A Slight Bit of Ridiculousness

I just have to share this.

Today as I was deciding what to wear, I chose a black short-sleeved shirt, with a tangerine (?) skirt (I’m horrible with colors).  It sounded like a nice, comfortable outfit, but suddenly, I froze:

Church is tonight, and I wore that black shirt on Sunday.

Yes, this was the thought that stopped me in my tracks.  I’m no fashionista–far from it–but you see, in the South, we have rules.  For example, you are not supposed to wear white in between Labor Day and Easter.  You’re just not.  Don’t ask me why.  But even though I think that rule is ridiculous, I can tell you that both females in this house follow it.  Even this year, when it was eighty degrees in early March, and Anna only had two pair of sandals, one of which was white, I made her wear her pink sandals repeatedly until Easter.  Only then did the white ones come out.

Another apparent rule is that you don’t wear the same thing to church two Sundays in a row (and I can only imagine that Sunday and Wednesday would be even worse).  Growing up, this was a familiar Sunday morning theme at our house:

“Did I wear this dress last Sunday?”  or

“Go change–you wore that last Sunday.”

And let me emphasize:  my mother is not a vain person.  But...those are the rules.

Nowadays, I am beginning to question these rules more and more.  One of my recent lines of inquiry has been regarding my appearance.  Specifically, how much time, money, and effort should I spend on my appearance?  The conclusions to which I have come at this time are as follows:  I want to be attractive for my husband.  I want to be modest for my Christian witness.  I want to be clean and hygienic for my health and for the sake of other people.  Other than that, I don’t need any rules about how and when to wear makeup, how many clothes I need to have, or how fashionable I need to be.

Basically, I’m trying to shed as much of the cultural baggage as possible in order to focus more of my energy on my real mission in this life.  And my mission is not to look like a 25-year-old forever.  Or to look like a runway model (haha).  Or to chase after a standard of beauty that is becoming increasingly unattainable.

Instead, my mission is to reflect God’s glory and be His ambassador on this earth.  

I don’t see how wearing the same shirt to church twice in a row is going to hinder that mission.  And so, daggonit, I’m wearing my black shirt tonight!  And there’s nothing yo can do to stop me!:)

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tim on May 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Ha! Funny stuff, and too true for contradiction! Love how you brought it down to what our real purpose is as God’s children: honoring him.

    I also think I have an answer to this question, Kim: “Specifically, how much time, money, and effort should I spend on my appearance?” The rule I am now going to follow is that it should take no more time, money and effort than it takes me to go across the street to buy a cup of black coffee at lunch. Most days, I can tell you, I expend less on my appearance.


    P.S. “I chose a black short-sleeved shirt, with a tangerine (?) skirt (I’m horrible with colors).” I bet you at least got the shirt color right.

    P.P.S. Rachel Stone just posted a piece I wrote. It concerns court stuff, with a kingdom application: http://rachelmariestone.com/2012/05/16/a-judge-on-rushing-to-judgment/
    Hope you get a chance to check it out.


    • I like that rule, Tim, and most days, I probably already follow it. (Well, except for drying my hair. That takes forever.)

      I also didn’t wear makeup to church tonight. It was a night of cultural rebellion:).

      Okay, now I’m heading over to check out your article.


  2. Posted by bekster081305 on May 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Hmmm, I’m conflicted about this one (probably because it hits a little too close to home). 🙂 Without having given it the full amount of thought that it probably deserves, my gut reaction is that there are other valid reasons to put effort into one’s appearance besides the good ones you already listed. Of course, looking attractive for one’s spouse is a hit and miss, subjective thing by itself (depending on how well the said spouse can communicate his/her preferences). I feel like it is also a legitimate thing to feel attractive for oneself. It is important to people to be able to project to others the person they wish to be seen as, and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. For example, extreme “fashion” may not necessarily be a sign of vanity but of creativity. In a way, even this shows God to people because creativity is a trait people get from God that mirrors His own creativity.

    Also, It says a lot to me that a symptom of clinical depression is lack of care about one’s appearance. While a person can certainly go overboard with the whole fashion thing, there can be negative reasons why a person might put less effort into their “look”. If I knew that you owned many shirts but I continually saw you wearing only that one black shirt, I might grow concerned.

    Of course, since I know you and know how full of joy you are, I think it’s great that you feel comfortable enough to chuck out the “rules.” 🙂


    • Becky, let me hasten to add that I have no desire to morph these thoughts into “rules” or to say that makeup or fun clothes are wrong. In fact, we talked about it in my ladies’ class last night and I mentioned specifically that, while a simple, plain wardrobe actually suits my personality, it would probably kill my artistic friend, Sara’s soul. (She was there, and she agreed.) For me, though, so much of it is ONLY a cultural obligation. I have never much cared for makeup; I actually rebelled against starting to wear makeup in 8th grade, telling people I wanted to look “natural..” I was soon convinced, though, that it was absolutely essential–indeed, that covering your face with substances was the societally RESPONSIBLE thing to do (and even today, if I were going to a job, I would still wear makeup, as it is part of the cultural standards of looking “professional.”) But in my home/church life, if I am neat and clean, then why should it matter if I wear makeup or the latest fashion? I honestly can’t answer that question on a moral level. (Not that I’m “done” with makeup, by any stretch. I’m just resisting the urge to feel like a bad person or like I’m not fully dressed when I don’t wear it.)


      • Posted by bekster081305 on May 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

        Yeah, that’s cool. There are definitely times when I feel burdened by “having” to wear makeup and do my hair, etc. However, for me not to do it wouldn’t fit with the image of myself that I want to portray, so I keep doing it. If you don’t have that burden on yourself though, that’s even better for you.


  3. ok, the first thing i thought was…”she’s worried that she’s wearing halloween colors, right”? sorry, mentally saw black and tangerine and that’s what i thought of! lol!


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