“Many Women Do Noble Things But You Surpass Them All”

This blog “Running Free in High Heels” is normally written by my wife Heather Clarke. Today is Heather’s 37th birthday so I’ve decided to highjack her blog to write about my wife Heather and our family.

It’s currently 2:30 in the morning and I just returned home from a late night of work. I bartend at a very popular Atlanta restaurant called “Chops”.  It’s one of the finest Steak Houses in the country.  I made a detour on the way home from work to stop at Walmart to pick up a card for my wife’s birthday, some bubble bath, and a tray with legs which my children and I will use to serve Heather breakfast in bed tomorrow morning. I’m going to brew a very strong pot of her favorite Starbucks coffee, whip up an order of sunny side up eggs, buttermilk biscuits with butter and blackberry jam, and a side of bacon and sausage.   After breakfast I’m taking my children out for the day to give my wife some much needed rest.  Later today we’ll meet back up, hand the kids off to the babysitter and head out for a nice romantic dinner.   It sure sounds pretty good doesn’t it?  I’ll be up most of this night writing this blog entry of mine, decorating the house, signing cards, and getting the house ready for her big day.

Her big day, if only that was the case.  Things have been tight here in the Clarke house these past couple of years.  Heather rarely if ever treats herself to anything save the occasional splurge at Starbucks for a coffee during one of her very infrequent “Mom’s day out.”  She never buys herself a new dress, skirt, blouse, shoes, unless of course they’ve been marked down 85% and she has a 15% off coupon.  She’s very fortunate that her very generous sister Kelly sends her a package every so often with items that Kelly no longer wears.  Kelly has very nice taste in clothing and shoes, and whenever that box arrives Heather is like a kid in a candy store.  Heather and Kelly wear the same size clothing, anything that doesn’t fit Heather gets passed on to a friend that Heather knows would be blessed by such a nice item.  The other day Heather was food shopping at Target and saw a pair of shoes that she really thought were cute, but which were not quite reduced enough in price to make her feel comfortable, she put them down and walked away.

As many of you are aware my wife makes many of her own cleaning supplies.  She refuses to pay the high price for store bought cleaners when she can mix them together herself.  In the morning for breakfast she prepares homemade waffles and pancakes for our children from scratch, no store bought Eggo’s in our home.  She really splurges on a couple of items, “organic eggs” and “organic milk”.  She feels very strongly about keeping as many hormones out of our daughters diet as possible.  Heather’s hope is that she can prevent our daughter from going into puberty early, as is happening to many young girls.  So she splurges on milk and eggs for our children and goes without for herself.

Every Saturday my wife purchases the early edition of the Sunday paper.  Many Saturday night while I’m at work bartending, she’s at home clipping coupons, planning meals for the week, reading blogs like, “Money Saving Mom” and “I Heart Publix” and tries to find the best deals for the week…to squeeze every last penny out of our grocery budget.  When Heather goes grocery shopping she maps out her route, it’s her goal on her shopping trips to hit every grocery store and pharmacy in one trip so that she will burn the minimal amount of gas.  She has our meals for the week meticulously planned according to the freshest ingredients available at the best price.  Heather is constantly reading books on how to be a better Cook, Mother, Wife, and Home Economist.  Heather works tirelessly to become a better person.  I don’t hold a candle to her in any way.

Early in the morning before the sun has come up you can find Heather seated at her desk in the living room.  Her children and her husband are fast asleep, the dogs and cats also, but Heather is awake, before her sits her open Bible, the Methodist Hymn book “which she frequently sings”, and whatever devotional or expository book that she is currently working through.  She arises before the light so that she may have sufficient time with her God and Savior before the day has gotten away from her.  When Heather’s friends and family are in need of prayer, when they are experiencing some event that is beyond them…she prays.  She prays for them alone in the quiet of the morning, at times of eating, with our children as they lay in their beds.  I don’t know which of her friends and her family could say the same?  She keeps a list on a dry erase board of those currently being lifted up in prayer and of those who have received an answer to prayer.

My wife homeschools our children, yes we are a homeschool family…but it is all my wife’s doing, not that I don’t support her 100%.  I would like to take some credit, to tell you of the classes that I teach, but most mornings by the time I’m waking up school is winding down.  My family arises early, is fed, has devotions, then gets going because of Heather’s discipline.  Our children are constantly being challenged to grow scholastically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Every week our children memorize a different bible verse.  After they have repeated the verse three times during the day they get a gumball out of the very cool gumball dispenser that their Aunt Kelly sent for Abby’s birthday.  My son Noah is getting the best possible education that is available, catered to his specific learning style.  Heather graduated with honors from Rutgers University.  She could be out in the work force making a good deal of money.  She could be making enough money to afford a nice car, clothes, vacations, but she made the choice that being at home with her children was more important than providing nice things for herself.

My wife as many of you probably also do shops at consignment sales which are held at various churches in our area throughout the year.  Our home revolves around these sales.  Heather is always going through our kids clothing to see what they will need in the coming year or two.  She pulls out all of the items that she can sell which will give her more money to spend on our kids. Hours and hours of work go into tagging the clothing that needs to be sold, getting your items ready sell is so much work, but somehow she manages to do it.

With everything that my wife does for others she still manages time to take care of her physical body.  Heather does countless workout videos, runs, walks, lifts weights, rides the elliptical trainer, etc.  My wife has been committed to taking care of her physical and spiritual body for her entire life.  She is in better condition now at 37 years old than she was when we married 13 years ago.  I’m very thankful that she has placed such a high regard on keeping herself in such excellent condition.

For Christmas this year my wife sold some of her gold jewelry and gave me $150 in a very nicely worded card.  She told me that she wanted to bless me for working so hard.  Heather included advertisements for Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.  She wanted me to go through the ads and find some fun electronic device to buy for myself.  She had a babysitter come over for a couple of hours so that we could go out to Starbucks where she blessed me with my gift.  I was very touched by her kind act but can never make a quick decision about any purchases.  It took me two weeks to decide on a purchase.  I finally decided on spending the money that she game me on a video game system that I could play with my son.  I searched and searched and bought the item that I wanted used on Craigslist.  The game system new was going for $169 plus tax without any games.  The item that I found came with the system and the two hottest games for $120…score.  My son already had the two games that came with it so I sold the two games on ebay for $50 so the system wound up costing me $70.  After I recouped my money from the ebay sale I still had $80 dollars left over.   I took the $80 from my wife and $95 from a Christmas gift that a customer of mine gave me and bought a brand new Ipod for $175 and resold it one week later for $275.  The three transactions netted me the game system for free.  I’ve now since started buying and reselling items to earn extra money.  Today on one transaction alone I made $150 dollars in profit, the very amount my wife gave me to bless me.  Little did she know what that seed of faith would do.  I’m telling you this to point out the obvious fact that “none” of this would have been possible if my wife hadn’t sold some of her jewelry so that she could bless me with a Christmas gift.  Had it not been for her selfless act I would have never found this avenue for earning additional revenue for our family.

I could go on and on about the wonderful wife that I have but it is now 5am and I still haven’t decorated or signed my card, so I better get moving.  Maybe sometime in the future I’ll highjack her blog again.  I’m sending this to my wife’s favorite blogger “Crystal” from “Money Saving Mom” with the hope that she would include it somehow in her blog or on her facebook.   A couple of weeks ago Crystal posted an article by Heather, which was read by 3000 people.   I know I’m not the greatest writer but I really would be tickled pink if people read this blog so that more people knew what a wonderful wife that I have.  So Crystal I really hope that you find a way to share my story about my wife.  I know many of you who are reading this are supestars in your homes.  My wife Heather is simply one of the most wonderful people that I have ever met.  If you get a chance drop her a line on this blog…offer her some encouragement to keep pressing on…and to commend her for the wonderful job that she’s doing with our home.  There is one thing has always astounded me about my wife.  For some reason God has not made making and keeping close friends very easy for my Heather, and not for lack of trying.  I truly believe Heather to be one of the most outstanding women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,  so my further prayer is that God would bring Godly women into her life that would encourage her and acknowledge to her just how extraordinary of a woman that she is.

My wife has been writing her blog with the hope that one day that it might produce an income to be able to assist our family financially.  She has wanted to buy her own domain name and to start her own website so that she could have more freedom over its content but has not wanted to spend our money.  Today for her birthday I’m going to give her that $150 seed money back so that she can finally get her blog and website off the ground.  My prayer is that God would bless her work and attract readers in the same way that he has blessed her work with our home, our children, and with my side business that she helped start. I pray that God would give her words of encouragement and edification to bless the hearts of the wives, mothers, and women that would read it.

This is Proverbs 31 and this is what it says about the importance of finding a good wife:

Proverbs 31:10-31New International Version (NIV)

10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Verses 28-31 of this Proverb says that “her husband  praises her”…and that we are to …”honor her for all that her hands have done.”  That is certainly what I’m trying to do in my very imperfect way.  I have what I believe to be one of the finest wives ever created.

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand All Else Is Sinking Sand!

Heather’s Ever Grateful Husband,

Michael T. Clarke III

13 years blessed in Marriage March 27 2012



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nicci on February 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Well said! We all love Heather! Happy Birthday.


  2. Posted by Mary Clarke on February 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Happy Birthday Heather!!! It sounds like you are going to have a wonderful day. Michael, I have always said that you should write and when you do it is such a joy to read. How wonderful to be able to write your very heartfelt feelings to your beautiful and very appreciated wife. You have a gorgeous and wonderful family. Heather, I hope you have the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!! You certainly deserve it. We love you and miss you, Mary and Dad Clarke


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