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Make Lists and Shop to the Glory of God

Shopping and caring for yourself do not have to be selfish or unholy. The Proverbs 31 woman shows us how we can make lists and even shop to the glory of God.  #Biblestudy #Proverbs #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Welcome back to Day 3 of our in-depth study of the Proverbs 31 woman!

If you are looking for the GMG resources and Bible Reading Plan for the week -> click here.  If you are looking for Day 1 of this series -> click here and Day 2 -> click here.

Before we go forward with our study I want to pause and encourage those who are feeling discouraged.  Some of you have commented here or out on social media or privately emailed me –  expressing your discouragement and feeling like the bar is just too high in this passage.  It feels unattainable.

First, perfection is never the goal.  No one lived a perfect life except Jesus.  It is His living and dying and rising again that we put all of our hope in.  His blood covers our sins and shortcomings.

We all stumble.

None of us are perfect.

We need the help of God in our lives not just to live out Proverbs 31 but to live out all of His Word. We are called to love our enemies, help the poor, think pure thoughts, spread the gospel, be forgiving, be joyful, be gentle, be self-controlled, be at peace and the list goes on.

All of this – apart from Christ – impossible!

But with Christ all things are possible.  He makes old things new.  Old habits of laziness can turn into habits of diligence!  Old habits of not fearing the Lord and His Word can turn into obedience and surrendering our lives!  Cold, disordered homes can turn into warm, cozy havens!  All through the power of Christ’s work inside of us.  Oh I pray God is at work in our lives this week!

And that brings us to today’s reading.  We are going to see the Proverbs 31 woman embrace mundane tasks, open her arms to the poor and prepare her house for the winter.

Let’s look at today’s reading in Proverbs 31:19-22 and pray and ask the Lord to mold us into the woman He wants us to be:

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.

I can’t get over the mundane work the Proverbs 31 woman does.  In  her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle.  She spins her own thread to use to sew her family’s clothing (verse 19)!

And I think sewing a button on is hard work! lol!

Oh my, is this a mundane task!

I feel quite sure that she did not enjoy every second of this – in the same way that I don’t enjoy every second of folding clothes BUT she has a willing heart.  She is willing to do it because hidden within the mundane is a treasurethe treasure of making her home a haven for her own family.

Next we see in verse 20, she goes from using her hands for mundane tasks to using her hands to serve the needy.

The Proverbs 31 woman works inside and outside the home (as we saw in yesterday’s verses) and she serves inside and outside the home.

Remember she did not do all of these things on the same day or in the same week. This is what she did over a lifetime.

She was humble, willing to do work in the home yet she was a woman of influence.  She had compassion on those in need and was willing to give of her time and resources to help others.  She took care of those in her home first but then she was careful to be sure she reserved extra time and resources for others.

Consider, how can you help the needy in your life?

Perhaps there’s a family who could use a dinner delivered , maybe there’s a mom who could use your hand me down clothes or you could donate money to a charity you know will put your money or resources to good use.

Remember this is not for the woman who is in an insanely busy season of life or who is struggling financially.  Do not let this heap guilt on you if you are unable to serve others outside the home right now.  Another season will come when you can and I pray you will!

A godly woman has a compassionate and willing heart.

The next thing we see in today’s reading is how the Proverbs 31 woman dressed and dressed her family.  She gave special attention to the quality of their clothes and their bedding.  She met the basic needs of her family with detail and care.

Join me on this video as we discuss the nobility of clothes shopping and clean sheets!

As verse 21 says, the Proverbs 31 woman is prepared for snow.

She is prepared for the change of seasons and is careful to be sure that every single person in her household has everything they need. There’s no last minute scurrying for mittens, hats or boots – she is organized.

She also takes care of herself (verse 22).   She doesn’t dress in rags, she dresses in fine linen and purple!  She spends money and time on herself!

It’s okay to take the time and money (if your budget allows) to purchase a few special items in your closet.  Dressing beautifully is not unholy – unless you are over budget – but in the video I explain that much of the clothes I wear have been found on sale racks, are from consignment stores or I received free in clothes swaps.  Where there’s a will there’s a way. 😉

Here’s Today’s Proverbs 31 Challenge:

Pray and ask God to help you see the needs of those around you.  Is there someone in your home that needs new shoes, socks, underwear or clothing?  Perhaps that someone is YOU!  Maybe a new purple shirt would be nice? Lol!

Pull out a piece of paper and make a list of your family’s needs. Fall is coming. For moms with kids going back to school – there’s shopping to be done. Get on it now so you don’t feel ten steps behind in August.  Even if you don’t make the purchases this week, having the list is sometimes half the battle!

Also, assess the bedding of everyone who sleeps under your roof (including your own 😉 ). Does anyone need new sheets or a pillow?  Does anyone need their sheets washed?   Put it on the list. Get it done!

Now look at your calendar and schedule a few shopping days.  Shopping for your family is hard work and it is noble work.

Let’s prepare for the changing seasons ahead and remember to look out for those outside our home we can bless as well.

Let’s make lists and shop to the glory of God!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime In**

**For a more in-depth look at today’s passage I encourage you to read pages 20-26 in my {free} Proverbs 31 eBook. 

Tomorrow I’ll be back here on the blog and we will be looking at verses 23-26 in Proverbs 31 together.  I hope you will come back and join us again!

30 Comments

  1. Hey Courtney ~

    Thanks for your gentle challenge and sweet encouragement! Here’s a link to the best all round, go-to list for taking care of our families’ endless needs ~

    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2011/01/oodles-of-lists.html

    Whether shopping, researching, fixing, or simply getting things done, this is a list that can’t be beat! I love that everything we need to do is in one easy-to-see place.

    It’s a list-maker’s dream!

    ;-}

    1. Thankyou so much for the oodles list! I so need this! At the moment I just have an “INBOX” that gets seen to about once a month when it is overflowing!

  2. Hello Courtney,
    I hope you feel better soon. I will be praying for you. I love listening/reading your application of the verses in Proverbs 31. Your perspective provides balance. She is delicate and strong, self-seeking and serving, home maker and business woman. I love your statement that as women we create art in different ways. Knowing this, I can lighten my worries because no piece of art is ever the same.

  3. I find that I only get a little while out of my really cheap clothes… here in Australia we get the worst quality stuff in Kmart and Target. What I am now attempting to do is save all those little bits of money that I would have spent here and there on cheap items, and I am trying to buy the clearance versions of the more expensive things. I am a bigger girl so this means aiming at stores like City Chic (Who have an amazing online clearance section so I don’t have to hit the shops as regularly!) and Autograph. Once I have a few solid pieces that wash really well (I have been smashing mine in daily wear, cleaning in it and then washing and drying it and they stand up so well!) I know that I will be throwing less clothes away!

    I have also found that these favourite stores of mine have a following on Facebook that makes local groups where people can swap and sell their items that they want to move on from! This is actually where I get alot of my clothes from! All you have to do is go to the search bar and type on your favourite brand’s name and look for the words “Buy sell” along with it and you will find many groups with people willing to swap or sell to you!

  4. It is evident that we women all remain a work in progress…. and Go’d gives us His guidance to get the work done well. Father today I thank you for the media that has made being part of this possible and thank you Lord for many others along with Courtney who choose to make Your life’s lessons available to us in simple terms. Let us indeed choose to walk daily with the king.

  5. I just wanted to say that I like having the discussion question of the day in the article. It helps instead of going back to your beginning of the week article to find what it was.

    I’ve enjoyed the extra time going through Proverbs 31. It can be overwhelming but I appreciate your encouragement that she did this stuff over a lifetime. I enjoy cleaning my home. Sure it can get mundane but I want to keep a clean home not only to show appreciation to God for this blessing but also for my husband who works hard to provide us with our home.

  6. Well I will try again….my post from Monday and this morning said “error 500 or page not available”. So, my post will probably be different word wise. I am preparing for the fall by making sure coats still fit and boots don’t have holes in them or soles falling off. I find I am definitely not the Proverbs 31 woman. I truly am enjoying these videos and the in depth study. I am a major keeper of stuff, so anything that comes in this house rarely goes out unless it’s truly trash so I am overcome with stuff. I have been working hard this past week to go through stuff and really get rid of things. I am not a good clothes person, homemaker, baker or cook. I haven’t found my thing I guess. Again, thank you for these videos. I am learning a lot and my cleaning outfits, don’t look, they are pretty much rags.

  7. I wanted to make a comment on those who have been discouraged. I am struggling financially and suffer from mental illness as does my husband and I have 5 kids in a tiny house. Clearly I am not at a point where I can do everything listed in proverbs 31 but that doesn’t discourage me. Like you said, no one is perfect, these are just things to strive for. Proverbs 31 was originally written for men to look for in a woman, not as a list of things women must do from God. No one is marking a checklist to see if you’ve done everything and you aren’t loved less by God if you don’t attain them all. Pick the ones you think you can and should work on first and work on those ones but don’t worry if you have trouble attaining certain points. God loves you anyway.

    1. No one or no thing is perfect. This is something to strive for. Everyone is different and God planned it that way. What suits one family would not suit another. Be yourself. God loves you all.

    2. God bless you, Kathleen. I am inspired by your openness, faith and hopefulness. I pray that you and your family enjoy God’s special unexpected blessings. Your family is so blessed to have you as their mom and wife. Hugs!
      ~~Stacy

  8. I liked this quote from the ebook, “her life was one of active service to our Lord and that she did have beautiful hands because they did beautiful things for His glory.”

    I love that. I want my hands to be working to do things for the glory of God and for His kingdom.

    I am going to take on the challenge of asking myself if I am working “faithfully with my hands in my daily life as an act of worship to my Lord”

    Thanks Courtney

  9. I have typed comments 3 times and nothing will go through…always says “page not available” “error…” “too many requests” or something else so I don’t know if I should type my comment again or not.
    I feel like I am getting ready for fall by making sure coats still fit everyone (yes even my kids in their 20’s) and boots don’t have holes or soles falling off. I am truly enjoying this in-depth study and the videos and find I fall so short of the Proverbs 31 woman. Anything that comes into this house stays…I am not good at getting rid of stuff but am working on it. Took on a major cleaning project that for some would be a day thing but for me it’s taking about a week. I am trying to be very diligent and part with stuff I can’t use or won’t use. Again, thank you so much for doing these videos and don’t look while I am cleaning as my clothes are rags….

  10. Thank you so much, Courtney, for your wise words. I have really enjoyed this study. I always thought the Proverbs 31 Woman was unattainable for me. But after doing this study, I’m finding that I can strive to be that woman and it is attainable. In fact, I am already doing some of the stuff she does. This encourages me and makes me want to do more! I also just read in my LAB that the Proverbs 31 Woman may not be one woman but a composite portrait of womanhood. So for those of you that are discouraged that you can’t attain all of this (it is a lot!), don’t despair! And remember this wasn’t done in one day. This is a lifetime! But we should strive to be like her and if we mess up, tomorrow is another day!

  11. Thank you for your encouraging words, Courtney. I am an older woman and can tell you there are definitely seasons in life. During the pre marriage season, I had a lot of time for helping others but squandered it on “me”. During the early years of marriage, I spent my time devoted to husband and children using any left over time for my church and friends. I home schooled my children and worked part time, so left over time was not much. Now in later life, I find my family needs me less and there is time to devote to others. These life seasons have also applied to finances. During my working years, I confess I did not make wise choices in my spending. Now, I find being frugal a challenge I enjoy. I plant a garden every year and am currently canning vegetables for the winter, and making jams and preserves. I love to knit, crochet and cross stitch. I do some sewing as well. Friends love the baby gifts I make for the cost of 2 balls of yarn.
    You can’t attain the Proverbs 31 woman characteristics all at once but over a lifetime you can work at it, and when you look back you’ll be amazed at what you have accomplished. Just remember – you won’t achieve perfection this side of heaven,
    and it is in the striving that you receive your reward. Your family will eventually praise you, and if they don’t, know that you have someone cheering for you in heaven – Jesus.

  12. I am loving this in depth study of Prov 31, it’s so encouraging and takes the pressure off of trying to be exactly like her. This time around I am really encouraged of the fact that I will never be who she is and that’s ok. Because God wants me to be who I am in Him. Ok so how I’m preparing for fall. Going through the closet seeing what my girls have and will need for school and for fall and winter. I’m seeing what’s on sale right now for clothes and school supplies. I keeping my eyes out while at stores for deals. We are so a,Ike Courntey in the fact that I do the same thing while shopping. I’m a frugal shopper and only scan the end caps and backs of stores for clearance sections. I love to,save money especially on new things. I also shop thrift stores, yard sales, and resale stores for myself and lil ones. I have a teenager so she likes things new but in teaching her how to shop and save. I really am loving this session, can’t wait for the next. Thanks for all you do I encouraging us to be women of God and always pointing us to Him. So blessed by you.
    Blessings, Adrienne R

  13. I would like to comment to all those that are feeling discouraged. As women, we all feel discouraged and overwhelmed at times. We want things to be perfect always. My Bible is great at breaking things down and interpreting things to help give you a better understanding. This is what I read that helped to make me feel better and not so overwhelmed. It goes as such.

    – The woman described in this chapter has outstanding abilities. Her family’s social position is high. In fact, she may not be one woman at all – she may be a composite portrait of ideal womanhood. Do not see her as a model to imitate in every detail, your days are not long enough to do everything she does! See her instead as an inspiration to be all you can be. We can’t be just like her, but we can learn from her industry, integrity, and resourcefulness. (Taken word for word from my Bible)

    I hope that helps to make others feel better and not so overwhelmed, thank you and I will leave you now to go fold the clothes I have sitting in a pile that needs attended to…LOL 😉

    Have a Blessed Day

  14. Thanks Courtney for your words of encouragement. I am now taking care of my three year old grandson so I’m in the process of making a list of the clothes he will need and looking for sales and thrift stores for the things he needs and get the some summer things for next year 8n sale. Its not easy especially on a budget.

  15. Loved this post!
    Over the past several years I have developed what my husband affectionately calls my “Umbrella Ministry”. We live in Central Florida where it rains nearly daily. It’s just a way of life here so when I leave the house I always have a small umbrella in my purse. My umbrellas are never overly pricey because I don’t usually have them more than a few days. I give them away. It blesses me to know that even their simplest needs are met just the same as mine are. One of the more recent times I did this I was talking into a store when a woman was standing just staring at the rain. I could tell she was trying to determine how long it was going to rain. I walked up to her and offered my umbrella. At first she refused because “what about you?” I told her that it blessed me to help her out this way. She still was worried about me so my husband sweetly chimed in-“please don’t worry about her, I’ll get her a new one. It makes her happy to do this.” I got the sweetest hug and informed that polka dots were her favorite. LOL My point is not to brag about myself, but about how something as simple as an umbrella from the sale rack is a blessing too. We are blessed to be a blessing!

    1. I love this! Thank you for sharing this Teri – very inspiring! If the everyone in the world was this thoughtful – it would be a better place.

      Much Love,
      Courtney

  16. Courtney–

    This set of verses was encouraging–I am doing something right!!

    I, too, shop a LOT at consignment shops. I have been pretty good at keeping my husband and son clothed in clean, functional, and even pretty cool clothes. In fact, I need to give a LOT more of my son’s too-small clothing away so it can bless others.

    I have my son’s back-to-school list for first grade–I will get cracking on that soon! He is in need of a bigger bicycle and hockey helmet–I am looking on eBay and Amazon as well as locally to find what he will need to play safely.

    I no longer buy a lot of things for myself–I really have plenty (and I have a mom who still takes care of me, too), but I do have to dress well, since I work outside our home. I find that I have a few “go-to” pieces that I often use, anyway–I just need to get that gumption to get rid of some of the extra.

    God is working on me. I will be able to get there in this lifetime! 🙂

    My six-year-old still tells me I am the best mommy he could ever have–I will cherish that, as I know that season will end, and a new one will begin, when he may not say that so much!

    Blessings!
    Carissa in eastern Iowa

    Maybe I can do this, after all.

  17. I’m loving this entire study! One thing that keeps standing out to me, however, is that the Proverbs 31 Woman is a QUEEN! ALL of the work she is doing could have easily been handed off to servants. Yes, she had servant girls that worked for her. But SHE was doing just as much work herself! SHE was tending to the needs of her family! I just think that is so cool! I have always been inspired to be a Proverbs 31 Woman. But the fact that she was a queen just puts a whole new perspective on it for me.

  18. I will admit I had been slacking in my readings 🙁 I had been letting life get the better of me and getting down about things. Luckily I have a wonderful co-worker who picked me back up and said that now was a great time to get back into my readings this week because we were starting Proverbs 31. Am I ever so glad that I have her as a co-worker and friend! This chapter has just been lifting my spirits! I feel so much more in touch with God than I have in well over a month! I feel so blessed to be a part of this blog and to read the word of God! Thank you!

  19. I am purchasing school supplies for a friend’s children who live in another country. I will mail them to her in her home country…this way I know my donations are appreciated and I’d rather give to someone I personally know.

    I will go back-to-school shopping in a few weeks…I have to work my purchasing around my paychecks. I’m a woman who works outside the home plus live paycheck to paycheck, not proud of that but that’s how it is right now. My 11 yr old will get a few new things…he doesn’t need a whole lot as his other ‘good’ clothing is perfectly fine 😉 A new pair of sneakers will be about it plus a few new teeshirts.

    I recently bought a new bed (for a new beginning that never panned out)..it’s a King Sized bed..upgraded from a Queen. So with that came new bedding and pillows, so I’m good there.

  20. And you wore Purple just like the Proverbs 31 Woman! You look So Pretty in Purple too! I hope you feel better!

  21. I just read an article about meanings of colors in the Bible. I haven’t seen anyone mention this. But, scarlet (red) means blood/redemption. Purple means kingship. So I think the Proverbs 31 Woman made sure her family knew about God, they were all redeemed and they were part of the heavenly kingship. Am I right on this? Have you heard this before? Thanks for all you do!!!

    – Ashley Bush

  22. I think the point of this chapter is that we do what we have prayerfully considered to be important in taking care of our own family and community. We will have the energy we need,through God’s power, to do the things that are most important for our families. We shouldn’t get bogged down in details or feel like we need to do what others are doing. For example, a meal plan is only good if it’s helpful for you! (I use one). But if it’s stressful to you to have one or if it’s just a means of having control over your family instead of a helpful tool for cooking, then it’s not serving a good purpose and shouldn’t be used. We just need to be careful to pray about how we can serve our family and friends and not feel guilty about all the things we don’t have energy for, because maybe those things aren’t important for your family anyway!

  23. I am so thankful that God has given me the ability to meet the needs of my husband and my children daily. My only struggle is that I cannot make the transition to care for and nurture myself. I’m not sure why this is, but I feel such guilt when it comes to looking after and meeting my own needs.

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