I'm not sure what God thinks of my sole mission for today. It consisted of attempting to exchange my red Annoushka bra
(sale on now btw!) as I was so desperate to get it that I bought a size up in the pre-sale. I succeeded of course. When it comes to the serious business of lingerie I am nothing if not dedicated and spent a contented hour travelling across several London Underground tube lines visiting different boutiques in order to get my prize.
Those of you who actually clicked on the above link (and who managed to make it back) may well have balked in horror at the amount of money spent on a bra
alone and especially out of a Christian's pocket. Am I right? Wouldn't my money be better spent elsewhere? On some more worthwhile aid work or hard working charity operating in a less fortunate part of the world? I don't disagree.
Recently I've been pondering some age old questions. Why do we exist? What's it all about? What's the point? My favourite Bible scripture is from the book of John chapter ten verse ten and it says: "I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly." These are the words of Jesus Christ so it's fine to follow that right? So then I started thinking, what does that mean for me? What would an abundant life look like for me?
Sometimes I look at the lives of other upwardly mobile and sensible Christians and wish I could be as sensible, contained, organised and good
as them. But I'm not. Don't get me wrong I have tried. I have tried very
hard to be the perfect model Christian. I've even prayed about it. But I guess even God isn't convinced as I never quite manage it. My name is Tola and I'm a lingerie addict. And a shoe addict. And a champagne & prosecco addict. Of course it's never very good to be addicted to anything because then you become reliant on something other than God which, as a Christian, is pretty dumb. So I use the word "addict" loosely. I use it to refer to things I "like very much".
When I was growing up I lived in a teetotal household and I didn't really start drinking socially until I left home to go to university. I'm pretty hyper anyway so I never really needed alcohol to enjoy myself but I learned to enjoy the buzz I got from it and quickly became familiar with the many different spirits on offer on nights out. Initially I favoured sweet liquers but thanks to a dedicated Irishman my palette has now advanced to the many varied tastes of whisky (drunk neat, sans ice of course), and my dislike of "red wine teeth" helped me progress to the party favourite that is champagne or, in the absence of appropriately labelled bubbles, prosecco.
I remember being aged around seven, at my aunt's London home in Chelsea which was covered in floor to ceiling mirrors, and her telling me off for wearing trainers all the time. I was in awe of my mother's sister, with her glamourous clothes, her driver with the route to Harrods etched into his brain and her general air of royalty. So I listened to her when she told me my feet would become flat if I kept wearing trainers. I paid attention when she told me to start wearing heels and carry my height with pride. Before then, my height had only ever rewarded me with the male part in school plays. After that epiphany I became so well aquainted with heels that my feet ached being on even ground. I used to hate being the tallest one but now I am called words like "elegant" which never fails to suprise me. I blame my shoe addiction on you Auntie. I love you.
Babes in Bras
Similarly, growing up I was pretty sporty; getting involved in sprinting, high jump, lacross, netball, cross country etc. So when my chest started developing it was simply an annoyance and I grew to hate the painful restrictive pieces of material across my upper body. And it didn't stop. By 15 I had one of the biggest cup sizes in my year and one of the smallest back sizes. I felt ridiculous. My mother bought me standard regulation black and white bras strong enough to hold the boulders still during trampolining class. I hated them. Both the bras and the boobs. It wasn't until I discovered BOYS that I realised there was a benefit in having what my young self referred to as a "sticky out chest". My lingerie love began at university thanks to a dear friend and on one memborable day we spent about three hours perusing Selfridges lingerie department in complete and utter delight. Due to aforementioned small back and large chest duo it was hard to find brands to accomodate my sizing but I found a short lived remedy in La Senza. I say short lived as it went into administration a few years aftter my discovery of the brand. Luckily for me, a trip back to Selfridges for a lingerie event remedied that loss and with the help of Agent Provocateur's Creative Director Sarah Shotton, I quickly became an unofficial ambassador for the brand.
Ok so champagne, shoes and lingerie seem a little low on the priority of the things of God right? But then we have to remember that Christians serve a God whose son made wine out of water at a wedding. Sure the guests could have drunk water when the wine ran out. But Jesus felt it worthy
to top up the tanks so that the alcohol didn't run dry. Doesn't that say something about God's attitude to having fun?
I read in the Bible that God cares about every hair on my head. Every
hair. And there are a lot of hair follicles now that I'm growing it all back. So doesn't that mean that my every
concern reaches him? Doesn't that mean that when I worry about whether they will have the bra I want in my size that it's okay to pray about that along with prayers for the health of those who are sick and who need God in a more holistic manner? I don't know the answers to this, I just know that this morning, I prayed that I would be able to get Annoushka in a size that had apparently sold out in all the stores and be able to exchange it even though I read in the T&C's that all sale purchases are final. When I finally got it home I danced around my room in it and thanked God for an answer to prayer.
I do the dancing around in my lingerie thing quite a lot and I usually team the routine with various pairs from my beloved shoe collection - an alarming number of which fall into a three figure price bracket. Does that make me frivolous? Vain? UnChristian even? Perhaps. But I like to think that God cares about what I wear, what I like to buy and what makes me happy. I like to think that he cares about every single detail about our lives. And if that makes me "bad" then so be it. I've never been good at being good anyway.