Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recovering Joy

I'd been pressed, beloved, to get a post up before now. The boys keep me busy, and there is Christmas baking! Most of the baking now done (cookies, that is; candies have been made and most of them consumed...pies to bake next week), I find a few moments to sit and write.

I'd been sad during recent days, thinking of my father. Missing him. I'd made a cd for my siblings and my stepmother...a sort of pictorial history (set to music) of my father's life. Watching it all the way through at its completion found me broken down in tears. My sibs and Ellen should get it this week. I hope it doesn't put a damper on their holiday. I know they are grieving as I am. I was in a toy store today, with the boys, and there was a Cars character named Ramone (we were looking at a couple of race cars), and my eyes brimmed with tears. I wanted to buy a race car each for my boys (but didn't), but very nearly did just because my father's name was Ramon. My heart is heavy even at this writing.

But I am trying to recover my joy. I remember how very much I have to be thankful for, and what a celebratory season this is. Christ Jesus is born! What a joy. What a joy to serve such a loving Savior. And to have been given sons (two!) when we remained childless for so long (12 years) is a joy and tremendous grace beyond words. I feel like Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mother. And Hannah. I am sad that my father is gone, but my Heavenly Father is more than enough. I feel like I need to cry and grieve the fact that my mother and I may never have the relationship I would like for us to. More on that, perhaps, on my regular blog, Testimony and Truth.

Thrifty Finds

On a brighter note, I am slowly reassembling my wardrobe: kicking out immodest items and replacing them with more modest pieces. I recently told Ashunoah that you've got to be creative when it comes to modesty. Today's fashion doesn't lend itself to so noble a virtue. Take sweaters and shirts, for example. Many are made 'short', so as to reveal belly skin when you bend or stretch. Today's jeans are made to rise low, so that you can show off more skin in the back when you crouch down (many tattoos are worn here), and when you reach upward.

I buy almost all of my clothes and shoes from a local thrift store and I make great finds. Everything in the photo to the left I bought at a thrift store (including my hat ---100% Alpaca --- which I bought for 90 cents). I try to work with what I already have in my closet, and I happen to have a few pair of jeans that I really like. The jean "jacket" you see here over my red shirt is actually nothing more than a simple denim mini dress. I also bought another one like this that is long-sleeved. I'd never wear this as mini dress (even in my less conservative clothing wearing days!), but it makes a great jacket. It covers the skin in the back that low-riding jeans often expose, which allows me the freedom to kneel while talking to
or dealing my boys. Hubby was impressed! I'm all about covering
my behind. Without a jacket, I sometimes opt for a longer scarf tied around my waist or some such thing. I'm really hot and bothered by the skin exposed in the lower part of my back when I kneel (and having toddlers, I kneel quite a bit!).

I also found this. Another nice 'bottom coverer'. It's a sweater, but neither hubby or I knew whether or not it was made to be worn alone. Never mind that! I wear it over a shorter sweater that doesn't cover quite as well and voila! a really comfortable outfit.

Moreover, I'm feeling drawn more and more to flowy, less restrictive clothing (those items are harder to find in the thrift store I shop at, though. I wish there were Islamic clothing stores around here). Snugger clothing makes me think of my weight more and I don't need to spend another minute thinking about it. A friend from church said once, some years back, that most women wear the wrong clothing size. She said most of us should be in something bigger than what we're currently wearing. I have this inner conversation with myself about how this pair of jeans, or that pair of slacks "holds me hostage". What I mean by that phrase is that I feel enslaved to get into them, and if I can't get into them, I feel even more enslaved! Wearing looser clothing, a size or two bigger, or wearing clothing that is more 'flowy' is freeing and doesn't hold me hostage! My hope and goal is to build a wardrobe with clothes that don't hold me hostage. That may mean I might end up making my own clothes, at some point, but for now, I will work with the thrift store, as it is most assuredly less expensive than making my clothes, given the price of fabric. We shall see.
All grace and love to you, beloved, during this blessed and holy season! Enjoy your Christmas if I don't connect with you till after the holiday.


Anonymous said...

I like your second outfit.. may God recover your joy...

Muhala Akamau said...

Thank you, dear one. Enjoy your Christmas!

Christie said...

Dear one,
Its good to hear your voice in this post. Much to talk about...hopefully we can chat soon.

Be well friend,

Rosheeda said...

I've been missin u. I'm so glad to see a post. Will you tell me where I can find the story of Hannah in scripture. I think I need to read that.

You look beautiful, by the way! :-)

Love you.

Muhala Akamau said...

Happy Birthday, dear one! I will call you soon. Merry Christmas!

The holiday hustle and bustle has me busy and really missing my dear, dear sisters! I value you so much, Ro, and I am SO thankful for you! Whenever I find myself praying without a cover, I toss my hands on my head, and that small act alone makes me think of you (usually I can find a towel, old t-shirt, or something!). I Samuel chapter 1 for Hannah's beautiful story. I LOVE how in the Bible God does amazing things through women who can't easily conceive. OH how we need to depend on HIM! Which reminds me of a blog post I'd like to do, but I digress...Merry Christmas, dear one!

Love you, too.