Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Proverbs 31:22

"She makes coverings for herself: Her clothing is fine linen and purple." Once again we find our dear friend, Mrs. Proverbs 31, busy with useful activity and making herself into someone we would love to emulate. Last week, we saw how she took care of her family. This week, we will see how she cares for herself.

The first part of this passage shows us that she takes time to make sure that she has proper clothing. Yes, most women are just naturally wired to shop. We all love going to a clothing store, trying on outfits (especially when they fit us!), and purchasing a few pieces that we just can't live without. However, I'm sure that Mrs. Proverbs 31 couldn't just run out to Bealls, JCPenney's, Wal-Mart, Ross, or any other clothing store you can think of. She had to make her own clothing. Which means, that she had to make the time to make herself a new outfit. Now, I am not saying that we need to pull out our sewing machines a make our clothes by hand (if you are able to, more power to you!). As you know, I am not a stranger to my sewing machine, but I wouldn't say that we are he best of friends either. The point is, she took the time to take care of herself.

When I first became a mother, I began getting parenting magazines where mothers wrote in and almost bragged about the fact that they hadn't showered in a couple of days. Why would anyone be proud of that? Needless to say, I did not renew my subscriptions. Just because we may stay at home doesn't mean no one will see us. We have a husband and children. Isn't it as important (even more for that matter) for us to be presentable for their sakes? It is important (especially for our husband's sake) that we take the time to care for ourselves. Shower, come your hair, put on your make-up, and put on a nice pair of jeans and cute top. That is all it takes. Certainly, we all have time for that much.

We need to make sure that we take the time to see that we have the proper clothing for ourselves (fit correctly, right color for our complexion, seasonal, etc.). We can get so busy in the day to day routine of our lives that we forget to take the time to check on these things. How many clothes do we have hanging in our closets, but we can never find anything to wear? During my recent closet organizational purge (to be detailed in a later post), I noticed that I had too many dress clothes. I knew I could not possibly wear all of those clothes, either because I had no place to wear them to (as a teacher at a Christian school, I was required to wear dresses and skirts to work, so that made up most of my wardrobe) or they didn't fit the way they used to. I had to be brutal in my weeding out, but now I have a closet that has much more room and only clothes that I will wear. Now, instead of feeling overwhelmed when I open the closet door, I feel like I have options. Also during my purge, I realized that needed more pieces that were relaxed, but classic so I could look nice even though I am at home.

We can also make excuses about having to take our kids with us. Before my precious gift came along, I could just hop in the car and take off. Now, I have to plan a little more about what a shopping day is going to be like. And let's face it, having a child in the dressing room with you is not all that easy. So on a recent shopping trip, I asked my mom-in-law to come with me to care for Addie as I looked around and tried on clothes. Addie had fun with Grandma, and I got some much needed shopping done- picked up those pieces that I needed.

The verse goes on to say that her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her clothing was in style and of good quality. So how did she manage that when we have learned what a thrifty shopper she was? Sales, sales, sales!!! Gift cards, gift cards, gift cards!!! Okay, so maybe those weren't options that she had, but they are ones that we do. I'm sure she employed some kind of careful shopping when she purchased her purple (an expensive dye in her time) linen. I make a point of only shopping the sale and clearance racks at clothing stores that I have gift cards to. I love shopping at Bealls. Not only do they have great sales, but they also put great items on the 50% & 70% racks. My favorite times, though, are when they put an additional 40% off of all clearance items. It is quite possible to dress in "purple and fine linen" and still stay way under budget.

Don't think that just because you may be a stay-at-home wife and/or mother that you don't have an important role to play or job to do. You are the chief executive of your home. You are a teacher to your children in one way or another. You are a caregiver to all who live under your roof. You are a cook for all who will gather around your table. You may be the accountant for your family. You are an organizer so that everyone will know where everything is when they did it. You are a nurse to your sick baby at 2:00 in the morning. You are a woman created by God to do a job that no price tag could ever be attached to. So dress for the part. Dress for success.


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