Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beauty and Focus...

She selects wool and flax...
She considers a field and buys it...
Proverbs 31

Have you ever thought how much of the Proverb 31 woman's inner beauty was due to her focus? She was able to select the best materials. She chose activities that fit with her role in life and managed her time well. She knew what was going on in her household.

The ability to focus and to select has so much to do with both our inner and outer beauty. As a person who can be scatter brained, I am trying to cultivate this quality within myself.

If we are Christians, we don't have to wonder what our focus should be. Jesus tells us to seek God's kingdom and his righteousness first. Matthew 6:33. He tells us to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others as He loved us. He have us the mission of making disciples from all nations. Matthew 28:18-20. The word gives us many specific instructions about how to focus on God in the activities of our lives.

There are many lovely things to do in life. However, if we are to keep our ultimate focus on the Lord and enjoy our relationship with Him, we must choose what is pleasing to the Lord and helpful to our purpose in life. That involves saying no to some things, even things that might be fine in and of themselves, and saying yes to the things that are best.

As far as our health and beauty are concerned, here are some ways that focusing and choosing only the best can help us.

Here are some examples:

1) Love: Is loving God, your spouse, your family, and others important to you? You can experience the joy of loving God and others more fully if you make it the focus of your schedule. Likewise, you can make choices to be loving and Christ-like, rather than to react to others with impatience, selfishness, or indifference. If you schedule, plan, and discipline yourself, you will be prepared in heart and character to take advantage of spontaneous activities to love others.
2) Romance: If you want to encourage more romance in your marriage, you can make choices that foster a romantic atmosphere in your marriage. Of course, we want to be open and transparent with our spouse. However, that does not mean that we should not also focus on being lovely for our husbands. Some choices to consider: How is my attire? What about my nightwear? Without going overboard, do I spend a reasonable amount of time on taking care of my health and appearance? Am I encouraging? Do I make time for romance with my husband. (If you are busy, especially with small children, you can't always depend on the time just magically appearing.) Are you fun to be with? Do you take an interest in your husband's interests? Do you listen enough to know him as he changes and grows throughout life? Are you an interesting person in your own right?
3) Food: If you are fighting the battle of the bulge or if you need to eat for better health, choose quality food over quantity. Savor your food. Focus on what you eat. Do not eat mindlessly.
4) Home: Eliminate clutter by learning how to select only those things to keep that you really need or that really add beauty to your home. Eliminating clutter can add peace to your home.
5) Clothing/Grooming: Learn what works for your figure and skin type. Buy the best quality you can for your budget. Remember that it's better to have a few well-made garments than to stuff your closet with things that will easily wear out, fade, or go out of fashion. Likewise, pare down your skincare and makeup routine and stick to it. Add new products to your collection slowly.
6) Finances: Determine your priorities and stick to them, allowing for a splurge now and again. Give from your gross, rather than from your adjusted income.
7) Chores: Learn to choose what most needs doing at the moment. Put your focus where it is most appropriate and most needed at the time. Do not fret about what you aren't doing at the moment. Do the best you can in this moment and, then, move on to the next. Avoid being harried or frazzled.
8) Mood: There is a time to acknowledge sadness and pain. But, once you've dealt with the tough emotions of the moment, change your focus. Choose thoughts that lift you up rather than tear you down. Often, we depress ourselves needlessly by focusing again and again on the negative or by fretting about something that may not even happen.