Thursday, July 13, 2006

A quiet and gentle ( and colorful) spirit

All three of my daughters, when they were younger, have enjoyed a very eclectic taste in clothes. The brighter the color, the bolder the print, and the more flash, the better! I have let each of them, to differing degrees, wear what they chose, although I have always expected their outfits to match (somewhat) when we leave the house. Aubry, my youngest one, enjoys more freedom in this area than my older girls did, simply because I am a more relaxed mommy these days and I realize that you only get to be a kid once in your life so why not enjoy it!

There are certainly things in life far more important than looking good, and character, intellect and outlook on life are just a few. Should we teach our girls to take care of themselves and to dress appropriately? Yes! But I also think it is important to let them be themselves and be creative with their clothes when they are young, and they will more readily be themselves when they are older and not so quickly be inclined towards people-pleasing when it comes to their appearance. Looking like you just walked of the cover of Cosmopolitan has its benefits, I suppose, but being a girl of quality on the inside is far more lasting and important.

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." 1 Peter 3:3-4
As Aubry grows older, I know that her fashion sensibilities will mellow and I will feel less compelled to wear a t-shirt which reads "She dresses herself" when we go out in public, but in all honesty, the thought of her toning down her crazy clothes-combining techniques makes me quite sad. It will feel like a loss, the same loss I felt when my older girls "got it together".

Rather than focusing on their looks, I want to see my girls place an emphasis on important qualities like kindness, mercy, patience, gentleness, and perseverance and I hope too see these qualities grow and flourish in their hearts, leaving a mark of beauty on them that will last a lifetime.