The Excellent Wife Challenge… Day 1

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First off I want to say… I am NOT an excellent wife. This is an area I am majorly struggling with, but that God is changing in me. I am on a journey, and am inviting you to go along with me as we discover just who that woman is in Proverbs 31, and how we could possibly even dream to be like her.  I want this to be open to discussion but please be kind in your words, just because you don’t agree with something said, doesn’t mean you have to be mean.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious then jewels… This verse is found in that daunting chapter of Proverbs 31. I used to think that this person was not real… she was unattainable, unreachable, a joke. This chapter speaks about how this woman rises early, takes care of her her own needs, takes care of others in her family and those surrounding her, works hard all day, and stays up late at night. She dresses well, is a blessing to all those around her, and is completely trusted by her husband.

That doesn’t sound like ANYONE I know… definitely not me! Until I really thought about it. It is not about all that she does.. it’s the WAY she does it. She doesn’t grumble or complain, she doesn’t let herself go in order to attempt to keep up with it all, and she must not nag and argue or her family wouldn’t be blessing her early in the morning! She works willingly and she settles for nothing but the best for her family. She searches even far away lands for the things they need. She feeds her family wholesome, healthy meals. She dresses well and sees that her household does the same. When Christians dress poorly, we are a poor witness for Christ. God cares about details… just look around you if you don’t believe this. Even something as tiny as a caterpillar who has over 200 muscles in his head shows you that God is all about the details.

But how do we do all this, when we are already trying to scratch by, saving coupons and pinching pennies?? Well, since God cares about the details, allow Him to take care of the details. With our family of 8, we rarely spend more then $1,000 a year on clothing. Once a year (with our tax returns) we will go out and buy each child $100 worth of new clothes and new shoes. Then Hubby and I get new clothes with the rest of our budget. The rest of the year if someone needs something, we find it at a thrift store. We do not buy shoes used. Our feet are important and we take care of them… they will take us wherever we go in life. They deserve good care. But we also do not spend a fortune on shoes.. I usually hit the BOGO sale at Payless. Their kids shoes are almost unbeatable, cheap, and I have been told by more then one foot doctor that they have the best pediatric shoes available. I can not tell the you number of times we have been in need, prayed about it and then found a bag of needed clothing on our doorstep or even in our car after church. Once our youngest son absolutely HAD to have a button up Hawaiian shirt..  I mean it was life and death.. had to have. We couldn’t afford the $30 ones at the local clothing store… I hated telling him no, but what could I do. Then I had a bag of outgrown clothes we took to donate.. guess what was hanging in the thrift store window, that was GIVEN to us free in exchange for our donation!! Not only a bright yellow (Juice Boxes favorite color!) Hawaiian shirt, but one that looked just like one of Grandpa’s just in a different color. His year was made that day! And I had nothing to do with it… I wanted to just throw the clothes away… it was a friend that mentioned to me that the thrift store was sorely in need of boy clothes! God took care of the detail.. Juice Box still wears that all important shirt whenever it’s clean.

Recently I went to (alone!) our local thrift store where they have $5 a bag sales all the time and filled a bag with nicer jeans and tops that FIT me for $5. I got three pairs of jeans, four tops, a cute sweater and three adorable skirts..that all mixed and matched, I was being moderate.. several outfits that I could put together to make different outfits while using the same clothes. No need to fill up a closet! I rolled them up to fit the most I could in the bag. The lady behind the counter had no problem with it, even stuffing in another top she had in the back that she thought went with one of the skirts, while mentioning that it was great that other lady had just donated all those clothes that fit me perfectly and were brand name! I now had the nicer clothes for my challenge. God took care of that detail…

There was the time I was given 15 boxes full of baby girl clothes and brand new shoes.. sizes newborn through 4T… the day after I found out we were having a girl, and I hadn’t told ANYONE yet! I have not had to buy a single piece of clothing for Putter’s. I have bought some, just because I could, but I haven’t HAD to. I remember at one time wondering HOW in the world we were going to take care of this added blessing.. what could God be thinking giving us more?? We barely manage with the ones we have!! WE have no clothes, no blankets, no nothing!! Juice Box was several years old, and I had given away ALL my baby items.  A few days later a friend showed up with her van packed with those boxes… God took care of that detail.

I felt like I was being led to cloth diaper, breastfeed, wear my baby, and all these other things, I had no idea about and had not done with my first five babies. I had no idea where to start, how to afford it, who to talk to.. and suddenly I run across my ex-sister in laws’ facebook page, where I see that she is starting the same journey, and is far enough ahead of me for me to follow… and so begin this blog, and my journey in cloth and natural parenting all practically for free! God took care of that detail.

So you might ask.. how am I going to do this challenge.. the only thing IN my closet is sweat pants and tee shirts, holey jeans and moth eaten sweaters, except that bridesmaid dress I wore back in the 90’s and it’s Pepto Bismol pink!!  Well maybe your being called to bless your husband another way this week… maybe he enjoys home cooked meals but you don’t like to cook. Maybe the greatest thing he can come home to are clean kitchen counters, but you always focus on getting the floors clean,  maybe he wants chocolate cake for dessert but you feel like making cookies.. ask him how you can bless him today… and make his day then let God take care of the rest…

So today’s challenge.. think of times when God has taken care of details.. and take time to thank Him for that.. then ask Him today to take care of any details you need taken care of for this week. Then trust Him to do it!  Work to bless your husband in a way that makes him feel like you put forth an effort JUST FOR HIM… Have fun!

Be Blessed…
~Katie

Don’t forget there will be discussions on the facebook page, to ask questions, let others know how your week is going, get encouragement and prayer, or anything else having to do with this challenge!

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5 responses

  1. I'm new to following your blog and really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. Is nice to know other families struggle, yet are blessed too. May God continue to view your family!

  2. >I'm new to following your blog and really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. Is nice to know other families struggle, yet are blessed too. May God continue to view your family!

  3. I can completely relate to the Lord’s amazing provision! I have half the amount of kids you do, but I have enought stuff to probably cloth 6 😉 We very, very rarely have to buy any clothing between hand me downs and very generous grandparents! Speaking of generous grandparents, they called today to say that they want to pay to fix the brakes on my car. God is amazing, and his mercies are new every morning. On top of all this, my husband was blessed by the effort I made today. Thank you for spurring me on to love and good deeds.

    In Christs Love, Robin

  4. I just commented on your facebook page regarding this but I too can speak into God’s provisions! My husband and I both work in urban ministry full time so we don’t have a large income. However, we have never had to go with out anything that we have NEEDED, note that I didn’t say wanted 🙂 There are a lot of things that would be nice to have but are not a need. Our daughter is allergic to disposable diapers so even though I had never thought I would cloth diaper, we started that journey with her. I am now using cloth on our middle son and our little girl to save more $ by not buying pull ups…. God provided for us to have 15 cloth diapers and even though I have to wash every day, I am so blessed to have those 15 diapers, so that my daughter will have a healthy heiney 🙂 We are blessed to be given clothing by good friends from our church that their children have grown out of. We were even blessed by my husband’s aunt with a van for our growing family to use when after having #3 we would not fit in our car. So many times my parents have said “why do you continue to work where you work and scrape by when you could make double the money somewhere else?” to that I can only say that this is where The Lord has us and HE has never let us go without. Our budget never adds up but somehow the ends always meet each month. My husband was also happy to see the extra effort I made today and that convicted me that I NEED to take that little bit of extra time to let him know that he is a priority in my life 🙂 Thanks!

    God Bless,
    Laura

  5. You are amazing and you made me cry! But, I want to try and do this. I am not married. But maybe this is the answer to my relationship troubles with my boyfriend. I want to walk this with you! I look forward to more posts! 🙂