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My Virtuous Mom

About ten years ago, I found my mother at the kitchen table, reading and chuckling in frustration. I asked her what she was looking at. She told me that she'd been studying Proverbs for her devotions, and she'd just read chapter 31—the proverb that offers a list of what makes a virtuous wife. She was frustrated, because she realized she could never be the woman God describes in the passage.

We talked about it some more, and my mom finally arrived at a decision that still inspires me today. While it may not be easy to be a virtuous woman, my mother decided to just take it one verse at a time. She said, "I'll work on the first item in the list. When I've got that one mastered, I'll move to the next one—hopefully I'll be a virtuous woman before I die."

I recently checked with her to see how she was progressing. She laughed and told me she was still only seven or eight items into the list, but was currently stuck on, "Her children call her blessed."

"I might have to wait for all of them to grow out of their teens before I can accomplish that one," she said.

Last year, my sisters and I got together and made a certificate of completion in "Proverbs 31 Training." We took every verse from the passage, and we came up with an example of when she had fulfilled that requirement. It ended up looking like a real diploma, and it had her many accomplishments listed one after the other. We all signed it, including my dad. I read it aloud to her, and when we got to the last verse—"Her children call her blessed"—one by one, we all said, "Mom, you are blessed."

She cried and cried. I honestly think she never thought she would fulfill all the descriptions of "the Proverbs 31 woman." When we were able to point out an instance when she had done each, it was too much to contain. She'd finally reached her whole life's goal!

What she's going to do with her time now is anyone's guess.

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