Considering, Buying, Earning, and Planting

She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
~Proverbs 31:16

I love the simplicity of this verse. I have simple reflections in response, simply because there’s no reason to try and build something complex out of it.

Consider. Don’t just buy something because it’s pretty, or because you saw a commercial about how useful it is, or because it’s on sale. Consider whether it’s truly useful and necessary. Consider whether you have space for it. Consider whether you have money for it (do you have debt that still needs repaying?), and whether you could get a better deal elsewhere. Also consider the off-brand. A pretty good rule of thumb is that if you saw it, loved it, and grabbed it, then put it back.

Buy. Obviously this doesn’t mean buying everything you want (see above). Once you have determined that an item is useful and necessary, a good deal that you can truly afford, and practical, just buy it! Don’t waste time wondering about it. If you doubt your purchase that much, there’s a reason. Don’t buy it. But otherwise, buy it. 🙂 Notice the example in the verse. What did she buy? A field. Why? Because it would yield a great return for her family. How does that new pair of shoes stack up under all these criteria?

Earn. Work. Not all jobs have a monetary compensation, but that doesn’t mean that one can’t be working. For instance, if you, like me, are blessed to be able to stay home with your kids, earn that privilege. Don’t spend your days “running errands” (shopping needlessly) or merely socializing. If you don’t have enough to do to mostly fill your days, then consider how you can turn those extra hours into something useful. Shopping, unless it’s for groceries, is often not useful. Playdates definitely are useful, both for child and parent, but not really if you’re having a playdate every day. That’s just playing. Imagine coming home from a long day at work and asking about your spouse’s day. Frequently being met with words like “shopping” and “playing” would probably really annoy you, and rightly so. We should all be working; it’s what we’re made to do. That’s kind of why I like the term “homemaker” instead of “stay-at-home mom”. The first implies that you’re actually doing something, and reminds me to get to it!

Plant. Do something useful with your time and resources that will ensure some sort of return for someone. This is also called making a good investment! There are a myriad of possibilities. Maybe for you this means some sort of home business, where you are getting a financial return on an investment. Maybe it’s more spiritual, as you pour into your spouse, your children, your friends, the community. Begin to evaluate your days, recognizing ways you’ve already been planting, and looking for new ways as well.

Finally, recognize that in the verse, all of these components work together. She considers a field, then buys it. She already has earnings, and she uses them to plant a vineyard in her new field that will undoubtedly yield more return for her family and community. In short, this Jewel is practical, thoughtful, responsible, and industrious, and so should we be.

(But that doesn’t mean you should just walk out and buy a vineyard off the Internet, Willie!)

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, find a woman who has simple tastes; that may be the most practical advice I can give you on this topic. A wasteful woman, who spends excessive money on shoes and clothes and hair and nails and decorative items will not only put a strain on your finances, but she may struggle with some deeper heart issues. Caring about your appearance and keeping up with tidiness in the home is great — I don’t advise marrying a slob — but observe and consider her work ethic and her general attitude about spending. This will save you a lot of heartache later!

My Love, you know I wrote this post to myself! I’m still learning about wise and thrifty shopping, and it seems like every time I have my daily schedule figured out, that baby of ours gets more mobile and active and sends me back to the drawing board! But I want to be a blessing to you and to Bennett, so I am consistently looking for ways to use my time wisely and to pour into our family. I pray that I keep growing in this area!

My Lord, thank You so much for making me hate shopping! It makes some of this come easy to me. In other areas, I struggle more. Lord, I ask for wisdom and creativity in earning and planting. For the homemaker, it’s not always as straightforward or as grandiose as buying a field and planting a vineyard, but it could be those little moments invested with a little man that will yield a great return in years to come. Please give me perspective, patience, and passion for my calling!

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)
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