Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dressing for Success!


Remember ladies how you used to dress to impress.  Don’t let your surroundings dictate your duty to take care of yourself. I’ve been observing a few things about women lately, specifically the way we dress.

I was on the train the other day and noticed a young woman dressed very nicely.  She was with her boyfriend and was dressed to impress. When we are single we seem to put careful thought to our appearance, after a time we seem to get off track.  Several years ago, I had a woman remind me to dress up and put a little make-up on.  I make an effort every day to have my make-up and hair done nicely even if I am off to the gym or in a pair of jeans.  I want my husband to like what he sees.   Keeping up appearances are important for the married woman.   Think about what attracted you to your spouse and how you took care of yourself before you got married.

It takes work to keep up appearances, sure you have to invest some time in your hair and body, but the results are worth the effort.  Some of us want the finished product without putting in the extra effort it takes to look nice.  I have been up and down with my weight, but I continue to strive for a better me.  You too, should strive for a better you!  I still enjoy hearing my husband tell me how beautiful I look even after 30+ years.   Don’t you love it when someone compliments you?  It charges your outlook.

Ladies, with all that we have to deal with in a day’s work it’s enough some days just getting out of bed.  Our days seem to never end.  Women are the cooks, the baker, the breadwinner, the homemaker and everything in between.  When we say we are going to bed, we are usually picking up things on our way to bed or doing one more thing before we finally rest.  

Why dress for success?
  • Your husband will appreciate it
  • Dressing for success helps to stimulate your marriage relationship
  • It makes you feel good 
  • It brings value to yourself
  • It gives you confidence, whether you’re employed outside the home or a stay-at-home mom
  • It’s a good reminder that you are important and you deserve the best care
  • It’s a good way to teach your children to take care of their appearance
  • Let your outside appearance be a reflection of your inside (heart)

Our responsibilities may seem endless and yes it takes work to keep our home and family in order. However, you should do something for yourself every day.  It may be a few minutes to read a magazine or color your hair.  When we take care of ourselves we are taking care of those around us.  Stay healthy and well for your husband and family, do it for your children and grandchildren.  Taking care of ourselves means that we are making a choice to live long and strong.   When we are well it’s reflected in all that we do and in our attitude to those around us.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

A letter to my Niece as she prepares for Marriage

My dear sweet niece,

I can’t believe you will be married in a few weeks.  I am so happy for you and I pray God’s blessing upon your marriage.  It is a sacred covenant and one that should not be taken lightly. 

Here are a few things that I want to share with you as you prepare to be a wife. 

The day you say, ‘I do’ is the day of new beginnings and a new life with your husband.  I pray you will remember to seek God for His help, wisdom and guidance as you start this new journey as a wife. 

Marriage is a wonderful experience, yes there will be challenges but the best part is deciding that you and your husband will stand together, in sickness and health, when you have much and not enough.  Stay true to each other; make a commitment that you will fight to keep your marriage strong and that you will love each other every day.

Having a great marriage takes time, energy and patience.  It is possible to have a great marriage. Two become one but not overnight.  The most successful marriages consist of communication and respect for each other. You and your husband should talk about everything; he is your best friend.   Talk about your hopes, your dreams, your fears and your desires.  Understanding each other takes time; it increases with the years. 

Every marriage is unique, every family is unique.  Don’t ever make the comparison between your marriage and others.   Don’t let your past experiences (relationships, your home life) dictate your future.  Make a decision and commitment that you are going to have a loving home, a welcoming home, and that you are going to get tough, when trouble comes.   

A wife has many responsibilities and commitments.  You start by taking care of the home: cleaning, cooking, etc. learn to manage your home.  Here’s a slice of advice:  Pick a day for different chores; for example: Monday is laundry day, Wednesdays is grocery day.  In other words scheduling helps to give you an edge at staying on top of things and you’ll have time for fun and relaxation with your husband.

Take care of your husband. Men are very receptive to a woman who is taking care of his needs: love him, cook for him, take care of him, and make him feel like he is the king of his castle (because you are his queen).

Regarding children: nurture, love and care for them.  You and your husband should decide how they will be cared for while you are working outside the home, it is you and your husband’s responsibility. Work together as a team.

Note: Being a stay-at-home-mom can be very difficult for some women-I’m one of them.  It took me several years to come to terms with staying at home to take care of everything and everyone. Since, my husband works nights; I technically am a single mom, Monday through Friday.  I had to learn the art of homemaking without losing myself to it. Your husband needs to know when you are feeling overwhelmed and should help you to relieve the pressure.  Remember, you are a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter and friend! You don’t lose that once you become a wife.

Seek out other married women that you admire and ask for advice.  It’s good to get advice from those you admire and respect.   Remember, a single, never married woman cannot give you counsel on marriage – she does not have that perspective. 

I have a friend who has been married and understands the dynamic of marriage; so I have been able to have someone I could pray with when trouble came; believe me, it helps.  I do not share every intimate detail (a wise woman does not) that I take to the Lord in prayer.  Note:  Remember, you have an aunt that loves you and has been married a long time that you can come to for advice.  The successful married woman is also a praying woman. 

Be careful how you live. There are many distractions outside of the home screaming for your attention.  Making the choice to take care of your family should be your first priority, this doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love; it just means they take a different place.  When you invest in your family, you are making an investment for a lifetime –there are great rewards that come with it!

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established, by knowledge the rooms are filledProverbs 24:3-4 (ESV)

With Lots of Love,

Your Titi (aunt)

 *Adapted from article I wrote:  ‘Advice to the young wife’  and 
    a ‘Personal letter to my niece as she prepares for her marriage

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