Yesterday evening, THE Blake Ball and I went to the Alabama/Florida game to cheer on our defending National Champions. Let me just say... I love some Alabama football these days! But, this post is - sadly - not about Alabama football.
When I get dressed for a football game (or really for anything), I try to think practically. What's the weather going to be like? What will I be doing while at this event? Will I need comfortable shoes? You get the idea... so, naturally, yesterday's dressing-myself-process was somewhat routine. It's going to get chilly and I will be standing the majority of the 5 hours we will be in the stadium. So, my inclination is to wear a light, long-sleeved shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. Oh, and a cute houndstooth baseball hat someone gave me in Honduras. I asked Blake about six times if I looked okay... because I knew that I was going to be facing swarms of 18-22 year-old girls sporting slinky dresses and high heels. Stuff like that still hurts my ego. I do care about my appearance, but I am just not interested in flaunting 'what my mama gave me' (whatever that means....).
More and more, I am seeing that being 25 means that I'm not 18 anymore. I don't have time to follow the trends and I certainly don't have the money or the energy to spend on trying to be in style or hip or anything like that. And I don't have time to go out and party it up and all that jazz. I have a real life and a real impending career and real bills and a real wedding that costs real money. I guess 25 is technically still young, but being in the education field doesn't exactly require being super trendy nor does it lend itself to all that other "fun" stuff that comes along with being young. (And let's just make a note that I have NEVER exactly been 'trendy' or hip!!)
Normally, I have a whole heck of a lot of confidence and I really genuinely don't care that I'm not the trendiest, hippest person. Having the coolest 'stuff' is the just about the last thing I want to be known for after I'm dead & gone. But, I'm still a girl and I still want to impress my soon-to-be husband and I still want to feel beautiful. The problem is that my definition of beautiful and the world's definition are polar opposites.
Proverbs 31 is one of the most famous passages in the Bible and is often made to be a bit of a joke. Ever heard a guy joke about needing a Proverbs 31 woman? Ever heard a woman say "Well, I'm certainly no Proverbs 31 kind of woman!"? Jokes aside, when I read Proverbs 31, it brings tears to my eyes. This is a wife of noble character... a woman to be not only desired by her husband, but admired by her husband and community. She is hardworking, caring, intelligent, a loving mother, and upholds the respect her husband has earned. Verse 22 says "she is clothed in fine linen and purple" and verse 25 says "she is clothed with strength and dignity."
"Clothed with strength and dignity..." that is my prayer today. There is nothing inherently wrong with having cool "stuff" - including clothes. I have lots of cool stuff that I'm proud and grateful to own. But, I don't want to be known for all that stuff... because, in the end, it is just stuff. I want to daily walk in the ways of the wife of noble character and be clothed with strength and dignity.
I have to remind myself frequently that it's not me versus the sorority girls of the University of Alabama. I'm not competing with anyone. That's hard for girls to come to grips with, trust me! But instead, I am following God's lead and "clothing" myself in His righteousness and grace. And may each day be a testament to the way God has created me and all women: beautiful and precious in His sight and wholly loved by our husbands... and husbands-to-be. :)