I have found myself in unchartered territory lately: enjoying time for a hot shower, to style my hair, apply my make up, AND coordinate a pretty outfit.
Perhaps it’s not the riveting answer one may have imagined. But allow me to explain.
Since I became a mom, having time for myself became a thing of the past. It’s just one of the perks of early motherhood and besides, it’s not a permanent situation. Or so I thought.
When faced with the unexpected and for an extended period, caring for myself literally sank to the bottom of my to do list. T-shirts and sweats became my go-to outfits pretty much everywhere I went. Anything nicer would have required time and energy I didn’t have. And you know what? I didn’t care.
My primary focus was on my children’s health and keeping myself afloat while shuffling to appointments, making mad dashes to the hospital, and keeping track of all the medical history. I just wanted to be comfortable, I told myself.
The truth is I wasn’t happy. I was saddened by how much life had changed, how I tired I was, and how I had no control over what happened. “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.” (Proverbs 27:19)
Then one day, I observed my friend whose child was quite ill. In the midst of the frenzy of packing for the hospital and making arrangements for the children at home, my friend was dressed beautifully, accessorized, and putting her make-up on. I stood shocked and I asked her about it. Her response was advice once given to her: dress yourself to look like how you want to feel, even if you don’t feel like such at the moment. Besides, she said her girls were watching her and she wanted to set an example to them of how to carry yourself in spite of the circumstances. How inspiring!
I felt convicted and challenged by what she shared. God impressed upon my heart that this is about being a reflection of His beauty. To walk in confidence that God is my strength. To be rooted in His abundant joy.
So as I firmly grasped these truths, I slowly started making changes in my wardrobe choices and put forth an effort with my appearance. I wear a smile in spite of the struggles I face. And to my surprise, I have caught my teenager staring at me quite often. When I ask her why, her comment has been, “You look so pretty, I can’t stop looking at you.”
Whatever circumstances you may find yourself in, I pray that God’s love, peace, and joy would flow from your heart causing your appearance to radiate with His light.
“May I be a portrait – a reflection- of God’s idea of beauty.” (Elizabeth George)