Outside the Shadow of Doubt

A paper detailing what is acceptable and unacceptable work attire hangs on the bulletin board in our lunchroom at work.  On one hand, it’s hilarious that they have to state that flip flops and lounge pants are not proper work attire.  At the same time, it’s a bit frightening because this means someone has shown up to work wearing those things before.

The last piece of advice on the dress code page is the statement:  “If in doubt, don’t wear it out.”

Just last week, I debated about wearing my bustier and ultra-short mini skirt.  Good thing that reminder was there, or I might have worn it anyway.

Sometimes I have doubts about my life.  Not what I wear to work – my conservative dress ensures that I’m not eyed like chocolate cake at a salad bar.  I’m like cucumbers; unless you’re looking for me, I blend in with my surroundings.  Still, there are times I wonder:  Can I grow beyond my faults?  Am I using my life to honor God?

Using the wisdom of our dress code policy, if in doubt, I should change from the inside out.

My doubt is not unlike the rich ruler (Luke 18:18-30).  He asked Jesus how he could have eternal life.  The ruler knew the commandments, but he must have doubted that was enough or he wouldn’t have asked Jesus the question in the first place.  When Jesus suggested the ruler give his material things away and follow Him, the man was sad.  He didn’t think he could do it.

“What is impossible with men is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27).

Jesus’ response also applies to my own doubts.  Maybe I can’t move past my faults on my own, but with Jesus’ help, I can.  Jesus can guide my life so that it honors him, even if I don’t have the strength to steer myself.

Do you have doubts about choices or your life’s direction?  How do you move past doubt?  Have you ever worn a bustier to work?  (I had to ask…)


16 thoughts on “Outside the Shadow of Doubt

  1. nrhatch October 23, 2011 / 8:27 AM

    I have NEVER worn a bustier or lounge pants to work . . .
    But I have worn flip flops.

    Many times.

    Loved this: Sometimes I have doubts about my life. Not what I wear to work – my conservative dress ensures that I’m not eyed like chocolate cake at a salad bar. I’m like cucumbers; unless you’re looking for me, I blend in with my surroundings.

    When I have doubts . . . I strive to be more fully who I am! God doesn’t make junk. 😀

    • jannatwrites October 23, 2011 / 7:59 PM

      Well, I have worn flip flops, too…just not the foam/rubber poolside variety. I figured fake leather and jewels dressed them up real nice 😉

      You’re right, Nancy – God doesn’t make junk. Here’s to living up to our potential!

  2. cuhome October 23, 2011 / 8:44 AM

    Wel,, first of all, I’m jealous. I’m jealous because you have a bustier, and I don’t, which automatically means that you have a bust that would support it and, I very definitely . . . don’t.

    • jannatwrites October 23, 2011 / 8:04 PM

      Cuhome, let me set the facts straight, and clear your jealousy all at once: I don’t own a bustier, nor have ever (or do I plan to) because my body can’t support it either. (I don’t own a micro mini either…my knees are very shy.)

      I hope this helps 🙂

  3. Debbie October 23, 2011 / 11:37 AM

    Never even considered wearing a bustier OR lounge pants to work, and I work for myself!! To be honest, I have worked in slippers, shorts, etc., but nobody outside my home saw me so I guess it doesn’t count.

    As for doubts, yes, lots of the time. It’s easy to question whether you’re on the right path when you look around and see people “playing for a living” (like athletes or entertainers) who get paid in the millions while the rest of us struggle. I think there’s something to be said for following your heart and trusting in your gifts!

    • jannatwrites October 23, 2011 / 8:07 PM

      I work at home one day a week, but I at least put on athletic wear so I feel like I got dressed. I would not wear those clothes to the office, though.

      I’m glad others have doubts, too. Sometimes even when I think I’m doing the ‘right’ thing, everything seems all wrong.

      Thanks for your comment, Debbie!

  4. jeanne October 23, 2011 / 6:50 PM

    Here is a bit of irony for you…I work at my church, our dress code includes flip flops and capri pants. We are not allowed to “dress up”. We are a jeans and t-shirt kinda campus. We want everyone who comes to our campus to feel welcome. We do not want clothes to be a hinderance for people to come to know Christ.

    I do have doubts about my abilities but I know that if God calls me to it He will give me what I need to see it through. Just recently He did exactly that.

    • jannatwrites October 23, 2011 / 8:10 PM

      Growing up, the church I went to was very dressy – men in suits and ties; women in dresses and pumps (with pantyhose). The church I go to now is very laid back. I like that because I think it’s less intimidating to visitors – especially those new to the church experience. So, it doesn’t surpurise me that your church is t-shirt and jeans dress code.

      I like your comment on doubts and your experience with God’s direction. It gives me hope. Thanks, Jeanne!

  5. pattyabr October 24, 2011 / 10:58 AM

    I just saw the movie “The Way” starring Martin Sheen and directed and written by his son Emilio Estevez. It is about a man/father who accidentally hikes the Camino de Santiago a Christian pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, also known as the Way of St. James.

    My husband and I are both going through personal changes with our careers and exI have I have never worn a bustier to work. The topic of dress code is a sensitive topic for me. I really hate that everyone on TV is showing their busts these days. I was so offended one day watching Everyday Italian with Giada de Laurentis when she was dressed with the accent on showing her breasts. My husband made a comment about her busts and I was so distracted by her breasts I couldn’t even pay attention to what she was cooking that I turned off the TV. I hate that this trend on TV is being imitated in real life in the work setting. Totally inappropriate. My husband had a co-worker who regularly wore clothing that revealed her breasts. He finally reported her to Human resources and she started covering up. She “used” her way of dressing to divert people away from paying attention to her poor work.

    • pattyabr October 24, 2011 / 11:07 AM

      Since this was a two part question I wasn’t sure the first part of my reply was going to show up. I thought I deleted it and there it is!! So I need to finish my thought. In regards to doubting my direction in life…the movie I mentioned was a good movie to go see if you were in doubt of your direction. It is about going on a pilgrimage. My daughter, went with my husband and I to the movie. She went on a pilgrimage this past summer. It was a life changing event for her. I wish I could go on a pilgrimage. But alas I don’t have the luxury to be gone for 2 weeks or one month to hike a 500 mile trail. I will have to settle for little retreats at this time.

      • jannatwrites October 24, 2011 / 8:17 PM

        Patty – it would be nice to have that kind of time, but little retreats taken more often can be enough to keep us from losing touch with ourselves. I don’t know anyone who has taken a pilgrimage. It sounds like an interesting idea.

    • jannatwrites October 24, 2011 / 8:13 PM

      I agree that the tight/revealing clothing is distracting. I wear camis under my shirts that could gap if I turn or lean over to get something. Last thing I want is to have to make a sarcastic comment to a peeping Tom 😉

      I haven’t seen the show you’re talking about (I don’t watch much TV at all). Good for your husband for talking to HR. He shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable at work.

      Thanks for sharing your comments on this, Patty!

  6. Epizeuxis October 24, 2011 / 10:17 PM

    “At the same time, it’s a bit frightening because this means someone has shown up to work wearing those things before.”…Funny line…Never thought about it that way… 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2011 / 12:02 AM

      Glad you liked it, Epizeuxis. Whenever I come across what seems to be a dumb warning, I always wonder if it’s there because someone needed it. (Like the washing instructions on my khaki pants that instructed to remove the belt before washing. It was a leather belt.)

      • pattisj October 26, 2011 / 9:57 PM

        Wow, you could read those instructions on that little care tag? No, I’ve never worn a bustier, ever.

        • jannatwrites October 26, 2011 / 10:13 PM

          Well, it was several years ago, Patti. Who knows if I could read the tag now…I’d probably just wash the belt and be done with it!

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