Note: Over the next week, I’m going to take you with me on a meander through my day. No two days look alike around here, but this will give you a glimpse on my daily rituals of cherishing life. I do this very imperfectly. I would love to hear about your own rituals in the comments. And don’t forget to check out my favorite resources on the bottom of these posts.
We hear a lot these days about women loving their bodies. I agree that we should not speak and think negatively of ourselves, but we should appreciate our bodies as gifts from God and treat them well with proper care. However, my ideas about how to do that are different from most of the rest of the world. Naturally.
I believe beauty is embracing how God naturally made us to be. I believe good health is the best pathway to beauty. I believe that both of these processes are difficult to maintain and accept. This is how I am trying to cherish something as mundane as getting ready for the day:
On Covering Up
Some people believe that loving one’s body is to flaunt it: to let the world see the beauty of the feminine form in order not to be ashamed of it but to cover our countenance. My idea is to let natural beauty shine through, but to cover and protect our feminine form in much the same way one would protect a valuable possession. Some call it modesty. We used to call it decency. Most call it controversial.
These posts are about how I cherish life, so my beliefs will color the practical implementations of it. Like all of my writing, I am not telling you how to live your life, I am only sharing how I live mine.
I have a very small basket in my bathroom with all I need to prepare and beautify myself for the day. I try not to use anything on my skin that I couldn’t eat since what I put on my skin absorbs into my blood stream. I have a few exceptions to this, as you’ll see in the resources. And no, I do not eat my shampoo. I just like to think it is safe enough should I wish to do so.
I also don’t use anything on my skin to cover up the face God has given me. My countenance is the window to my soul, so I let it speak for itself. I do my best to cleanse it and keep my skin healthy, but beyond that I do nothing. If I have to deal with a bout of acne or eczema now and then, everyone else knows. (Small secret: when you try to cover up blemishes, most people can tell anyway.) My husband told me before we were married, “If a woman lies to you about her looks, she will lie to you about anything.” So, I am very honest and transparent to him and to the rest of the world. 🙂
While I do not cover up my looks, I do like to smell good. So, yes, I use deoderant, soap and perfume. While my hair has always been its natural color and length, I do style it with hairspray so it looks as presentable as possible.
Shopping for clothes is something I do not enjoy. I do not like to make decisions like choosing a wardrobe or even choosing what to wear for the day. So, when I heard about a capsule wardrobe, I was intrigued. And liberated. I’ll give you some links in the resource section, but here is how I have made it work for me.
I choose two basic neutral colors for fall/winter and two for spring/summer. I buy skirts, shoes and purses in those colors. I choose two to four season-appropriate accent colors for tops and a few printed tops and skirts to coordinate. I don’t have a set rule, but I generally can fit my whole wardrobe on less than 40 hangers. That includes layering pieces, cardigans, dresses, skirts and tops. I love to look feminine, so I have never owned a pair of pants.
Narrowing it down this way has made shopping and getting dressed so much easier. I just have to look at feminine clothes in the colors I have chosen. If I already own a pair of black shoes or a black skirt, I don’t need to look at those. If I’m low on dresses, I can just go to the store and look for a dress. An added bonus is I can pretty much pull any two items from my closet, and they will go together. I am able to make quite a few different outfits from just a few pieces.
Although I am putting the getting ready for my day right after my time with Jesus in this series, there are days when I do not get around to getting dressed until later. We homeschool, so if my children wake early, I think “breakfast and get school started” first. If I haven’t had time to get dressed, I tend to do “one more thing” until it’s noon and I’m just picking out an outfit. Not a great habit. I’ll link to a resource for that in case you struggle with the same thing.
One Last Thing
Despite my tendency to stay in my robe a bit too long some mornings, I believe that we are to look our best every single day. This glorifies our Savior and blesses our husband and children. It makes us feel better about ourselves and prepares us to work and live better.
I learned this lesson from my mom. She always looks nice even if she is running errands or cleaning the house. I may be fashion-challenged, but I attempt to do this same thing. And I wear perfume every day. I live with the most important people in the world to me. Why would I save my best for strangers?
Resources for Getting Ready for the Day:
White Rain hairspray (because it’s the cheapest, and even with Loyalty Rewards, my face and hair care products are pricey!)
I get my shower at night, so all I use in the morning is deoderant, perfume, and toothpaste. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to transition to natural products except for this toothpaste. I, of course, buy it on sale with coupons when possible. I use regular store-bought deoderant, and my favorite signature scent of perfume is discontinued. When I use up the current bottle, I’ll have to find another scent. 🙁
Books and Websites:
The Ten-Item Wardrobe Ted Talk by Jennifer L Scott
Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L Scott – I obviously don’t agree with her thoughts on make-up, and it should go without saying that any book I recommend be evaluated using your own judgment. I can’t wholeheartedly endorse any book but the Bible.
Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae
Reflecting Beauty by Valorie Quesenberry