Posted by: kathryngraves | November 4, 2015

Surround Yourself With Beauty

When nobody else is looking. The editor of House Beautiful magazine wrote some profound words in her Editor’s Note this month. Sophie Donelson referenced Marie Kondo in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The essence of Ms. Donelson’s insight was that how we dress ourselves at home has an enormous impact on our self-image. You are who you are, even when nobody else is looking. And your home, more than any other place, should help you feel like your truest self.

When we’re busy. My premise is that you are beautiful. You are a child of the King, royalty. You were created by Him, in His image. That alone makes you beautiful. However, I know most of us don’t feel very beautiful a lot of the time. We don’t take the time, or we don’t linger in front of the mirror long enough to do more than make sure our teeth are free from pieces of lunch and our hair isn’t sticking straight up. And when we actually get to spend some time at home, we lounge in sweats and a t-shirt. We’re on the go so much that we toss things in a closet to clean up the living room or bedroom and stuff items in the kitchen cabinets helter-skelter. As for decorating, who has time for that? Beautiful gets lost somewhere along the way.

This topic runs in two directions at once. It speaks to our personal fashion and our home fashion. I will take two posts to cover them, with this one devoted to the personal.

Who cares? How we dress at home does have an enormous impact on our self-image. A couple of weeks ago I was shopping with a friend. We came across some t-shirts and the sales person tried to get me to buy one. I told her that I never wear t-shirts and she looked at me like I’d lost my mind. It’s almost true. The only time I wear them is to the gym, never at home. I learned a long time ago that I need to dress at home the way I want people to see me when I go out. After all, my husband sees me at home and doesn’t he count?

I had surgery several years ago that involved a lengthy recovery period. The first day I had the energy to take a shower and fix my hair it made me feel like a new person. There is just something about looking nice that imparts feeling nice. I take it a step further. I wear my jewelry and make-up every day, even on Saturday. It only takes about 10 extra minutes and makes a world of difference in how I feel about myself.

Casual with style. If we only wear sweats and old raggedy shirts around the house, what does that do to the way we feel about ourselves? Some say it’s all about comfort. I know my husband wouldn’t begrudge me the comfort of that kind of outfit, but is it really that much more comfortable? My nicer jeans have so much “give” in them that I can sit cross-legged in my chair (as I’m doing right this minute!). My top is a pull-over shirt with little buttons at the neck that wears like a t-shirt. But when I toss on a denim jacket to run to the post office, I look put together. My make-up is on and my hair styled. I have earrings and a necklace on, along with rings. Nothing is too flashy since my clothes are so casual, but statement earrings wouldn’t be out of the question if I’d been in the mood for them this morning. I gain confidence from looking put together.

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(Me in my casual clothes on a Saturday.)

I know some of my readers have to dress up more than they’d like for work each day, so Saturday seems tempting to be the day they don’t care. And like I just described, Saturday can be very casual. Just not slobby. When we dress like a slob, it enters our psyche. We begin to feel like a slob. I didn’t learn that in class, but I did learn it in college. If we don’t care enough to look presentable to others, we let our guard down and care less about our own personal standards.

Follow God’s example. Some may think this whole discussion is self-centered or vain. I submit it is the opposite. Tidying up at home is the first step toward a beautiful life. When we take care of the body God gave us, when we take care about how we dress–even at home–we express gratitude to the Lord for creating us. He didn’t just toss together some ingredients like a salad and say, “Whatever this turns out like is okay by me,” when He “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). He carefully planned every strand of hair, each freckle, and even my missing chin, or neck, depending on how you look at it. Nothing was left to chance. The least I can do is treat myself with respect.

I think that’s what this discussion boils down to. Respect for ourselves and the God who made us. An occasional slobby day aside, the routine care we take with our dress says a lot about how much respect we have for ourselves. And if we don’t, how can we expect others to respect us? Our looks telescope messages to others all the time. In my jewelry business I teach women that people make many assumptions about you in the first few seconds. They already know what they think about you before you ever open our mouth to introduce yourself. And you never get a second chance to make a first impression. We might wish looks didn’t matter, but they do.

Feeling beautiful. They matter to others, and they matter to you. I’m not talking about becoming a fashion fanatic. I’m talking about not becoming a slob. Surround yourself with beauty. That’s what God did–we see it in the world around us–and because you are made in His image, you can do the same. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

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Responses

  1. Very good, that’s the way I feel if I dress sloppy, I feel sloppy ! I just try to look presentable in case someone shows up at my door. Makes me feel good! Good thoughts, Kathy!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >


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