Painting heart-cries, word by word

Why Is Wisdom a Lady? October 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — verbosevictoria @ 5:15 pm
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The following is a blog post I made in May 2011. It led to assisting a friend of mine in a talk on Proverbs he was to give that week. I love it when God lets us see a glimpse of His handiwork, no matter how small it may seem. ūüôā

When I was a little girl, the pastor of our church decided to have a Q&A time between himself and the congregation by having people submit written questions on Sunday morning while the offering plate was passed. He would review them in the afternoon and answer them as best he could during evening service. (Look, I went to a Baptist, be-there-whenever-the-doors-are-open church when I was a kid, okay? It wasn’t too bad. It boosted my social life. And sometimes I even learned something. :p)

I am a very inquisitive being. I also get a thrill out of asking a really good question. So, being just a kid, I thought it would be awesome to have MY question asked by the pastor. I didn’t want to ask any ol’ question. I wanted it to be good. I wanted it to be original and thought-provoking. Even though no one else would know it was my question, I wanted everyone around me to do that “hmmm” thing while the pastor englightened us to a new and wonderful truth. I asked, “Why is wisdom always referred to as a woman in Proverbs?” (Mind you, I’m like…10 years old when I asked this.)

The pastor answered several questions before mine. They were all pretty standard questions about predestination or “hypothetical” confrontational situations. When he got to my question, he hmmm’ed and kind of chuckled. Then he looked up at all of us in the congregation and said, “I have no idea. Okay, next question!”

I was severely disappointed, oddly embarrassed, and more than a little frustrated. Didn’t he think about my question at all that afternoon? Man, was I glad no one but my dad knew that question was from me… And what kind of pastor who has been to seminary and everything can’t answer a question from a 10 year old girl?!

Precocious much?

Well, I think after 16 years of still wondering that same question, I’ve finally come up with a theory. It’s not fancy or anything and I could be way off, but here goes. In Proverbs King Solomon tells his son to get wisdom at all costs. He describes Wisdom as a woman calling out to anyone who will listen. He says to go after wisdom, to pursue wisdom. Why is wisdom a woman? Maybe, just maybe, the pursuit of wisdom is best pictured by a man courting a woman he loves. He will do anything and everything it takes to gain that relationship with her. It doesn’t matter how many hoops he’s got to go through, he will push through any obstacle to get to her. The desire for that relationship drives him, motivates him. He uses any means he can think of to gain her favor (by the way, my unmarried lady friends, this whole flowers-every-weekend thing is not going to last if you get married–not being cynical, just realistic) and he implements all his manly tools to accomplish this goal. Forget about sex, I’m talking the staying up late to talk, trying to respect her parents, showing off whatever talents he has to impress her–that kind of stuff. It’s a grand pursuit. And I think that is how we are to pursue wisdom. Do whatever it takes, jump through every hoop and over every obstacle, be motivated every day to strive for wisdom.

By the way, the only way to get it is to ask for it, just like the only way to marrying a man’s daughter used to be to ask the Father first.

So take THAT, preacher from 16 years ago! ~Enlightened Victoria

And then the first comment I got was this:

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria…

You probably didn’t know this, but my dad is running our annual church retreat this year, and the theme is the book of Proverbs.¬† And you probably didn’t know this, but he asked me to give Sunday’s message at the retreat’s end, and I decided to do it on Lady Wisdom.¬† And you probably didn’t know this, but I’m still working on giving my talk its final form (last minute, I know), and the angle I’m taking with my talk is that obtaining Wisdom isn’t a series of rules to remember so much as it is a relationship, a love affair…

…and I’ve been spending all morning researching how Solomon says to make Wisdom your “sister,” and how “sister” can actually be a term of endearment to one’s fiancee, as we see it in Song of Songs; and how Solomon describes Wisdom as being “worth far more than rubies,” the exact same language King Lemuel’s mother uses of the Virtuous Wife; and I’ve been wondering how to work James 1:5 into the whole thing, where God promises to give wisdom to whomever asks it of him…

No such thing as coincidence.

Your answer is quite awesome.¬† Can I crib off you for that last bit, about asking one’s bride’s Father?”

Of course I agreed. And we marvelled at how Father cares for us.


Why Having 5 Kids Has Not Scarred Me for Life October 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — verbosevictoria @ 10:39 pm
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I would love to go into extreme detail about each time God expanded our family, but that would be a very “tl;dr” post. Matt Walsh uploaded a blog recently to give a new dad some perspective. As Mr. Walsh is still pretty new at this, by his own admission, I thought I would expand on his thoughts a bit. (Although, I will say I’ve never had twins and that is an experience to which I cannot directly speak.) After all, people do think we’re crazy on a regular basis for not being “done” by now. Which seems odd to me because 5 kids is not exactly “out there” in terms of quantity.

So here’s how having 5 kids went down for me.

The first time it happened, I was hurtled into a default state of complete and utter shock. There was no going back. I was officially insane.

The second time it happened, I felt kind of vindicated for being put into shock the first time. This parenting thing really was as hard as it seemed.

The third time it happened, I actually looked forward to it all, right down to the dirtiest diaper and the sleepless nights. I was fascinated and in love with the baby phase of life.

The fourth time it happened, I relished as many moments as I was able because it started to hit home–this would not last forever. My time with little ones was going to end eventually.

The fifth time it happened, I rejoiced in the gift of it, of him, of my third son and fifth child. I rejoiced in my calling as a mother and as a steward of these precious PEOPLE God put into the care of my husband and myself.

Although my first time was rocky and difficult, although I was convinced I was a monster for cringing every time my beautiful daughter cried for me, **although it took me months to appreciate her for the wonder she truly was and is–continuing to listen to God by¬†having more¬†children has been the greatest tool¬†He has used in my life for helping me see what a destiny really is.

Destiny is not the golden-trimmed puzzle piece we want it to be. Destiny is not an acheivement at all. Destiny is a posture of life and it is characterized by surrender. I have FINALLY learned, after 8 years of pregnancy, nursing and parenting, that my surrender to God in being a mother is my destiny. It is certainly not the only point of surrender but it is definitely a significant one.

I wasn’t one to plan this, you know? I didn’t daydream about babies. I picked a couple names out at age 14 just so I could join in the girly sleepover discussions. I didn’t even think about being married one day!

God had different plans for me than I had, and I thank Him for choosing me to do something so meaningful.

I’m not scarred by the difficulties of parenting five children. I am being shaped by it. I am in a position of destiny.

Praise God.

(**I did struggle with my first born quite a bit for various reasons. God gave me a strong support system through my husband, my family, and my church. I loved my little girl from moment one but I’m pretty sure I had a mild bout of post-partum depression on top of all the sleep deprivation and general feelings of being confused and overwhelmed. The subsequent post-partum experiences were all very positive, however, for which I thank God.
Just wanted to be clear.)