Hymn to a Good Wife
"A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds."
A good woman IS hard to find! In fact, I can't even take credit for finding Mindy. Wonderful family friends of ours, the Andersons, knew us each individually for many years and watched us grow up. And almost 7 years ago, they introduced us - the rest, they say, is history. Amazing, wonderful, fun :-) Also, I roughly calculated the value of Mindy if she were a diamond, and came up with $35,916,543,976.82 - but this verse hit the nail on the head, because Mindy is worth far more than that!
"Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it."
I trust Mindy with absolutely everything - from simple things, to complex things; from the layout and decor of our house, to where we should spend our vacations; and most importantly, with raising our beautiful daughter Laylie - and I never ever ever have reason to regret it. Mindy is absolutely amazing!
"Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long."
Mindy has the most tender, caring, giving, loving, others-focused heart I have ever seen and she always treats me with gentleness, kindness, patience, respect, and love... she has made the past 5 1/2 years of marriage pure bliss!
"She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing."
Whether you interpret this verse figuratively (she always finds the best deals and styles of clothes for herself, Laylie, and sometimes even me!) or literally (Mindy has sewn some of her own clothes and even some seat covers for our chairs), I can say that yes, my wonderful wife is a seamstress!
"She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises."
Mindy is always finding fun food that we've never tried before, trying new recipes, coming up with new ideas - I am always excited to hear about anything new she has found, because I know it will be worthwhile.
"She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day."
The truth of the matter is... my love LOVES to sleep in. But you know what? Our little Laylie... not so much. :-) Mindy puts her own desires aside to get up early, feed Laylie a healthy breakfast, and take care of her all day long. And is her day organized? Y.E.S. it is! Mindy is the most proactive, prepared, on-top-of-it person I know!
"She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden."
Mindy has taken a proactive approach to budgeting - a while back we both sat down together and with clear and concise direction, we decided on a monthly budget for our little family. And let me tell you - Mindy has taken that little budget and run with it! She factors in all the little things that need to be taken care of each month, never skips a beat, and always ensures our budget lasts the whole month. She is very wise with money and wise with saving. She is a wise woman of the Lord!
"First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started."
My wonderful wife definitely has a hard working spirit about her. She is never afraid to jump in and lend her hand no matter what job we have going on - be it painting a room of the house, working outside in the yard, cleaning the garage, or all the other wonderful amazing things she does. She is so talented, but in addition to that, loves putting her talents to good use.
"She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day."
This one makes me smile - there are more than a handful of times that I can remember where Mindy and I have worked on a little project for our family and when we take a minute to look at the clock... it is way past our bedtime. :-) While some people would feel the call of their pillow and want to call it quits and pick it up in the morning, my precious Mindy digs deep and gives encouragement to others to continue on for just a few more minutes. She knows that with the satisfaction of a job well done, she can get a good nights sleep full of rest and relaxation.
"She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking."
Well! Have you been to our house? It is ok for me to say this, because I can't take credit for anything. So it isn't like me bragging; it is me complimenting my bride. Before Mindy and I got married, you should have seen this place. I had I think a single old wrinkled leather recliner that I got off of craigslist in the family room and my tv was on the floor. That about summed up the place. :-) But have you seen our house now? It is all thanks to my amazing Mindy - one skilled in the crafts of the home and hearth, and extremely diligent in homemaking.
"She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor."
As I said earlier, Mindy has a heart for others. One time, out of the blue, Mindy looks at me and says, "Let's go feed the homeless." So we hopped in our car, just the two of us, bought 50 tacos 50 hamburgers, and 50 bottles of water, and made our way down to downtown San Diego. We quickly ran out of the food and water and also gave away countless blankets and sleeping bags. We prayed for a few wonderful people who definitely seemed like they needed prayer, and Mindy whispered in my ear more than once, "I wish we could take this person home with us." Mindy has a huge heart for others.
"She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear."
It does help that we live in southern California... :-) But nonetheless, I take this verse to mean that Mindy does not need to worry about the future, because she runs her house prepared for all kinds of unexpected events. Whether it be a torrential downpour, or perhaps a trip to the beach - Mindy is always prepared with an extra umbrella or some sunscreen and a beach blanket. She is not often caught unexpected.
"She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks."
Hey! Didn't I already mention this earlier? :-) She has made I think at least 2 or 3 skirts for herself, and many Halloween costumes, things for the house, etc. All with her trusty sewing machine that she frugally purchased at a garage sale! You go, girl!!
"Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers."
Well you know the other day when I was talking with the mayor and the city treasurer... haha, just kidding. I think what this verse is trying to say is that, when other people see Mindy and I together, are we a good example to the community? Are we effectively sharing the love of God? Speaking God's Word? I can say without a doubt that Mindy is indeed a shining star to the people who live around us and to the people we come into contact with day to day.
"She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops."
I need to check with Mindy and see whether or not she's sold one of those dresses she sewed. But shoot! They are cute enough to sell anyway. So that counts. And truthfully, Mindy's more of a giver than a seller - she constantly is going through her closet and the house looking for things that would be better suited belonging to someone else. A sister, a friend, or even Goodwill - many people have been blessed by Mindy.
"Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile."
Wow, this Proverbs 31 sure talks about clothes a lot, doesn't it? ;-) Well it's safe to say that we've thoroughly covered that section. But I love the 2nd part of this verse - because it is true. Mindy is always smiling, and is always looking forward to the blessings that God will bring tomorrow - and how she can be that blessing to God and to others. And boy does Mindy have a beautiful smile!!!
"When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly."
I have heard nothing but positive, encouraging words come out of Mindy's mouth. The Bible says "out of the heart, the mouth speaks". Nothing makes me happier than to hear Mindy speak, because it reminds me what she has stored up in her heart - Jesus.
"She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive."
Yes, I do have a honey-do list. :-) And nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to check an item off of the list - because it makes me feel productive, and because I know I've served my beautiful wife by helping her out with something she couldn't do on her own. And Laylie is always under Mindy's watchful eye too - no matter if she is outside in her playhouse, inside coloring, or upstairs taking a nap. Mindy is a wonderful wife and fantastic mother!
"Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:"
The times when I am blessed to give my wife a much deserved time off to do something fun while Laylie and I do our own little thing out and about or back at the house, it is always sooooooo cute and endearing to see Mindy and Laylie get reunited. "M.A.M.A.!!!!" Laylie will exclaim at the top of her lungs, while toddling straight to Mindy as fast as she can. And it's true - sometimes I join in too: "M.I.N.D.Y.!!!"
"'Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!'"
This is one of my favorite verses from the Bible - I try to say it to Mindy in all kinds of different ways with all kinds of different words. I think this is a phrase that every husband should shower their wife with constantly. Because it is so true - there are many wonderful women out there, who do all kinds of great things. But Melinda, in my eyes, you have surpassed each and every one of them!
"Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God."
I was going to rephrase this one to say "outer beauty soon fades" but then I got to thinking... if I am lucky and blessed enough to be looking into Mindy's eyes in, say, 55 years, I can promise you that what I see when I look at her will be a shared lifetime together serving the Lord, each other, our children, family and friends - and all of that will be summed up in Great-Grandma Mindy's gorgeous green eyes and stunning outer beauty. So I'd like to say that if someone has true inner beauty, then the longer that person lives, the more beautiful they become. Mindy truly loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength. And that is the most beautiful thing in the whole entire universe.
"Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!"
I often struggle with what I should get Mindy on special occasions like today. I want her to feel so loved and so special - because she is!! So I may get her little things here and there - but in the scheme of things, what really matters is this: Mindy Grace White, today, and every day for the rest of my life, I give myself to the Lord, to you, and to Laylie. I am so excited to see how the Lord will bless you this next year of your life, and I am so incredibly blessed to be your husband! You are an amazing best friend, lover, wife, and mother! Thank you for everything you do! Happy Birthday, my love!!!