Proverbs 31:25 (NIV) She is clothed with strength and dignity;
She can laugh at the days to come.
It was to be an exciting day ahead. I had signed up for a professional women's business meeting. It was to be an all day event. I was looking forward to seeing old friends, and making new ones. All of the speakers had interesting topics for us as business women.
Throughout the years I have always had an interest in grooming, and fashion. For me this desire to look nice began in 7th grade. At one point in my life I had been a Home Economics teacher where I taught Fashion Industries, grooming, manners, and sewing. After 25 years as an educator, I retired. After retirement I sold Mary Kay for 8 years. When I didn't make director, I decided to start my own image consulting business. With both of these jobs looking the part of a fashion or beauty consultant was important to making a good first impression. Once again, I made no money as an image consultant. This time my twin sister and I formed our own business. We began our own stay-at-home pet care service for cats and dogs. As a pet sitter, I wear either flip flops or tennis shoes, shorts, and sleeveless shirts in the summer. Instead of wearing makeup, I put on tons of sun screen and I wear a straw hat. Lipstick is an absolute no. Instead I wear lip balm with sunscreen. Going from having every hair in place and using lip liner to moisturizer with sunscreen and summer hats was a big transition for me.
Back to the day of the women's retreat. Because it was a business function, I knew I needed to look polished. I decided on wearing my knee length black shorts with my new lightweight black linen shirt. Proverbs 31:22: she is clothed in fine linen and purple. My hair and nails had been done just for this special occasion. Before leaving the house I put on my black London fog trench coat. It was a little cool in the morning. As I left the house I decided to go back and get my coral colored shawl. Sometimes some of the rooms for business meetings are like meat freezers.
Throughout the morning, I drank my usual 3 cups of caffeinated coffee with cream and sugar. As usual that meant I needed to make a trip to the ladies room. While in the private stall I noticed that my new shirt from one of the local designer discount stores had a tear in the fabric. I thought to myself, "Oh no. I really like this shirt, and I'll need to keep my shawl on." A little while later, I took another trip to the ladies room. This time I noticed the seam under my left arm by the first rip was coming apart. Once again I thought to myself, 'I'll have to keep the shawl on and definitely not lift my arm." As the afternoon progressed and I drank water, I needed once again to go to the ladies room. This time while in the powder room, I noticed a rip in the seam of my right sleeve. Now I'm thinking to myself this is too much. Here I am at this business conference attempting to look and act like a business woman while my lovely linen shirt was literally coming apart at the seams! Each time I returned from the bathroom, I had to act as if nothing was wrong. I could have gotten an Oscar for my performance! By the time I had arrived at home that day, all of the seams had come apart. Thank goodness I had my trench coat and shawl to save the day.
Supposedly this discount designer shirt was originally marked for $298 but I bought it for $20. I guess I'll be bringing it back.
The real lesson from this experience was to ask God to help me keep my composure. Because I was literally falling apart at the seams, I needed supernatural power to help me keep my dignity.
Julie W. Andre', BS, MEd, MSW, is a retired educator with 25 years educational experience in the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana. Since educational retirement , I have had my own Mary Kay business, and an image consulting business. As an image consultant, I wrote a fashion booklet about line, design, and color. I was the fashion writer for a prominent local magazine which had sponsored a makeover contest.
In the last two years I have completed two writing classes with the Institute of Children's Literature. I have also been published in Northshore Parents Magazine with my pet diary article.
Since June of 2009, I have been the co-owner of a local stay-at-home pet care service. In the summer of 2011, I wrote and published a children's picture book called JJ's ABC's of Pet Care. It has been adopted by the St. Tammany Humane Society to be used for educating the children of St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana. This book is appropriate for pre-k through 3rd grade. It is also being added to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters educational component on its website. NAPPS members will have access to downloading the file from the NAPPS website for use in their own communities across the USA.
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