Is holiday stress creeping up on you?   Are you starting to feel a bit intimidated about all of the small details you have to take care of in order for this year’s Christmas celebration to be a success?  Will it be turkey or ham- or maybe both?  Should you invite the neighbors over for Christmas lunch or dinner (when you really wish they would stay at their own house until after the holidays)?   Will you ever help little Jr. remember all of his lines for the Christmas play?  Will you ever finish with the chore of picking, buying, and wrapping that mountain of gifts hiding in the closet?  Oh, and let’s not forget about your office potluck – or your spouse’s!   Oooohhhh, and you wouldn’t dare forget to put some cash aside in order to give your hair stylist that nice fat Christmas bonus!- Heaven knows, she deserves every penny!  Are you starting to feel a little like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10-31? (See The WORD tab at the top of this site)

The Proverbs 31 Woman completed all of her tasks with grace.  Are you feeling graceful yet?  If not, you are certainly not alone.  I remember a few years ago, after I first started attending church, we had gone over the Proverbs 31 Woman in a bible study class.  I laughed and shook my head in dismay at the description of this woman.  Who could be all of that, I wondered?  I mentioned in class she had a house full of maids who assisted her in doing all these things- that was the only possible thing that could explain this superwoman of the bible.  I asked God, “Who could ever live up to that?  Who could ever do all that- living in today’s world?”  I simply did not believe it was possible. 

Then, something happened.  A few weeks after my questioning the Lord about this virtuous woman, I had an encounter like I had never had before.  It was night time and I had just walked into my bedroom with some laundry.  All of a sudden, I had this strong feeling to kneel down by the bed and pray.  As I did so, I heard these words,     

The Virtue of a woman is not to be measured by the quality or quantity of the tasks she completes, but by the attitude in her heart as she endeavors to do something out of her love for God.”              

I immediately got up and wrote it down.  It was as if a light bulb had suddenly been turned on concerning the Proverbs 31 Woman.  I had been focusing on all of the wrong things.  I was looking at all of the things she was doing -the number of tasks she had taken on and even how good she was at everything she attempted.  I never knew until that moment that it was her heart’s motivation that God was concerned with.  He wasn’t looking at the things she accomplished, He was looking at her motives-  the reason why she was doing all of these things.  I believe her heart’s motive was how she was able to do so many things- her love for God was the motivation and foundation for her life.  The Proverbs 31 Woman is a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord. Nothing can stop this woman unless she lets it.  All doors are open to her and great and mighty things await her.  Her love for God moves her and her faith in God moves Him.  Together, they move mountains

So, don’t let the stress of the season come upon you!  Don’t get caught up in the small details and little things that may not happen just the way you envisioned them.  Focus on the big picture- which in this case, happens to be a little picture- it’s the image of what’s written on your heart…. I praise God that my virtue is a matter of the heart…this season and every season, all that matters is the heart

For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,

 but the Lord looketh on the heart. 

I Samuel 16:7