She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
But when you get down to verse 18 it says...
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
This woman isn't human! She stays up late and gets up before dawn? I've tried that time and again in my quest to be the perfect Biblical wife and this always becomes a stumbling block for me. I can do it for a few days, but after three days (ask my family;) I'm done and ready to be committed to the Home for Biblical Failures. I am tired, crabby and open for attack.
After years of me trying to burn my candle at both ends I think He has finally given me an insight that allows me to go to bed at a good time without feeling guilty that I'm not living up to Mama Lemuel's standards (thankfully my own mother in law is much more relaxed - thanks Mom! ;)
One night I was pulling the old "Late to bed, early to rise makes me productive and eventually fried" routine. Everyone else was fast asleep and I was tired myself, but as the Mighty Proverbs 31 Wannabe Woman I was pushing on.
I was also trying to "watch over the affairs of my household" by saving electricity so I had turned off all the lights but the night lights. Walking through a dimly lit room I repeated the phrase "and her lamp does not go out at night" to myself as my inspirational mantra to stay up just a little longer. "How did she do it, Lord?" I asked Him for the millionth time.
"Why do you burn a nightlight?" He asked.
"So that I can always be ready to jump up if something happens during the night." I answered.
"So did she."
Like a lightening bolt illuminating a stormy night my brain lit up with comprehension. It doesn't say anywhere in Proverbs 31 that she stayed up all night, or didn't sleep. It only says that her lamp doesn't go out. She was always at the ready, like any good household manager, but in the meantime she was probably sensibly resting up for another productive and happy day!
No wonder her children could arise up and call her blessed. She was rested.
Now, of course, I've gone to bed early every night and woken up before dawn to jumpstart my day with a smile and a flourish... or at least that's the plan. Actually, I'm so accustomed to crowding "just one more thing" into my evenings that I still get to bed later then I'd like. I am doing better, however. Instead of going to bed at 2 am I am hitting the sack around midnight.
Every great now and then I actually go to bed by 9:00pm (my goal). The next morning I am always up early, cheerful and bright and the day that follows is always full of blessing and joy. If I can only remember...
Oops! Speaking of, it's already past my bedtime. Let me know what you think of the Proverb 31 Woman's sleeping habits compared to your own. In the meantime.... G'night!