Yesterday's reading in my book spoke to me in a very powerful way. The images, the memories, the experiences it brought to mind were very painful in a lot of ways. The chapter focused on Proverbs 14:1, which says, "Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands." The chapter went on to talk about how a woman can either build up her home, as in the "knitting together of family and the day-by-day routine of creating a happy and comfortable place for a family to live," or she can tear it down as in "break or destroy it, to beat or break it down--to ruin it" with anger, bitterness, deceitfulness, disrespect, and accusations, and many other hateful, non-loving attitudes and behaviors. I feel it can also apply to the literal physical and financial "tearing down" a person can do in their life.
As I've mentioned before, there have been a lot of good lessons and experiences that have come out of the attempted move to Montana, but I have to be honest, they haven't all been good. Some of the lessons and experiences have actually been painful. As I read the chapter about building vs tearing down, the first thing I thought about was the tearing down that I've done in my life in the past month with the trip to Montana.
I thought about the fact that even when a house has good structure and a good foundation, sometimes you have to tear out and tear down parts of it that may have rotted or no longer fit so you can end up with a house that is really good and that you love. My life was kind of like a house that had basic good structure and a good foundation, but needed some remodeling, some tearing out and tearing down. But, in my inexperience and in my need to get rid of people, places, and things that I was attached to and needed to detach from, I went to the extreme and tore down some of the basic structure and foundation. I became "a foolish woman tearing down her own house with her own hands." This realization made me sad. I hadn't meant to, of course, and I can't change it, I can only make a point of remembering this in the future.
Reading this chapter also reminded me of how my mother "tore down her own house with her own hands." I remember hating my mother for the way she treated my father, for spewing forth anger and bitterness and making him feel worthless as a father/husband. I know my father wasn't the easiest man to live with and she had many reasons for her feelings, but her anger and bitterness permeated our home and allowed the enemy, the devil, to create havoc and chaos in our supposedly Christian home. I know that my mother didn't know any better and I trust God to know her heart, but I truly, truly never want to cause the emotional, mental, and spiritual tearing down in my home as my mother did in hers. She also at times caused a physical tearing down, similar to what I just did. We were forever moving and going somewhere different, which caused a physical and financial tearing down of the family. It wasn't always my mother and sometimes the moves were to our benefit, but there were many moves initiated by my mother and many of them weren't to our physical and financial benefit.
It's not wrong to want to go somewhere different and make a different life for yourself. In fact, I still do. It's also not wrong to have gotten rid of all the stuff I got rid of, but it has made it more difficult for me financially and has caused a setback that I couldn't afford. This is the tearing down that was unfortunate and foolish. In the future, when and if I choose to make a change, I need and want to plan a lot of things out differently and better and do everything I can to make sure I am "building my house" physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, not "tearing it down."