The Proverbs 31 Project: Her children rise up and call her happy…

Proverbs 31 Project

Our poster today is Jenna who has mad coding skillz because I didn’t have to even *TOUCH* her piece — I just cut and pasted it without having to mess with with aligning pictures or anything.

I did something really original with my Catholic mom blog: I named it after a verse in Proverbs 31…I know, right? But, there is a reason we are all so in love with this Proverb: we often complain that being a wife and mother doesn’t come with instructions, but here they are. It is laid out pretty clearly. Our pesky human-ness just makes it a little difficult to follow.

So, which verse is my blog named for? Proverbs 31:28. And I like a lesser used translation, so my verse is from the good ol’ NRSV.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her happy;
her husband too, and he praises her:
29 ??Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.??

Her children rise up

Let’s start with a hard one. For me, this is THE hardest. This part implies that the mother is already awake when her children rise. She didn’t set an alarm with good intentions only to turn it off without a second thought each and every morning. Who would do that? I’m sorry. I would. I would do that.

(Not So) Pro-Tip: The only thing that has ever even come close to motivating me is this amazing post. Genius, seriously.

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and call her happy

If someone asked your kids to describe you, what would they say? I’m pretty sure they would say something of the vague variety (mommy is nice but she yells sometimes). Take that with a grain of salt; they have no idea what they are talking about half of the time. But, what about when they get older? How will they remember you? Always sitting on the couch with a laptop? (Mine might…) Always complaining/procrastinating/making excuses/fill in your own blank?

On top of considering our children’s views of our own happiness, what are we teaching them about theirs? Do we show them an example of happiness so they know how to deal with other emotions? Everyone experiences the whole gamut of emotions, of course, but a truly happy person can gracefully deal with moments (and sometimes long periods) of sadness, despair, anger and the like.

(Not So) Pro-Tip: People often put a lot of emphasis on finding your passion in life, getting a hobby, surrounding yourself with good friends. It’s not always that easy. Instead, find the happiness in the mundane. Instead of dreading and then rushing through the dishes, focus on the moment you are in. That is what you are doing in that moment. Be there.

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her husband too

If you stay at home, does your evening look like this too: Husband comes home: “How was your day?” You say, “The kids were insane. I’m so tired. I can’t take this anymore. I need some me-time. Just don’t talk to me for a while.” Is that just me? I really try not to do this, but it happens. And, honestly, if it’s not every single day, Mike doesn’t really mind. In fact, he is super helpful. But, that kind of attitude easily becomes habit, especially if your husband is the very first adult-ish person you’ve seen all day. I don’t ever want to hide or bury my feelings when it comes to Mike, but overall, I want him to see me as a happy individual.

(Not So) Pro-Tip: Remind yourself that your husband doesn’t deserve your leftovers. Start your conversation with the happiness of your day before you lay it on him.

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and he praises her

Is there any better feeling than when your husband is proud of something you do? Maybe I sound stupid saying that, but for me, it’s true. I mean, I married him for a reason: I really love him a whole lot. And, when someone you’re that crazy about loves what you’re doing and how you’re living, it’s pretty cool. Mike loves to brag about my blog and my freelancing. He thinks it’s so cool that I am able to stay home, do what I love and make money in the process. And, not so secretly, I get a little kick out of hearing him do it.

But, what about when no one notices what you’re doing each day? No one thanks you for dinner, for changing the empty toilet paper roll, for wiping that sticky crap off the wall. That’s usually the case, amiright? They don’t even notice, let alone praise you and give you all of the trophies and certificates you undoubtedly deserve. This part of the verse is asking a lot in regards to those feelings. Even if we aren’t getting the accolades, we need to do it anyway.

(Not So) Pro-Tip: This is so so so hard, but I try to keep one idea in mind (and I’m not saying I do this with extreme grace or even an ounce of it): we aren’t doing these things for the praise, or to make ourselves feel useful or even for our family believe it or not. We’re doing it for Him. You know who I mean. Him. We are taking care of our loved ones because God calls us to; it’s our vocation as wives and mothers. Darn, I know.

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Oops. How did that get in there?

So, how do you live this verse? Any more pro-ish tips than I gave?

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Jenna is a former HS English teacher turned stay-at-home-mom to her daughter Ellen and stay-at-home uterus to a baby boy unnamed at the moment. She spends her days taking care of her charges, freelancing and creating content for her blog, Call Her Happy. Sometimes she cleans things too.