Sometimes it’s been a hard minute or day or week or month or year and you (ahem, *I*) just need a little reminder that you and I, we have friends who pray for us.
And so that little reminder gets set in something beautiful from a random walk so you can remember often and share the love.
If you’re having one of those days/weeks/months/years…I hope this encourages you. I’d love to pray with and for you…drop me a note!
My church’s women’s ministry is pretty much the best, and we completed a Philippians Bible study written by three women in our church! Anyone who sits by me at church knows I doodle my sermon notes, and the Bible study was no different! Here is a recreation of one of my doodles, taken from John 15:1-11.I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.
Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
A friend sent me a book by Margaret Becker to read a couple months ago. Reading it was like a gentle rain on my soul. One of my favorite quotes is below, because it reminds me to stop pining for the past and look forward to the future and all the awaiting adventures.
A woman of valor who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
A while back, Rachel Evans Held wrote a book titled A Year of Biblical Womanhood. I was following her blog when she was writing the book, and one thing that has stuck with me is when she learned from her new friend, Ahava, more about the woman in Proverbs 31:
“Every week at the Sabbath table, my husband sings the Proverbs 31 poem to me,” Ahava explained. “It’s special because I know that no matter what I do or don’t do, he praises me for blessing the family with my energy and creativity. All women can do that in their own way. I bet you do as well.”
In addition, she said, “eshet chayil”—woman of valor!—is invoked as a sort of spontaneous blessing in Jewish culture, Ahava said. Think of it as the Hebrew equivalent of “you go girl,” or perhaps even better, “Carry on, Warrior.”
Rachel says in another post:
Friends cheer one another on with the blessing, celebrating everything from promotions, to pregnancies, to acts of mercy and justice, and honoring everything from battles with cancer, to brave acts of vulnerability, to difficult choices, with a hearty “eshet chayil!”—woman of valor.
Instead of an impossible standard to live and fail by, it is time to make Proverbs 31 a blessing, a celebration and of what we’ve already accomplished as women of valor.
Next week is Mother’s Day. In what way(s) is your mom “eshet chayil”? How can you celebrate her?