8/25/2011

On Femininity

I'm not much of a girly-girl. I mean, get me not wrong, I don't like to be dirty. I'll practically crash my car trying to get some previously unnoticed dirt out from under a fingernail (ok, not really, but humor me). I hate wearing shoes but even more I hate walking around my kitchen and having anything on my feet. I literally just shuddered.

Any Parks & Rec fans get that reference? Sigh. Yet another reason I cannot wait for fall! But I digress.

Moving on. So the thing is, a lot of random bits here and there have added up to me feeling quite inadequate in my femininity. For one, I finally decided to join Pinterest. Hello, I love it. You can see my boards if you are a member (and if not, email me--I have invites! The address is top left, just under my "about me"). The deal is, I thought it was just for femme ladies who love to post pictures of their favorite ingenious shabby chic creations. I am loving using it for food, some craft ideas for when Rog gets older, homemade gifts that are more up my alley--picture in a mason jar with oil? Sign me up!

Such a FANTASTIC and personal, lovely gift idea!
So, while I've found many uses that are more me, I've also found myself feeling...lame. Women post stuff in "my style" that is so cute but I would never dress that way, probably not even if I had the big ol' budget and preferred body to do so. I can appreciate them on others, but you'll probably just never catch me wearing a cute short dress with high, even cuter boots. I'd rather punch myself silly than wear heels, ever!

She's adorable. She's so not me, though.
[click image for link to origin]
These Louboutin's are SUPER cute...
and once again, super not me.
[click image for link to origin]
So--and it's taking every ounce of self-control to not say, "Of course," here--I started feeling...well, like crap about myself. There's the posts of fall fashion women are inspired by and they probably do incorporate some modicum of their Pinterest ideas into their wardrobes. Then I came across home interior design on a budget blog after home interior design on a budget blog that made me feel like our normal, comfy decorated but not themed or intricately planned home must just be an embarrassment for friends to set foot into. Then there are the blogs with women who have super cute style and their blog has a cute name and they make super cute stuff for their Etsy shop that provides funds for their home and their blogging is profitable.

Now, as an aside, I'm not saying that will never be me. I am thinking about trying to learn to sew and being more crafty because it actually sounds appealing and I always surprise myself and create things that I didn't know I was capable of. So, if I open an Etsy shop I'm not saying you should panic and think I've sold out!

The tragedy, though, is that I sat here feeling like junk. I asked my husband if it's bad, if I should make an intentional effort to be more feminine and if I need to find a way to make my blog profitable, as in actual money, and if I should have cuter hair and make our home all design blog worthy, etc.

Praise Jesus for that man, he said, "No! If the Spirit is moving in you to be more intentional with some things then heed him and work that out, but don't you dare compare yourself to other women and define your femininity, or summarize it as a lack thereof, by their style and their appearance and their calling and their talents."

I love those two, and we all love our Seahawks!
This was a few weeks ago, at practice.
Best birthday gift ever: last year I got that jersey and
I'm holding the proof of tix to my first ever
Seahawks game!
For those who don't remember, one of
my baby showers for Roger was
ladies only, but it was a football
theme. That jersey, as seen on
Roger with his daddy above,
was the first article of clothing
we ever bought for him!
Again, thank God for Jason. My calling is not to be like any other woman, not even the Proverbs 31 woman. My calling is to seek Jesus, repent as he exposes sin, and love and serve my husband and son and community (both my church family--and they are truly family--and anyone around me without Christ with whom he intersects my life) well. I can use the Proverbs 31 woman as a semi-guide, but nowhere does scripture say that to not be like her is sin. There are other passages, including one I'll share in a minute, that do speak to what it is to sin and go against scripture with regards to how I conduct myself, but too many women seeking to worship Jesus think that if they do not buy land and have a profitable business they aren't godly women. Again, nowhere does scripture say that! End rant.

As to crafty and stylish things, perhaps I'll find a real penchant for creating something, or I'll be blessed with a time period where I am inspired and the means come to do some redecorating in our home. Maybe I'll even find a style with regards to clothes--my current "style" is does it fit and look good and is it cheap? Done. Praise God, my husband's literal favorite thing to see me wear is my yoga pants and, to be blunt, any top that makes my chest look nice without showing it off to everyone else. That's my favorite type of outfit to wear, so praise Jesus :)

I won't even lie to you--I'd much, much rather spend money on something sports related (as seen in the photos above, but we also LOVE Mariners games!) or electronic treats or stuff for my son or good, healthy, organic (read: more expensive) food than shoes and jewelry and trendy clothes, even if it's inexpensive thrifty finds. It's just not my thing. And that's ok! I'm no less a woman, no less feminine. The Bible speaks of a woman with a gentle and quiet spirit, and my husband consistently tells me that the longer he's known me the quieter and gentler and more godly my spirit has become (again, could I have done any better? No way! Love that man!) and I don't have trendy style, I only do my hair and make-up occasionally, and rarely do we buy home decor.

As for my character, I love what 1 Peter 3:1-6 has to say:

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 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. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

I'm accountable to Jesus, per the above passage, not for my external style but for how I conduct myself and honor my husband, how I conduct myself toward him and toward others. Styles and trends die and become antiquated--and not in the current trendy way--quicker than you can refinish that old armoire, but a gentle and quiet spirit is imperishable. Not only that, in God's sight it's very precious. I long to be found very precious before God in that way!

In sum, I embrace that Jesus defines me by my belonging to him and fulfilling my calling to love and serve those aforementioned. It's ok to want to change and grow in terms of craftiness and stylishness as the spirit leads, but Jesus is not disappointed in me--nor is anyone else who matters--if I'm never a fashion inspiration to others. It's really ok. I have to learn to be ok with it when I wish I were cuter and stylish-ier (yup, made that up) but there is no femininity meter in which I am subpar for my lack of an Etsy shop, not to mention the void of necessary talent to have one. And I can keep Pinteresting and reading inspirational blogs, but my comparative lack means nothing. Praise God!

3 comments:

  1. So funny - pvb 31:16 was my quiet time verse this morning! Actually, I've been going through Pvb 31 and it's been so helpful in working to train my mind to be thinking about my husband's/ our household's needs ahead of my own selfish wants. But I am really thankful for reminder that we aren't called to "be" the virtuous woman (in legalistically replicating everything she did), but to allow the Holy Spirit's breath to convict our sinful attitudes and actions and instead humbly learn from her godly heart and obedience. Thank you for such a thoughtful post, Tami!

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  2. Thanks, Brit! You're super encouraging and your note really blessed me! And isn't it freeing to know that comparing ourselves to the Prov. 31 woman and feeling like we suck is just as wrong as comparing ourselves to women in real life? It's about pursuit of Jesus, not fitting a mold. Seriously, truly freeing!

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  3. LOVE this post! I think we all do this. I KNOW we all do it. I have to monitor myself and take hiatuses from certain blogs and websites if I find I'm beginning to compare myself too much (and I ALWAYS fall short) so that I can focus on my own fabulous uniqueness.

    Especially being pregnant. I'd love to be super cute and stylish, and I'm lucky to have some great clothes, but aside from a few shirts and one (bigger) pair of yoga pants, I've borrowed all of my maternity clothes. So my style is dictated by someone else's . . . I don't have the money or the desire to go spend $80 on a chic maternity dress. Or on pants that fit me better than my sister's do. :) And I'm okay with that. But sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm okay with that.

    And God bless Jason. His response was just perfect. What a good man.

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