Tuesday, July 21, 2009

sad state of dress

I've had something stewing in my mind for a couple days now. The more I pray for God to show me modesty in action and dress, the more I see immodesty around me. Do I judge the people? No, I sometimes feel sorry or embarrassed for them, because they don't realize what they are showing to others. I look at some of the things I've worn in the past, and I'm embarrassed for myself.
On Sunday, I saw something that bothered me. I was in church and there was a family in front of me. There were two girls, between 8 and 10 years old, and both were wearing low-cut (front and back) spaghetti strap tank tops. I wasn't ever allowed to wear those kinds of tops when I was little (I think the straps had to be 2" wide). The tank tops are pretty popular right now, so it's no surprise to see people wearing them. What did surprise me was that one of the girls was playing with the straps, and pulling them down off her shoulders, exposing parts of her that shouldn't be seen by the world. I don't even think she knew what she was doing, but it was very inappropriate for any situation, let alone God's house of worship. It makes me wonder what the parents are doing to teach the children what is acceptable in public (or anywhere). I wouldn't want my son to see that when he's older, and I intend to teach him to dress in such a way that others don't see what's under his clothing.
I would be horribly embarrassed if I had a daughter and she was nearly undressing herself in public, but the parents didn't seem to notice. I wish that parents would spend more time getting to know their children, and watching what they're doing. I'm learning what kind of parent I want to be, and it's one that's involved in my child's life. I hope that I'm the first one to teach my children how to dress and act, and not others who would influence them in a negative way.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

commitment to modesty and biblical womanhood

I've been listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss lately, and in doing so have been compelled to re-evaluate the things I'm doing in my life. If we look at the biblical examples of women, the descriptions and standards are vastly different from what modern Christians have adopted in their everyday lives. It wasn't even until recently (historically speaking) that women began wearing pants instead of dresses and skirts.
Whatever happened to biblical femininity? The great women of the Bible had it down... they were strong, faithful women who also exampled femininity for later generations. They loved their husbands and were self-sacrificing to esteem them and make their jobs as the leader of the family easier. They viewed children as a blessing, even begging God for a legacy, and they raised those children according to God's standards instead of the world's.
Where have those women gone? I must admit that I am NOT one of them... not by anybody's standards. I have failed miserably as a wife, a mother, and a woman of God. As is for many others, if people knew my heart they would not believe I could be a Christian. Man is wicked from youth, and I have been wicked, and it's only by the grace of God that I am where I am today.
And today I'm re-evaluating my life. I want to be able to stand before God and hear Him say, "well done, good and faithful servant." I want to know at the end of my life that I've served the Creator of everything with every ounce of my being, and in such a way that I'm not wondering, "what if?" Isn't that what every Christian should want?
As part of my introspection, I've decided that today's standard of modesty within the Christian church has some serious flaws. In listening to various perspectives, I've begun to feel a responsibility for my brothers in Christ, as well as a responsibility to set an example for other women of God. Does the way we dress today reflect a godly influence on our lives? Is what we wear something that brings attention to our countenance or to our body? Where in the Bible does it instruct us to wear clothes that accentuate areas of the body? How does that show Christ in our lives? Is the way we dress causing our brothers in Christ to stumble? I would say an overwhelming number of Christian women have no idea what modesty is anymore. I know that I sure didn't.
I'm as guilty as many women of dressing immodestly. I fell into the secular world's trap, believing that I should dress in a way that is figure flattering first, and felt no need to think of flattering my reputation. I've worn tank tops and skimpy skirts, low-cut tops and tight pants, and I'm less than proud of some of the things I own. It saddens me to think of how many men may have been tempted because of the clothing I chose or the way I acted. I feel guilty for ignoring Paul's instruction to not cause a brother to stumble.
Now, right now some of you are probably thinking, "wear what you want- it's the guy's responsibility to resist those thoughts!" I'm telling you that they are responsible, but we are also responsible for doing our part and not adding unnecessarily to their temptation. What do we expect when our cleavage and midriff are showing... things that really only our husbands should have the privilege of seeing. We are leading our brothers astray, and denying our husbands their sole right to the intimate parts of our bodies. It's time to change.
I've resolved to change the way I'm living my life. I'm beginning the process of going through my closet and weeding out clothes that are not modest. I've discussed the issue with my husband, and he is all for it. He appreciates that I am thinking of him, and also thinking of what is glorifying to God (which pleasing our husbands is).
The next thing I know is coming is the question of whether or not I'm going to become one of those scary, isolated women who wear frumpy baggy dresses and braid their hair all the time. Nope, I'm not one of those. We can still be stylish in our modest dress. Any shirt that doesn't show the shoulders, bust or belly and any skirt that is about knee-length or longer is perfectly modest to me. There are so many options out there that I probably couldn't try them all in a lifetime. I've considered making my own skirts so they are tailored, but for now I'm saving up money to buy some basic items from thrift stores. Since so few people value modesty, clothes that are made in a modest fashion often cost more, but I believe that cost is worth it in the long run. Modest clothing is timeless, and often has no fashion trend to keep up on. They are pieces we see being appropriate across generations.
Modesty goes beyond clothing, though. It is in our countenance, they way we act and speak, and what the condition of our hearts is. Dressing appropriately is worthless if you are not modest at heart. I will be scrutinizing my actions, attitude, and thoughts to try and change things where I am in sin. I want to be a good wife to my husband, a good mother to my son, and a faithful woman of God. I want to be like Sarah in the Bible, and be considered one of her daughters because I live my life for God without any fear.

So here is Day 1 of my commitment to modesty and biblical womanhood. Did I mess up? You bet- but I am also humble enough to admit that and ask God what it is that I need to work on. It's amazing how much He will reveal if we have the courage to pray and ask God to show us our sins. It's even more amazing the blessings we will receive if we are faithful to Him and His Word, and how our lives can be transformed by surrendering and welcoming His work in us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

sitting up

Weslee loves his little toy keys, and they're easy for him to hold while he sits up. Sometimes when he gets excited he still starts to wiggle and topple over, lol.

raspberries for dad

Ken and Weslee making raspberries at each other at The Chowder Bowl.

weslee's first beach trip

Dad and Weslee, first time touching sand
First time touching the ocean
Family photo
Trying to comfort Weslee
Enjoying the view from his high chair at The Chowder Bowl

Last Monday we decided to take an impromptu visit to Winema beach, and have a little family adventure. Weslee did terrific on his first longer car ride, and was very excited to see everything when we walked to the beach. The excitement ended the second Ken put him down on the sand. He did not like the sand, and he did not like the ocean... so Weslee is not a fan of the beach just yet. Hopefully when he's a little older he'll enjoy running around and making sand castles. For now, it was a fun experience, and a learning experience for us for future trips. We headed down the coast to Newport after the beach, and had dinner at our favorite place, The Chowder Bowl. Weslee loved the restaurant, and enjoyed watching all the people. Hopefully we'll find more days where we can make little trips as a family.

july pictures

He's getting so big!Grin
Looking at a book with Grandpa
Sitting up and playing with his keys
Looking at his mama

family reunion

My sister and I with our boys (and a little girl on the way)
My Uncle David with Weslee
My Uncle Gary and Uncle David with Ken, Weslee and I

My Mom's side of the family had a reunion over the 4th of July weekend, and we were able to see some family we don't get the chance to see very much. That Sunday we went to my parents' house for dinner with my Grandma Laurene and uncles Gary and David. It was a great time of stories and catching up with everybody's lives.

the bee goes "buzzz!"

Grandpa was reading a book to Weslee, and he was describing the bee when all of a sudden Weslee decided a bee is hilarious. Now he loves it when we say, "buzzzz!"

almost 6 months

Time sure flies. It doesn't seem like it's been half a year since Weslee arrived. Just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and carefully handling our fragile package, right? Our little guy is sure growing! He went to the doctor last week and weighed in at 17 1/2lbs! That's nearly triple his lowest weight- holy cow! He can now sit up on his own, and bear walk (hands and legs straight instead of knees) to move himself across the floor. He tries crawling when he really wants to be somewhere, but much prefers if mom and dad get things for him. He love his feet, and is usually playing with them in some way. Right now he's lounging next to me with his Ellie-Phant in his hands, clapping his feet together like a seal. He's deep in conversation with the toy, lol.
He still doesn't have any teeth that have broken through, but we noticed another little white bump almost where molars should be on the bottom right. Now we wonder if he's going to have a bunch of teeth all come in at once... poor kid.

We're looking forward to the 6-month appointment with the doctor to hear her opinion on how Weslee is doing. He's always been a little bit ahead developmentally. If crawling goes like sitting up, he may be doing it by 6 months. We're excited to see what he's going to do with his first solid food. I found a recipe for homemade brown rice cereal that I'm going to try since it's more healthy than processed white rice cereal.

Hopefully I'll keep up on blogging fairly regularly now that Weslee can kind of amuse himself for short periods of time.

more june pictures

Talking to Dad
Sitting on his own, and playing with his toes (the newest toy that never leaves)
Scooting over the pillows
Rawr baby!

fun at grandpa and grandma's house

Cousin Quinn watching baby Weslee
Laying together
Cousin Quinn holding baby Weslee
Grandpa putting Weslee to sleep
Playing with the new toy

We are usually up at my parents' house at least once a week while Ken is working (it gives mom some contact with other adults and prevents boredom). On Mondays they typically watch my nephew, Quinn, and it's fun to watch him interact with Weslee. Here's some pictures of one of those days.

june pictures

Daddy's little Packers Fan

Wow, a blanket!

Trying to crawl away


who are we trusting to lead us?

It was brought to my attention today that the "Science Czar" John Holdren, who Obama has put in place for our government, has a very scary past. He has advocated in his writings that the government should have control of population, to the point of forced abortions and forced sterilization. I don't care if you're pro-life or pro-choice... the idea is devastating to both sides. How on earth did we end up with this guy advising the most powerful man in the nation, and what does this say about our government?

Set aside some time, and please read the full, very LONG article here.