Thursday, October 27, 2011

Enterprising Spirit

“She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.”
Proverbs 31:14, 18.
This woman was an enterprising woman, approaching life and her business with an inventive, resourceful, creative, and adventurous spirit.  She is motivated by love, determined to provide the best food and clothing for her family.
I read an article that in the nineteenth century preachers would refer to this passage to reaffirm that a woman place was at home, and that she was equipped to do only “traditional women’s work.”  I’m not sure if those nineteenth century preachers were reading the same passage as I am, but while this woman excelled at managing her home and caring for her family, she is also an incredible businesswoman. 
She is a seamstress and also a businessman, selling and trading both her handiwork and other products. She is real estate developer, seeing the potential of raw land and then taking the time, labor, and resources to develop that land. This woman balances these two careers, and still has time to donate her time to her family, friends, and charities.
I look at this woman, her incredible spirit that is always looking for ways she can better serve and provide for her family, and I am in awe. But as well, I am comforted. I often feel torn, that I haven’t yet “grown up” enough to know what my career path is. My current position is best described as clerical, and while I love my career, I know that there is something else out there for me. Part of that something else I’m finding in law school. With two more years, I’m still not clear which direction my legal career will take. And yet, deep down I’ve always wanted to be an author, to write and publish books—but I have no desire to be a starving author living in a garret somewhere. I long to quilt, to throw myself headfirst into my hobby, and eventually begin selling my creations. See how scattered and overwhelmed I feel at times? That my heart seems to be pulling me in different directions when it comes to a career?

But I am encouraged by the Proverbs 31 woman. For this woman did not accomplish everything at once, but over the course of a long and very full life.
The stage I’m currently at includes a clerical job as well as law school. Someday, at a different stage, I’ll try my hand at a legal career. And someday (but not this Sunday) I’ll be a writer; and have time to set up some kind of quilting business. I wonder if Etsy will still be running in 20 years?
There is a time for everything in this life, and if I imitate the Proverbs 31 woman with her enterprising spirit, who knows where God will direct me?
I'm participating in a 31 Day Challenge to Change my World.
What am I doing for 31 Days?
Spending it with the Proverbs 31 Woman.
If you'd like to read all of my 31 Days with Prov. 31 please click here.

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