Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 125: The One on Providence.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: The Doen Dupe.

I wrote about this just earlier this week, but I found this $30 dupe of a very popular Doen dress and as I write this, it is en route to me. V. excited about this. (Note it’s by the same brand as my favorite inexpensive caftan.)

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Tiger Shirtdress.

The most popular items on the blog this week:

+This tiger-print shirtdress.

+This darling flutter blouse.

+My favorite evening sandal.

+Super elegant nightgown.

+CHIC polka dot pants.

+This classic shirtdress.

+Scalloped pointelle sweater.

#Turbothot: What’s Your Big Question?

Do you have a big question that you grapple with on a regular basis? Something that sits with you, recurring and resurfacing in nearly everything you do?

For me, that question is all about the role of providence in my life. To what degree do I exert control over the zigs and zags of my life (and what a squiggly line it’s been)? How much of it is pre-ordained? My clumsy fall last December — one that has left a permanent scar on my forehead — led me to think a lot about this in particular, and I was so moved and stirred by so many of your reactions to my musings on that front. One comment that has lingered with and troubled me over the past many months came from my reader Brooke, who wrote:

“This resonates with me as well. My first daughter was shockingly, unexpectedly stillborn after a healthy and normal pregnancy in which I had excellent prenatal care and took every precaution. The idea that the loss of my baby girl was not some senseless twist of fate but happened for a “reason”? I find that notion appalling. My mom assured me in the days following Eliza’s death that God didn’t do this to me, that He was grieving with me. Since then, I’ve come to believe that the idea everything happens for a reason only works for those of us who are sheltered or privileged enough to think life is essentially a meritocracy… I was that person for nearly thirty years, but I can’t abide by that philosophy anymore. I do think, however, that it is up to us to make meaning from accidents, to take tragedies big or small and allow them to shape and grow us. So my personal approach would to say there was no “reason” that you fell (I can’t believe God orchestrated that anymore than believe He is the cause of natural disasters), but there was certainly a lesson to come from that experience, and perhaps you will take from it what you need to be more centered, more mindful, less hurried. (A lesson I often need in my own life, come to think of it!)”

I don’t know how to think about this, how to digest this. I am beside myself every time I think about her (your — if you are reading!) loss and deeply motivated by her strength, her introspectiveness, and her conviction in her own outlook.

There are times where I think along the same lines, and it gives me peace of mind to think that life happens to me, and that I am in turn responsible for the grace and courage with which I respond to its twists and turns.

But there are other times where I look around and think, “There is no way to understand the dramatic kindnesses afforded me other than to see them as the hand of God.” Or — there is no way to make sense of the world around me unless I understand it as predestined in some way.

This is the big, dogged question of my life. What is yours?

Post-Scripts: Alphabet Brush Pots.

+Such a cool gift for an artist — or a cool accent piece for your home desk.

+A great gift for a little one.

+On the recommendation of a friend, I bought this intense-looking swaddle. I’ve always been more into swaddling using muslin cloths, but micro has liked to have his hands up by his face since the day he was born — it was honestly hard to pry them away from his face while nursing (and still is a daily battle). He has been really liking this.

+This bag is SO CHIC and Celine-esque.

+Love this $100 dress. Looks like a preppy Cecilie Bahnsen.

+I bought mini this dress-up set as a present for successfully using the toilet with no accidents for TWO days in a row (!!!) and she was beside herself.

+Super chic maternity dress.

+This tiered top is so fun.

+How adorable is this bear bracelet — a separate bear for each baby!

+Own these dreamy joggers in a few prints/colors and can’t rave enough about them.

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2 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 125: The One on Providence.

  1. Wow, Brooke’s comment — it brought tears to my eyes and really resonated with me. This passage in particular had me nodding along:

    “I’ve come to believe that the idea everything happens for a reason only works for those of us who are sheltered or privileged enough to think life is essentially a meritocracy…”

    So true (à mon avis, at least). I’ll have to give some thought about the big question of my life — I always love how your posts get me thinking on weekend mornings!


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