By Susan Hayhurst
A farmwife of noble character is a work in progress.
The Bible’s Proverbs 31 woman has always daunted me. Who in the world can live up to those expectations? As I listened to our pastor read from Proverbs 31: 10-31 on Mother’s Day morning this year, I was struck by the verses that reminded me of farm life.
Verse 11 sets the woman’s course. “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” I’m sure my husband, Terry, has confidence in me — until I back the truck and livestock trailer into the electric fence.
“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.” Verse 13 means I have to make our clothes … eagerly. I’m much better at selecting wool sweaters from Macy’s and cotton jeans from Talbots.
Verse 14 says, “She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” I take offense at being compared to a merchant ship. I’d rather be known for offering our beef from as far as the barn and pasture.
Zap! Verse 15 hits me where it hurts. “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” Terry laughs at the first stanza of this verse. Getting up is one thing, and getting up while it’s still dark is another. I would love to provide portions for servant girls.
Terry’s favorite verse is 16. “She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” Whoa, Nelly! I’m not considering buying a field or stomping grapes. Somehow, though, a sparkling New Holland implement always magically appears when needed.
I do work vigorously (verse 17) at making Terry chocolate cakes and our daughters their favorite chocolate chip cookie dough cheese ball. Then they rise up (verse 28) and call me blessed!
Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute.