Proverbs 31 Womans Devotional - Encouragement for Today

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Encouragement for Today - November 28, 2005



Encouragement for Today


“The Gift”

Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Radio, Author, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member


Key Verse:

Proverbs 31:28, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."




One of the most treasured family heirlooms on a family room bookshelf is the hallowed wedding album.  It’s the one day in a couple’s life when they are surrounded by all those most precious to them in one place.  And many of the gifts they receive touch their lives in a deep and lasting way.  One such gift for me, was a bridal shower present from my mom.


Bridal showers are so predictable.  Mounds of various sized boxes wrapped in shiny silver and glossy white paper, topped with beautifully crafted bows.  Toaster ovens, electric can openers, stainless steel mixing bowls, everyday dishes and fine china.  Ooo's and Aaah's echo around the room from spectators as each treasure is carefully unwrapped and passed around the crowd for inspection.  There are comments from a choir of on-lookers who have traveled this road years before.  “You'll need that.” “I still use my stainless bowls that I got for a wedding present back in '55.”  “You can never have too many pot holders.”  And so it goes.


My bridal shower was no exception.  The story was the same as the thousands before mine.  However, one present stood out above all the crock pots, bath towels, and silverware.  It was a gift from my mother, Louise Anderson Edwards.


In 1956, she discovered she was pregnant with me, her second child.  To pass the time, this 24-year-old woman decided to try her hand at crochet.  Her mother-in-law, a magician with needle and thread, taught Louise the ins and outs of crochet mastery.


Louise was one of 12 children, raised on a tobacco farm in Nash County, North Carolina.  She didn't know a lot about the fine gauge of one hundred percent wool skeins of yarn.  But she knew about the strength and durability of one hundred percent cotton household twine.  In her youth, Louise used household twine, which she knew as "tobacco twine," to tie up bundles of the huge green tobacco leaves before hanging them from the barn rafters to dry. 


It was this same twine that Louise's nimble fingers used to crochet a beautiful bed spread for this new child she was carrying.  Love was woven into the spread with each "pearl one and knit two" that her mind silently counted.  The project took eight months to complete.  A baby girl was born just as the last of the fringed border was tatted into place.


The baby girl grew too large for her crib and was too soon ready for her first bed.  But it wasn't the masterpiece her mom had created that graced her bed.  Instead, ballerinas in airy white and pink tutus danced across the fabric of her spread and on the canopy over her head.  The crochet bedspread was buried away like a treasure for later – 23 years later.


At my bridal shower, ladies crowded around to see what grand finale my mom had saved as the last gift to be opened.  I carefully unwrapped the package and plucked the bow from its lid.  As I removed the top and folded back layers of tissue paper, I saw the beautiful crochet bed spread that my mother had created while God was creating me.


"You can never have too many bed spreads," commented one of the old timers.


"And you can never have too much love," I echoed behind.


Four years later, as God was knitting together my first child in my womb, I took up quilting.  My first project took eight months to complete and love was woven into each tiny stitch.  I have visions of one day taking this quilt to my son's fiancée’s bridal shower.  Then among the gifts of pots and pans, she'll open the beautifully wrapped box. 


Someone will say, "You can never have too many quilts."


And I will echo, "And you can never have too much love."


My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of family.  I pray that I will continue to pass the gift of love from one generation to another.  Like a beautiful gift, may we pack each day with love for one another that will serve as a reminder of the great love that you have for us, Your children.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps:

Is there someone in your life that has given you a gift that continues to bring you much joy? 


Today, consider writing a note, letter, or e-mail to that person, thanking them once again for that special gift.


Reflection Points:

What is one of the most precious gifts that you have ever received?


What made it special?


How can that affect your choice of gifts that you give to someone near and dear to you?


Power Verses

Psalm 127:3, “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.”  (NIV)


Proverbs 31:28, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."


Proverbs 31:10, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (NIV)


Additional Resources:

A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes


The Art of Tea and Friendship, by Sandy Lynam Clough


Homespun Gifts from the Heart, by Karen Ebman



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