Body image

Dressed in…….

By Linda Mae Baldwin

My usual attire is jeans and t-shirt or sweater. I am a simple gal. I wear no make up (because when I do I look just like me, except with makeup, and after all the fuss and bother of putting it on, I want more or different). My greying hair is going to continue on that route. I know myself too well to understand that hair coloring would only end sooner than later, when the fuss and bother of sitting in the salon chair wore on my nerves. So I’m not stopping it. From time to time I think I would love to wear a little Breakfast At Tiffany’s black dress and some kicky high heels, but how would I chase goats and chickens in such a get up? I’m also not a small sized woman. I suffer from bone on bone arthritis in my knees and something in my shoulder that requires cortisone shots every so often so it will function. Comfortable, practical  clothes fill my wardrobe. (I’m not making excuses here, just trying to set the stage. )

When those rare times pop up, where I want to dress up and wear pantyhose and shoes that could not hold my orthotic insoles,  I get a full on dose of the enemy’s taunts…’ fat, fifty and frumpy, that’s me.’ Today was one of those days. I wasn’t doing much. Got up, read the Word and headed to our church’s kids summer camp where I serve as an assistant to preschoolers. Mostly I help with recreation, run kids to the bathroom, wipe noses and calm crying kiddos. I love it. I wouldn’t wear a tiny black dress and scrappy shoes today even if I could, it’s rather impractical, but, for some reason, today, I thought it would’ve been nice. When things make zero sense like this, I chalk it up to the enemy’s taunts.

When I got home, it was raining full on, a windy side on rain which no one wants to go out in.  But there were goats and sheep bleating for some alfalfa and eleven chickens needed feed. So, I slipped on my red rubber garden shoes and my jacket, flipped up the hood and headed out to do farm stuff. Sloshing along in the mud and through the puddles, cleaning up chicken coop poop and taking the four legged livestock alfalfa, is no place for red-bottomed four inch heels and strapless dresses. Obviously. My jeans and button up plaid shirt is the perfect outfit. Yet, still – ‘fat, fifty and frumpy me,’ played in my head.

There’s only one way to combat Satan’s taunts and that is with the Word of God. Colossians 3 in the Message : “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, DRESS IN THE WARDROBE GOD PICKED OUT FOR YOU: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even tempered content with second place, quick to forgive. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Father forgave you. And, REGARDLESS OF WHAT ELSE YOU PUT ON, WEAR LOVE. It’s your basic, all purpose garment. Never be without it.”

I like to say the Bible has an answer for everything in life. It truly is our instruction manual! Here, I find the answer to the enemy’s accusations: it doesn’t matter the shoes, or dress, or jeans or shirt. My choice is to simply wear what He has already laid out for me – Compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline, and LOVE.

I reckon they go good with heels or orthotics, dresses or jeans. (July 2014)