Monday, March 22, 2010

Why Bother?

I’ve been discussing with a few of you how much time it takes to shower and dress, and to be honest, I am a bit discouraged in that department. I timed myself on several different days and discovered why I can not seem to get ready in half an hour: it takes longer than that! Even without the piddling I can not seem to get my time below 35 minutes, and it’s mostly closer to 40 minutes. Maybe it is because I desperately need a haircut. Or a tan. Or clothes that look better on me. But, no matter what, if I want to get that done during the period that I am not supposed to teach Daniel anything, I need to change it to 40 minutes. Then there is also the “get up earlier” option, which I am still resisting at the moment. Mark down this month as when God began working that in me, should I ever become the president of the 5:00 a.m. club.

Now that I have determined how little time I have for beauty, such as it is, I really need to remind myself of why I should even bother to look nice. Most of my days are spent inside my house with my children. Does anyone really care if I stay in my exercise clothes all day? Maybe not. Edwin never mentions it if he comes home for lunch and I am still sporting the yoga pants and the ponytail. Is it just pride that makes me want to look presentable most of the time? Well, yes, that is certainly a part of it; the priorities are always in need of some, let’s say, tweaking. But I do believe there is more to it than that.

Let’s look at our favorite lady, the Proverbs 31 woman. This is a lady who works, both inside and outside of her home. She does not have time to be overly concerned with her appearance, and the passage is certainly not all about her beauty. But it does seem to say that she looks nice enough to open the door without being embarrassed if someone knocks. In fact, it says that “her clothing is fine linen and purple.” Then it moves on to strength and dignity being her clothing, so we know that character is more important than fashion. So I am not saying that getting dressed is the most important thing we should do each day, just that it is worth doing. Here is a short list of reasons I have come up with, though I’m sure they really came from the wisdom of others through reading and discussions on this topic over many years:

1. Looking nice at home says to my husband and children, “You are important to me.” If I only worry about how I look if I am going out to see others, what message does that send? One of the ways I can love and respect my husband is to take the time to look nice for him.
2. Getting ready for my job in the morning makes me remember that my job is significant and worth doing well, not just something I try to squeeze in between lying around and doing whatever I want. Every heard of the Fly Lady? She’s the one who sends a ton of e-mails to say, “Tie your shoes! Shine your sink!” Well, she has a point about the shoes making you feel you are really at work!
3. Looking nice at home gives me the freedom to interact more with my neighbors or anyone who happens by. It gives me the freedom to go out to lunch with Edwin if he happens to call and ask at the last minute.
4. Looking nice at home might help the neighbors to think we really are doing something inside this house, which we are. We are their picture of Christian homeschooling, however that looks to them. And I don’t want to give the impression of a lazy slob.
5. When I picture the ideal woman, the one I aspire to be like, she never looks like she just got out of bed. She looks feminine, neat, and ready for anything.
6. Lastly, I believe that God prefers order over chaos. It glorifies God when we do everything to the best of our ability. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)

I’m sure there are many more good reasons to try to look nice around the house. I’d be interested in hearing your opinions.


Wendy Royston said...

I am positive that I need a tan, a haircut, clothes that fit me better, and the list goes on and on. I have been at home for almost 19 years now and have "gotten ready" most everyday-unless some type of major event preventing me from doing so. My reasons are the same reasons as those listed above. One more to add to the list is that it just makes me feel better each day to get ready and usually makes my attitude alot better too when I feel like I have at least tried to make myself look better........even if I did not succeed in doing so.

Tracey said...

The good attitude is definitely a good reason; I should have put that on the list!

And, Wendy, I knew you would look good everyday no matter what, because you are not nearly as lazy as I am! And you ARE the president of the 5:00 a.m. (4:00 a.m.??) club! Maybe you will inspire me to get up earlier.

Kylie said...

Ugh, I struggle with this issue so much every single day. My baby is very spitty and drooly, so it's hard to talk myself into wearing anything that can't double as a burpcloth or handle a little puke. I'm also still in maternity pants, so most days I will just put on sweats because they are the only "normal" ones that really fit me anymore! And my husband is home with me for most of the day, working in the evening, so the usual pattern of work clothes to nice clothes is reversed for me. I suppose I'm just saying that at this point, all of my motivation to look nice is purely internal, and it needs some encouragement. Thanks for spelling out all these reasons for it!