sheets & towels), Sweep living room & Kitchen, vacuum bedrooms
Wednesday - Laundry, Dusting and Bathrooms, Sweep living room & kitchen, vacuum bedroom
Friday - Laundry, Clean all floors, mop, vacuum. 
*On Fridays, my kids can watch as much TV as they want. This way, I can look at a clean home for more than 42 seconds. :) Otherwise this happens within 30 minutes of a clean house:

*Note: I try to keep up with this schedule during the school year, but I'm often too tired to clean at the end of a long workday. If I do not get to clean during the week, I normally spend about two hours on Saturday mornings cleaning. Mr. Crawford will often take the kids out to do something fun so that I can get this done peacefully. Otherwise...

Cooking Schedule: 
*Note: I plan all of my meals for the upcoming week on Thursday. During the summer, I go to the grocery store on Friday mornings before my children wake up. During the school year, I try to do this on Saturday mornings. I also do as much of my meal preps on my grocery shopping days. This normally saves a great deal of time during the week.
*I only cook 3 days a week. Normally Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. During the summer, I try to make double of everything that I can and freeze it. We live by crock-pot meals when I'm working full time.

Below is my schedule for next week: 

Monday - Chili-Lime Shrimp with Quinoa & Sweet Peas (I saw this recipe in a kroger magazine,  so scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe)
Wednesday - Leftovers. If we do not have leftovers, we eat cereal, or eggs. If we have a little extra money, we go to Moe's. 
Thursday - Low-Sodium Chicken Enchiladas - Making double and freezing one. Warning - This is a pretty in-depth recipe in my book. Lots of weirdo ingredients, but I found them all at Kroger. If you are not sodium conscious, just by a couple of jars of the green salsa verde. 
Friday - We always order Chinese and the hubs and I watch a movie in the bed as we eat this EVERY friday. It's our thing.  We pick up either pizza or Chick-Fil-A for the kids.
Saturday - Leftovers, sandwiches, eggs, cereal, otherwise known as "pantry picks" :)
Sunday - Sundays are easy and we are blessed that our families cook for us. I like to contribute a dessert to our Sunday night dinners. This Sunday I am making Caramel Cobbler. 

Extra Meal - I try to have an extra meal that I make for Russ to have for lunch during the week. I have a lot of mouths to feed, so we rarely have enough leftovers for his lunch the next day. I try to always keep a pot of rice and beans, or stew, so that he has something to munch on when he comes home for lunch. This week, I'm making Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup. This is going to be a freezer meal as well. 

Chili-Lime Shrimp with Quinoa and Sweet Peas


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter (I used unsalted, of course)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined uncooked extra large shrimp, (about 16 to 20)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, adding peas during last 3 minutes of cook time.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice and chili powder and cook until bubbly. Stir in shrimp and cook, turning once, until pink, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon of the cilantro.
  3. Stir remaining 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons cilantro and 2 tablespoons lime juice into hot cooked quinoa. Arrange quinoa on plates. Top with shrimp; drizzle any sauce remaining in skillet over shrimp.


  1. Loved reading this post! Proverbs 31 is such a beautiful verse that we should seek to live out each day and also know that we are never done. There is always more to learn and areas to grow in as long as we are continually seeking to trust in and seek God! :)

  2. Yes! Thank you for your encouragement! We gotta stick together in this crazy world!

  3. Alison-thank you for writing this. We women need more of this positivity in our lives. I wanted to take a second and tell you how amazing you are! You are and have been a role model for me. I've never told you this but I've looked up to you for as long as we've been friends. You motivate me to be the best mom and wife I can because you always model that for ANYONE to see. We're nt promised roses and magic but even when times get tough, you always serve your friends and family with more than a smile-a grateful heart! We don't tell each other things sometimes for fear that it'll change the friendship but I just felt like I needed to say this today. YOU. ARE. AMAZING!