I'm going to call the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31 "Elizabeth", mainly because she's deserving of a memorable name and also calling her "Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31" throughout the lifespan of this blog is going to be tedious. I figured Elizabeth is a good name. It sounds strong, poised, regal, and if that's not enough, beautiful. Also, my mom told me that she was going to call me Elizabeth but somehow, and I don't know why, I turned into Anna Marie. Anna, the prophetess, and Marie, the bitter one. And then my nickname since birth is Chic, fashionable, mod, cool and trendy. A bitter prophetess who's fashionably cool just doesn't seem to fit but that about sums up my personality in a nutshell. And that, in a nutshell, is going to be my Mount Everest in my quest to becoming like Elizabeth. Let's face it. That woman is not really simply Ms. Virtuous. Afterall, the Bible says that she surpasses all women, even the most honorable ones. She is, in every sense of the word, Perfect. And all you have to do is be on the passenger side of my car during alternate side parking in Brooklyn on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to know that I am far from Elizabeth and that becoming like her would not only require ample fasting and praying, but a miracle. And that is why this blog is in "pursuit" of Proverbs 31. I expect to do just that. Pursue, with no guarantees of ever catching up. But I thought, what the heck, it's worth a try!
Elizabeth and I have a couple of things in common. She was a working woman. Check. She was a busy woman. Check. She was a determined woman. Check. She had a strong personality. Check. She was a deep thinker. Check. She was a leader. Check. She was a wife. Check. She was a mother. Check. She loved her God. Check.
She slept late. Double Check.
Here is where we differ:
She was a good housekeeper. She was patient. She was organized. She was calculated. She planned ahead. She was two steps ahead of everything, in fact. She was business-minded. She secured her future and laughed at adversities. She was dripping with the right, soft words and was immensely wise. She kept herself beautiful.
And as though that wasn't enough to make me throw in the towel, she also woke up real early. Real early.
I waited behind an idling car today in Avenue C and honked my horn as passionately as I could because the car in front of me was too scared to turn for fear of crashing into cars coming from 2 miles ahead. When the red light came on, my lips were dripping with all sorts of things but soft words. (No, I wasn't cursing. Thankfully, I do no such things. I came close when I was stuck in heavy traffic at Forest Avenue because a robo cop decided to pull a guy over in the middle of the road and parked his undercover car right between the lines of the lane--I mean, seriously, he deserved to be called a moron but hey, Elizabeth would have probably just given him a word of wisdom.) And as I gripped the steering wheel of my truck and growled under my breath I glanced at my fingers and grimaced at my chipped, uncut nails and wondered how long it would take for the left over nail polish to completely peel off from my right thumb nail. And, of course, I thought of the Virtuous Woman. "I bet she had beautiful nails."
So I've decided to start with the most basic. Something quantifiable. Something I can check off my list and know, for sure, that I am eye to eye with Elizabeth.
The Bible says that the Virtuous Woman wakes up while it's yet dark and honestly, I think, well hey, that's a piece of cake. My alarm is set for 6:30 and I get up, religiously, at 6:45 and it is yet dark so I'm off to a good start. But I realize that in a couple of weeks the sun will seep through my blinds before that alarm goes off and if I'm going to be in pursuit of this woman, I have got to be up and beat that sun. And just the thought of being up before 6:30 heightens the "Marie" part of my name but I'm determined, real determined to get a couple of checkmarks from my list to evolve into this mythological figure. (Ok, take it easy Pentecostals. I'm not calling that chapter a myth. The Bible doesn't say she is an actual figure, after all. It just describes what a true, virtuous woman is like and as far as I know, as far as I've heard and read, no such woman so far has been discovered.)
So here it is. I will be getting up while "it is yet dark," whenever that is. Because it's almost midnight now, I'm hoping it's not until 7 o'clock tomorrow morning. We'll see. And because I'm sure Elizabeth prayed, I will not microwave a prayer but spend some time in meditation. Also I'm sure if she were the woman of today, after prayer, she would exercise. But let's all just take it easy here. I'm only going to stretch, which is a titanic move on my part. So in my pursuit, starting tomorrow, I am going to wake up from now on while it is yet dark, pray, and stretch.
I'm sure the Virtuous Woman relaxed on the weekends.
In my quest to be like her, I will also do the same.