7 essential tools to actualize foresight: Tracking the Proverbs 31 Woman Series 17

”She is like the merchant ships bringing her food from afar” (Prov.31: 14)

What in the world is foresight? What does it even have to do with being a woman of noble character?

I find it necessary, to begin with, a definition of the word foresight.

Google’s English Dictionary defines foresight as:

‘’The ability to predict what will happen or be needed in the future.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that would be said of us… as the definition says?

Well, that’s what we are exploring today because clearly, this is God’s will for us.

Take a look at these verses, also from Proverbs 31, that reveals this as well:

“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Verses 15, 21, 25)

This woman had no fear for her household. She was able to prepare beforehand in anticipation of what the future might bring. That’s why she could laugh at the days to come.

I have personally defined foresight as:

The ability to foresee how the future might look like, with all its realities, risks, uncertainties, and possibilities, and wisely plan for greater success and fruitfulness in your God-given mission.

I must however clarify the kind of foresight I am talking about by stating the one I am not talking about.

You see, we are living in a world that’s getting more and more materialistic. A good number of those who are talking about creating wealth are doing it to help us acquire wealth so we can live the life we have always wanted and on our terms.

Very few of these have references to eternity and the purposes of God.

This brings into focus Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. You can read it in Luke 12:16-21 in the Bible.

This man, having had a bumper harvest, made plans to store away his harvest to sustain him in years to come. He would now take it easy, eat, drink and be merry.

He forgot that his life is not his own. It belonged to his Maker. God could take it away in a moment. He would have no opportunity to enjoy all he had stored away.

This man’s insight was unto self and gratification of the same.

The kind of insight I’m talking about is unto God and for His glory.

If we fully trust God, then we know that whatever is done for his glory will bring us the greatest satisfaction and fulfillment in this life.

We, therefore, want to follow the Proverbs 31 woman’s example to practice the kind of foresight that will bring God glory. Keep in mind that the Proverbs 31 woman is a prototype; a role model from God for us to emulate.

Now, did the Proverbs 31-woman practice foresight?

Consider this: Why would anyone seek to get their food from afar as opposed to perhaps the food supplies next door? Could it be that the foodstuffs near were costly? Could it be the quality of these was compromised?

Any homemaker knows that the best items for her household are not necessarily those within reach. Foresight will drive many a homemaker to find a way of getting these items the easiest way, cost-effectively, and in a way that she can have access to them when she needs them. That’s what foresight is about, as we will see.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you decide to purcahse something.

(By the way, in case you’d like more insight into the Proverbs 31 chapter, you can buy our book based on this passage right here on Amazon.)

Let’s now look at the 7 tools that will be very helpful to you so that you can actualize foresight in your life in a real and practical way:

  1. Have a Schedule in Place

Time is a precious commodity. In our day and age, distractions abound, keeping us from wisely using our time for the glory of God.

These distractions range from media, especially through our phones, and chatting with friends, to activities that are not necessarily edifying.

Actualizing foresight means anticipating your distractions, setting up a schedule of activities you intend to accomplish, possibly within their time frames, then getting rid of distractions which may include taking the phone away from you for a time or not looking at it until you accomplish the goals that have been scheduled.

Foresight for a mother with young children may mean rising earlier than your little ones or accomplishing a lot as they take their naps.

Whichever way this will look for you, foresight will mean that you can envision what you sense God wants you to accomplish and work towards that.

A schedule has been invaluable for me as a woman, wife, and mother. A schedule helps me accomplish a lot more in a given season than if I didn’t have one.

Waking up early for instance for my devotion and an hour or so dedicated to writing before the children wake up facilitates my writing deadlines.

A schedule is a guideline of the priorities you want to accomplish over a period. It is not intended to be your master but a servant. Prayerfully draw a schedule that works in your context.

  1. Using an Alarm

The Proverbs 31 woman rises while it is still dark. In the next blog post, I will talk about rising early and whether it is biblical.

The Bible tells us why she wakes up early: She provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

She must have had this food prepared to give it to her household.

Rising early has a way of helping one get ready for the day. Foresight is being able to anticipate what’s coming and get prepared for it. What a wonderful way of anticipating the day by preparing early enough, meeting the household’s need for food, and releasing them to fulfill what’s ahead!

The Lord Jesus Christ, our role model, gives us another reason to rise early: to meet with God in communion and fellowship. What a beautiful way to be prepared for the day! A classic case of foresight. Isn’t it?

Rising early is neither a spiritual gift nor a natural talent nor is it inherent. It is a discipline! This is why an alarm comes in handy.

Thankfully, for most of us, we have access to an alarm on our phones. We can also easily purchase one at an affordable price.

An alarm is not only essential because it helps you to practice foresight by rising early, but it can also help you remember critical things that you need to do at certain times during the day such as when to start preparing supper as is my case.

  1. Have a Menu

A menu helps you plan your meals according to what you can afford while seeking to be creative with what you have.

Foresight in having a menu means you can anticipate what you will need during a given week, or month, getting it beforehand, so that you are not caught up or have to use lots of time preparing what you had planned on the menu.

Boiling cereals such as beans and green grams, for instance, freezing them to use during the week is practicing foresight. You won’t necessarily go to buy them next door and start boiling them from scratch on the day you need them.

A menu helps you to avoid impulsive cooking every time you need to cook. Impulsive cooking can be a costly venture. Remember that practicing foresight helps us save on resources that can be invested for kingdom purposes now that our foresight is for God’s glory.

  1. Meal Prepping

Meal prepping is about preparing meals beforehand so that you save on time and resources.

Preparing meals from scratch takes time. Meal prepping means anticipating this challenge and preparing beforehand to get ingredients, often at a lower price because you’ve had time to think through and purchase them, sometimes in bulk, then taking time to prepare them in a way that your time will be freed up to focus on other critical areas of your life for greater fruitfulness.

I meal prep every beginning of the month. I get to cook certain meals in bulk and then distribute them throughout the month depending on my menu.

I find that this frees up a lot of my time; precious time that I invest with my family and the ministry to young people that God has granted us the privilege of being part of.

  1. Keeping a Shopping List

I recently did my monthly shopping en route home after a ministry that had taken us away from home. I didn’t have a shopping list.

On coming back home, I realized I hadn’t bought several basic things we needed. I hope this illustrates the lack of foresight in not working with a shopping list.

Together with the time wasted having to go back and buy those items, you may find yourself shopping for extra things you may not need.

Keeping a shopping list or a master shopping list book that you can refer to before you go shopping is a useful foresight tool that can save you lots of time and resources as well.

  1. Keeping a Budget

I am no financial expert. I have however benefitted from the financial advice of some. Keeping a budget is one of the tools I have learned about.

Budgeting helps one live within their means.

This foresight tool helps us to save, however little, depending on our season. It has also helped us not to buy items on impulse but to save for them when we need them.

Several years ago, when I understood from a mentor how a freezer would help me in my homemaking, I embarked on saving. It took a long time. That time eventually came when the freezer landed on our doorstep; an item that has been invaluable in helping me practice foresight.

I saved because from our budget, I couldn’t have acquired a freezer without taking a loan. Because as a couple we have the firm conviction not to get into loans, I knew my only option was to save the little I could. It eventually paid off.

  1. Time Blocking

Time blocking is basically dividing your day into blocks or segments in which you are accomplishing specific tasks for greater fruitfulness and productivity.

For instance, before I got help, I would block 2 hours of my Sunday afternoons to iron. This sorted us a lot during weekdays when we needed something fresh and ironed to wear in the morning.

What of blocking time for meal prep as you anticipate the coming month?

Time blocking is a foresight tool that will help you in planning so that you can be more effective in how you work and the results of the same.

 

I pray these tools will be helpful as you seek to practice foresight as a woman, wife, and or mother.

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