Welcome back to Roots And Arrows Homestead.
Today, I have it on my heart to write a little devotional-style post for y’all.
I have been focusing on YouTube lately and that has grown beautifully. Since I am now comfortably posting once a week or so over there, I thought it was high time that I begin balancing YouTube with this Blog. So, here I am. My idea moving forward is two blog posts per month. Between two Blog posts a month, one YouTube video a week, all my schoolwork, the garden being in harvest, and being a stay-at-home mom, I believe my days will be absolutely full and I’m hoping I won’t have to bump something off my list once again. We’ll see.
So, without further ramblings from me, let’s jump into what I felt called to talk about with you today.
I personally love Proverbs 31 even though I’m not so sure I measure up even close to the woman described in Proverbs 31. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever met someone who does measure up 100%. However, the guidelines and the idea behind what makes a virtuous woman are inspiring and worth diving into.
When I started studying verse 17, I realized that there are many different variations of this verse across translations. Generally, verses tend to remain similar across translations, maybe a one-word change was made or some other minute detail. But this verse, not so much. I’ve listed a few below…
ESV – “She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.”
NLT – “She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.”
CSB – “She draws on her strength and reveals that her arms are strong.”
NIV – “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”
NKJV – “She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms.”
In my She Reads Truth, CSB Bible, it is stated that “Lit.” translated the verse reads more like,
“She wraps strength around her like a belt.”
I want to make clear –
I am not saying any of these are exactly right or exactly wrong. Take them and learn from each of them, that is how I study and how I urge others to study as well.
Translations can be tricky. If you’ve ever learned a new language and tried to translate word for word between that language and English, you realize quickly that it is nearly impossible. I’ve had experience with this while learning Spanish, Turkish, and French. This is why I really enjoy studying across biblical translations. Sometimes, I mix them together and create a version that I can really meditate on, how’s this?
She sets about her work vigorously and dresses herself with strength, wrapping it around her like a belt. She is energetic and strong, so her arms do not grow weary while she’s hard at work on her tasks. She draws on her strength daily and continues to strengthen herself, so she remains strong.
This is, by far, not a translation of professional standards, but it is something I like to do in my Bible journal. Taking different translations and meshing them into something that makes sense and carries the same meaning as what I believe the professional translations are attempting to convey. This does take some time, but I believe it is well worth the extra time to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible. I’m not saying everyone needs to do it this way. But it works for me, and it helps engrain the meaning of the verse in my mind, especially when I write (pen to paper) the translations down and then write down my own meshed version. I hope this might give you an idea of how to attempt studying the Word.
It’s not always easy to be strong.
In fact, for most of us, it can be incredibly difficult. I have come to realize lately that my strength isn’t so much perseverance as it is avoidance.
I make sure to keep my mind busy because when I stop, I think, and when I think, I often spiral into depression. I have not been “clinically diagnosed” but I was recommended anti-depressants by my OBGYN during my second pregnancy (my oldest daughter), then again after her birth (3 years ago), and again by a different doctor around the time of her heart surgery when she was 3 months old, all of which I declined.
To this day, I have never taken depression medication, but I do often spiral into feeling overwhelmed, sad, weak, scared, exhausted, and just all the things. To such a point where I could easily begin to hyperventilate, which I have done a few times. However, I rarely allow myself to get to that point.
I am not saying anything is wrong with anti-depressants, I just knew I didn’t want to go down that road. That being said, I have never leaned on the Lord more than I have over the past 3 years. I have never read my Bible more than I have over the past 3 years. And, I have never experienced the peace of the Lord more than I do when I cry out to Him in those moments of desperation.
Does anyone feel like this? Am I the only one?
I certainly hope not.
Verses like Proverbs 31:17 help me remember that through Christ, I am strong and that reading my Bible (just to read), praying to God, and really diving into studying His word are things that strengthen me. When I feel those overwhelming thoughts, I remember where my strength lies and who is in control. Rather than allowing fear and anxiety to take hold of me, I give it over to the Lord. Repeatedly, if need be. It’s not easy, sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do. To just lay it down, let it go, and feel the peace.
I cannot explain to you the immediate sense of calm that has snapped me out of the depths of depression before. Usually, after I allow the uncontrollable anxiety to take hold and I’ve started to spiral, I will cry out to the Lord. Why I don’t do this before spiraling, I don’t know. But suddenly the tears dry up, my thoughts move on to something else, my heartbeat slows down a bit and I begin to think “It’s all going to work out” or “It’s going to be okay”. These thoughts are nowhere to be found just seconds before crying out to the Lord.
Scripture tells us that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Our homes and our lives as homemakers don’t run smoothly based on perfectly made beds or dinner at 6 pm sharp, it is all bound by and hinged upon the fear of the Lord. Without the Lord, chaos and overwhelm will most assuredly take hold and never let go.
My CSB – She Reads Truth Bible says,
“If we begin with the fear of the Lord, He will make us brave, trustworthy, industrious, strong, and good. Some women adorn themselves with gems, but the rare woman who adorns herself in Christ is the gem.”
Ladies, be the gem. Be the one who seeks to grow in the Lord and seeks out opportunities to be a blessing to other people. Always remember that our strength is not in ourselves but in the Lord.
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 (CSB)
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)