"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." Proverbs 31:14 (NIV)
We're talking about the wife of noble character, the Proverbs 31 woman, the impossible woman. Merchant ships bringing food from afar brings to my mind the thought that they will go above and beyond what is expected to do what is necessary. It also makes me think that they are enterprising and hardworking.
Sometimes, as a wife and/or mother, we have to be enterprising. Sometimes we have to bring our food from a garden after we've toiled day after day to get the land to produce enough to feed a family of 7 (give or take a few). Not every woman has the luxury of buying her food from the local grocery store, never having to worry about how much it will cost.
Sometimes this woman has to make clothing for her family rather than go to the nearest department store and choose the latest fashions for her kids. Many times she has to go without so that her family is well dressed.
I'm not saying that women who have the money to buy whatever they wants cannot be Proverbs 31 women. Many times the woman with the means to buy things she needs rather than "conjure them up" with her own hands has worked harder in other areas of her life. This woman might work a full-time job outside of the home and then have to come to a house full of children (and husband) and work like crazy until bedtime. She's enterprising too because she's still "bringing her food from afar."