Saturday, January 15, 2011

Being the woman of Proverbs 31

This woman is doing "A Year of Living Biblically" for Women this year. It sounds fascinating and I'm looking forward to following her as she spend this year literally living ever commandment/direction given to women in the Bible.

She gives some examples of these commandments:
This means, among other things,  rising before dawn each day (Proverbs 31:15), submitting to my husband (Colossians 3:18), growing out my hair (1 Corinthians 11:15), making my own clothes, (Proverbs 31:22),  learning how to cook (Titus 2:3-5), covering my head when in prayer (1 Corinthians 11:5), calling Dan “master” (1 Peter 3:5-6), caring for the poor (Proverbs 31:25), nurturing a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), and camping out in the backyard for the duration of my monthly period (Leviticus 15:19-33). 
There will be a book and she is vlogging the year as well. It will certainly spark some interest and she definitely looking at it from a feminist perspective aw well.

Her project for this month is to take on Proverbs 31. Which I must say is laughable. She has a list of 17 things to do that would correspond to phrases from the set of verses describing a virtuous and admirable woman. But its her project and she's got a whole lot more than just that chapter to cover so I'm wishing her the best of luck on those goals.

For me, however, I would like to make those goals my goals for the year of 2011. It is not realistic for me to do all of it in one month, but if I can do it one year, I'd be happy.

So I think I'm going to try it.

Here are the phrases that I'll fill in with projects and plans:
In her hand she hold the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers (vs. 19); She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands (vs. 13)

I could take up spinning this year! I was introduced to it at the Camlann Medieval village last year and it seems like an activity to do with my hands that was neither difficult and at the same time soothing. This could be a good reason to turn it into my new hobby.

She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple (vs. 22)

I do have plans to make a Rennaisance dress in purple for myself with a linen chemise....

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet (vs. 21)
Knitted hats in scarlet would be easy. But mittens or gloves would be better. Is this the year I learn to knit?? 
She makes coverings for her bed (vs. 22)
My bed doesn't need any additional coverings, but I can sew pillow cases...A canopy or bed tent would be cool...

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vs. 23)

I do have a goal to craft (probably onesies and childrens' t-shirts with embroidery) and then sell them on an crafter collective of Mormon women*.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar (vs. 14) 
I will continue to shop at grocery stores... (unlike this woman

She provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls (vs. 15)
I do not have a servant girl though perhaps my mother might count since she will be earning her keep by caring for children and doing housework. And since I will be doing the cooking for her, then, yes, I would be providing portions for my "servant girl."

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard (vs. 16)
I'm planting a garden again this year!
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land (v. 23)
Not sure what this one will take shape as...though I am helping him return to "his seat among the elders" at the university as he recovers from his illness. Maybe he will receive "respect at the city gate" if we take that trip to North Carolina for him to interview with potential postdoc advisers (which he wouldn't have even considered if I hadn't suggested it...)

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy (vs. 20)
I will continue to follow the recommendation of "The Life You can Save" to give one percent of our income to aid organizations combating poverty in the developing world, as well as craft for donations to aid organizations, pay a fast offering once a month and provide whatever service I can for community members and those I come in contact with. I am considering dividing my tithing money between Humanitarian Aid and the general tithing fund of the LDS Church. Maybe I should also make a point to carry around cash that I can give to the homeless I see around the city? My typical excuse is that I don't have currency to give. Maybe carry a stock of food in the car?

All of that, over a year is doable. What I love about the list is that it has elements of Radical Homemaking and social justice as well as female empowerment, entrepreneurship and mothering.  In fact, I think I may blog about this on the WAVE Women's Service Mission.

To be fair, these also must be added:
  • She gets up while it is still dark (vs. 15)  
  • A woman who fears the Lord should be praised (vs. 30)
  • She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong (vs. 17)
  • She provides food for her family (vs. 15)
  • She watches over the affairs of the home (vs. 27)
  • She does him good, not evil (vs. 12)
  • [She] does not eat the bread of idleness (vs. 27)
  • Her lamp does not go out at night (vs. 18)
Can I just give up right now on the getting up while its still dark!?

*This is referring to a project that will be unveiled in the near future. Courtney describes it in the comments of this post at WAVE.

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