Feb 12, 2010

Keeping up appearances

Hello all!  I decided that it was time to do a new post.  Today has been so busy...milk, sweeping, mopping, cleaning, laundry, making bread...I'm glad to have a chance to sit down for a bit.

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Mom and I were talking the other day about something, and I thought it might make an interesting blog.

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I have let myself go in the area of appearance and such.  Really.  Of course appearances aren't everything...we should be more concerned with what's on the inside - but when it goes too far the other way, that's not good either.  This is somewhat of a struggle for me...I'm not sure if I'll be able to adequately put it into words, but I'll give it a try.  

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Living here doesn't lend itself to prettying you up.  People look at us differently here {of course} - we're not natives, we live in a different kind of house, in general we have more money than they do, and we're white.  Since people look at us so differently already (we're the ones "Oh, from Amerika!"), I don't dress myself up as much as I would in the States.  I don't want to seem to be saying "look at me!" with my more "fancy" (I use that term loosely) American things. 

I wear flip flops quite literally everywhere I go.  Each morning my hair goes straight up in a clip.  My daily attire consists of a big t-shirt (Most of them are hand-me downs), and an old skirt or kanga I got from the market, or stretch pants.  

Sometimes I stop and actually look at myself...what happened?  It didn't happen overnight, but because three years of being with people who mostly have only a tattered, stained kanga, or tattered, stained pants to wear with a ragged, stained shirt, maybe some shoes, maybe not.  Even so, I don't have to look like a cave woman!  

So I resolve to wear some earrings {Hey, I've worked up to studs!}, and maybe put some lotion on my feet, but the next Sunday an old lady comes to sit by me.  Her kanga is worn and holey, as is her shirt, her sandals are made out of old tires...and her feet.  Her feet are slightly deformed from having such a hard life, her toenails are all split, and the skin so cracked they would be impossible to ever fix.  Then I look down at my own feet, then back at hers...and I had been worried that mine are sometimes dirt stained or not as smooth as I'd like.

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I would love to get all prettied up sometime and have somewhere to go, or have something to do that I have to get a little prettied up for.  But there isn't, which is perfectly okay, but just because some around me are like that old woman, doesn't mean I should completely let myself go.  I'm trying to do better, but I look at that old woman's feet, and it's a strange, mixed feeling.  I want to do better with myself, but as I look back at the old woman smiling at me with her toothless smile, I wonder...how can I?

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{please note: I did not take this picture, and I don't own it...I found it on flicker.com, but it maybe is just a tiny sample...}

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(NOTE: If you stay longer than 5 seconds on this blog, music should start playing.  If you don't want this music playing, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and hit the stop button. :) )

9 comments:

  1. Linz, you have expressed yourself beautifully. Shall we have a feet makeover party? :) Love you.

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  2. I think you should definitely have a pedicure party! Maybe even invite some of the girls there! Little scrubbing, lotion, and toe nail polish can make any girl feel like a pampered queen for a day. :)

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  3. I know of a occasion that will lend itself to a little pampering as well as one to pretty yourself up for that will be occurring rather soon :) hehehe

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  4. This was a wonderful post. Thanks so much for the insight and for posting this. I love it. My favorite blog post ever. EVER.

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  5. This was great. It makes me think; I know I put way too much time and worry into my appearance and it's nice to get some perspective. Thanks for this. I miss you!

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  6. Thanks y'all so much for your sweet comments! :)

    Mom - Thanks...I'm glad it made sense. I didn't know if I could get it across how I wanted it to.
    Deanna - Yaaaaay!!!
    Molly - Pedicure parties are the best!
    Kristen - Wow, thanks!
    Macy - You're welcome. I miss you too!

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  7. Wow Linz, good job. I've fallen behind on my blog reading, since I haven't been able to get online on my computer. But this was really, really good. You expressed it wonderfully. I love you, Sweet!

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  8. Dear sweet Linz, Honey, you have expressed yourself so eloquently. It IS a quandary. Your heart is so full of compassion for others, and that is most important to God. I am sure it is very hard to find the balance between even wanting to "pretty up" when you see the poverty and lack of outward "prettiness" all around you. I love you so much and I appreciate your candor and tender, compassionate heart. Balance is the key to ALL areas of Christianity, but I truly believe, God much prefers us to err on the side of love, humility and compassion towards those with less, than on the side of over "prettying up". That said, it is o.k. to pretty up a bit. It doesn't make you uncompassionate or inconsiderate to do so. It just makes you a sweet, lovely, feminine, girlie girl. I love you and I am so proud to have you in my "family". Love, Mrs. Debbie

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