Beccalynn married a Counting Mutant. Together they created a Renaissance family. Wild Oat found them in his 20s and now is married with three kids. Ase and Zany, former dancers who now bravely face life as emerging adults. Girly dances, collects dead things and faces her teen years with superpower logic. Creatively they navigate life through Jesus’ gift, asking uncomfortable questions to discover the deep love that awaits us all.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Walk with Dogs- Virtuous Sleep
I am reluctant to fall asleep at night. Cultural
Christianity teaches Proverbs 31 as a Godly Woman litmus test. According to King Lemuel’s Mother, a wife of
noble character never sleeps. As a result, we women show up to church or Bible
Study with perfect hair, make-up flawless, wearing fashionable yet modest
clothes. A smile on our face and a twinkle in our eye we project flawless contentment.
The Virtuous Woman starts out the day with the best of
intentions.Shegets up while it is still dark for a Quiet Time of scripture and prayer. Family
stirs and breakfast is cooked with a smile as ordered in Proverbs 31:15. She
begins checking off the Virtuous Woman boxes.
The business of the day: house, work, kids, husband’s needs,
community. The sun sets with the dawn of reality. Over a sink full of dinner dishes, she pants
Toys and clutter fill the living room. Laundry covers the
bed, overwhelmed she musters her last bit of strength. In a sweet siren voice
she sounds the call for bedtime.
Kids’ shenanigans are the final strike. Pushed beyond her
limit, her image of perfection slips away and she turns into a drill sergeant
There is no fun in Mudville.
With the kids are tucked in she turns on her overdrive. The
day is not over until she falls asleep. There is still time to complete the
missed household chores while husband sleeps. When he wakes up, he will be
amazed. She will hear the praises of her husband just like Proverbs 31 says. Dinner
dishes neatly placed in the dishwasher. A whirlwind pick up in the living room.
Fueled by a feeling of victory she walks through the bedroom door to attack the
Husband is laying in repose upon the laundry. The dulcet
sounds of a show waft from the laptop.
Does she wake him? Does she ask him for help?
A deep sense of failure, with a chaser of shame, sets in as each
piece of laundry is brought into submission, Husband’s comfy bed shifts. He
awakens. Unaware of her Virtuous Woman burden, he turns off the computer.
“That can be finished tomorrow. Come to bed.” He moves to
push the rest of the laundry onto the floor.
Her defeated reply, “You go ahead. I’ll be there as soon as
I finish this.”
Proverbs 31 has been twisted into a burden of legalism.
Within this Cultural Christianity application there is no room for grace, love
or laughter. God does give us tasks to keep us occupied; but they are never to
become a litmus test of worth. Ecclesiastes tells us that we are to eat, drink
and enjoy the good that results from those tasks; it is a gift from God. Part
of that good is rest and sleep. The Psalmist says that unless God is our center
focus, we get up early and put off going to bed in vain, for God “provides for
his beloved, even when they sleep.”
When I trust in divine rest, my soul is renewed. I am no longer weary; God clothes me with strength and dignity. I am able to be patient in the face of a determined child. My arms are strengthened for the day's tasks. I have energy to serve my won family along with attending Divine Appointments that interrupt my plans. I am able to laugh at the days to come.