As a wife and mother I have a lot of responsibilities. I have always felt so blessed to have a job that has so many varied aspects to it. When I read Proverbs 31 I see a very busy, talented woman! The Proverbs 31 woman has always been my goal and role model, but as I look at her I have a feeling there were some things she enjoyed doing and some things that were more of a duty than a joy.
When I was a teenager my mother tried to get me interested in learning to sew. She was a very good seamstress and so was her mother. I'm sure she wanted one of her daughters to enjoy sewing like she did. I had little to no interest in it and although I would try every once in a while I remember telling her that I was going to marry someone that could buy my clothes so I didn't have to sew. I also remember watching her rip out a seam and telling her I would throw that thing in a corner before I'd sit there and do that.
After having two little girls and a very limited budget sewing began to look like a way to dress my girls in the boutique look I liked without the boutique price tag! I wanted them to have matching dresses and I didn't want them to look like they were dressed from a rag bag. So, "yours truly" got a pattern and some fabric and began studying pattern sheets and library books. I also would call my mother (long distance now) to get advice when something went wrong.
To this day I think of my precious mother every time I rip out a seam and think she probably had to hide a smile sometimes when she saw me tearing out a seam.
The miraculous thing is that as I continued to sew I developed a deep love for it. I began to design dresses in my head and plan the next project. I began sewing for my home and sewing gifts for Christmas. I even learned how to smock and to this day a smocking project is a luxury that I am thrilled with. It's a way I reward myself--sit down and spend some time smocking a little dress.
What happened? Well, when you accept something as your responsibility and decide your going to learn to do it the very best you can you develop a love for it.
Pay close attention to what I just said and think of it in every area of your wifely, motherly, homemaking and other duties. If I am supposed to do something then I should determine I'm going to be as good at it as I can possibly be.
That includes laundry, washing dishes, cleaning my home, cooking meals, homeschooling or reading bedtime stories. Remember the verses, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;" (Eccl. 9: 10a, and "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God;" (I Cor. 10:31)? When we think of what we're doing as a service to God it makes us want to do it properly.
Have you ever tried praying over each person as you fold their clothes? Try sitting memories verses on index cards in your kitchen window to memorize as you wash dishes. Get out of the rut of making the same foods just because they're quick. Learn to make food from scratch to save money and make it taste good too! (I've been asked for the recipe more than once from items that were leftovers put together to make a meal for unexpected company!) Pray over your duties and ask the Lord to help you get good at it, to be a wise steward of what you have and to be creative and excited about what you do.
My grandmother told me that some of the most beautiful pieces of creative work came during the depression when people had to use items that were not normally used to decorate with. I still have a piece of embroidery work that when held up to the light has the writing from a feed sack on it. Don't think you can't do a proper job if your income is limited.
And always remember--the more you do it and the more you practice it, the more skilled you are going to become and the more joy you are going to get from it.
The season for family and giving is here and I always have this little feeling of excitement growing in me as it approaches. Now is a wonderful time to start practicing to do all that you do with enthusiasm and a determination to do the very best job you can do rather it's a job that you enjoy or one that you hate.
Don't get in a habit of only doing what you like and sloughing on those things that you aren't particularly interested in. Many times I see wives do a good job at keeping a clean house but a halfway job on teaching and training her children. Or maybe she's a wonderful decorator but her cooking is half-hearted or non-existent. They're all our jobs--so let's make our families (but most of all the Lord) pleased with the fact we do a good job on every job. The jobs we love and the jobs that require patience and persistence!