Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Lessons | 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. In the last verse, we saw how she took care of her family. Now, 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 and 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 the best of friends either. The point is, she took the time to take care of herself.

When I first became a mother (4 years ago this coming Friday), 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, comb 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? Purge, clean out, donate, sell. Do whatever you need to in order to see what you can wear or see what is lacking.

We can also make excuses about having to take our kids with us. Before my precious gifts 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 planning for me now involves pumping so Bud can stay home with Daddy). And let's face it, having a child in the dressing room with you is not all that easy. I'm sure you remember our funny situation on a recent shopping trip I had with Addie and our race to the bathroom. But even with that, I would definitely take Addie shopping with me again. We had such a good time together, and now anytime I wear something we bought that day, she tells me, "Mommy, we bought that at Bealls!"

I also let her help me pick out some things. We were looking at some sandals. She saw a beige pair and pulled them off the rack (I had told her I was a size 8). I tried them on, she looked down at my feet, and declared, "I don't like them- at all!" Needless to say, I put them back and got the navy blue ones that she heartily approved of.

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 (here in Florida). Not only do they have great sales, but they also put great items on the 50% and 70% racks. My favorite times, though, are when they put an additional 30-40% off of all clearance items. It is quite possible to dress in "purple and fine linen" and still stay way under budget. At my last trip with Addie I spent $36.65 and saved a little over $200! Thank God for a $36 birthday gift card from Dad and two newspaper coupons for $10 off a $25 purchase. I only paid $0.65 out of pocket!

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 need 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. 

Memorize Proverbs 31:23

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