1. "For a long time, I've puzzled over those two lines from that bikini post that everyone's been talking about. Is it really that simple? I just . . . save some extra cash from baby-sitting? Are we living in the adult world? With adult women who pay bills and work jobs and have to feed themselves and pay back student loans?
'It's just a little extra cash' has me scratching my head. If there's anything that solidifies modesty culture as the domain of the suburban, middle class, white, evangelical church, it's this 'it's just a little extra cash' attitude."
This one hit me hard. First of all, i'm a "curvy" (fat) double D. I have big, full breasts and round hips and my gay boyfriend recently told me that my ass was amazing. I have a lot of skin to cover up, is what i'm saying. I have hundreds of camisoles and tank tops, because if i don't layer them under my shirts and dresses, i show too much cleavage and/or midriff. I have tights and leggings to cover my legs under skirts. I wear the longer-cut shorts from Old Navy to keep my thighs in check. I spend a lot of money on clothes, and on modesty clothes (like tank tops and leggings), and i have a whole complicated system for figuring out what i can wear to work, vs. what i can wear to church, vs. what i can wear on a date, vs. what i can wear at my boyfriend's parents' house, etc. It's a lot of time, and a lot of money, and a lot of fabric. Packing for a weekend is an ordeal. Packing for longer than that requires medication (which i can't afford, so i buy $7 bottle of chocolate flavored wine and call it a day). So now we're talking extra baggage fees, carrying heavy suitcases on the train, buying a larger suitcase in the first place, and so forth. And that's just packing. I haven't even touched on clothing storage in my own house. In other words, it's not just a little extra cash to buy the more modest bathing suit. It's a little more cash for every garment you ever own, plus extra cash to find places to put all of those garments.
Second, a little more cash for me right now is the difference between eating fresh veggies, pasta, chicken, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, salmon, eggs, mushrooms, salads, and drinking water and coffee (and yes, the occasional $7 bottle of chocolate flavored wine) for three healthy, satisfying meals a day, and eating rice and beans twice a day. Notice i'm not talking about preparing gourmet feasts of veal steak and oysters and toasted Brie and ordering sushi and pizza every weekend. I'm talking about eating real, healthy food that i prepare myself. I've lived on rice and beans before. I'm not eager to go back to that. It's only a couple of extra dollars for this one bathing suit, and only a couple of extra dollars per tank top to layer under your clothes, and only a couple of extra dollars per cardigan to layer over them, and only a couple of extra dollars for the longer shorts, and then suddenly your bank account has nine dollars and seventy-three cents left in it and you haven't bought groceries yet. I have lived (and am living) this reality. Modesty is sometimes purchased at the expense of physical health.
2. "Figuring out my stance on homosexuality felt like a life and death decision. When I described the intensity of my concern to other Christians, most would say, "but, why? You don't even have a gay family member." This response was very confusing to me. Isn't the whole point of Christianity that we are all family? . . .
And while we're at it . . . that still, small voice suggests to me often that He'd appreciate if Christians picked up a couple more issues other than homosexuality and abortion to address. You know, maybe a couple He actually mentioned . . . like care for the poor and sick and lonely and hungry and imprisoned and widowed and orphaned and recently immigrated. Maybe we should all be required to pick an issue that requires US to change and not OTHERS to change. I think that'd be good."
3. Shame has no place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Let's not get into the habit now.
4. Yup, this is pretty much Jesus.