Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Through Wisdom a House is Built ~ A Practical Application


"Through wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
~ Proverbs 24:3-4

What I love about the Scriptures is that many verses have a practical meaning along with a spiritual lesson. The one appeals to the Martha in me while the other nourishes the Mary in me. Another joy is when a verse suddenly presents itself in a new light and you enjoy the moments of meditating and delighting in its truths as you perform your daily duties. Such has been the case with Proverbs 24:3-4 as of late.


Over a decade ago, I was a different woman. Much of my time was spent strolling through the malls and seeing what I could find "and needed" to buy in the stores. I was not building my house, nor filling my rooms with riches. In fact, the only thing I was building our home with was debt and the only thing I was filling it with was clutter. When extra time was on my hands, I was reading stacks of novels (though they were inspirational and the classics, it was all that I read). I remember the day I soaked in the words from one of my first "encouraging" books that a God-fearing woman in our church shared with me. The author suggested that we women try and insert a nonfiction book in between each fiction book that we read. As I did have a desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman and didn't know where to start, I felt this would be an excellent beginning to my new career.


And so the journey began! Before I treated myself with a favorite fiction book, I forced myself to read something spiritually uplifting and/or practical for running the home (hobby books are a great start!). The Homemaker's Mentor magazines (unfortunately they are out of print) were among the first in the homemaking category and I was at once hooked into the world of a Titus 2 woman! I began to take an interest in all things home. Whether it be the building of a prudent pantry, the chemical-free and frugal way to clean, the thrifty and nourishing way to cook, the healthy and herbal way to heal, the proper way to preserve food, and so forth. I began to devour books on the biblical role of women and prayerfully attempted to apply its truths. 


And do you know what miraculously happened? Those great big malls didn't seem necessary anymore. In fact, the challenge of reusing, recycling, and repurposing became a lot more enjoyable. Those stacks of novels began to lose their luster as well. Though I still enjoy a "good read", I find myself craving more information on how to do "all things home" and that is now where my heart is! This brings me back to the practical aspect of the proverb.


When we apply the biblical wisdom of the Scriptures in our home, we are building it. When we seek to understand what He is writing directly to us women, we can see the created order of things and our direction is established. And when we began to apply the spiritual truths and basic, practical skills of the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman, it is through this knowledge that we begin to fill the rooms of our home with "precious and pleasant riches"!

What do these riches look like? Practically speaking, they can be endless blessings manifested in a multitude of ways! Perhaps they are jars of brightly colored home-canned pickles and preserves (like that of a gourmet store!), a freezer filled with pre-made, home-made food (ready to bless someone in need), beds piled high with hand-sewn blankets and quilts (everyone stays warm and cozy), a cabinet filled with hand-made herbal remedies (a well stocked home apothecary), a garden filled with fresh and healthy produce (a farmer's market), walls and shelves beautifully adorned with the work of your hands (a lovely atmosphere), soups simmering on the stove (a nourishing home), cakes baking in the oven (a whole foods bakery), flowers growing in your yard (endless bouquets), closets organized neat and tidy (order and peace reign), tables set with love, and most importantly-- the intentional grace, patience and care you show your husband and children and everyone else God puts in your path.


Instead of haunting the malls, I have found second hand stores to be such a blessing for providing the needs in our home and at a fraction of the price. In fact, I remember the beginning of this era in my life when my cake beaters gave up the ghost. I was with my mother at Macy's and she pointed out a brand new set for $60. I told her these were way over my budget and I would keep looking. The very next week I made my way to a Goodwill Store in search of a "new" skirt. Lo and behold, a brand new set of Kitchen Aid brand beaters presented themselves for only $4.99! Needless to say, my retail days were 90% over!

Through the knowledge gained in food preservation books, blogs and resourceful women, I have been able to pack my pantry full of food for at least half the retail price and with less preservatives and artificial flavors. There is no need for a daily grocery store run as we have one in our home! In hard times, this is treasure indeed!


When I take those moments to stitch something pretty up or to patch what we have, I am practicing what our foremothers have done before us, creativity and practicality through a common needle and thread.

When I utilize the information found in health and herb books to feed and care for my family, I am  able to produce rows of natural homemade medicine for pennies! What satisfaction to have them lined up along our shelves as a sign of loving provision. When I implement those healthy recipes and cooking strategies, I am building good nutrition around our table. When both are implemented, we find doctor visits have almost disappeared. Health is wealth!

And the list goes on! Whether it be wisdom in first aid and CPR, knitting, crocheting, animal husbandry, crafting, candle-making, beekeeping, soap-making, cookery and so forth...


By acquiring knowledge and skills for our family, we have the opportunity to physically and spiritually fill our rooms "with all precious and pleasant riches".  There is much satisfaction in this kind of home-building and there is still so much to learn! But I am enjoying the challenge of becoming a professional Proverbs 31 woman! It is my chosen vocation and I will continue to take it seriously. I will study, learn and gain knowledge whenever that chance appears. With each time we honor our husband, with each child that we love, each devotional we apply, each homemaking tip we learn, with each penny that we save, with each sickness we help heal, with each healthy recipe we serve, with each item we add to our pantry, we are building up our homes and I can't think of a better investment of time! This is the day to put off that "boring homemaking notion" and treat it as the art that it is! We are treasure-makers when we spiritually and practically apply the knowledge we glean! Let us gather the "tools" and begin to build ladies!

"Through wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
~ Proverbs 24:3-4

"Every wise woman buildeth her house..."
~ Proverbs 14:1

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

37 comments:

  1. Best post yet!! And I thought you could never top any wonder of yours :) This was fantastic and wonderfully inspirational-thank you!!!
    Amy

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement Amy! You are always so generous! :)

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  2. The scripture you referenced was cross-stitched, framed and has hung on the wall in our living room for years. It's one of my favorites. Your story is very inspiring even though I was never a "shopper". I always dread having to buy clothing and such. :(
    Have a lovely week!

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    1. I was more of a home store shopper. Target, Home Goods, etc... No, clothing shopping had long since lost its luster! :)

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  3. What an inspiring post, dearest, precious friend of mine, it's so wonderful to know something more about you and the growth of your so Beautiful Soul, I wholeheartedly thank you, you're an example to follow to me in everything !

    Hope you're having a beautiful week I'm sending blessings of joy to you

    Dany ♥

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    1. Dany, your kindness is an example to many! Have a lovely week too my friend! :)

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  4. Oh, this is lovely.....I love reading about your journey to a happy home! You are so inspiring! Sending blessings xo Karen

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    1. Thank you Karen! I love reading and photos of your lovely home too! :)

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  5. A sign of loving provision... I love that line! So well put. Thanks, JES, for these wonderful thoughts.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a kind comment! Hope your week is going well! :)

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  6. Lovely! Proverbs 24:3-4 is your wedding scripture. Loved reading your journey. Visiting from #CoffeeAndConversation

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    1. What a perfect Scripture for building a new life together! Thank you for sharing Trena!

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  7. This is lovely Jes. Your words are so heartfelt and wise. Also got me trying to remember the last time I was in a mall - I couldn't tell you:)

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    1. And happily, I can't tell you the last time I was in one either! :)

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  8. Dear Jes, you have a beautiful gift of encouragement. I too, found this to be an extra special post. The world would have us believe caring for home and family is drudgery. However, you have found the secret to true contentment. Thank you so very much for the effort you put into your beautiful writings. If I could only choose one blog to read and visit it would Strangers and Pilgrims. I am slowly changing many things in my life to reflect just what you have written today. I find such joy in being a Proverbs 31, Titus 2. I am not there yet but I'm enjoying the journey. Thank you again my friend and may you be richly blessed as you bless others in their journey to be Godly homemakers.
    Gail

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    1. Thank you Gail for taking the time to comment. I personally find that slow steps are the steadiest! We are all works in progress... and I love that we can encourage one another on our individual journeys and glean from one another! Thank you for your kind words!

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  9. Thank you for the inspiring and encouraging post. I honestly needed that this evening. My husband is distracted with work and his intellectual pursuits. We are in our 60's so no children at home. I love my homemaking and relish in caring for our home and garden. However, there are times I feel a little like I'm missing some "fun" if you know what I mean. I had honestly just been having those thoughts when I came to the computer and found your post. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for sharing Lorraine. May I pass on this article written about the blessings of my grandmother? There is so much that can be done at home at any age and any stage in our lives! We have the opportunity to be such a blessing!

      Perhaps it will provide some inspiration:

      http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2014/06/grandmothers-project-table.html

      Sending love and a supportive hug your way!

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    2. Thanks for your thoughts on your grandmother! I recall feeling, as I grew up, that I wanted to be a Granny! I loved my Granny and as I started my married life, I always had her in mind as my example. She gardened and canned, baked bread and loved her grandchildren. She was frugal beyond belief and she quilted lovely quilts for all of us as well as for many people in her town. She was my ideal. I do all those things she did and love being productive in my home. I also care for my aged mother. I think that sometimes I just miss the noise of children (they are half way across the country) and the quiet of our home if I am not careful, can make me feel lonely. Hubby is a brainy kinda guy...me, I'm soft and sentimental. Ah well.... We need each other!! ;-) Thanks so much for your true inspiration!!!

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  10. I used to wander aimlessly through life, never really "fitting in" or feeling "right" within modern culture, always believing I was born in a wrong era, that our heavenly father had somehow gotten my birth time wrong. I loved the romance and simplicity of Jane Austen times. Even though, it was wrought with hard times as well. Through the years, there have been hints here and there, a glistening - a longing for a different life, lamp posts but never illumination. What I am now realizing that perhaps we were born for such a time as this, to live as you described in this post, is freedom. And to share that freedom with others, is liberating. It's unhooking from frantic consumerism. This year I stumbled upon a book, and now your blog - both of which have brought illumination to my heart and life. Now I must "choose" the path, and stay on it. You are such a blessing, and wealth of information. A light in a dark place, a beacon of hope. I found there was such emptiness in my "modern life" before. I had good access to disposable money through a business that I had built, yet I felt emptiness and like a mouse on a mouse wheel. Its funny, not only is homemaking labelled drudgery, but in some circles it is to be shamed and shunned - and working woman are put on a pedestal for their business and career savvy.. Now, I am not saying those things are wrong; because every woman is different, with different circumstances, needs, and different seasons in life. Even the Proverbs 31 women, "considered a field and purchased one" and "sold garments to the merchants" When I was working at my business, in the end I think I slipped into serving ambition. Ambition is a terrible boss. Even though I am on this lovely, challenging homemaker journey - There is a part of me, that is also seeking God, to provide a little income, to help my husband. Thank you for your inspiration, words of wisdom. For your generosity of time... for throwing open the door to your heart and mind and letting us ladies come in... and have a virtual cup of tea with you. What a huge blessing you are. Michelle xo

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    1. Hi Michelle, thank you for sharing and for your kind encouragement. I too have struggled with the "born in the wrong decade" felling but the more I read about history, the more I realize that perhaps I should enjoy the blessings of both worlds (as you too have found). The beauty of home is that we can pick and choose what we allow of the outside world inside. Enjoy your journey! Love, JES

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  11. This is the most refreshing, inspiring post I have read in a super long time. While I have been skirting around this idea of what I should be when reading Proverbs 31. Mostly what I saw was work, not in a negative way but certainly not in the great rewards of living the way of a christian woman, mother and wife would reap for her family. I will be reading this many times in the future to help encourage me to be the person God desires me to be as a homemaker.
    Thank you so much this was and is a blessing to me.

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    1. Thank you for sharing and commenting as that is a blessing to me too! :)

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  12. I have just this day had a discussion with my husband about being more frugal. We (but mostly it's me) are spending far too much.
    So, we've devised a plan:

    * cancel all my magazine subscriptions
    * visit charity (thrift) shops for clothing and household items
    * reduce the amount we spend on presents for family birthday/Christmas presents
    * keep to a shopping list

    I know there's lots of frugal blogs for tips. I also know that I am really starting to appreciate what we already have.
    Your post today has been a blessing and a confirmation of what we know we must do. Thank you.

    Kay

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    1. Hi Kay, you may find the challenge fun as I do! Blessings on your new plan! :)

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  13. So very timely! Thank you for such and important and encouraging post. We are currently empty nesters and at times feel as if I am "missing" something by making my focus God, family, and home.

    It was when I was very ill in 2013 that I realized just what a blessing and gift it is to be able to get up on the morning and accomplish anything. Must always keep that in mind.

    May You continually be blessed as you encourage others at just the right time.

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    1. Thank you for sharing Nadege! You are right, health is wealth! Have a wonderful week and keep the course! :)

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  14. Jes, what a beautiful and inspiring post. I felt myself nodding all the way through, and have written on this topic too, but not in such a gentle and encouraging way. I hope you don't mind if I share this in my closed group on Facebook, and direct some traffic your way? Mimi xxx

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    1. Thank you for sharing Mimi! I really do appreciate it! :)

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  15. Jes, this is beautifully written! And, we are never too old to learn a new skill or perfect that which we have already learned. Thank you for this very timely writing!

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    1. Absolutely! In fact, learning new things as we age is quite the benefit to promote brain activity and lessen the chance of those undesirable symptoms such as memory loss, etc., that often accompanies aging... Thank you for sharing and visiting Lynn! :)

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  16. This was great timing!! Im so glad I read this today. I'll definitely be implanting the wisdom concerning books. I'm so grateful that the Lord allowed me to stumble upon your blog! You've been such an encouragement!

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    1. The book advice has been such a blessing to me! I hope you will see the benefits too! :) Nice to hear from you over here! May you have a lovely weekend my friend! :)

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  17. Dear Jess,
    What a gorgeous post. I just re posted it!
    I was once a mall dweller. Our stories are amazingly similar. What a journey!
    Really this just made my heart happy to read and I hope it spreads far and wide and blesses many. With love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Thank you for sharing Annabel! Nice to know a fellow mall rehabber :) It has been a wonderful journey exiting the world of consumerism and replacing it with productivity and creativism (made up word but I think you understand)! May you have a lovely weekend!

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  18. Beautiful post and something I needed to hear. Thank you Jes, I am glad I dropped by today :)

    God Bless,
    xTania

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  19. Lovely post! It was that very passage that inspired me to do all I could to make my home lovely and peaceful and fill it with good things.

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