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Avoid Being Idle

"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. .." Proverbs 31:10-31  

Fall has arrived! The trees are changing and losing their leaves, the days are getting shorter, the grey clouds have moved in and linger for days, the autumn winds are constantly howling outside and beating against our homes and the last of the sun's warmth is fading fast. Soon, we'll be buried in snow and arctic cold. For those of us who are stay at home mom's or who can't work outside the home, we can find ourselves battling idleness day after day.

Idleness is addressed in several places in the Bible and we're told to avoid it. Idleness not only tempts us to sin, but is the cause of a lot of sin and depression. When we get bored and are idle we tend to over eat, become sick easily, slipping into depression, stressed out, dredging up old memories and marinating in them for hours on end, complaining, in and out of bad moods, laziness, gossipping with friends, sitting on the internet, watching way too much TV, etc.

Winter commonly breeds depression, but this can be avoided with keeping ourselves busy and soaking up sunlight while it's available. Going outside for a short walk or even just to stand in the sun for a few minutes (especially during midday) allows us to soak up some vitamin D from the sun even on cloudy days, which directly impacts the emotional center of the brain.

Outside of the seasonal changes, idleness anytime can be deadly. There is truth in the old saying "Idle hands are the devil's workshop".

"Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not." 1 Timothy 5:13

"or even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies." 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11

In modern times, we don't have fields of crops that need planting, care and harvesting. Canning and storing food is no longer necessary. We can buy clothes cheaply rather than having to make them. Cooking can be done in 30 minutes or less and we've found ourselves with more free time than we can stand. Therefore, we find ourselves getting into all sorts of trouble or worse watching Jerry Springer.

 "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49
Man was made to be laborers. It's unnatural physically and mentally to be idle even in the work place. Part of the reason the West battles so many illness and diseases is due to lack of physical labor and "life of ease". We have diseases and illnesses, both physical and mental, killing us at high rates that are rare in 3rd world countries. The root cause is idleness.

For us women, there are a number of things we can do to keep us busy and productive especially during the winter months. Learning the old ways, even though we don't need to anymore for survival, has tremendous benefits and I'll throw out some suggestions...

Learn how to can food. Plant a vegetable garden in the Summer and in Autumn can them. It's not difficult, it's time consuming. If you didn't plant a garden this year then fresh vegetables and fruits can be bought cheaply and canned just as well. Canning jars and lids can be bought cheaply also at places like Target and reused. If you don't want to keep the food for yourself give it to others in need.

Save big projects that can be done during the winter for those short, cold, depressing days.

There are so many crafts that can be made at home and make excellent gifts, opportunities to make extra money or can be given to the needy such as homemade soap.

Learn to sew. You don't need an expensive sewing machine to make something. There are several stitches by hand that are just as nice and strong as a machine's and they only take a few minutes to learn via the internet. If you want to sew with a machine then check out second hand stores, flea markets or Craig's List for cheap sewing machines. Patterns for all sorts of things and fabric are cheap. It's also easy to make your own pattern. None of this is hard, it's time consuming and that's what we're after anyway. It's amazing the things that can be made using old and new material from curtains to purses to clothes. Have an old dress or skirt you can't wear anymore, but love? Use the fabric to make something else. If you don't want to make things for you and your family, then make them for others in need. A great example of this is a charity called "Little Dresses For Africa." A group of women make dresses for little girls in Africa from pillow cases.

Make a memory quilt from old material that can be past on as a sort of heirloom. Quilt making it surprisingly cheap and time consuming. You can get good material on discount and pay next to nothing. Or you may have an old quilt that can be refurbished. Buying a good quilt for winter months is expensive. Making your own is cheap and better made than a store bought quilt.

Learn to crochet. Crocheting is very easy. If I can do it I know anyone can. New patterns can be quickly learned from the internet and it's amazing what can be crocheted from some yarn and a needle. Multicolored blankets in soft yarn are awesome gifts especially when they're hand made or they can be given to the homeless.

Learn to make jams and jellies. My sister in law makes different homemade jams and I love walking into her house and smelling the strawberries, grapes or some other fruit being cooked down and prepared for jars. She's offered to teach me and I'm going to take her up on it. Making jam can also be looked up on the internet, is fairly easy to make and it's so much better than anything you can buy in the store. Afterwards they can stored for use, given away as gifts or given to the needy.

 Outside of learning new activities to keep your hands and brain busy, there are a lot of ministries we can get involved in such as collecting mittens, hats and gloves for homeless or needy families. Volunteering at soup kitchens (who always need help), volunteering at women's shelters or teaching other women a craft that you've mastered. You can take classes for something new and interesting at your local community center or community college cheaply or even free.

Not only does God expect us to stay busy, but we were made to keep busy. It's a sure way to beat depression, over eating, warding of sin, providing for our families and helping those in need. The benefits of avoiding idleness are enormous. Happy Fall!



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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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