Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hampering Home

“She watches over the activities of her household.” ~Proverbs 31:27
Proverbs 31:27 is one of the reflection verses from Melisa Taylor’s Online Bible Study on Karen Ehman’s book “Let. It. Go.” this week, and it has resonated with me in a powerful way.  When I read it, the word WATCHES jumped off the page at me in a large, bold, flashing lights kind of way, and hit me right between the eyes, striking me with the realization that this does not in any way describe me – I am not a Proverbs 31 woman…or at least I haven’t been…God is working on that.  But when I read it?  No, definitely not!  I think I was more of a Proverbs 14:1 kind of woman: “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”  And no, I’m not referring to the wise woman in this scripture, but rather the foolish destructive one.  Yep, that’s more like the me that started this “Let. It. Go.” journey just a short three weeks ago.  You know, the one who’s proverbs 31:27 read, “She controls over the activities of her household.
"Controls"…"watches"…I think the whole world could fit in the gap that makes up the difference between these two words, and yet I interchanged them as if they were synonyms found together in my thesaurus.  It was that woman who, when something wouldn’t get completed her own way in the home, would criticize, condemn, and control with the attitude and belief, “how dare you hamper MY home!”  So sad…sigh…but let’s not dawdle on the past because that is, with the help of God and this study, where it/that woman will remain.  I declare it in Jesus name.  Praise the Lord!
While reading through the last few chapters on husbands, kids, and home, God has shown me that it’s not in fact the other members of the household hampering “MY” home by not completing things in MY fashion to MY satisfaction.  But rather, it is ME hampering OUR home with MY criticizing and controlling ways.  He has reminded me that my husband and child are individuals that He created – each with their own unique personality traits, talents, and purpose.  They’re not mini-me (or in my husband’s case, muscle-me) replicas of myself that are there to serve my selfishness.  And by treating them as such, not only have I hampered our home, but I have also hampered their individual growth and any growth that would/should take place in our relationships together. 

Wow!  Sounds harsh, doesn’t it?  With as harsh as it felt for God to bring that to my attention, I can only imagine how much harsher it has felt for my family to have taken this treatment…sigh…again…but I remain hopeful because I now have Proverbs 31:27 at the forefront of my mind and a God in me and for me that is larger and stronger than any obstacle that I can create.  Again, praise the Lord!
In Proverbs 31:27, God has shown me that instead of replacing "watches" with "control", I should see "watches" as:
Willing to
Children & my
Husband to
This helps me tremendously to act accordingly when managing our home! 

There were also several great tips and quotes from chapter six that I’ve added to my arsenal for taming my controlling tendencies.  One such tip is, when things don’t go my way around the house, to tell myself, “Two plus two equals four.  Three plus one equals four.  Seven minus three equals four…there are many ways to get to the number four.  Additionally (pun intended), there are many ways to accomplish tasks around the house, no matter who does them or how they get done,” (pg. 112).  I’ve never been much of a math person, but even this number deficient mom and wife can understand how this simple equation can add up to a much happier home!
I’m also a very visual person, so I can really relate to the quote, “Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.  Set the tone and environment in your home,” (Donna Otto pg. 114).  This is a big one for me because I hadn’t really given much thought to the fact that I’m the one who’s responsible for the negative tone that radiates through our home!  I've been like the heat on a hot summers day with no windows open to offer a soothing breeze or air conditioning to tame those ever rising temperatures!  While I may love me a little heat, I know that my husband in particular does not, and in both senses of the word!
Though I may have been the thermometer all too often, I can now thankfully declare that I’m a thermostat in the making - one that wants to, “set the tone in a way that invites Christ and calm into our home rather than cutting words and chaos,” (pg. 117).  And a woman who can, “offer some friendliness to the members of our own homes, to keep our tempers in check and our grumbling at bay, to let perfect love wash over a multitude of sins,” (pg. 116).  And most of all, one who wants to be a Proverbs 31 woman who, “speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue,” (vs. 26), and who, “watches over the affairs of her household,” (vs. 27), so that she can be the woman who’s, “children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her,” (vs. 28)!  That’s surely the woman that I want to be – one that is set free from the captivity of her own control! 

I know that this transformation is going to be a process and not one that happens over-night, but I feel the excitement inside that comes with facing any challenge, and I’m ready to step out in faith and give God his job back once and for all!  Say Adios to this Hampering Home Momma!

“A tidy house is going to regularly untidy itself.  The clean laundry will require washing again very, very soon.  The belongings in our own larger-than-life dollhouses are going to get rearranged.  Continually.  When they do, are we going to badger and belittle or show grace and patience?” ~Karen Ehman – “Let. It. Go.” (pg. 116-17)

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” ~Proverbs 15:1


  1. I LOVE your wordplay for "watches"'s PERFECT for this study!! :)

    1. The Lord really opened my eyes with that one! I'm so happy to hear He's using it to speak to others as well :)

  2. This is awesome! I would never have thought of replacing "watches" with "controls", but that is the perfect way of realizing just how we screw it all up with our control issues. This will stick with me as I also try to convert from Thermometer to Thermostat :)

    1. Praying for your journey from thermometer to thermostat :) Thanks for your feedback!

  3. You are a gifted writer and I love hearing your perspective on our study. Thank you so much for sharing! I will reread WATCHES often to remind myself of how not to control my family!

    Erin Cuomo, OBS Group Leader

    1. Erin, writing has been a passion of mine ever since the 3rd grade, when my teacher sent me to a young writers conference. Unfortunately, I became distracted with other things for many years. But the Lord brought me back to it eventually and I'm so greatful to be a part of this life changing study and inspiring blog hops! Thanks again for your support and encouragement!