August 11, 2018

A Tribute to a Real Proverbs 31 Woman... A Five Minute Friday post.


I can't even...

I saw the word prompt on Friday morning and thought of writing a tribute to the Woman my girlie has grown up to be! After vacationing with her for five days and seeing her Mama Lil Miss -- honestly, I was so blown away with her awesomeness!

But the day got away from me and I never did find my way back to this chair.  And then we got news this morning and my sweet Mother-In-Law passed away and I knew... even though five minutes will never be enough time, with the suddenness and the shock - it will be a start of processing and praising, so here we go:


I was grafted into this family through marriage some 25+ years ago. 

Ours was a short courtship. I was a new Christian and My Honey was newly returning to his roots as a PK and believer.  This falling in love with the Lord was happening while we were falling in love with each other and I am pretty sure that I was not what his sweet Mama had in mind.  

This was the return of her firstborn... her only son.

But I was different from his other girlfriends... 
I don't know that that was bad
--and in the end, it turned out to be very good... 
but it seemed her first impression of me was not great. 

I was clearly no Proverbs 31 woman. 
I hadn't even HEARD of a Proverbs 31 woman.

However, she made room for me at the table and at events and family gatherings... It was our first Christmas together when she invited me right on in to be part of the family! 

She never sugar coated anything - for better or worse.

She was not afraid or hesitant to ask questions or share her observations.

She was lovely and kind, and blunt and curious. 

I had never met anyone so unapologetic for who she was and what she believed.  It was refreshing and a tad bit unnerving.

In my insecurity and youth, I may have allowed some walls to rise up just a little in those early stages of dating and marriage - just in case I needed a bit of self-protection.

But I quickly learned I would need no walls.
Once Jenny loved you - that was it. 
She would love you forever.
You were in.  

I would learn to brace myself from time to time because she didn't have a filter or edit her thoughts.  But I came to appreciate even that: feedback that was honest and loving.

Jenny was Jenny everywhere she went... and that is one of the things that I love the MOST about My Honey!

As I dug into the Word and grew as a young believer, as a young wife and new Mom, I read through Proverbs 31 and felt overwhelmed and underqualified. 

I was taught many times that this is a letter written from a mother to her son. That it's the ideal hope for a son. It is many attributes... the ABCs of a Mother-in-Law checklist of sorts of what she would want for her son in a wife.

It was Dreamy and quite possibly unrealistic!
  That takes off some of the pressure, right?

But then I began to quietly pay attention to all the ways my own Mother-In-Law lined up and fulfilled the description of the Proverbs 31 woman.

Oh, how she served... she loved... 
she created and worked and
  --verse by verse-- there was Jenny, 
    right in the midst of my Bible, 
      quietly living her life, loving her Savior
        and laying an example for us to follow
          and an inheritance for us to build upon... 

I also began to realize that she and Brian raised four pretty stinkin' amazing kids who grew up to be incredible, stand-up adults whom I love and admire! 

That is no accident... 
 That is the fruit of a life lived well!

And her kids... -well,
They all truly DO rise up
and call her blessed!

I'm so glad I was grafted in and got to be one of her kids, too!

I'm so glad that she lives on in us... and though she is gone - we follow hard after the shadow she cast, bowing down in worship and service to her God!

The very same One with whom she is dancing with right now!


We are still in a bit of shock that she is gone.  It was only a couple of months ago that she began complaining of pain.  There was a misdiagnosis and then, less than a month ago, the CT Scan revealed masses and before we got any results from biopsies, she was in hospice care.

It was a fast and furious battle... but through the whole thing, there was no hint of fear. No one opened the door --not even a crack for him to slither on in. 

Peace was Present at every turn and while there is sadness and we are fully aware that grieving will have his way with us, we know there is only Love... only thankfulness for the gift of her. 

We were so blessed to get to be her family... to get to be her kids. 

There is only gratitude for the life she lived and the example she gave and the inheritance that we now stand in... 

Blessed beyond measure, because of how she loved --Him, first... and then us!


At the beginning of (nearly) every family meal, we would gather around the table and sing the Doxology before someone would pray over the food and we would sit down and eat -food for our bodies, and food for our souls. 

We gave a sad attempt at that tonight as we gathered at the house and shared a meal with Dad.  Not surprisingly, Dad was the only voice strong enough to press through the sorrow.

We'll try it again, soon... we'll get there!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below; 
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host: 
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
In loving memory...

The Five Minute Friday community is the best gathering of Flash mob writers around!  We wait for the one-word prompt and we throw caution and hesitation and editing to the wind, and we let our fingers fly and our feelings feel and we just wait and see what flows out in five minutes (or so! Because, grace!) and we hit Publish without second-guessing or backspacing! 

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the #fmfparty Community today.  Five Minute Fridays give us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click HERE to read what others have to say about "WOMAN"

The FMF lowdown: The gathering happens on Twitter on Thursday nights & then we write our hearts out & hit publish all over the interwebs on Thursday & Friday (& sometimes on Tuesdays!) It's where we encourage & uplift... where we share prayer requests & praise reports... where we talk food & friends & we find support & kindred hearts. It's where we are reminded that life is good & God is good & we're not alone... & then we all write for five minutes flat, a flash mob of wordsmiths letting our hearts & our fingers do the talking tapping & we hit publish before we can second-guess it all away!

I'm also linking up with the lovely writer communities linked below:

Crystal Twaddell for #FreshMarketFriday

Mary Geisen for #TellHisStory

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Holley Gerth for #LetsHaveCoffee

31 Days of Resting in Him: ...It's easier/harder than you think!

P.S. We took a little break after launching our new podcast, "Changing Our Minds" but we'll be back soon with another episode! If you don't want to miss anything, click HERE for more info, and to Subscribe.

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  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Karrilee.

  2. O ms K. Your tribute is beautiful like Jenny.

    1. Thank you, friend! I haven't forgotten our 'date' to catch up... xoxo

  3. Anonymous12:08 PM

    Thank you for sharing about your wonderful mother-in-love. I wanted to weitw out a little prayer for you and your family.

    Dear Lord, We ask that you be with Karrilee's family. Please wrap them in Your love and comfort them in your grief. Be present with them in the coming months and be their refuge and peace. In Jesus name, Amen

    1. Thanks so much, my friend! For the love and the prayer! xoxo

  4. What a beautiful tribute. Know the FMF community is lifting you in prayer.

  5. The doxology is one of my fave songs. It might have been a sad attempt but I'm sure she still heard it up there. Also your hubby..being her first born.....reminds me a little of the prodigal son story. Beautiful tribute to your sweet mother-in-law.

    1. Thanks so much, my friend! We will get there in singing it loud and proud again soon! Until then, we will continue crying our way through it... as one does! (Becau
      se it's still true!)

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful picture of a Proverbs 31 woman, and I'm blessed just to hear about Jenny. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks for you kind words, Laura! My goal was to bring her honor... and will continue to be! Thanks so much for stopping by!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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