Dressing Up for Life

I’m awake now! I think, as I splash cold water on my face and check the clock.

Weekday mornings all start like this – I wash my face, get into comfy clothes, get the kids ready, make breakfast, make lunches, deal with the morning tantrums… all the basics to get out the door and get my oldest daughter to school. I don’t put a lot of thought into what I wear in the mornings, and since I have 3 kids under 6 years old, life usually takes over and I often forget I’m still in sweats until dinner time. This is not an entirely bad thing, as other moms will agree, since anything nice I wear is likely to be stained, tugged at, and inadvertently used as a kleenex. But I have to admit that despite the hazards of wearing clothes I like around my kids, I always feel most prepared for my day when I choose a fresh outfit, brush my hair, and even put on a little makeup.

I know I’m not alone in this. Even Paul in ancient times understood the value of the right outfit to face life each day. In many of his letters, he encouraged readers to put on various types of spiritual clothing. He used the word enduo, which means “to put on or sink into” a dozen times to at least 7 different churches to describe putting on everything from Christ to kindness, holiness to patience, light to the armor of God and the new man (or woman). The imagery here is that of wrapping ourselves totally inside Christ and all His attributes, surrounding ourselves with Him, sinking into Him like a favorite sweatshirt.

But putting on these clothes does much more for us and our world than just help us feel put-together! Not only does putting on the armor of God give comfort after a hard day, it helps us to be ready for it before it happens. Putting on the new man, allowing God’s heart and plan for us to reign in our lives, can give vision where discouragement resided before. Putting on kindness and patience allows us to wrap around others as the soft, secure comfort of the Lord during their own stressful times. Putting on holiness (or wholeness) and the armor of light can even open the door for God’s presence, comfort and strength to cover and surround whole families and communities.

During our hectic lives as moms, let’s really think about what we’re going to wear each day. Will we focus entirely on the events around us, retreating to God after days of craziness? Or will we choose the right clothes for these busy lives we live, each day receiving the Lord’s redeeming presence like the comfort of a favorite outfit? May God speak to us as we dress each day, and in His gentle way, remind us of those clothes we so often neglect to put on. May this shift bring a sense of joy, vigor and strength as we learn to dress well for life.

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