A Woman with a Plan
Planning Like the Proverbs 31 Woman
Are you a woman with a plan?
Many things are written about the woman in Proverbs 31:10-31. Her example is highly looked up to and often seen as unattainable.
I have always believed her level of competence to be attainable – because I know many women who I would describe as a Proverbs 31 woman. Don’t you? These women all have one thing in common – they are in control of what is theirs to control. So how do you gain that control when you have lost it?
The Bible does not say that the woman in Proverbs 31 had a plan. It does not say that she kept a calendar. I have no doubt though that it would be impossible for her to be the woman described without these things.
The Proverbs 31 Woman’s Plan
Here are all the things she could not have done without a plan:
- look for wool and flax
- bring her food from afar, like the merchant ships
- buying a field
- planting a vineyard
- having sufficient oil for her lamps
- working to make yarn and fabric with the distaff and spindle
- have her household prepared with clothing for severe weather
- having good quality clothing
- making linen garments to sell
- supplying belts to the tradesmen
- opening her mouth with wisdom and teaching with kindness
Her family is not prepared for the winter because she forgot the winter was coming and ran out and bought warm clothes from the market. She is READY for the season to come. Her ability to manage all of these skills resulted in her husband being able to trust in her and for her children to call her “blessed”. Her life is well-ordered because she lives her life with intention. If you want to be like her, you need to start planning like the Proverbs 31 woman.
Do you need a plan?
Let me ask you, would you be able to go out and survey a piece of land, decide its value, be certain you have the means to buy it, and buy it now? Some women might. I would not. This would take education, preparation, and work on my part to be able to begin to do this. I am more equipped to do this in regards to purchasing cars though. I have enough knowledge, know our needs, know how much we can afford, and know what our trade ins are worth to be able to make a car deal on my own. Buying land – nope. I’m going to need a plan to pull off that one.
Some things to consider:
The plan for making clothing is inferred throughout these verses. Planning like the Proverbs 31 woman means knowing what you need, knowing where to find the supplies, knowing how to prepare the elements, and having the knowledge and skill to create clothing. It also means being aware of the need for these clothes months in advance of when they will be used, because it takes time to all of the things on that list.
Planning like the woman in Proverbs 31 means knowing the right time for things. When is the right time of year to plant tulips or a vineyard? When do you start a garden? Or if you’re like me, HOW do you start a garden in the first place?
It takes a plan to know which stores have the best prices on food, when they run their sales, and which has access to the best produce. It takes a plan if you want to buy your food at the farmer’s market in season. You have to know when the market runs and which items are in season at which times. One needs to be aware of whether using coupons is the best way to save money or if buying fresh produce and storing it yourself would save even more. These things take knowledge and they take time to learn.
How do I make a plan?
From my experience, it can take a great deal of time to create a plan, especially in the beginning. You can also spend TOO much time planning and never get around to the doing, (alas, this is also from my experience).
Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 12:11-12, “The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body” (NASB).
Wisdom and the use of it should motivate you (goads) and support you (well-driven nails). Your efforts can become the opposite of beneficial if you devote too much time and energy to the getting of the knowledge and storing that knowledge, but not actually using it.
The answer is to get your plan written, then start WORKING your plan. You can adjust it as you go.
If you have determined that your world could do with a little organizing to save your sanity, it is a good time to explore some of these ideas.
Creating a plan –
Choose a planner.
It doesn’t matter which planner. What determines your need is just how much you like to write.
Digital Planners –
Of course, there are many apps that work as excellent planners, IF you use them. The calendar app on your phone or apps like Trello and ToDoist are all awesome. Cozi is a planner that allows to align your family schedule with your own, keep track of grcocery lists, menu planning, and much more. However, I much prefer keeping everything in a paper planner, as you will see.
Paper Planners –
If you’re the “12:30 C eye doctor” type, then something like this Academic planner may suit your needs. It has large squares, follows a typical school year calendar, and has space for notes.
Do your notations look more like this, “12:30 Caydee Dr. Marshall, 405-xxx-xxxx”?
In addition, do you note calls to make for your stay-at-home business, track other family members, school schedule, etc? Then you might want something more like a Passion Planner, Erin Condren, Living Well Planner, or the make it your way type with the Sweet Life Planner. A Bullet Journal is a planner you design for your own needs. If you like to make lists, a bullet journal might be the thing for you. (See the end of the post for links to videos that teach how to use some of these planners.)
I use the Passion Planner for my work/blog calendar and for the girls’ home school lesson plans (I schedule elementary school on the monthly layout and junior high/high school on the weekly layout). I prefer using the Undated Passion planner, so I can use it for whichever set of months I need. For school, I use it from July through June. For work/blog I use it for January through December.
I have the Living Well Planner for everything else; bills, family appointments, menu planning, vacation planning, etc.
I am in the process of trying my hand at bullet journaling – I’m not yet certain that I love it. After finding the video about bullet journaling in a Passion Planner, I may end up going that route (see end of post for the video). I MIGHT have a slight addiction to planners and calendars (I told you I had personal experience with spending too much time on the planning side).
Make lists of all the things you need to organize, schedule, and track.
Write it ALL down, but ONLY write what you actually keep up with yourself. Do not burden your calendar with keeping up with things that belong to others. For example, if your husband pays the bills, you do not need to add the due dates to your calendar. The exception would be if you use your calendar as a “family” calendar so he also puts things on it OR he has asked you to note the due dates to help him to remember. If he hasn’t asked you to do that, don’t do it. Leave it in his wheelhouse and focus on your own.
Put those lists into your calendar.
Lastly, assign your daily tasks to the day and give them a set time to do them.
Assign your weekly tasks to the day and give them a time frame to finish them.
Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly tasks – put them on the calendar now.
Anniversaries and birthdays – put them all on the calendar, then also go ahead and assign a day to shop to prepare for them.
Quiet time, bible reading, doctor appointments, car service, changing home air filters, batteries in alarms, planting the garden, days at the park, shopping for seasonal clothing, etc – plan for it.
What if you have a plan, but chaos still reigns?
I want to start with saying that various seasons come to each of us. If you are distraught over a seeming loss of control of your circumstances, step back and consider. Creating a plan may not be what you need; rather, you may just need to wait for the season to pass. Things will go back to normal, or as close to it as possible. Starting in the middle of a temporary storm to rework what was working before the storm will only create an even greater sense of distress in you. Wait. Breathe. Evaluate. Pray.
But if chaos still reigns just in your daily life, evaluate what you have on your schedule. Is it too full? Is there not enough exercise for the kids? Are you making relationships the priority over activities or vice versa? Don’t be afraid to cut back on your schedule.
An example of how to reduce the chaos
For example, our family functions much better knowing where they are supposed to be when and not scheduling our days too full. My husband and I make weekly dates a priority. A happy mom and dad goes a long way to happy children!
The girls get time to hang out with friends, have play dates, and go to the zoo. BUT if they do that every day – I am going to be dealing with tired, cranky, and bound to get into trouble children. Therefore, I alleviate a great many discipline issues by knowing just how much being tired is the cause behind an inability to mind sometimes. When they are well rested, quite frankly, they are in their right-mind. So I make sure they get fun time, but I am aware of how much is too much.
Planning Like the Proverbs 31 Woman
Planning like the Proverbs 31 woman means having a plan. In fact, it also means living your plan with the knowledge that you are human. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Prov. 31:30 NASB). A woman who fears the Lord knows that He is in control, not her (Gal. 2:20).
Life happens, plans don’t always work out. Give yourself the grace to adjust and to say “no” or “not now” when the pressure is building.
You CAN Do This
You have been made to be a warrior and CAN manage these things. Actually, when you imitate the Great Planner (have you considered the depths of His PLANS) it brings peace. We can imitate Him in spiritual things AND things of this life (Heb. 12:4-11). God started all things with a plan (Eph. 1:9-12). Proverbs 24:27 shows there is a proper order to do things. He gave us the example of the woman in Proverbs 31.
Want more help to get started?
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Video Tutorials for some of the recommended planners: