She came into my house as an acquaintance and if we ever allow her to leave; she will leave as family. A whimsical, gray haired, belly-laughing country girl with Mary Poppin's tendencies was about to transform our family. At the time, I knew I was hiring someone that would be able to watch over my kids and keep them from harm.
My 3 year old triplets were getting a great caregiver who loved the Lord. I had to go back to work. The financial pressures of providing for our trio had become too much for a single income. I needed to be able to bring in some extra cash. The responsibility of hiring someone to care for your children is stressful to say the least. Becoming a new mother of multiples brings with it added emotional, financial, and often physical difficulties. When they told me I was having triplets my first thought was "I am going to die" and my second thought was "I need to grow more arms!" And when that third arm started to grow...okay I won't take that any further. Actually, I did not get to be the woman on Ripley's as the woman who willed herself an additional arm, but God actually did provide for me an extra pair of hands.
She thinks she is a nanny. And, she is. But, as she has been busy helping me raise my kids; I have been learning a thing or two from her. There might be a daycare on every corner, but not everyone gets the pleasure of living with a true Proverbs 31 woman. Here's some things I have learned from my practically perfect, Mary Poppin's that make this mom beam with pride:
"She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
...a LOT! But, with as much zeal as she tells stories, she also listens to mine. She encourages my endeavors. She builds my self-esteem. She defends me like she's my momma. And if I were a bear cub and she were the angry Bear Momma...well, you might just want to tuck your tail and run. She has taught me to not hold in my feelings until I explode, but talk about them.
"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value, she brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:11
...With pride:About her husband actually. I figure if she can love a clown, then I can love one too (okay, hers is actually a real rodeo clown, mine just acts like one from time to time). Truly, if my love for Robb is a fraction of what hers is for her husband; I think we will be doing just fine 20 years from now.
"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands." Proverbs 31: 13
She is Eager to Work...
I will never forget the time I left the house at 10:00 am. I did not just leave the house, I left it a disaster area. So much so, that I probably should have put some caution tape up over the door as I departed. The Christmas decorations were in boxes all over the living room. The dishes were piled high as Jacob's ladder and I was off. "And good luck with that!" I thought as I pushed the door shut. At 2:00, a mere four hours later, I returned. The Christmas tree was assembled and decorated. The children were sound asleep and the kitchen was spotless. The smell of cookies emanated from one counter, while dessert #2 was cooling on the opposite side. Some might call it magic, but I call that diligence (and a little bit of crazy in there too! :0).
"She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." Proverbs 31:15
...mostly food that is gluten free in nature. I am not a baker. I like to cook, but not bake. And my gluten sensitivity can be a real challenge in the baking department. But, not for her. She has been determined to experiment on my behalf. And has even learned a few tricks to making my G-Free favorites taste better than the manufacturer themselves could. While most mommy's are running out of the house stressed in the mornings, she has taught me to slow down and enjoy my mornings with my kids. And what used to be the most dreaded part of my day because of my illness, has actually become my most treasured.
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." Proverbs 31:17
She knows how to work it...
...and put in work orders. I believe that our nanny is the most persuasive individual I have ever met. The Bible says that we "have not, because we ask not," and I have witnessed this firsthand. Apparently, if you tack on the words "love you to the moon and back" all sorts of things get accomplished. We rent from my parents and our nanny isn't afraid of telling the Landlord what is needed around the house. I have new floors and a storage building on the way that I would have never had the courage to ask for. And because of this; I love HER (and my parent's) to the moon and back.
"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:20
I am not one for organization. Okay, that is an understatement. If awards were given I might receive ones such as "ultimate procrastinator," "most number of years without pictures being hung on the walls," or "bill hoarder." And we wonder where Laci gets her hoarding tendencies? :0 It is a pure miracle that not only do I have someone to care for my kids and take care of housework, but the BIGGER miracle is that God sent me someone that enjoys my pitiful ability to organize. My downfall is actually her delight. And trust me when I say, I do not understand it. But, she is good at it! God makes rivers in the desert and Susie helps me find the carpet in my bedroom. And yes, I know what color the carpet is (only because of her though).
"She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes."
And don't forget tutus. She makes those too!
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
She knows how to have a good time. She sings. She dances. And she jumps on trampolines to the detriment of her neck at times (her chiropractor says to stop, but does she really listen to anyone?)
I know that one day, God will "give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Psalm 31:31
For "many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Love you to the moon and back.