CEV: With her own hands she gladly makes clothes.
AMP: She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands to develop it.
MSG: She shops around for the best yarns and cottons and enjoys knitting and sewing.
I do NOT like to sew. Besides, I have heard that sewing can be quite an expensive hobby. The ladies who lived in the time when Proverbs 31 was written didn’t have Walmart, JC Penney, Sears, or even garage sales and thrift shops where they could shop. They did almost everything themselves.
The closest I can come to living out the above verse is by doing my best to use my hands, gladly checking garage sales for clothing for our family. I also check the clearance racks and thrift shops. It can be time-consuming, and there are days when I come home with nothing except exhaustion. Rather than focusing on that, I must train myself to focus on the times when I have been so blessed for the effort which I put forth. Many times, I will pray before I go shopping or to garage sales. Then, if I don’t find anything, I knew that it wasn’t God’s timing for me to have the items for that day. I must remember that my life is in His hands, and He is not going to let us go without clothing.
I would say that at least 75% of my daughter’s clothing comes from garage sales. A few years back when I lost a significant amount of weight in less than 30 days, I found that it was necessary to buy new clothing because I had nothing that fit me anymore. I still invested in the effort to check the clearance and sale racks, and did very well with my purchases. I also visited the Goodwill store a lot. I don’t remember the last time that I bought a new outfit because I have done so well at garage sales over the last two years. The items which I have found have been like new, and every time I wear them, I get many compliments. Bless the Lord for His provision!
Often, when I come home from a day of going to garage sales, I will figure up how much I spent. Then, I figure up how much it would have cost me to buy the items new. Seeing the bottom line makes it easier for me to do this task joyfully. I now see it as one of my missions to ‘do him good.’ (Prov. 31:12)
With as bad as the clothing styles are right now, we may all be forced to revert back to making our own clothing. Before I do that though, I am going to pray for God to raise up some clothing designers who see it as their mission to offer modest clothing for a modest price!
© 2004, Stacy R. Miller