“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” (Proverbs 31:29)
I was 12 years old when I met her – the anonymous “Proverbs 31 Woman” and I knew almost immediately that SHE was #GOALS! I mean, she’s an entrepreneur, a good cook, a seamstress, a philanthropist, an awesome mom with a prominent husband who ADORES her AND (wait for it……….)
The sista’ is wearing PURPLE SILK!!! LAWD HA’ MERCY – sounds like me to ME!!
I absolutely LOVE this woman, but we’ll come back to her in a bit.
This is the first blog post I’ve done in quite some time, as a matter of fact, since I lost my very own Virtuous Woman, my Gammy, Mrs. Bertha Lee Fields.
During my hiatus, I found myself encountering a recurring theme – Seasoned women who’ve lost their flavor! It was almost as if I kept running into these women from whom I expected to hear some Godly wisdom, or glean some spiritual knowledge, but was left wanting BIG TIME. Instead of apples of gold in pitchers of silver, I kept finding worm-filled apples sitting in shiny, stainless steel bowls. When Solomon spoke this proverb (Proverbs 25:11), he was using it to paint a picture of how beautiful a word fitly spoken can be. Sadly enough, and to my surprise, instead of Proverbs 25:11, I found Proverbs 26:22-28! I’ll let you go check that one out for yourself but be warned, if you are a gossip, it’s gonna be pretty uncomfortable!! Anyhoo, as I began to complain to God about what I had been experiencing, He began to give me some very clear instructions. I’m not at liberty to share them all, but I CAN tell you the first directive He gave me: “Consider those that HAVE been what you needed, and what I desire.” This came to me one night a couple of weeks ago, after watching “War Room” for the first time (I already repented for being UN-Christian like in my slowfulness about watching this movie, so cut me some slack, lol). The Ms. Clara character was a breath of fresh air after my most recent experiences, and God used her to ignite a gratitude in me that had all but dissipated in response to the few “silly women” I’d encountered. Thus the inspiration for this, my first blog series, “Women on the Wall” – Four weeks, Four women! God wanted me to remember that there were still some women who were living out His call, and to celebrate them instead of focusing on the “mark missers”. This brings us back to Her Royalty, “The Virtuous Woman” – SHE is the first of my four “Women on the Wall”.
The Proverbs 31 woman that King Lemuel’s mother so poignantly introduced to the world…I mean, where do I start? Well, here’s what scripture says about her:
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,
so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good
and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh
willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants ships; she bringeth
her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth
meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the
fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins
with strength and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth
that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She
layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth
forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her
household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing
is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth
among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and
selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength
and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her
tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well
to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have
done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful,
and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord,
she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit
of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Now…how do we even BEGIN to sum HER up?! Its a tall order, I’m fully aware, but I’m gonna give it a go! She’s a wife, “of noble character” as described in the NIV bible, so she has earned her husband’s trust. Not only is he trusting her with his heart, but with his WALLET too! As a young girl this was a very important note to make, as I prepared to become Sylvester Stallone’s wife. (Yep, had a HUGE crush on him, and would practice writing “Mrs. Matelyn Stallone” in the neatest cursive possible…that is until around the 8th grade when my affections shifted towards Christopher Williams…by the time he was dismembered in New Jack City, I had decided to set my sights on those who were a little closer to home and leave the celebrities on my wall, in poster form!) The industrialism and entrepreneurial savvy that she displayed, was by far the thing that most impressed me about her. As a young entrepreneur myself I found her a worthy mentor, especially so since we happened to be in the same line of business – culinary arts. I opened my first restaurant when I was around the age of 10. I wrote out a little menu that my mother was sweet enough to make copies of so that I can pass them out to potential customers. My specialty was pizza! This would be a slice of white bread, covered in ketchup, a slice of american cheese, and torn bits of bologna…placed in the broiler long enough to melt that synthetic cheese, it made an appealing after-school snack to my sister and the neighborhood kids that made up my clientele. I don’t recall my selling price, but I do very distinctly remember using the mail shoot in the screen door as the drive thru window. The other option was to dine in…the front screened in porch had been turned into a quaint dining area with room for only one little plastic table, two chairs, and a plant stand being used to hold my sister’s Big Bird Record Player on which we would play my daddy’s vinyls, SPECIFICALLY Donny Hathaway!!! By the time I was introduced to Proverbs 31, I had transitioned out of the restaurant business and started my own church, G.C.T. God’s Chirldren’s Temple. We were an effective ministry while we lasted. We even put on our first concert and had a FULL HOUSE! Videographer, ushers, packed choir
stand boasting a mixture of actual human beings and some dolls. Singing some original songs and having programs that were again, printed off by the church mother…MY mother, we were SERIOUS. We even had refreshments afterward which had been graciously provided by my Auntie Ruthie. We passed my tambourine around as an offering plate…seeing it all in my mind right now is putting the biggest, brightest smile on my heart! Well, this was the manifestation of something very real to me, Church Work. I was around 12 during this time, and as I transitioned out of our home basement at 822 S. Hawkins Ave. I flowed quite naturally into ministry on a bigger level. As I continued to grow naturally and spiritually, becoming a wife and mother, I found the character traits of this woman more and more appealing. How she cared and provided for her children, and beyond just the walls of her own home, she cared for anyone in need. I was inspired by it all! I mean, she’s sewing, cooking, cleaning, buying land, building, planting, and blazing a trail for young women like me who just wanted to be great! She came into my life at a very pivotal time…the age of transition. A 12 year old young lady who walked out of the choir stand during a district revival and gave her life to the Lord. A 12 year old young lady who woke up on the morning of her 6th grade graduation to find that she had been visited by “Aunt Flow” for the first time. A 12 year old young lady who would face MANY a challenge in the years to come! Some of the challenges would leave her bruised, some would leave her feeling stronger, but they would all change her forever in one way or another. I met this lady who liked to wear purple just like I always did for as long as I can remember, and she would be the one I’d strive to be like for the rest of my life. She would be my inspiration when I didn’t feel like being a “sweet wife”, or when I felt like I was missing the mark with my babies, or when I felt like I was far too in need myself to reach out my hand to the needy. She would be who I looked to when I began to doubt my own entrepreneurial savvy, or when I felt like giving folk a piece of my mind instead of words that are kind. It is THIS woman that I choose to salute today…because although I’ve never laid eyes on her, and don’t even know her name she has impacted me more than I can ever express; and because of her influence, I can exhibit for young ladies that may be looking at me, something of FAR more value than what they’re being bombarded with on Reality TV, music videos, and MOST Instagram posts!! Its my privilege to be that example, and I just don’t believe that I’m by myself.
So stand up Proverbs 31 ladies and let us hear from you!?! What “Woman on the WALL” has inspired you and how do you intend to pay it forward?