Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: sleeveless

Endless Summer

Y’all, we’re having the never-ending summer here in Nashville, and it’s amazing. No humidity, warm temperatures, cool evenings – perfect. Last week, we were almost to 90 degrees but with the fall breeze, it was delightful.

All that to say, I’m still wearing sleeveless shirts, and you know I make florals go at least 3 seasons. So, this outfit was not worn as long ago as you might assume.

I’ve always struggled with this blouse; it just hangs oddly. But, it’s pretty, so I keep trying, and the half-tucked trend lends itself well. Caveat: I’m not sure why half-tucked is a trend, but I like it, so I won’t ask questions.

1-pink-and-floralThis is the time of year that I really like to brag about living in the South (I’ll do it again around March). So, what’s the weather like where you are? Still sleeveless and floral, or have you fully embraced the Uggs? (J/K, I would never advocate wearing Uggs.)

With Olives Please

Today’s prompt was “With Olives Please”.  If I was one of those cool, edgy girls, I probably would have an military drab jacket in my closet that would have been perfect for such an occasion.  I’m not one of those girls.

Instead, I had this floral maxi (same effect, right?) with some olive-green leaves on it, and one of my favorite pairs of shoes (that I’ve had for so long, they really are quite worn out/hard to walk in now, but I can’t bring myself to part with them).

Yes, technically, this is a summer dress, but I believe in the right to bare arms as long as the weather (and the occasion, Mrs. Obama) support it, and florals have become a year round print these days.  Add in a black base to keep the pattern from being too Easter-y, and you can definitely make a dress like this work well into an Indian summer (that’s probably not a politically correct term, is it?  Alternatives?)
1 - with olives pleaseDo you have much olive in your wardrobe?  What would you have worn for this prompt?  If not the color, maybe a graphic tee with a martini on it?  I could totally see that being a thing.

Wednesday’s Woman: Hagar

I had planned to talk about Sarah this week.   She’s the mother of Israel and probably has more scripture dedicated to her than any other woman in the Bible who wasn’t the mother of Jesus.  Also, she and I have the same name, and apparently, she was smoking hot (see Genesis 12 and 20).

For these reasons, I really want to like Sarah. I just have trouble finding much that is redeeming in her story.  I tried this time to read it with open eyes and ears, but still nothing.  God’s going to have to show me something else about her at a later date if He wants me to talk about that woman. Today is not that day.

What reading Sarah’s story did accomplish, though, was pointing me to another woman of the Bible: Hagar.  I’ve always felt so sorry for Hagar.  To catch you up, Hagar was Sarah’s servant.  When Sarah realized she was barren, she sent Hagar in to sleep with Abraham (Sarah’s husband), so that the family line would be preserved.  (This, by the way, is sex trafficking.  Just thought I’d point that out.)

Predictably, when Hagar becomes pregnant, Sarah gets jealous and mistreats her servant.  In her pain, Hagar runs to the desert where she experiences one of the sweetest interactions with the Lord in all of Scripture.  Here is a poor, knocked-up, abused servant girl, lying in the desert, unsure where to go, but thinking anything was better than where she had just been.  And the God of all creation – the one who had promised Abraham that he would be the father of nations – speaks to her in that lowest point.  He promises that He will bless her son, too, and that she should name him Ishmael, meaning God hears.  Then, every time she called her son, she would be reminded that God had heard her and was taking care of and loving her, even when life wasn’t.

Hagar is so moved by this encounter that she also makes up her own name for God, calling him: The One Who Sees Me.  It’s with this comforting knowledge of a God who sees and hears that she then goes back to Sarah as a humbled woman who knows that her God is with her, no matter what else may come her way.

Fast forward 14 years, and Sarah finally has a son, Isaac – the son of God’s promise.  Again, Sarah does not like the threat posed by Hagar and Ishmael, so she sends them away.  In a rather dramatic but obviously desperate moment, Hagar leaves Ishmael alone, walking away from him so that she won’t have to see him die.  She has already forgotten the reason she gave her son his name – God hears.  She’s already forgotten the name she gave to the Lord – the One who sees me.

But, God is merciful in our forgetfulness.  He speaks to Hagar again, reminding her that He still hears, and He has not forgotten His promises to make Ishmael into a great nation.  He remains faithful, even if the circumstances have changed.

How many times have I done the same?  God shows me His faithfulness in such profound ways, and a few years/months/days/hours later, I’m doubting again, convinced that He’s forgotten about me, He no longer sees or hears, and that surely I will (metaphorically) die in the wilderness.  God’s promises might have been true once, but are they still true now, I wonder.

Hagar’s story proves that they are.  God is not a man that He should lie (Number 23:19), and all His promises are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 2:10).  So, why do we forget and doubt?  Who knows.  Maybe it’s just human nature.  Maybe it’s old age.  Regardless, I’m glad that my forgetfulness is not a disqualifier for God’s faithfulness, but that He is patient and kind, even when I question and doubt.

What are some of the promises God has given you that you’re questioning in the “wilderness” of unfulfillment now?  As you reflect on those, take another moment to think about the past times when God has seen and heard you and spoken right to your heart.  He does not change, so if He was there for you before, He will be again.  Cling to that, no matter how desperate the situation seems, and be encouraged by all that God has done in the past, as you seek Him for the future.

Hagar

 

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