I’m going to start this post by talking about one major problem in my life. It’s a problem I also love (sometimes): MY HAIR. It’s unruly. It’s wavy, but not wavy enough to look curly, but wavy enough to not look straight. It’s big. I don’t lack volume. It’s thick. It’s difficult to straighten, but when I do straighten it, I love it. It just requires a lot of mental and emotional preparation to wash and dry and straighten my hair. Am I the only one?
My hair takes up majority of my prep time in the mornings. A ridiculous amount of time. So much so that I decided that I needed a haircut. The only option to gain more time in my day was to cut out some of my prep time in the morning. While I didn’t get it chopped short like I’ve had it before, I did get it layered and thinned and TAMED. My mornings are much easier now!
I feel that same way about the clutter in my home (i.e. – toys and school papers). Moms, can we just take a minute and scream about the amount of papers that come home from school? It’s unreal. Anyway. SO MUCH TIME was being wasted sorting through clutter and moving it from place to place. So, SPRING CLEANING time arrived and I cleaned out my closet, cleaned out the toy closet, and sorted through papers. I can breathe easier now that I have purged my house of too much stuff! (I’m not a minimalist by any means, but at least I can see my counters now…for a few days anyway.)
We CLEAN whenever we need a fresh breath – whenever we are overwhelmed with stuff – whenever we need a change. We make a change. We find better ways to store our stuff. We organize. We figure out ways to save more time. Spring sunshine and warmer weather brings that out in us.
Perhaps we should take time to SPRING CLEAN our MORNING ROUTINE. By this, I don’t mean a mass hair-chopping session. I mean, making a change so that we have time for other things.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
That word “adorning” is the Greek word “kosmos.” You’ve heard that word in relation to the world, the stars, etc. It means “order system” or “world.” It is also where we get our word “cosmetic,” meaning the “ensemble of the whole face.”
Now, can we throw together an ordered system or an ensemble with only a flippant thought? No. Think about your mornings or even your evenings. In our house, we have a system for bedtime – my husband and I know who needs what and who goes to bed in what order. Without that system, its madness – we know, because we’ve vacationed with these three guys and it’s always madness the first night without some kind of system. Your mornings work smoothly when there is some sort of ordered system to get everyone ready and out the door on time. You cannot simply wake up and let everyone have a free for all and hope to make it out the door ready and on time. Chances are, you have put thought and effort into the system to make your mornings or evening work smoothly.
The same goes for OUR mornings (by that I mean, YOU, who are reading this). We have an order to our routines (which may or may not be continually interrupted by small hands grabbing our makeup brushes, waking before dawn, and demanding more juice). Paul is saying that we should put time and effort into working on the inward person, not just our outward appearance. He’s saying that we shouldn’t spend SO MUCH time on our hair (oops!), jewelry, and clothing, but that we SHOULD spend SO MUCH time on learning a gentle and quiet spirit. The time and effort that we put into our ensemble of our appearance should be put into the ensemble of our inward person. A gentle and quiet spirit are very precious to God. God is more concerned with our strength, humility, and steadiness than with our outward beauty.
How do we do this?
We SPRING CLEAN our routine. We wake up earlier if needed. We prep the night before for the coming day so that we have more time in the morning. We MAKE TIME in our day for devotions, Bible study, and prayer.
I am not saying that we MUST have time with God in the morning. Not at all. I’m saying that we MUST make time with Him during our day – morning, afternoon, or night. But we CANNOT work on our inward person while ignoring the Creator and Lover of our souls. We MUST spend time with Him.
I find that I am much more patient and pleasant if I spend time with Him in the morning. For me, that meant waking earlier and figuring out a way to spend less time on my appearance so that I could have MORE time with God. That meant, chopping off some of my crazy mane so that I wasn’t spending an hour trying to perfect my “mom bun” and then wondering why I had NO time to read and pray before my guys woke up. 😉
For you, it may be something totally different. But, I encourage you to find a way to make time to meet with God EACH DAY.
Map out your day hour-by-hour. Fill in everything you do all day. You’ll find that you have time to meet with Him. I found that I had an hour open each day. An hour! You’ll find time, too. When you do, PEN Him in (don’t pencil it in – make it happen!)
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