five spokes

Want to hear something crazy?  Okay, maybe not crazy…want to hear an amazing coincidence?  Wait…now that I think of it,it may not really be a coincidence either.


In my attempts to be a Proverbs 31 wife and get my life in order (being “in your thirties” instead of just “30” can have that effect on you) I’ve noticed something interesting.  The Bible shows us 10 areas of life which require a certain amount of attention given by the Virtuous Woman (thanks to A Virtuous Woman for laying these out with corresponding scriptures):

1. Faith A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways.

(Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15)

2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet.

(Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis 2: 18)

3. Mothering A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go.

(Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)

4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family.

(Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)

5. Service A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable.

(Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)

6. Finances A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs.

(Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)

7. Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands.  She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks.

(Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)

8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her.

(Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)

9. Time A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord.

(Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )

10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones.

(Proverbs 31: 10, Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)


The interesting coincidence is that those 10 points can be condensed into the Five Spokes found in Chazown by Craig Groeschel. If one of the spokes breaks, your whole wheel collapses (um, the wheel would be your life…got that?):

1. Your relationship with God

2. Your relationships with other people

3. Your financial life

4. Your physical health

5. Your life’s work

What’s so crazy is that before I even read that part of the book, before I even found the list of what it means to be a Virtuous Woman, I decided to concentrate on each of the five spokes!  And it was completely unintentional.  It’s not like I sat down one day and decided there were 5 areas of my life I wanted to work on.  I simply starting making time each morning to read my Bible.  Then I started reading Chazown and discovered that my life’s work is to be an example to other wives of how to treat their husbands. Trey and I began our journey to Financial Peace last month – we’re slowly but surely getting the hang of Dave Ramsey’s envelope system and the debt snowball.  As of August 1, we’ve both committed to restart the Power 90 diet program (Trey’s following Tony Horton’s work out plan whereas I’m letting Jillian Michaels kick my booty with her 30 Day Shred).  And I think you may have picked up on the fact that I’m putting considerable efforts into being a better wife to my amazing hubby – aka working on our relationship.  Honestly, all five spokes snuck up on me as areas of my life that I wanted to improve before I even read it in the book.


And what’s even more amazing is that in working on the finances, my fitness, and my life’s work, I’m honoring my husband…AND in doing all of those things I’m honoring God and working to find His vision for my life.


Seriously, how cool is that?


Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday dear Leslie.  Happy birthday to me.

Yup, I’ve been singing that all week.  Well, that and…

It’s my birthday muffin.  I’m a birthday muffin.

But I don’t expect you to know that one.


Today is the 31st.  Four days ago I celebrated my 31st birthday.  I read a chapter of Proverbs everyday – corresponding with the date, so today, I read Proverbs 31.  The Capable Wife.  It’s been kind of a recent revelation of mine that being a good wife, nay, a fabulous, amazing, dang near perfect wife (hey, we all gotta strive for something) is my “job.”  People ask me what I do:  I’m a wife.  I spend my days doing whatever I can to make Trey’s life better.


But it hasn’t always been that way.  When we were first married I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world because I had a hubby who would cook AND wash the dishes after a long day of work.  Little did I know that was flat-out not honoring him.  In fact, there were times in our early marriage when I quite intentionally didn’t honor him because I put my selfish wants and desires above his happiness…above everything else.  And when things got that bad, my amazing husband prayed and asked God how on earth to deal with his horrible (seriously, I definitely had a horrible phase) wife, God told him to “love me.”  And he did.  And it was that unconditional, amazing, forgiving love that has grown our marriage into the amazing bond it is now.  So sure ladies, if your man wants to dote on you, by all means, soak it in and praise him for his efforts.  But don’t come to expect it.  It is your duty to serve your husband because that is precisely what women were designed to do.  Eve was created to be a companion and helpmeet (I love that word) to Adam…not the other way around.


A few years ago (before I met Trey) I attended a wedding with some friends and we were all flabbergasted by how many times the phrase “honor and obey” was used…particularly directed at the bride.  Every little feminist bone in my body stood up on edge.  What a sucker! I secretly thought about the bride.  And, what a jerk! I secretly thought about the groom for obviously insisting that that particular decree be included in their marriage ceremony.  And the friends I was sitting with seemed to agree.  It just wasn’t fair.  The wife was supposed to serve and honor and obey her husband, but all he had to do was love her.  Seemed to me like he got off pretty easy.  But even when I got past that point (ya know, it does say that in the Bible), it seemed like such an insurmountable task!  I mean, who has the energy to serve her husband all the time???  What about days when I’m tired or bored or just don’t feel like it?  What if I have other things to do?  What if I think my hubby ought to spend more time serving me???  It’s taken almost 4 years of marriage to realize that that just doesn’t matter.  Sure, there will be days when I fail miserably.  But that’s precisely why God gave me the most amazing, loving, patient, forgiving husband in all the land…because He knew I couldn’t possibly be the perfect wife every day.


So, officially, on the 31st day of July, in my 31st year, I’m publicly declaring that my goal for the year is to become a Proverbs 31 wife.  A Capable Wife.  A Wife of Noble Character.  A Virtuous Woman.  And I challenge all my married girlfriends to do the same.


The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


Proverbs 31: 10-31


Say a prayer and wish me luck…cause I certainly can’t do it on my own.

chazown, gazuntite

So I’m reading this book that makes me want to go postal.  Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Seriously, it’s messing with my head and making me question the entire direction of my life.  And yes, I’m crying as I read it…cause that’s what I do, yo.

The book is Chazown by Craig Groeschel.  Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision.  And it’s pronounced with phlegm (like Chava in Fiddler on the Roof) – when pronounced correctly, those around you should feel inclined to say “bless you” or “gazuntite.”  Basically, Groeschel (has the hardest-to-spell last name ever) wrote this book as part of his ministry (he’s also senior pastor of to help people discover God’s vision for their lives.  As a Christian, you learn pretty early on that God has a plan for your life, and that it’s super cool and amazing and way more awesome than your own personal dinky little plan.  Chazown is written to help you think through some hard (whoa) questions in hopes of discovering what that vision might be.

So far I’ve decided that my life is crazy far off path…I’m pretty sure God’s vision for my life was not to be a total screw up in my twenties and work in a series of jobs that neither challenged me nor provided very much enjoyment.  So I guess it’s a relief God has plans for me to prosper…but how the heck to I follow them if I can’t figure out what they are?

Lucky for me (and anyone else who’s read the book), Groeschel has a step by step process that helps guide you into figuring it out.  Today I completed the “Purpose Statement” segment, and I strangely feel much better.  And what I came up with (though you should know that it wasn’t so much me as Him) was that my purpose isn’t at all what I thought it was going to be.  When I got down to it, and compared my core values, spiritual gifts, and past experiences, I discovered that my purpose in life isn’t to be a late-blooming Broadway star or author of the best novel written since A Tale of Two Cities (cause we all know Twilight ain’t it) – it’s to be a good wife and (future) mother.  As I age and mature (believe it or not folks, this is much more mature than even 2 years ago), I’m discovering that what drives me every day is the deep desire to be the best wife I can be and to have a home that is welcoming and to eventually raise children to be loving, Christian folks.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t succeed every day.  Far from it.  But actually putting in writing what think God’s purpose for my life is has given me the get-up-and-go I’ve been longing for.

Granted, I still have over half of the book to go through and Groeschel assures his readers that their purpose statement can grow and change as they do, but I feel truly confident in this new (defined) direction.

So confident, in fact, that I’m going to vacuum.

A few resources that are helping me define my direction:  Proverbs 31: 10-31, and A Virtuous Woman.

What’s your chazown?