She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
This is a woman that ensures that she doesn't get the short end of the stick. This woman works hard for what she has, has earned the trust and respect of her husband and family, has demonstrated that she can make good financial decisions, and this verse tells us that she takes the time to ensure that her efforts are profitable. Not only that, but she doesn't quit. This woman gets up before anyone else in the house, ensures that everyone is fed and taken care of, works vigorously throughout the day, and then makes sure that the lamp doesn't go out at night. To me that means that she makes sure that the home is taken care of, is made safe (the light deters burglars maybe), and perhaps the light does not go out because she tends to it. This proverbs woman is busy with meeting and caring for the needs of others.
Verse 19 reads:
In her hand she holds the distaffI had no idea what a distaff was. The Miriam-Webster dictionary tells me that it is a staff used to hold wool or flax for spinning. Ahha! This makes sense since the next line talks about spinning. Now, today most of us don't have to spin our own yarn to make clothing, blankets, or other items. Some of us may choose to, and that is great, but I am not among that group. I prefer to either venture to my local craft store to buy my yarn, or simply hit the department store to buy the finished product. So what does this verse mean to us today? It is pretty simple really. This is a woman who isn't afraid to do what is necessary to provide for her family. We already know she she collects the wool and flax herself, and now we see that she spins it into yarn herself also. This is a woman of means if she is able to purchase her own land with her money, has servants to feed, yet she takes the time to hand select the wool and flax. She takes the time to do the work of spinning herself instead of passing it off to a servant. She stays busy. She prepares with care.
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
I picture her in the market looking for the best wool and flax she can find, sifting through baskets, considering all that she touches. If her family produces it's own wool/flax I can see her sorting what will be kept for her own family, and what will be sold for profit. I can see her sitting by the fire as she spins it into yarn. She doesn't have a spinning wheel, she must be careful to keep the thickness uniform, to ensure good quality yarn that will hold up to the stress her family will put on it. She does so with care and love. And that, I think, is the message for us today.
When we go about our days as wife and mother, take time to really put thought into the little details. Do you think that this woman's family took the time to consider the time and care that went into making the yarn of their clothes or blankets? Probably not as that was just something that was done. Our families may not always recognize the time and care we put into preparing dinner, or cleaning the house, or washing the clothes or any of the many other duties we carry out in our role. This woman didn't take the time to do these things to be recognized for her work, she took the time because she loved and cared for her family. We need to put the same attention to detail to work in all that we do as well. Spinning yarn was not a glamorous duty. It was repetitive, time consuming, and required attention and precision. She still took the time to do it herself, and I believe with care. We should do the same.
Food for thought, see you next week!