Blogger Penelope Trunk’s Blueprint for a Woman’s Life is an article I loved reading recently because it resonated with the place I am in life.
The career adviser gives some rather unconventional advice for women — like why they should take botox (the longer you can look younger than 45 the longer runway time you will have to figure out how to raise kids, hold a marriage together and still keep things vibrant and interesting intellectually), do less homework (school is not a harbinger of doing well in life), start a startup with a dude (smart women in their 20s are looking for husbands and cannot be 100% focused on some pie-in-the-sky startup; women in their 30s are having kids and trying to figure out how to work less; men are more easily focused solely on work) and why women should join graduate school young (if you get your MBA early, you set yourself up for skipping entry-level jobs, make re-entry after kids easier because you have higher level experience before you leave and are more likely to marry well).
She additionally advises women who want to go on maternity leave to position themselves in a job they can do with their eyes closed — because if you are taking care of a newborn baby and working full-time, you’ll be doing everything with your eyes closed.
Want to follow her advice? You will need to search your heart.
There are many women telling us how an ideal woman’s life ought to look like– she is a career woman who puts her work first; no, she is a stay-at-home-mom who realises no greater joy than being a home maker; no, she balances her life, work and mission, excelling at both…
I think Penelope is onto something. But today morning I read the Bible’s blueprint of a virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 and realised how much I need to realign my need to please me me and me to what God’s word says, to what makes God, my husband, my children, even society smile.
What’s the blue print of a virtuous woman that I want to live up to, the kind that will make my kids say: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.“?
- She is full of goodness. She is a woman of virtue.
- She is capable; can be entrusted to deliver whatever is within her mandate efficiently.
- Her husband can trust her. He knows once she is handling it, it’s sorted. He knows she has his back every time.
- She will not hinder her husband but HELP him all her life. Call her dignified PA, coat hanger, shoe wiper, dinner warmer, budget planner, door opener… whatever help he needs, that’s where she meets his needs. She is a helpmate. All her life. Not just when he’s remembered to call her during the day or when he’s helped with the kids. It’s not seasonal or moody helping. It’s meeting his needs all the days of her life.
- She is busy clothing her family. She works hard to make sure they are clothed. She shops for them. She mends those that need buttons. She irons them. She makes sure her family looks the part.
- She is like a merchant ship. The thought that comes to mind is a ship that looks like the middle of Gikosh or Toi market. Full of resources, goodies and supplies.
- She feeds her family.
- She gets up before dawn to make breakfast.
- She is an employer. Through her others can earn a living. She plans the day’s work for her workers.
- She invests in property and grows her income where she finds opportunities.
- She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
- She is frugal. She practices austerity. She hunts for bargains. she watches her coins. She does not waste her husband’s money.
- Her lamp burns late into the night. I don’t know what you do late into the night but I have several naughty ideas considering that’s when there is no danger of kids breaking down our door.
- She’s generous to those in need and compassionate. She is a giver.
- She plans for the future. Nothing catches her by surprise.
- She’s resourceful.
- She is elegant and classy. She dresses well, she looks well. She doesn’t look like a hobo or like a mama headed to the farm in leso, torn tee and worn-out stockings on her head.
- Her husband is a leader whose opinion is sought after.
- She’s an entrepreneur who uses her skills to earn money. She grabs business opportunities that come her way.
- She is clothed with strength and dignity. Strong people can love. Strong people forgive. strong people give of themselves. Dignity: worthy of honour and respect.
- She is optimistic about the future. She inspires, uplifts.
- Her words are wise and her instructions come with kindness.
- She is observant and in charge of her household. Not the children, not the help; not her mother or mother-in-law.
- She is never lazy.
- Her children honour her and call her blessed.
- Top of all, she fears the Lord.
That list can be intimidating but don’t let it cower you. That’s not the goal. Choose an item where you need improvement and work on it gradually and who know, may be by end year you can actually tick off every single item.