A few years ago I’d been speaking at a women’s conference when a woman came up to me to say she almost didn’t come to the event because I was a speaker from Proverbs 31 ministries. She told me that chapter in the Bible made her feel bad, and every time she heard a message on Proverbs 31, she felt worse because the speaker seemed perfect and it made her feel like she should be, too. Then she said she was glad she came to my event that day. It made her feel better after hearing me speak since I didn’t have it all together.
I smiled and decided that was a compliment.
I’m always happy to encourage others with my not-so-together self. The truth is for many years I wanted to tear Proverbs 31 out of my Bible and pretend it never existed. But over time I discovered some powerful truths tucked into what used to be an intimidating passage. I’ll share those another day. For now, let’s just say I’m a P31 Woman in progress. Heck, I don’t even know what a distaff is and fine linen…well, does flannel count?
Just yesterday my husband’s friend came by to drop off something. I walked into our foyer and greeted him in my flannel top and bottom pajamas – at 5:15pm in the afternoon. I’d had a hard day and it showed. Well, my jammies were one thing but what he saw next was another. After listening to my explanation of why I looked like I was ready for bed, he grinned real big and said,
“Renee, is that a Christmas tree in your living room?”
I know it’s St. Patrick’s day. I was planning to have green clover ornaments on it by now, thank you very much. I was going to decorate it with shamrocks this month, Valentine hearts last month and easter eggs next month. Andrew talked me into keeping it up so we could have a “holiday” tree through Easter. I agreed since I’d waited until February to take it down.
It was a great idea. The only problem is time passed. I got tired at the end of each day and started working on my book proposal and other things, and well I never took off the Christmas ornaments to replace them with other holiday themed ones. I just got so used to the thing in my living room that I didn’t want to take it down. It matches my decor – look at those beautiful greens and reds blending together!
But I am getting really funny looks these days. Lysa’s daughter Ashley gave me this look last week. And I’m starting to think parents are waging bets if it’ll still be up when they drop off their sons on Wednesday nights for youth group at our house each week.
But I also have to tell ya, it’s liberated some people! A friend told me it makes her feel better that I still have my tree up. I guess she used to think I had it a little more together. Another friend used to ask, “How do you do it all?”
Now she knows my secret…I don’t.
I just do what I can. And many times I don’t do it as well as I think I ought to. But that’s okay. At least that’s what I told myself and my family tonight when I announced we’re eating hamburger helper for dinner… and singing Christmas carols before bed. So what’s the latest you’ve left up your tree? Please tell me someone out there still has a tree up – I need a support group!