Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….
Sometimes you don’t realize how bad something has become until you see it through someone else’s eyes. One evening I was in our bathroom putting on my makeup for my weight watchers meeting (because having makeup on makes me feel like I might look like I have lost some weight), when one of my little ones asked for some lipstick so she could look like a big girl. As I started looking for the lipstick with the lightest pink in the drawer, I realized I had at least 5 different shades of light pink. During this major excavation I also realized that I probably have 25 or so tubes of color, all ranging from long wear (guaranteed for 8 hours), to lip stain, or lip gloss for just a hint of color (I guess I might need that while I am pulling weeds because when I look my worst that’s when company is sure to come over).
To keep her busy during the makeup process I showed her how to pick out all of the lipstick and separate them into different boxes. Well, I am sure you understand where this is going to end up. Within a few minutes everything in the makeup drawer was on the counter and it was time for me to go. Isn’t that how it always goes, just when you get started, time runs out? That is why so many of us don’t get more projects finished, there is just not enough time or energy. So we never start decluttering, or we leave it half done until the next time we have time to finish it. I finally got back to working on this project two days later.
You know the drill, if you are cleaning out a space you may only put back what you are using, or know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will use in the near future. Believe it or not, I found a few items that I can’t remember to save my life where they came from or why I even have them. I did run across a few bits of makeup from my daughter. I guess it was colors that didn’t work for her so she passed them on to me. The problem is she is very fair (she takes after her daddy) and I have an olive tint to my skin. I am not sure why I saved a shade that wasn’t working for her; did I think it would change colors if I kept it in that dark drawer? I tossed all of the items that did not work with or for my skin type. I was surprised how much stuff that I could not or would not use that I had kept for no rhyme or reason.
Once the unusable stuff was out of the way and everything was wiped down it was time to reload the drawer with my beauty supplies. I have the normal amount of basic items, but in the lipstick department I will never ever use up all of the different colors I have, even if I used it every day and would never need to rebuy. I must say I love lipstick. I love the feel, the colors, and how nice and girly I feel when I have just the perfect color on. Since my daughter sells AVON I always have a new color to buy or a new improved brand to try. It’s hard to kick a habit when you have a family member that is willing to supply your bad habit. The good thing is that there are no calories to count and as far as I know they are fat and sugar free (if you believe this to be untrue please don’t tell me, I believe if I don’t know I don’t have to deal with the issue).
Now, I don’t get all dolled up on most days, but when we are going out to eat, shopping, or to church, I try to take the time to fix myself up, because it never fails that we will run into one of my husband’s old friends that I have never met or friends we haven’t seen in a long time. Plus, when trying on new clothes they always look better and I feel better with a little makeup on. I have noticed when I stop to talk to a friend while out that if I have makeup on they always mention how good I look and how much weight I have lost, without makeup the never seem to notice that I have lost over 60 pounds. Not sure how or why that works but it happens that way every time.
Since I have noticed so much about how people react or don’t react to me according to if I have makeup on I have tried to figured out why this happens. Do I look that different? Do I appear more approachable? The sad part is that I have noticed even how people talk to me, they tend to be unengaged when I have no makeup on, but with makeup they look at me and respond to what I say. I have pushed this experiment to meetings I have had a church on different committees. When I have run in without makeup and wearing a t-shirt my comments go unnoticed, but let me wear makeup and dress up a bit and my voice seems to carry a little authority. How shallow we have become!!!!
So it made me stop to think why do we value someone more because they look a certain way? Do we listen more because their confidence level goes up; they speak with more authority, and appear to be smarter? Or is it our perception that they are smarter and worthy of our time and attention?
This is very frustrating for me to think that I must look the part to be heard or valued as a person. But the thing that really hit me is the fact that if I notice it happening to me, I am probably doing the very same thing to others. I am allowing their appearance speak for who and what they are. That is so wrong on so many levels. I am sure I am not the only one on the face of the earth that does this, but I am afraid I am missing a lot of opportunities to minister because I chose to judge a book by its cover.
How many people have I passed in church that came in with a heavy heart needing to be loved and lifted up, but because they didn’t look like they belonged, I kept walking? I never looked at them long enough to see what was on their face or the tears as they rolled down their cheek. All I saw was the rough outer shell. I might say hello, but kept on walking, or had my eye set to talk to someone else; never stopping to see who God had placed in my path.
If God used the same standard of outward appearance to decide if we were worthy of His love where would we be? What if He had looked at me in all my ugly sin, would He have kept walking looking past my pain, never seeing who I could be someday? Would He have pushed me aside to get to someone better than me, someone who looked like they had it all together or was more useful to His plan?
No, He sees my heart; past and present. He hears my cries when my heart is breaking and I can’t even find the words to tell Him how I feel. He never is too busy to listen to my silly prayers or concerns. I don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of His attention.
May I see others with the eyes of Jesus, looking past my shallow preconceived ideas of what matters and see into others heart, putting aside my needs to see how I can minister to someone else?
I do believe in trying to be our best and working to present ourselves as approachable and caring, but I do not need to find my worth in how I look as much as who I am in Christ. Make sure the inside out shines the outside because that is what will draw others to Christ.
Love you to Jesus,