A month or so ago I came across The Nester‘s challenge to write for 31 days about one topic. I grew excited to hear that over 700 people participated last time, as I LOVE reading through series and was looking forward to seeing everyone’s ideas. And I shuddered and laughed at the thought of participating myself – me? Write for 31 days on ONE TOPIC? No way, no how. And that was that.

Or so I thought. A few weeks later my friend Jessica messaged me, asking if I had heard about the series. She and another couple of friends were thinking about participating and she wondered if I would too, and if we could form a support group. I laughed again, and said I was going to have to think and pray about it.

(PS – She’s doing a GREAT series on Communicating with our Children! I’ve known Jessica since we were homeschooled together, and it stinks that she lives so far away! She has 2 boys who are adorable, she homeschools them, blogs, and is my model-mom inspiration for really connecting with and loving your kids!)

Well, that day it was pretty much ALL I could think and pray about. I had absolutely NO CLUE what I would write about for 31 days straight – until I replied (very late!) to an e-mail from a homeschool mom. She had e-mailed me to tell me how much she appreciated the way that I dress. She has a pre-teen daughter who, much like I used to be, prefers the tom-boy look, but is starting to notice other aspects of dress. To my surprise, this mom likes to point out the way that I dress as being in “good style and taste”, while still being respectable. She thanked me for being a good model and example for her daughter when there are so many other competing and inappropriate ideas out there.

This got me to thinking about how I could encourage others. For 31 days. And I felt the Lord giving me the go-ahead and the burden to work on this. So for 31 days I’m writing about clothes! Sounds shallow right?

My hope in participating in this series is to encourage women in any stage of life to dress appropriately and respectfully – our bodies are a temple, we are not our own, but the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Ultimately, our beauty should not come from nor be focused on our outward adornment – but “the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable beauty of  a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious (1 Peter 3:3).

That doesn’t mean we have to wear sweats and boring clothing, pjs, frumpy maternity clothes, or the “mom uniform” – though there are good times for that too! But we CAN put a little care and thought into our daily dress. As Sarah Mae said in her book Frumps to Pumps, “The point is, if we dress differently, we will act differently. We will be ready for whatever the day hands us; we will be ready to pursue our day with intentionality.” (page 15, Frumps to Pumps) If you’ve never read it, I suggest you get it, and read it. It’s chock full of scripture and ideas to help you focus on your identity in Christ, while encouraging you to dress WELL. Especially for your husbands! :D

On the flip side, we shouldn’t try to be like everyone else out there and dress like a super star. As a mom, it can be easy to slip into wanting to dress more fasionably than reasonably. But with 3 kids, I have to watch my lengths – both in the height of pants, length of shirts, and the neckline. We need to guard our bodies and protect ourselves from fault and “over-exposure”. Do what it takes to protect the eyes and hearts of those around you as well! Other people do not need to see our bodies exposed.

If you WANT to dress well, but don’t know where to start, The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley Morgan is a fantastic resource for helping you sort through your closets and picking out pieces that are classics to mix and match. There’s nothing quite like shopping in your own closet with a new mindset and ideas to go on!

Starting Monday, October 1st I’ll be posting an outfit a day with a few details and some encouragement for you for dressing well. Since I’m 7 months pregnant the clothes will be maternity, but I’m hoping the ideas will be helpful to anyone and everyone. I hope you are blessed by this and have some fun!