Growing up as a child of the 80’s, there were several cartoons that featured a troll who lived under a bridge. You know, the kind of character that would jump out and scare unsuspecting bridge crossers, a look of terror on their faces as they quickly retreat back across the bridge.
That was me. The troll. And my family was the unsuspecting people on the bridge. All because of this: an unchecked box on a chore checklist.
We were preparing and packing for a mountain bike race weekend, and with so much to get done, I made the twins a chore checklist to keep them on track. The next morning, my son was sitting on the couch with his device in front of his face. Knowing there was an unchecked box, knowing that they know they cannot have free-play until their duties and responsibilities are complete, I crawled out from under my bridge and scared him until he retreated away from his device in fear.
As I’m seeing the faces of my family, I said,
“I can’t do this anymore.” and back under my bridge I went.
Meaning, I was tired of being the troll that keeps everyone on their toes, organized, and ready for their days. I’ve even joked that I’m tired of keeping things alive around me—even the houseplants! I hope some mamas can feel me here!
When the house got quiet, as my family all left for work/school, I felt as if God was quieting my heart and told me I had the wrong “T” word; not “troll”, but “thirty-one”. I LOVE thirty-one bags, and as much as those bags would make me happy, it wasn’t the bags, but rather the Proverb, Proverbs 31.
So, I read the passage God had laid on my heart:
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
Immediately after reading this passage, it hit me that I can’t check all my boxes. I needed someone to check a box for me, that someone being Jesus, who literally checked the box of “take the punishment for Carly’s sin”.
Tears flowed down my face in this moment.
I didn’t need to be a troll; I’m not a troll. Instead, I need to be the “thirty-one” women that God calls me to be. In this moment, I decided to complete my son’s checklist with a happy heart, one that is grateful that my Lord checked my unchecked box.
Does this mean I’m going to complete all my son’s chore lists? Um, no! BUT, this does mean that I’m going to be all the more grateful for my box-checker, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Lord, my heavenly Father, thank You for the realization that You gave me in this moment. Thank You for changing my perspective and allowing me a small glimpse of what You did by sending Your Son, Jesus, to check my box for me. Please help me to be the woman, the wife, the mom you want me to be. Please help me to be a Proverbs 31 women, for this is my desire, to bring You honor and glory with my life, which is Yours. I love You, Lord. Amen.