I use to hate that darn chapter of Proverbs! Everyone has their own understanding of Scripture and one that helped me was from an older woman sharing she believed Proverbs 31 was a portrait of a godly woman's life over time. For a season she rose while it was still night (maybe to nurse or care for a baby), for a season she had a "career", for a season she stayed up late (maybe having heart to hearts with teenagers). I loved that thought.
I also think there are ways to look at it with fresh eyes. Servants?? We don't have servants right? Well, yes we do. Another wise woman taught me that! My washing machine is a servant, my bread machine, my answering machine! Heck, even my oven. I do not need a servant to help scrub and beat and wring clothes or grind my grain and knead my bread. I don't need a secretary for messages or someone to go chop wood so I can cook. What wisdom there is in getting our "servants" started early and making a breakfast (which we have learned is the most important meal of the day) for our family.
And her attitude...it is one of willingness. The poor & needy need cared for... how I can help with that? If I can save money by going to Aldi but it's in the next town... I can be that "merchant ship bringing food from afar" if it helps my family. Can I do ALL these things today? Probably not! But I can be loving and kind to my family. I can seek to help my husband and not harm him by my attitude or unwillingness to step up if needed. Back to Proverbs 14:1, we can build our house and not tear it down by speaking with wisdom and instruction not aggravation and negativity.
Does that make sense?? There are a few moments in the last 13years of parenting I've had a child "rise up and called me blessed" but lets be honest, that admiration and respect often comes with age and understanding. That's another reason I think a life is represented in this chapter... not a day or a week. Remember Psalms 127:2 says "It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late" so to expect a noble woman to stay up late and get up early over and over is...vain, futile, not how we were created. But we can laugh in the face of fear knowing God will provide. We may need to just sit back and watch or we may need to work with strong arms and plan ahead. We can strive to make our attitude one of love, trust, gentleness and a willingness to get done what needs to get done.
...preaching to the choir over here!