I was surprised last week to find this post from Sheila Gregoire at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum on my Pinterest page. Here I was doing a series on dressing better and she had the perfect post. I’m not going to copy it in it’s entirety today, but she has graciously allowed me to share parts of it that I found very helpful.
Last week I talked a bit about feeling frumpy but put it mostly into the context of looking nice for our husbands. And I do believe this is an excellent reason for us to look nice. Proverbs 31 talks about how the virtuous woman’s husband praises her. While I understand that he is praising her godly attributes, I also believe that how she is dressed played a huge part in that. There are a number of verses that talk about what she wears and how she dresses her family. So, I think it is good to want to dress intentionally for our husbands. And Sheila mentions how it affects our relationship with our husband as well…
“When we don’t like our appearances or care for our appearances, we stop taking pride in ourselves. And then we don’t feel like wives. We feel like moms and maids. That sets a bad precedent for ourselves, but also for our relationship with our husbands.”
However, that being said, the title of Sheila’s post says a lot about our own attitude toward dressing intentionally, “Why Frumpy Makes You Grumpy”. As she wrote:
“We don’t have to be frumpy, even if we’re plus sized, or even if we have kids, or even if we’re busy. As my daughter says, it takes no more effort to put on a pair of jeans that looks good on you than it does to put on a pair of mom jeans. It takes no more effort to put on a nice fitting top than it does to put on a baggy T-shirt. Same amount of time. But you feel totally different about yourself.”
If you read the entire post that she wrote on her blog you’ll see the two pictures she posted of herself over 10 years apart. She made a decision one day to STOP being frumpy.
“I look better at over 40 than I did under 30! I know a large part is that I no longer have babies. When you’re exhausted it’s hard. But it’s also because one day I woke up and said: I don’t want to be frumpy anymore. It wasn’t just about my husband; it was about me. I wanted to feel better for me. I don’t think it was a vanity thing; I just wanted to feel like I was appropriately valuing myself and taking pride in myself. And when I never cared what I put on, I gave the impression that I didn’t care about much of anything. And that’s how I started to feel. I became a completely different person. And I didn’t know who I was anymore.”
I know I feel tired, a lot. Caring for my active 2.5 yr old and wakes-at-least-once-a-night 8 month old makes for long mornings in our house. I’m tired. I have a hard time getting out of bed (which never used to be a big issue for me). I struggle with finding energy to make breakfast let alone get dressed. But the past few months I have been forcing myself to dress before I leave my room and I actually feel so much more ready for the day when I do. Sometimes, I wear my pajama pants for a couple hours but I always put on a clean shirt (and I like to wear nice shirts although it doesn’t always happen) before I plan the rest of my day.
I’ve never been big on make-up, but when I was in college I loved dressing nicely. I didn’t spend a ton of time in front of the mirror (and I always laughed at the girls who did) but, especially on Sundays, I liked to do my hair nice (use the curling iron, etc.) and add a little eye-liner or mascara to complete my outfit. I remember one of the mom’s in our college church made the comment one time that she wished she had time to do her hair on Sunday morning like the college students. And, at the time, I thought she was making excuses. I still do. I still like to do my hair and put on a little bit of make-up, even if it is only on Sundays (yes, I am working on doing it every day because that’s what dressing intentionally is all about, right?).
I still get comments from people who say, “I don’t know where you find the time to do your hair nice on Sundays with two kids.” So let me tell me tell you how I find the time. I get up just a little earlier than everyone else and do what I want to do first (read my Bible, enjoy my coffee, etc), then I get the Littles ready (with plenty of time…or rushing because we’ll be late, haha), and then I take 20 – 30 minutes to get myself ready. This includes getting dressed (and the myriad of outfit changes that often accompany dressing on Sunday mornings). I have a friend with four children and another on the way…she is my heroine. She is the nicest-dressed mom of 4 (almost 5) I have ever seen. Every time I see her, her hair is done, she is dressed nicely, and I think she even wears make-up. Children are not an excuse, although they sure do seem to make a good one at times! Even Sheila admits to it:
“Then came the babies and I lost my curling iron. I got a bob hairstyle that required no work. And I started dressing kind of boxy. The holes in my ears grew over because my girls would pull at my earrings. And I stopped wearing necklaces because they’d pull those, too, and break them. So I felt frumpy…I had once cared about myself, but I had let motherhood take that away from me.”
This post is not just for mom’s, though. It’s for everyone. You can be a stay-at-home wife or single girl, who just does not see the need to get dressed in the morning when no one is going to see you. You can be a busy, work-outside-the-home wife, who feels she does not have the time to put in the effort when you have to leave the house early. You can be just a regular woman (we’re all the same, just with different struggles, right?) struggling with feeling good about herself (don’t most of us fit that description?). However, we can all find the time (even 5 minutes) to pick out a nice shirt, a necklace, a bracelet, put our hair up nice (oh, and a great place to find easy hairstyles is Pinterest – definitely my go-to for doing my hair nice on Sundays in a limited amount of time), etc. It does not take hours in order to look nice and feel good about yourself.
“…You [don’t] have to give up being a woman. And I think that if we took just a little bit of time, we’d feel so much more invigorated, energetic, and feminine. It’s not a vanity issue; it’s an issue of respect for who you are and for who God made you to be. You are a woman. You are a wife. Those are both good things. Don’t put them on hold because you’re a mom, or a busy work woman.”
From her blog, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum: Sheila Wray Gregoire is a Christian author of 7 books and a frequent speaker to women’s groups and marriage conferences.
Now for a giveaway! Because what is a series on dressing intentionally without giving you something you can use to do so? I know, right? My wonderful friend, Victoria Macfarland, is just starting a shop called Handmade by Hon. She is a stay-at-home mom of an almost one-year old (and, by the way, always looks nice when I see her!). Handmade by Hon currently features some neat crocheted summer scarves. I have two favorites at the moment. The Nautical Spring Cowl and the Spring Ruffle Scarf would be so fun for dressing up summer outfits. I know she is going to be adding more to the store as she is just in the process of getting it set up. She has graciously allowed one reader their choice of item from her shop. So you can pick one of these or wait until she adds some more. I heard she has some other items to post still.
So, how can you get an entry? I’m not going to do rafflecopter this time for various reasons (you may see it come back in the future). But for this giveaway, I want you to head over to her blog, which you can do by clicking here, and leave her a “hello” via the email form on the side of the blog (tell her I sent you). For an extra entry share this giveaway on any social media platform and then come back and tell me (leave me a comment below)…one entry for every form of media (ie. twitter, pinterest, facebook, etc.). Super easy, right? So, your main way to get it is to give a shout-out to Torie. Giveaway is open until Monday, April 28, at 8am, Atlantic Time (’cause that’s where I am!).
Let’s Beat Frumpy so we can all Feel Wonderful!