Sunday, March 30, 2014

Make a Statement

This Spring, get with the fashion lingo and make a statement with a statement necklace. Show your endless sense of style with an infinity scarf. Take your look to the max in a maxi skirt. And forget about caged animals, try a pair of caged sandals! 

Then follow up with bracelets. Lots of them. Layered up to your elbows, maybe even higher. Layer after clinking layer of chains, cuffs, bangles, beads, and Rainbow Loom. It's like a bracelet salad.

And maybe try denim on denim. No, pastel with denim. No, white with black. And make it a shirtdress. Or a frill hem skirt with a crop top. Or a crop top with trousers. No, with soft pants. Okay, absolutely no crop tops - boyfriend tee instead.

After ALL that - if you can still see through all those trendy layers - look for your coral lip stain at the bottom of your fringed cross body bag before walking out the door to go to... uh, to go to... give me a minute and I'll think of someplace to go besides staying home to take selfies.

Fashion lingo... who makes this stuff up? Back in the day I was wearing jellies, Swatch watches, and stretch-stirrup pants. My mom was wearing Go-Go boots with mini skirts and granny gowns with hippy beads. And my Nana wore sloppy joe sweaters with pleated skirts and saddle shoes.

And way back in time, Biblically-back in time, various groups of people were wearing ephods and simlahs and tunics and sashes. And some folks also "girded up their loins," which doesn't sound very cover-of-Vogue-ish, nor very sanitary. Moving on.

Another Biblical reference to clothes comes from Colossians 3:12: "As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."

Who needs a statement necklace when you're wearing "clothes" like that? "I care for you, I'm here to comfort you, I've got all the time in the world for you" - talk about statement-making! And they're one-size-fits-all, too. Everybody wins!

So, demanding my way, being really mean, and eating too much cake - definitely clothes I want to take off. Compassion, kindness, and especially patience - most definitely clothes I want to put on.

Now, where did I put those rose gold baubles and chevron-print Tom's...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kingdom Savvy

A quick stroll through Bloomingdale's department store yesterday made me realize two things:

1.) The more luxurious and pricey the brands, not to mention difficult to pronounce, the more oddly eccentric the female models. Some had mustaches. Not the trendy, photo booth, at-the-end-of-a-stick mustaches. Rather, something Prince would have above his lip in Purple Rain. (Maybe I don't want to be a model when I grow up.)

2.) I have never been more thankful for Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Even Target. Or Ross on a good day. Or Macy's with my "Retail Me Not" app discount. Or Forever 21, size 40-year-old. I would be naked - literally, figuratively, metaphorically - without all those stores.

Actually, there's a third thing I realized while walking through Bloomingdale's in my Costco jeans: I kind of wished I knew more about all the fancy brands. Something culturally-indroctrinated within me made me think perhaps I should know.

For example, a sweet woman once told me about her fake handbag ministry. I told her, "Oh cool, I'll buy one! What is it, about 30 bucks? And for a good cause? Count me in!"

But after awkward silence, she patiently explained it involves preventing people from buying fake handbags. Something to do with how fake handbags are tied to the Mafia...or something super dramatic. Not quite sure. I just remember being embarrassed.

Embarrassed how? Well, she caught me off guard. I felt unsophisticated. And I felt naive, both to the evils lurking behind counterfeit handbags and to my lack of real vs. fake handbag knowledge. I mean, I've got Coach down because of the "C" and that horse and carriage thing, but that might be it.

Then the thought occurred to me: it's okay that I didn't fully understand the ethical and socioeconomic ramifications connected with black market handbags, let alone what the Mafia is up to (wet cement, brass knuckles, guys named Vinny and Rocko). I just need a place to stash my lip gloss and 3 p.m. piece of chocolate. Doesn't have to be a "bad" bag, just something cute and roomy.

However, what's NOT okay is this: wishing I possessed real and authentic handbag knowledge so that I could impress the anti-fake purse lady. Like maybe I could out-name-brand-drop her. Which is absurd. I have no such knowledge. And even if I did, why show it off?

The apostle Paul was right on when he said in Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do." (That's me.)

But Beth Moore profoundly writes, "God has assigned us to this world and Satan has assigned this world to us. Whose influence will win? Will our culture indoctrinate us or will we indoctrinate it?"

So while there is nothing wrong with being "name brand" savvy, I want to focus on becoming Kingdom savvy, having a heart that loves the things God loves and a heart that breaks for what breaks his. Nothing fake about that!