A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Proverbs 31:10-31 (The Message)
These verses were not written about me. They always make me a little squeamish. No way could any woman live up to that definition. My husband would be the first to tell you that I fail miserably. That doesn’t keep me from trying though.
As the winds from Debby blow around us and the rain beats against the house, my phone has been ringing off the hook with employees calling to ask if we will be closed tomorrow. I will be surprised if we aren’t as the winds and tides are pushing water up over seawalls and onto roadways. Our yard is saturated and the pasture a mucky mess. The dogs are pacing as lightning flashes. They have told us to stay home in much less weather than this. But, until I get the official call to send out the word, I can only tell them “Business as usual.” Which is a good thing because we have twenty high school students coming for a week’s worth of programming, special speakers and activities planned especially for them and not only would I hate to lose a day with the students, but I do not know if we have the ability to contact them all and tell them to stay at home. As for me, after being off for a week with a painful and disfigured face, I am ready to go back to work. I can only watch so much television and read so many books before I need something productive to do. I am about out of ideas. I finished painting the doors and trim in the breakfast room and kitchen. I culled and organized my recipe files. I took two of my Orphans Heart T-shirts and remade them to be pretty and more flattering by changing them to V-necks, cutting the sleeves higher and decorating them with ribbon and buttons. I washed the dogs and caught up on the laundry. I cooked some fabulous meals to share with friends, packed my bags for Guatemala, hung new blinds on the living room sliding glass door, prepared my Sunday school lesson, began a program to read the Bible through in 100 days, did some Internet shopping and generally managed to keep myself busy without taking a nap every day. I even kept up with work emails and wrote and edited some documents. But, I am ready to go back to work. My face is still red and itchy, but it looks more like windburn or sunburn. The blisters, swelling and scabs are gone. I have three small lines from where the skin cracked around my mouth, but they should go away with time. There is nothing to keep me from heading back to the office except for Debby who swirls around in the Gulf and cannot make up her mind which direction to go. I can’t blame my employees for wanting a day off work. I’d be right there with them if I hadn’t already taken so much time. We will see what the boss says tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I’ve got nothing left on my to do list, but that doesn’t mean I will mindlessly stare at the radar screen and listen to hysterical weather forecasters. Unlike Debby who acts like she has all the time in the world and is in no hurry, I’ve got better things to do with my time. There are two plain T-shirts in my drawer.