September AND October Virtuous Woman Challenge Reflection
First off I want to apologize. I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I had planned to, I'll explain why in a bit! I want to take a few minutes and talk about the month of September AND October's Virtuous Woman challenge and how I made little changes in my life throughout the month of September. For those of you who didn't see the original blog post, I challenged you all to start a Virtuous Woman Challenge to focus on embodying a different characteristic of a Virtuous Woman each month for the next year. The challenge for the month of September was to focus on the value you have as a woman of virtue. After all, the Virtuous Woman is extremely valuable- she is worth far more than jewels. Listed below are just a few of the ways I focused on my ~value~ last month.
1. I've been doing A LOT of self-care
Self-care is trending lately and it's not a trend I've easily hopped on board for. Obviously I take care of myself but as far as face masks, skin care, and general tools of relaxation I don't ever think about going out of my way to do much. It sounds so silly but it's just something I've never thought I would find relaxing (even though I'm sure a lot of it would be good for my health in the long run)! My skin care routine is nonexistent, my makeup regime is drugstore and minimal, and manicures are a thing of the past because I sew far too often. So for the month of September I decided to take time to value the things I never do for myself. I did a collagen face mask every night, I took lots of baths, and I even started a skin care moisturizer routine (baby steps, okay?). I also broke the terrible habit of picking my nails. I decided that a confident and valuable woman shouldn't pick her nails when she is anxious or bored. There are before and after photos below because I am SO PROUD of my nail growth. P.S. I do have thyroid problems which means slow growing nails that break easily but I will take what I can get! And then after I quit picking at my nails for an entire month, I painted them. Self-care. Done. It's amazing how taking care of yourself in the small ways make you feel so good about yourself.
2. Remembering why God says I am valuable
I took a lot of time out this month to read my Bible and reflect on what God says about me and my value. It turns out that a great place to think is in the bath so I was able to do self-care and time with God all in one. One of the verses I love to turn to is Psalm 139:13-16. It reads:
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."
We know we have value because God created us. He knew who we were and the value we had before we were even born. That is so powerful and mind boggling! I also love this verse in Jeremiah 29:11 that says:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Not only did God create us, he has a plan for our lives. We are so valuable to Him when we do God's works and do good according to His plan. We are here for a purpose and when we walk in that purpose we have such a special future ahead of us. Reflecting on who God says we are reinforces the value that we carry and provides hope for the future.
3. Remembering the value that others have
Not only should we take time to remember why we are valuable and what God says about us, but also what He says about others. Doing this made a big difference for me during the month of September. The whole goal of this challenge is to better ourselves and to pick up habits that contribute to being as close as we can be to the Virtuous Woman. That will only happen when there is a change in not only how we view ourselves, but how we act towards others. By taking time out of each day to remember that our brothers and sisters were also wonderfully made and a part of his plan, you start to look at everything a little differently. It is suddenly easier to be kind to someone who does you wrong or makes you upset because you can step back and view them as a valuable piece of God's plan. There are so many places in the scriptures that talk about loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek. When you stop what you are doing and think about the bigger picture regularly throughout your day, it suddenly becomes easier to be the person who loves their neighbor and who is able to turn the other cheek. When we acknowledge and love the value in people it is easier to be the person we need to be towards others.
How amazing would it be if we not only regularly appreciated the value and worth of our brothers and sisters but actually told them how valuable they are? That's the place that I am working towards!
Now for the month of October: I'll refresh your memory on the trait for this month- SHE HUSTLES! I've already been hustling in more ways than one this month and I cannot wait to share with you what I've been working towards! I'm not going to be listing out all the things I have been working towards this month (way too many to list)! But I will post a little bit below about what I have coming up in both my work and personal life that I am so excited about. I don't know about you guys, but I love having a whole month dedicated to focusing on growth and work.
A big part of the reason I have been so MIA this month is (kinda) because of this challenge! At the end of September, Michael and I moved into our new house. I went from taking time off for myself in September to the chaos of moving but felt so blessed to be in our new home! I spent a good chunk of October unpacking, arranging, and decorating our home. I love doing these things within the home and it tends to be a huge stressor for Michael. So to take some stress off his plate and to add to my "October Hustle" regime, I single handedly unpacked EVERY SINGLE BOX and EVERY SINGLE BELONGING we have. That is something I am pretty proud of! Amid the scramble of creating a cozy home I also worked very hard on a new line of merchandise that will launch this weekend on the SHE WHO IS website! From concept to design to final product, all of the new items were very carefully curated just for you guys! I am so excited for you all to see some of the cozy items that will be available just in time for the Holidays. I have also been preparing for the first every SHE WHO IS booth at a local Boutique show November 20 and 21. If any of you live in the Northwest Arkansas area, you will have to swing by! There will be more information to come on the @shewhoisapparel instagram page. October has been such a busy, crazy, yet amazing month full of hustling and progress!
What's next AND GIVEAWAY WINNERS
We are now a good chunk of the way into November (what?!) and I am well underway working on the trait for this month. The Virtuous Woman Challenge trait for November is SHE DOES NOT SETTLE! I cannot wait to share with you at the end of this month how I have been implementing this into my life!
I also need to announce the giveaway winners for September and October! The winner of September's Virtuous Woman Challenge giveaway is Teresa! And for October the winner is Sarah! If you want to be entered to win one of the monthly Virtuous Woman Challenge giveaways just simply comment on this post "I'm in". I would love to hear how some of you are doing on your Virtuous Woman Challenges and share your stories! Comment below or email me your progress at firstname.lastname@example.org!