"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Sunday, January 4, 2015

domestic reflection sundays...

Last year I shared Sunday Scriptures each week, and they helped me grow in God's word and pushed me deeper into His heart. In 2015 I'll be sharing "Domestic Reflections" each Sunday - scriptures, photos and thoughts about being a Christian woman tending her home in the 21st century. This will be a special journey during my Year of Gentle Domesticity; wandering along the country roads of my heart, searching for the beautiful wildflowers to display, whilst being diligent to remove the ugly weeds that have overgrown my path. And there truly are weeds.

Each month I will have a theme that we can study together, so during the four Sunday's of January we'll look at what the Bible tells us about our hands,  beginning with today's verse, Proverbs 31:13.

This scripture is well known by most of us; it is a portion of the 'Virtuous Wife' description found in Proverbs 31. King Lemuel's mother sat her son down and gave him very clear and uncompromising thoughts on what he need look for in a wife he could value 'far above rubies'.

She describes a future spouse as needing 'eager' hands. (NIV)
The Hebrew word used here is chephets  which in its full definition stems from a word meaning pleasure.
So if I am to grasp the fullness of what King Lemuel's mother is saying, it might sound like this:

"Lemuel, she would work with eager, willing, delightful, purposeful, pleasing hands..."

Wow - isn't that beautiful?

But then I look at my hands, and I ask myself, "do my  hands work eagerly, willingly, delightfully, purposefully, and with pleasure?" 
Sometimes they do, when I'm working at what I enjoy. I smile and sing when I wash dishes, embroider, or iron my husband's shirts!
But when it's doing the mundane things around the home, or if they are required for service outside of my comfort zone, my hands rarely crack a smile. 
I can honestly say I have no memory of working with delight whilst scrubbing the loo or cleaning polished wood floors. In fact, I put those floor chores off for weeks at a time and then when I can't find a new excuse not to do them I grumble and mutter under my breath while I work. Gulp. 

Maybe you are always eager and delighted when your hands are working at a given task, or maybe you're like me and there seem to be more un-willing and un-pleasurable responses than eager and delighted ones?

This week let's stop and take note of everything our hands can do. Give thanks to Him for your hands and the tasks they are able  to do and which we too often take for granted. God gave them to us to be purposeful, and what a gift it is to have a purpose!

I'm going to start by being very girly and give myself a manicure this afternoon. I want them to look good when I set them to joyful endeavours on Monday.  What about you?



  1. Olá Jenny,
    Eu gostaria de saber Inglês para poder me comunicar melhor com você, mas não sei...
    Gostei muito do post, fiquei comovida e quero acompanhar você neste caminho de reflexão sobre a Palavra de Deus. Muito obrigada pelo convite. Será um prazer estar com você!
    Realmente precisamos ser muito gratas a Deus pelas mãos que temos e pelo que somos capazes de fazer com elas, graças à bondade Dele! É preciso saber valorizar e agradecer todos os dias!

  2. Oh I just love this! The Proverbs 31 Woman has been my role model for 32 years of marriage. I look forward to this.

  3. I love Proverbs 31! That's the woman I try to be. Jenny, I just wanted to tell you how inspiring your blog is. There aren't many blogs that are spiritually uplifting like your blog is. I look forward to walking with you during the Year of Domesticity!

  4. Wow, once again, we are on the same wavelength! I've been thinking about what I turn my hands to, and whether all of it is what they ought to be doing, and how much pleasure I DON'T take in certain tasks, even though I know they are necessary. When I reflect on the illnesses or disabilities of some of my friends, and what they CAN'T do these days, it gives an entirely new meaning to having willing hands that CAN do. Thank you so much for this post, Jenny.

  5. Thank you so much for taking this direction in your blogging. Your beautiful style and embroideries add a lot of encouragement to the call to follow Christ in our homes.

  6. Thank Jenny, I'm going to print this out and put in my journal for the week

  7. Thank you, Jenny. Looking forward to this new series you've had a "hand" in creating. God is SO good.

  8. Jenny, I am so looking forward to this year of Simple Domesticity with you. (I didn't realize there was such a word: domesticity; and I even used it in my blog post today!) Your post speaks to my heart and yes, I do need to get my hands looking pretty again. In fact, I told my husband yesterday that one of my goals for this year is to keep my nails looking better than last year! Happy New Year!

  9. This is a wonderful way to continue your theme of Gentle Domesticity. I have so much to learn. Thank you for sharing...

  10. What a great reminder to me to work well with my hands and heart. Looking forward to more meditations on godly womanhood.

  11. So inspiring, Jenny. thank you for your insights and personal sharing. your message is ringing a lot of bells for me. just the boost that I need to lift my motivation. Thankyou. xxxx

  12. Hallo meine liebe jenny !
    Ich hoffe die Pause hat Dir gut getan und freue mich auf ein Neues jahr mit Dir und Deinen Super Ideen.
    Es hat mir richtig was gefehlt während Deiner Pause. Leider funktioniert das translate nicht mehr und so kann ich nur noch bruchteile verstehen. Java Script habe ich aktiviert und bisher funktionierte es auch damit. Kannst Du etwas daran ändern ? Ich wünsche Dir ein gesundes glückliches, zauberhaftes, ideen-
    reiches Neues Jahr !!!
    Deine Christa B.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and thoughts, such in inspiration.

  14. Beautiful post! I'm going to give my hands a manicure along with you. Have a wonderful day! Hugs,

  15. I love your honesty. I do have some household chores I do not like do with my hands either. I put them off for a while but most times when I begin them they are not so bad. I am grateful for the way the Lord has blessed us and I want to take care of those things. Thank you for sharing God's word and the thoughts He has given you. Happy Sunday!

  16. I have this very scripture waiting for me in a kit. It is one I really like as I do tend to work with my hands a lot,everything from embroidery to roofing.

  17. Looking forward to studying with you this year, Jenny.

  18. I just found your blog and I absolutely love it! I have been getting ready to focus more on my home and my family than the outside world. I didn't have a "Name" for my plan. You summed it up perfectly! I just bought Jane Brockett's book, on your recommendation. Today when I opened your blog I was again pleasantly surprised. We are returning to Church today after a new year absence. Thank you for what you are doing on your blog. I feel that God has lead me to you for encouragement. Blessings!

  19. Jenny,
    I certainly have problems when it comes to cleaning the bathroom. I can also let the floors go awhile until I mop them. Since we have all hardwood floors or linoleum this can be a problem. I do like your idea of a manicure today. I know that my poor hands could benefit from some TLC and I wouldn't have thought of it. It is a good way to start the week. I am looking forward to this year of domesticity with you!

  20. Bless you, Christa - I realise it's hard even with the translate google thing in the sidebar. I pray you are able to 'read' without too much trouble. x

  21. This is so beautiful and appropriate for our year of gentle domesticity with you. I am going to try to enjoy all the little moments in life this year instead of dreading so many stressful moments.

  22. Hi Jenny, I'm going to disagree with a lot of the comments, I've used a cotton /acrylic mix for some garments as we don't like scratchy wool here. I would try knitting a large swatch and checking gauge. I have quite a tight tension which works well with these fibers, so perhaps if your tension is loose the cotton/acrylic might not work. The acrylic blend will ensure the cotton doesn't stretch too much. Also washing is very important, I never put my knitted garments in the machine and I hand wash with Eucalyptus wash in lukewarm water and squeeze the water out in a towel and dry flat, this tends to bring things back into shape. Good luck and if you need me to source you any product let me know, I'm in Brisbane and I'm off to Melbourne next week, so if you find a shop you want me to pick up from I can. Anyway you have my email if you need me to have a look around for you. Cass

  23. Thank you Jenny! Your blog is my "cuppa with a friend" each day and this post was so perfect for me (and it seems so many of your faithful readers!). This year I am trying to focus on enjoying the moment and this verse will help me remember how some of my least enjoyable tasks are still a blessing. Hugs to you my friend and thank you for the many years of inspiration for my hands, heart, mind and spirit.


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