I'm truly enjoying this series because I'm as much speaking to myself as I am writing to encourage others. All too often, I am aware that I do make self-sacrificing choices but I don't always have a joyful, giving heart-attitude. Sometimes I just want a moment where no one is asking for my attention or asking for a clean shirt or wondering where dinner is. On the surface, we might be quick to assure each other that these feelings are okay and normal and that we deserve "me time" but the heart of the matter is that life isn't about me but about what I can do for those around me while serving Christ. A woman who has set her mind and heart toward being the Biblical wife and mother she has been called to be will inevitably show herself to be self-sacrificing. While this virtue may not come so naturally to most of us, with determination (desire to do what is right) and prayer, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
"She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day's work for her servant girls."
Proverbs 31:15 NLT
"She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast." I am not an early-riser by choice. I'm not exactly a night owl either but I just can easily sleep 8-9 hours at night without even trying. My husband has to be at work at 6am and often the boys wake up about the time he is leaving which is 5:45am. I send them back to their room until "morning" arrives and that is when my morning starts. I don't typically make breakfast before my husband leaves for work but that is partially due to my still being in bed and partially due to that he only gets up with just enough time to get ready to leave for work. Our routine is that I set out clean work clothes for him each night and I set with them a breakfast bar (or leave hard-boiled eggs in the fridge) that he can take with him or quickly eat as he is getting dressed. He appreciates this simple breakfast and doesn't ask me to make a hot breakfast because he doesn't want to get up at 5am. The kids and I usually eat breakfast around 8am and I rotate between serving cold cereal, baked goods (made ahead of time), eggs, and oatmeal. My children are only 4, 3, and 2 but I imagine that our routine will evolve much as the children get older and require a more hearty breakfast and if my husband's work schedule changes and he works later in the morning. We often have heartier breakfast on the weekend.
"Plan the day's work for her servant girls." Obviously, most of us do not have servants to assist us in our household duties. However, I think we can make this verse applicable by realizing that she is simply delegating work using the resources she has at hand. We can do the same! We can assign morning chores to our offspring, set bread to bake in our bread machines, start laundry in the washing machine, and set up direct bill paying for our bills online. Those are, of course, just examples of ways to delegate work using what resources you already have but there are many other possibilities. We have many modern helpers designed to make short-work of household chores and we are much better off getting them at least started first thing in the morning.
"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed
and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed."
Mark 1:35 ESV
It is a great thing to rise up early each morning with the tasks of the day on your mind and jumping right in to preparing a nutritious and hearty breakfast for your family. However, above all, to be truly self-sacrificing your actions should come from a heart that is willingly seeking to serve her God and her family. To pursue this state of heart it stands to reason that we should take the example of another early riser - Jesus. Before preparing breakfast and considering the daily house work, read the Bible and pray. No matter what your daily situation is, He will provide you with the strength to fulfill His calling for you when you seek Him each morning!
For more on this series: Feminine Behaviors - 1) She Is Trustworthy, 2) Helpful and Attentive, 3) She Willingly Works Hard, and 4) She Is Resourceful.
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