Notions of Happiness



"Almighty God, who art The Invisible Wisdom behind and through all Creation, in whom we live and move and have our being, we than Thee for all Thy gifts which sustain body and soul.

In our anxiety for material security may we remember that the "life is more than the meat, the body is more than raiment."

Enable us to live for spiritual values beyond our immediate necessities and to remember that "man can not live by bread alone" but only by "every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God."

-Rev. Sumner H Gill

Weekly, or as usually as possible, we have Sunday night dinner with Robbie's parents. This past week Robbie's dad read us this prayer before we ate. This simple and short prayer was meaningful to me as it so perfectly spoke to many things I am going through at the moment. We had to look it up but raiment is an antiquated word for clothing.

This year I set a few intentions for myself and our family and they are going really well, but almost all of these new goals,  ideals and values take something away from me that I love and feel like I need:

Buying new things and eating. 


Yes, I will have mustard, ketchup, and a side of self esteem booster

First up, food. For a long time I have found solace in yummy sweet foods and carby filling ones like pasta, bread, pizza, rice, cake, and donuts. After a month on Keto I can noticeably detect the natural sugars in food that was somewhat nonexsistent to me before but for some reason the cavity in my mind waiting to be filled with sugarplum fairy goodness has not been filled, much to my dismay.  I don't want to go so far as to say that in the past I was emotionally eating, but I do think that it's obvious that eating sugary and carb loaded foods until the point that I was stuffed was a way I satisfied myself and gave myself a feeling of happiness (even while also feeling terrible if that makes sense.) Those cravings have not gone away and I don't even want to say I am persevering and stronger than this affliction, because damn do I want a burrito right now! BUT I do think that having this knowledge is so helpful to helping better understand myself and my relationships. In the past I have always fully embraced the "I'm a curvy girl and this one donut won't hurt", or the really crazy thought of "well I'm the biggest one here, I don't want other people to think they can't indulge because I'm stopping them" but moving forward I want to be mindful of what I eat. All foods are eatable, and nothing is going to do irreparable damage to my body but knowing when to have more self control and when to treat myself is going to be an important skill to cultivate on this journey in the next few months to possibly forever.

(Also, side note: I am choosing to stray away from words such as "good" and "bad" in relation to food. Food has nothing to do with my morality, salvation, or standing with God. Please watch this awesome video from David Zahl from his talk at the Cross of Christ "Shaped by What You Love" event for more info about this. It's around the 15:30 mark. I will also be using the term "treat day" instead of "cheat day.")





Imagine this scenario with me: you've had a crappy or not so great day, you self-esteem isn't great, and you saw someone on Instagram looking fantastic with her very trendy and en vogue new blouse. What do you do? a) remind yourself that you are beautiful in your own way and material items are only surface level b) eat a pint of ice cream or c) go to the Target Clearance section

Well if you tried option b and discovered you were out of Cherry Garcia then C is a great option and let me tell you why.

When you go to Target everything is perfect. There is a Starbucks should you need some caffeine, the home decor section is so perfect and feels attainable thus not making you feel even worse about yourself, they sell almost anything you could need, and the clearance section is incredible.

I cannot tell you how many times I have bought a new shirt not because I need it, or because it even fits well, but because it's cute and cheap!! CUTE AND CHEAP. This is a bug in my software that I have not been able to fix since I don't know how long.

This is the year that I fix that glitch in my system. In 2018 I am vowing not to purchase ANY new blouses, t-shirt, camisoles, tops, etc. Instead I am going to sew them all, thus improving my sewing skills and breaking myself of this unhealthy, unwise, and honestly sinful habit.

In the past week I've bought about $120 worth of fabric and cannot wait to turn those woven strands into something wearable and sustainable. Eco fashion has really gotten me excited and I feel passionate about it now! I also hope to participate in a 10x10 challenge at least once this year.

So, I would love to show you the first piece I made this year. It's a cotton linen blend in the color rust. I did both French seams and bias binding for a very professional look inside and I am so pleased with it. Pattern is the Purl Soho Boxy Tee and I was very inspired by Jamie and the Jone's Split Tee.

One of the added benefits of sewing is the boost of confidence it gives me in an altogether different manner. If buying at new shirt at Target makes me feel beautiful for about an hour, sewing is a skill I can be proud of for it's utilitarian and artistic nature. I created something unique with love and care and that's something to be proud of, I get a much healthier sense of pride when I get to wear something I crafted.


Haven't even clipped all the threads! 


I'm basically ready to be a cover model

Shamelessly using the beautiful grounds of our church for a photoshoot 


Oh hello, here I am literally writing this blog. 




Does anyone else struggle with this? 

What other ways do you try to find happiness and contentment in empty and vapid ways? 

How have you gotten out of this habit or way or thinking?

 I'd LOVE to hear from you guys about this subject as I work through all this myself. 


Thanks for reading this blog friend, I pray that "In our anxiety for material security may we remember that life is more than the meat, the body is more than raiment. Enable us to live for spiritual values beyond our immediate necessities and to remember that "man can not live by bread alone" but only by "every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God."


Until next time,
Jen


ps. thanks to Robbie for taking so many pictures of me even when you really don't want to, love you :)