About the Author

Amber C Haines, author of Wild in the Hollow, has 4 sons, a guitar-playing husband, theRunaMuck, and rare friends. She loves the funky, the narrative, and the dirty South. She finds community among the broken and wants to know your story. Amber is curator with her husband Seth Haines of Mother...

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  1. truth? i haven’t always liked the proverbs 31 woman. because i feel like i could never be her. that standard is so very high. i’m going to tuck this, your writing and soloman’s, into my heart. ponder it. and lean into the only fear that is good. love this piece, amber!

    • Oh so agree here!!!! I’m just not that love the kitchen, get up early kinda woman. i get stuff done but I don’t make bread or meals from scratch and I’m usually still in PJs before 9am. I get stuff done, my girls are loved an cared for. but I’ve always felt like a failure because I prefer to start my day reading God’s words through blogs and writing out my heart instead of showering and making bread… I always feel I don’t measure up. 🙁

  2. Kendal, I am exactly the same way. I’ve always thought she was just way above my capacity. But this time, I really feel like God released me with this Proverb.

    Love you, Kendal.

  3. Thank-you for this reminder that my only fear needs to be in Him–the King of Kings. Am I fearless like the Proverbs 31 woman–no. Would I like to be? Yes. Could I walk about confident in who I am in Christ? Yes–as long as my fear is placed in Him and not in failure or opinions or lack of skill. Is it as easy as I breathe? No. So your post today–it is timely, so timely because, lately, the wrong fears have been vying for control of my heart and my actions. Thank-you, thank-you for this message. I will tuck it into my heart for its truth to work its way out into my actions.

  4. When I look at the Proverbs 31 Woman, it is so easy to see Super Woman, and then if I compare myself to her, I look more like the Simple Woman, until I look at myself through God’s eyes, then I see me as He made me. I can learn from the Proverbs 31 Woman and then – be the woman God made me to be.

  5. I have always aspired to be a Proverbs 31 woman, clinging to the knowledge that daily, I can repent, gain strength and begin again in my aspirations. I just love the goodness in her! I felt that same goodness in you, Amber….and the love of tie dye….just like me.

    Thanks for inspiring me with courage to face the day….another home school, elder care, health challenge, home building, trusting in Him day.

    Love it!

  6. The Proverb 31 woman has grown old along side of me and we now understand so much more about each other. We no longer compare ourselves to others, we appreciate the different phases of our life in which God has taught us. We understand the love God for us in a deeper sense, it’s manifested from our different gifts and used to encouraged. We were both given the same choices in this life to glorify Him. She had to depend on Him just as I do for my daily bread, my deepest heart needs. She is women and He was her Lord and how it would hurt her to know her walk with Him would discouraged us instead of encourage us to bring all we are to the one who wants to use us just the way we are.

  7. “I’ve words and stories, and I’ve learned the warm-all-over joy of realizing my gift and considering how it might bring good to my family.”–me, too, friend! Me. Too!

  8. Ladies- its refreshing & such a relief to know I’m not the only one who struggles to live up to the view of the Proverbs 31 woman. But I now see her as a loving mentor teaching me in the ways of things that I need to be.

  9. I don’t like the 31 woman taught to me as a young Christian- simplistic & burden bearing. But I love the 31 woman I’ve come to know through my own reading and searching- complex, a bit cunning, and possibly misunderstood.

    I love the depth of her, just as I read the depth within your own writing. I’m learning to celebrate the deep waters of my own soul and feel thankful today that another writer (& many others) dwell there as well. Thank you, Kim

  10. I don’t sew. I work part time….I don’t homeschool. People sometimes make me feel guilty about it (problem is I love it).
    My house is seldom sterile…and in fact this week I think it might be a breeding ground for a new super virus.
    But my family? We don’t want to be any other place, and all of us have to fight to want to leave, and I think that is my only indicator of a house well made.
    And sometimes? We laugh at the days to come.
    And often? We laugh at the days we are in.
    And always? Your words bless me.
    Thanks.

  11. My feeling of discomfort with the woman of Prov 31 began to change when I realized that all her accomplishments were most likely over the span of her lifetime rather than all at the same time. It gave me hope! 🙂 And something to aspire to. But most of all, her attitude towards life and her God are the most inspiring.

    • That’s true for me, too. I used to feel like the Proverbs 31 woman was an unattainable ideal (kind of like the mask we put on sometimes when we feel insecure and want to look like we have it all together). Then as I realized that she loved her family and brought her husband such respect over time, it made more sense. My gifts are different than hers – we’d die of starvation if the household relied on income from any garments I ever sewed – but God has been showing me to use them for the good of my family.

      • Yes! This is great perspective. I’m now in my 30s, and I have very little ones. I feel like I just now have faith to handle and believe some great God dreams. He’s giving me vision for good things, and I’m so grateful for this Woman to show me that she’d been given the same.

        • You mean I don’t have to do what she does right now and in everything to be a godly woman??!!! You mean she may have done these things while her kids were older, over a long period of time and because I can buy my bread at the store instead of making it, because it is an option for me it is ok I spend that non bread making time for writing out my heart? for writing out His heart in me??? **TEARS.

          • Permission to be the woman God made you to be, glorifying Him in everything – He doesn’t raise wimpy daughters, and if cloned at all, it’s toward Christ’s likeness.

  12. I just want to be someone whose name my husband is proud to give as well. And I think when God is the only one we fear the rest comes naturally. I’m not there yet either though!

  13. I pray for my future husband and I pray that I would allow God to make me into the woman He has called me to be.. It never occurred to me that I will always be “becoming.” He’s living His large fingerprints all over my heart and my soul and my mind, He’s not yet finished with the work He started.

    I love this.

  14. This: “The spaghetti in the pot smells good, my kitchen like oil, my bed like honey. Men know my man’s good name. At home he’s Daddy. He trusts me with his name, and he likes the way I wear it. He’d take the way I walk over a lottery win.”

    You beautiful Amber Haines.

    I cry when you write too.

  15. I don’t sew or scrapbook either. Knowing how prone I am to nostalgia, sometimes just taking pictures aches. . so they are usually held hostage in my digital camera and make their appearances here and there.
    But when my blonde boys get up each morning my heart leaps. When my husband stirs just the right amount of cream of sugar in my coffee and tells me that he loves me before he walks out of our red door to work. . I am so many kinds of thankful.
    I am fairly sure there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my sons or husband.
    I think that is what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I once said I was more like a cubic zirconia than a ruby. But I take that back now. I know I shine for Him in this treehouse home we’ve made, His love poured out in ways I probably don’t even really know or acknowledge. . and that is what this, all this, with or without sewing and scrapping, is all about.
    I want you to come to my house, share some coffee and teach me how to write from the deepest places of the heart Amber. You never fail to encourage and inspire me sweet friend.

  16. Hey! Wow, loved this post! I don’t sew or scrapbook either! However, I teach Zumba!!!! I was like “yes” when I read how you said you feel while in Zumba!!! Great post! Funny, the older I get, the more I am able to see the Proverbs31 woman through different-less lofty glasses!

  17. Daily I fail at being everything the Proverbs 31 woman is. I want to be all she is, but I can\’t in my own strength. Sometimes I resent her because she\’s a high standard. But most days, I like her because I want to be more. Today, and yesterday and the day before, what I need most is freedom. I need to really find out who I am in Christ and not let other people or my circumstances define me. I hear so often that I’m more than these things, but my heart doesn\’t always get that message. Your re-wording of this proverb is encouraging. Thank you!

    • Right there with you Aimee. I’m trying to find who I am while not judging myself for who I am not or for who they are. Romans 14. It is such a daily struggle. A spirtual battle. I’m beginning to see…I’m not defined by any “roles” people say I should be…I’m defined by the heart He gave me to live by the Spirit inside me. The spirit guiding my heart specifically. Not comparing. Allowing the spirit to do His job to guide others hearts as well.

  18. “I’ve learned the warm-all-over joy of realizing my gift and considering how it might bring good to my family, even though the 50′s model is something other than I am.”

    That line, friend. That line hit my heart. I have gifts, many gifts. I enjoy an occasional sewing, but I won’t make our clothes. I enjoy an occasional homemade treat, but I won’t make my bread and meals from scratch. I enjoy scrapbooking, but I won’t allow the fact I have small children and just can’t make the time right now upset me…I keep snapping photos anyway. I bring good to my family, even though the “pioneer women” model is something other than I am. For that pioneer woman is who I compare myself to. Or my best friend who is more that model or the gal in my church who also loves her kitchen and structure and early mornings…I too can be who I am, with my gifts and be joy filled. If I can stop comparing. Stop judging myself and others. Oh Lord I need some heart surgery. The old one is so corrupted by the past thoughts and judgements, please Lord continue your work. Weed out the negative view I have on myself so I can see the beautiful image you created me to be even through the mess of life.

  19. Isew the proverbs 31 woman as this–> she had certain skills and she used them to honor god and her family daily. As a modern-day woman my skills look different than hers but our hearts are the same. To love and care for those we have been entrusted with in whatever manner god has laid on our hearts.

    Great post. I felt freedom as I read it!!!

  20. Blog-jumped over here from your post today at TheRunaMuck and so glad I did. This post made me cry (in a good way).

    I have always had a tumultuous relationship with the Proverbs 31 woman. I often felt, in the evangelical culture and with the oh-so-holy men I dated, that it was a measuring stick which they used to point out my insufficiency. It was what they wanted; it was what I knew I could never be.

    Thank you for redeeming this chapter for me. I will have to write my own version. I am blogging about words too, trying to redeem and redefine some of the language that Christian world has misused and warped. I feel like you just did that for me here.