Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sabbath (beneath the veil)

I was pleased when Ashunoah told me he is fine with me covering for church. He said from what he's read (from the info I'd given him last week, and also perhaps from his own Bible reading), covering is fine for public worship and prayer. I was delighted to hear that, because let me tell you, I got up at 6:30 this morning, got the boys fed and dressed and we were still rushed to get to church by 8:45 (it was our week to work nursery duty), and we had a really long day yesterday, and my hair was the last thing on my mind. Many times it's easier and quicker just to cover! I'm encouraged, though, because his permission provides me with freedom of thought and creativity...I can be thoughtful and creative about what my coverings will be for Sunday. I like that. And also, I've invested in really nice material to make the wraps. I hope to invest in more, but I also hope to grow in learning new ways to wrap the material. Reading the blogs of many of you reminds me that there are endless ways to style your headcovering! I'm excited to check out a few. Please give me your suggestions. What works for you? What do you wear most often or feel you look the best in? YouTube has been helpful here. The tutorials there are great! I wouldn't even mind wearing a hijab, but I think hubby would flip and that folks at our church would start talking.

But I'm finding there are lots of possibilities, and that dressing modestly and covering doesn't necessarily mean we have to feel drab. To that end, I've really enjoyed some of the items I've seen on the Islamic Design House website. Ordering clothing online seems to open a whole other world of possibilities. What are some of your favorite sites to shop from?

But I have also found that dressing modestly opens up a whole new world of attitude and service to God. Is it just me, or do you feel differently when you dress modestly? How I dress now reminds me of my service to God; it reminds me that I'm set apart...it reminds me of my desire for humility and obedience. I can't aptly explain how all of this has come to mean so much to me. Far too recently I was going to church and being careful to show off my slim waistline. I felt happy because I felt people saw me as beautiful, that maybe even (dare I say it?) other men might have had small crushes on me. Feeling beautiful (slim, well-dressed) made me feel accepted and loved, and love (I think) is what we all want and even crave desperately. I feel so much more free on Sunday mornings now! Today, I wore a long denim dress (that showed absolutey no curves or slim waist) that I got from my favorite thrift store, brown boots, a colorful head wrap and earrings that I made. It was simple and it was SO enough! I watched as different women came and went from our Sunday school classroom. These black women are beautiful --- hair freshly done, slimming black sweaters or skirts on, make-up well done. These are my friends and they are beautiful! But today, for the first time, I didn't feel like I needed to work to keep up with them. I sat back and sipped my coffee and felt a different kind of beautiful. This new way of thinking and living is incredibly freeing and, as I said before, maybe other Christian women don't need to be rescued as desperately as I do, but I needed Christ to rescue me, to save me from this shallow beauty madness! The constant monitoring of my waistline, guilt over eating this or that, watching how snugly or loosely my jeans fit was driving me batty! In this renewal of modesty and covering, I declare that I'm not a part of this nation's code of beauty...not a part of how this nation defines beauty. I've opted out and you can't know how desperately I needed it. I still have my days and moments of struggle when I worry about how I look or I focus too much on the areas of my God-given design I may not like so much (I solicit your continued prayer for me in this area), but now, I feel like I'm beginning the journey of seeing beauty the way God sees it. I feel like I'm being freed from trying to show off my own (fleeting, shallow) beauty, and I can now embrace the beauty of humility, holiness and walking in obedience to God. I feel like I am peeling back the layers of a fickle culture and I am finding it doesn't own the definition of beauty (to which I'd become a slave)...God does. What an amazing realization that is!

9 comments:

Natasa said...

I wearing ordinary clothes but I carefuly pick up thing that are not revealing... long skirts, wide t-shirt...not low cut..not transparent material... if I wear trousers then I put long shirt above (it almost touch my knees)...I like some islamic solution how to wear western clothes in modest way(layering)... my covering style is snood (Garlands of grace) or scarves (Covering by Devorah, Tznius.com)... greetings

Muhala Akamau said...

Natasa,
Thanks for this...I will check out those sites you've mentioned. Actually, I think I have one of them on my sidebar...blessings!

Rosheeda said...

Oh this a joy to watch unfold in you!!! As i read, I felt this indescribable joy for/in you.And as I read Friday, I was left with an overwhelming sense that this is not just for you, but for your family as well. I get the sense that this is to take you all to a deeper place. It will be amazing to watch it unfold!

Love you.
ro

Muhala Akamau said...

Dear one! Thanks for your encouraging words. I'm hoping God has a whole other level to lead us to as we walk in obedience to Him. Not always easy, but I get the sense that there are some great things on the other side of this...and I'm psyched about that!

Love you too!
M

light and good order said...

"In this renewal of modesty and covering, I declare that I'm not a part of this nation's code of beauty...not a part of how this nation defines beauty."

AMEN!

God's grace,

Kristin

LisaM at ThoseHeadcoverings said...

I am encouraged by you! Thank you for sharing your journey. :)

Alana said...

Awesome words! I appreciate your honesty about your struggle against vanity. With me it's been a decades long obsession, sort of coming from the other angle of dissatisfaction with the shape of my body and striving to or wishing I could "have something to show off". Your motives resonate. Repentance has been needful.

God have mercy on us! And he is. Covering is a good thing, as it opens spiritual doors.

Muhala Akamau said...

Lisa and Alana,
Thank you so much for your words. I've received overwhelming support from women whom I don't even know, who have a similar desire to please God. I just know that this journey would be so much harder without you...thank you!!

Azalea Lilac said...

I have felt so free and blessed with my modest clothes and head covering. I have spent much time and head ache over fixing my hair in the past. How wonderful to cover and be free.