Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mugs & Muffins :: Summer, Skirts & Modesty :: Giveaway! (NOW, CLOSED!)

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“One of the first evidences of a real lady, is that she should be modest. By modesty we mean that she shall not say, do, nor wear anything that would cause her to appear gaudy, ill-bred, or unchaste. There should be nothing about her to attract unfavorable attention, nothing in her dress or manner that would give a man an excuse for vulgar comment. When we dress contrary to the rule of modesty we give excuse for unwholesome thoughts in the mind of those who look upon us, and every girl who oversteps these bounds makes herself liable to misunderstanding and insult, though she may be innocent of any such intention.”  ― Margaret Hale

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Welcome back to another Mugs & Muffins "event".  Nice having you stop by.  If you're curious what today's topic is all about ... then hang around.  I hope you'll be comfortable to add your thoughts in the comment section below. Positive or Negative...it's all good.   First off though,  I would just like to ask you make yourself comfortable and be sure to have your mug of coffee or other beverage of choice, in hand before we start.

Oh, and since blueberries are in season, right now...I just knew I had to share this.  I chose to make a Blueberry (Cream Cheese) Coffee Cake instead of an actual muffin, for today.  (The recipe is HERE, as I've posted it before,  if you would like it.) So, go ahead, and help yourself...


Have a piece.  It's worth it!
(smile!)

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SUMMER, SKIRTS and MODESTY - by, yours truly.

It's pretty much been one year, now, that I have decided to go back to wearing skirts full time.  You read that right!  And, some of my local (in-real-life!) friends - may have wondered about this and some have found the courage to even ask me about it - already.  For those who haven't asked, but wondered...here is the scoop!

I think it's interesting how this decision (for me!) came about...let me share "my story".  Okay??

But first, a couple of quotes, to help me get started...

 “It seems to be the fashion nowadays for a girl to behave as much like a man as possible. Well, I won't! I'll make the best of being a girl and be as nice a specimen as I can: sweet and modest, a dear, dainty thing with clothes smelling all sweet and violety, a soft voice, and pretty, womanly ways. Since I'm a girl, I prefer to be a real one!” ― Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
“Why do women want to dress like men when they’re fortunate enough to be women? Why lose femininity, which is one of our greatest charms? We get more accomplished by being charming than we would be flaunting around in pants and smoking. I’m very fond of men. I think they are wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one. When women gave up their long skirts, they made a grave error…”
― Tasha Tudor

It was a hot July day, of last year.  My husband and I (and our kids) were headed off to a picnic at my sister's place.  But, we needed to make a stop at the local Wal-M*rt.  I waited in the car with the children while my hubby ran in for whatever it was we needed.  It was there, I noticed a random lady (a Non-Mennonite) (you'll understand, in a minute, when I explain why I said that..) getting out of her car - wearing a long and pretty dress.  I thought to myself - "Wow! she really looks beautiful in that skirt/dress...".  I wondered about it some more as I noticed other "ladies" and gals, coming and going, in their short shorts and barely-there tops... and back to that lady, in the dress, who in my opinion, stuck out above the rest... as classy, put-together and looking rather pretty, not to mention comfortable.  It had been over the course of time that I had already been wondering what my husband would think or say if I did this - too?  You see, I have some pretty good friends who have chosen to wear (modest) skirts on a regular basis and it always intrigued me.  And, they are non-Mennonite gals, as well.. (again, you're puzzled!)

Scott came back into the vehicle.  We went on our way and enjoyed our picnic. I didn't say anything about the lady wearing a skirt..  This whole incident was left to mum.

On the way home, that very same evening, out of the blue...my husband reaches over, puts his hand on my lap (like he often does when he wants to say something important and have my full attention for it. ;)) and he simply asked me, this question... "What would you think about wearing skirts - all of the time?"  I think, I gasped.  Mainly because of my own thoughts earlier in the day (and remember, I hadn't said anything)..but, I wondered,"Was he for real??"

My thoughts went back to a dear cousin of mine, Carmen - who really presented and challenged me with the idea of growing or embracing God's Spirit of Femininity in my life.  She bought me this book as a gift.  Spirit of Loveliness, by Emilie Barnes.  Honestly, I can't encourage or recommend this book enough.

When a  friend of mine recently encouraged me to share my thoughts on this subject - it struck me that subconsciously I had already been thinking about doing a post on this- this idea of Modesty, and obviously, it hadn't happened yet.

Trust me!  This is not an easy discussion to have, because it is one of those matters that is very, VERY touchy and very personal in nature.  What is modest and appropriate for one may be totally and entirely different for someone else.


This is coming from a gal who wore dresses and skirts all of her life and even made most of them herself. I grew up Conservative Mennonite (although I don't profess to that, anymore - another long story).  You can see why, depending on who is reading this, one could say, "she's returning to her roots".

(If you're a professing Mennonite - reading this - take no offense.  I am way more Mennonite, in my soul, than I let on...  Those roots really do run deep.  What the truth really is, is this.  This topic, of Modesty, has absolutely not one thing to do with Mennonites. Period.)  Moving on..

But, if you knew me when and while I was in a season where I would wear, a combo, out of my wardrobe, of skirts, Capri's AND Blue Jeans, then, to see me now, you might think I am -now- being legalistic, in just sticking primarily to skirts.

Skirts!  They're so useful..

Ladies.  I get it that it's summertime.  But trust me... because I know from personal experience... shorts are not necessarily cooler.  Actually, I couldn't stand wearing shorts... so I have worn Capri length shorts (in the past) and I'm even talking about them. By the way... I must be honest.  I still do own one pair of Linen Capri's...for when I'm out working in the flower beds, etc. But, people that think wearing tank tops and spaghetti strap tee's, much less bikini tops,etc. etc. will allow them to be cooler... well, think again.  It's really not true.

I remember in the past...as I was considering this skirt only thing - (on my own, at that point) and I absolutely thought I COULD NOT imagine my life without wearing a pair of jeans.  I mean - I LIVED in them.  Loved them... yadda, yadda...  But I did it.  I made the decision.  I got rid of all my jeans - except for one pair.  And, those are in the works to be made into one of those turn-your-jeans-into-a-skirt kind of deal.  (I just have to find time to do it!)

Anyway... so, over the winter, I wondered about this?  Would I be able to "hang in there" and continue to wear only skirts?  Well, the Lord took care of that one for me.  I had to wear Compression Stockings for my leg issue anyway and so wearing a skirt was really the better option after all.

His kindness.

Listen.

There are several benefits to this whole thing of wearing modest skirts articles of clothing..besides the fact; the privilege and celebration, it provides in advocating of our (biblical) femininity, as women.

First off, I get to use it as an opportunity to teach and encourage modesty indirectly, by example, but because for sure, there is always that conversation that goes along with it in regards to modesty, with my children...in particular my young daughters.  I do want to say this, real quick.  My daughter Aubrey, back when she was about 2-3yrs old, only wanted to wear skirts or dresses when she was first "able to dress herself"...plus, along with potty training, it helped make things so much easier. In all honesty.   The reality is... She convicted me!!

And secondly, wearing skirts, modest skirts clothing...it honors my husband for a couple of reasons.  One.  He asked me to do this. But two, it shows my respect... not just to him - but to and for other men (primarily godly men) as well.  In particular, my young growing son, my brothers...etc.

I came across this quote and a couple of bullet points while reading Shaunti Feldham's book: For Woman Only. (pages 109-112) that have shocked me.  I don't think I ever before fully realized the implications that these next thoughts can have...

"Even happily married men struggle with being pulled toward live and recollected images of other women".

  • First, a woman who is dressed to show off a great body is an "eye magnet" that is incredibly difficult to avoid, and even if a man forces himself not to look, he is acutely aware of her presence.
  • Second, even when no such eye magnet is present, each man has a "mental Rolodex" of stored images that can intrude into his thoughts without warning or can be called up at will.

And, this makes me go, WOW!  Okay.  If this is the deal - for them, men?  Then, I have to ask myself, why in the world do I want to be held accountable for contributing to... THAT?!?!

I don't.  (Which is another reason why I appreciated and wanted to share those two quotes, there at the beginning..)

Without getting legalistic... Scripture doesn't talk specifically - a lot - about Modesty...(correct me if I'm wrong) but the undertones of the subject are pretty clear and strong. I think it's safe to say, that as a whole, our society, (Christian and non), has fallen long off the wagon of decent apparel and godly living.

Recently, I have been reading and meditating on 1 Timothy 2:9-12...
I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
And, then I came across this interesting read and thought...
“Nakedness is shameful, but what constitutes being naked? Try this food for thought: Adam knew he had sinned and tried to cover himself with the loin covering of fig leaves, yet he still said he was naked – an assessment which God did not dispute (Gen. 3:7-11). There is obviously more to being naked than being without any clothing. Thayer says it is “scantily clad” and Arndt-Gingrich include “poorly dressed.” Take another look at what God made for man to wear in Gen. 3. Adam made a “loin covering” which God replaced with a “tunic.” Wilson and Gesenius define the word as generally covering from the shoulder to the knee. The priests where told to cover their thighs or they would be naked (Ex. 28:42) and the figure of shame in Isaiah 47:1-3 includes uncovering the thigh. Peter recognized that though he could fish in the relative privacy of his boat on the sea without outer garments, he reclothed himself before going ashore to meet the Lord. (Proving that you can swim just fine with some clothes on.) I have a very hard time dismissing these precedents when attempting to make a biblical definition of sufficient clothing.”
― Laurie A. Moyer
I don't know about you.  But...for me,  I'm simply praying that I can & will simply be a Woman of Influence and that might just mean starting right here  ~  at home and with my own heart ~ all the more.

Thank you, for reading along today. I appreciate it.

 More Thoughts on Modesty- (by Stacy McDonald)... to take home, if you would like!!

I wonder... 
Would you share your thoughts, or your favorite quote or Scripture.. regarding this topic, today??

I hope you'll be comfortable enough to share your thoughts, your opinion and feedback in the comment section below... or if it's too personal, feel free to email me!  I would love hearing from you.


Each comment, posted below, counts as an one entry for the giveaway, today!  I will consider Facebook comments as well.

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:: GIVEAWAY ::

While this giveaway, today, is not a skirt...(ahem!)... I still wanted it to be something special from my personal hand to yours!  I'm giving away one of my most absolute favorite bags today.


::LITTLE GRANNIE GREENE:: ~ small bag, clutch handle style  (valued at $35.00)
Made by me! Bevy.  Please feel free to visit my etsy shop, at any time.

This GIVEAWAY ends Wednesday evening at 10 PM, EST.  The winner will be selected via Random Generator and revealed sometime on Thursday.

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Well.  Ladies.  I hope you enjoyed today!
Thank you for coming out - to my Mugs & Muffins.  I wanted to ask...If you would be interested in writing a guest post (for a Mugs & Muffins) sometime or in donating an item for/towards a Giveaway, you are more than welcome to join in and do so.

I would love to hear from some of you.

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Now off for another bite of the Blueberry Coffee Cake, eh??  Enjoy the rest of your day!

I most likely will be heading off to the Doctors at some point today.  I have something really weird, strange going on ... I'm hoping to get a confirmation.... yay or nay... I'll let you know what's up as soon as I know.

Thanks, in advance, for your prayers!!

36 comments:

  1. Good Morning Bevy, this is so funny, because just yesterday I asked my hubby, if he missed me wearing dresses and skirts. His answer was YES. He didn't elaborate on the topic but I think I will ask him about why today. In the beginning of our relationship 25 years ago, when we would go out on a date, I wore dresses alot. Over the years I have gotten away from doing so for one reason. Back then I was a Skinny girl, and after having children and not losing all the weight, I feel confined in skirts or dresses now..Do I miss them, yes by all means...I miss that feeling of feminity that comes with a dress or skirt.. I have always admired ladies, that wore the long skirts and cute shoes. I must share something that happened to myself and daughter one Sunday afternoon. We had went to church and after service, I surprised her by taking her to lunch.. (the hubb's was working) anyway, we went to the BIG Mall in the next town, we didn't last long at the mall (wrong shoes for shopping) we were walking to our car, when a lady probably in her sixtie's stopped me.. Her comment to me, was this "What a blessing it is to see a Mother and Daughter caring enough to go to the mall looking like ladie's" and she proceeded to ask if Kylie was my daughter, I said yes.. She said, It is wonderful to see that Modesty still exists, because you don't see that very often anymore. I thanked her for the lovely comment and we went home.. I have never forgotten how that made me feel as a woman.. So Bevy, I think it is wonderful that you have made the choice to honor yourself, your husband, and other's in this way.. Will I become a Skirt girl fulltime, not sure in the summer but may in Autumn and Winter. And the reason being not for Summer, it really confines me in the summer because I can't seem to wear a skirt without pantyhose.. I know strange, but true. I was raised where when you wore a dress, skirt you had to have a full slip and pantyhose on.(And have you looked in stores for a full slip almost distinct.)So for me at this time, I may just be a part-time skirt girl, but you bet I will be finding out my hubby's reason why.. wink, wink...Thanks for a wonderful post and defintely something to ponder on.. and last but not least the BLueberry coffee cake looks yummy.. Happy Monday...

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  2. Bevy, I forgot to say, Im sorry my comment was sooooo Longggg.. :)

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  3. Great job sharing your journey!! I love wearing skirts and Lamar likes it to. I do wear long shorts and pants when it seems more modest...

    Missy

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  4. (Part One)
    Love ya', but have to respectfully and strongly disagree. Modesty is an important topic, and the bible does speak about it relatively frequently - and it almost always focuses on the heart attitude behind the choices we make as far as our dress and accessories. You will not find a list of appropriate and inappropriate adornment because of that sticky area of legalism. He wants our heart and the choices we make in this and ANY other area should reflect where our heart actually is. There are a lot of things in this post that I would respectfully question, and would need to fall back on the verse that talks about eating food sacrificed to idols (Romans 14). Since your husband has asked you to wear skirts, and since you are pricked in you conscience to do so - for you not to may be sin for you. However - that does not mean that the person who wears pants needs to experience conviction like you experienced with Aubrey. For you it may very well be sin - I am not in a position to judge that. That is between you and the Lord. To use the word conviction in that context though would hint that you were in sin because you were wearing pants at that time. You were not.

    There are men who also find nothing "sexier" than a denim skirt, particularly ankle length with a small slit in it (meaning not the kind that goes up to the thigh - just the kick slit). Does this mean that now denim ankle length skirts are inappropriate? We need to be careful here. We absolutely (and on this I agree with you 100%) need to be considerate of the message our clothing may send, but we can't control everyone else's thoughts all the time either. The first priority should be if we chose what we wear out of a pure motivation, or intentionally chose it to garner attention and response. That's harder to gauge than just assigning a dress code.

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    1. Kristy - maybe I should clarify that part about my daughter. You're right - the word "conviction" is a pretty heavy word. Maybe I should have said...

      Because she was (and continues to be) insistent, more times than others - I'll admit, I felt really encouraged to pursue it -again- for myself. I didn't push it on her before... she pushed to wear them. So, in a way it was a conviction of sorts for me... that encouraged me to "rethink". You have to understand - I grew up with the "having to do" this - just because this is what our church says, etc. Now, it is more out of I want to... I don't have to, anymore. I get to.

      So. It is challenging for me to not go that route in my heart and head when on occasion she (Aubrey) will come downstairs with just pants on and no skirt. Sometimes, I really have to hold my tongue... than again. She don't have too many pairs of pants to choose from these days... and at this point it is not an argument.

      (Prayers appreciated...for discernment... from one mom to another.)
      PS: love you, too! ;) I really hope I haven't come across as trying to control what others think of this issue.. have I??

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    2. Part one - I did it again!! : )

      I think I understand a little better what you mean with the situation with Aubrey. I know your church back round, but forget sometimes how powerful a hold that can have over personal discernment vs. church obedience. I really, really respect the position you have come to on this. I do - and I would never even attempt nor desire to talk you out of it. The interaction with your heart in regards to Aubrey's desire to wear pants at times also speaks to this idea - that it is your personal conviction for you and not something you feel needs to be pushed on people (or control their thoughts on the issue). You spoke of it being something you WANT to do - you GET to. Again this is wonderful and I am glad that this seems to be where the Lord is leading you at this time. Taking your thoughts by themselves and following your story I would say - No - it wouldn't have come across as trying to convince or control anyone's thoughts on the matter.

      But the quotes you included are a different thing. The first quote is about modesty and being intentional. Even the second is addressing an attitude toward femininity. The third is a different story. It directly says that when women gave up their long skirts it was a grave error. That dressing "like a man", meaning wearing pants, is giving up femininity. I don't consider your skirt wearing legalistic at all - but when a statement that wearing pants is the equivalent of trying to be a man or giving up femininity, that would kind of point to a view that people who wear pants aren't feminine. They are trying to be men and have given up their desire to be feminine. That's not true. When you garden in your capris, you don't turn into a man, nor are you making any kind of a statement at all - you are just being practical. And it is NOT immodest.

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    3. Part 2 because I am not in school right now, so you get my wordiness!

      The link to the article shows again the author's view of people who wear pants. Her argument against them is that they expose the buttocks and crotch. That is why they are immodest. She goes on to make the argument that Christians who dress immodestly (which include people who wear pants) should respond to a call to repentance.

      "Sisters, let us repent of our arrogance and rebellion. Let us turn to the Lord with a humble and contrite heart and may the God of mercy grant us pardon for our worldly and selfish desire to dress contrary to the glory of God."

      Wearing pants is not a selfish desire to dress contrary to the glory of God. There is NO biblical basis for that. Her argument about the "long flowing outer garment"? Well - unless all of your skirts touch the tops of your feet - they don't qualify (an neither do the "flowy pants" the author makes and sells to help women dress "God's way" - they are also too short). There is also a veil requirement if you want to get technical (and we have had this conversation before - so I know where you stand on that one). Preference, no problem. Law? BIG problem. She is saying people who dress in pants are in sin and need to ask for forgiveness. That's where it gets dicey.

      Personally - I am not attached to anything in my wardrobe. Really. I have done the skirt thing for a few days, jeans if they seem practical, capris if it's hotter and I need to be able to move and do it quickly - for me it's not about the item of clothing - and there really isn't anything I couldn't imagine never wearing again. It's more what's clean, what fits, what's practical and what is most appropriate to the plans of the day. Making a statement is generally the last thing on my mind if it crosses my mind at all. I check with Mike if I think something might be boarder line immodest and he makes the final call on that part. Otherwise, it's just getting dressed to get on with my day.

      I think the reason this hit me so very hard is that there are a lot of well meaning Christians who go around ostracizing people for things they do that they have a personal problem with it. They find a verse and use it to make it a Spiritual issue instead of personal preference. It makes them more righteous because they do something that other Christians don't - which means the others may not even be saved - or at the very least are living in rebellion. It wears. And I hear it all the time. This is one of those "issues" people use to cause problems and division. Wearing pants calls for repentance. Not speaking in tongues means you aren't saved. Not homeschooling means you aren't "keeping them home and keeping them yours" and is in direct violation of Deuteronomy. If you don't let God plan your family, you are in sin and playing God. These are volatile issues that people use to break the unity in the bond of peace. All of them seem biblical and righteous on the surface. But the intention of pushing the issue has very little to do with the glory of God and much to do with self-righteousness. Some of these I would hold to - but again that's because that is where the Lord has lead me and I don't believe that He would want me to use any of these views as a reason to cause conflict and strife. These are not things of "First Importance" - but when we put the work "biblical" in front of it, it makes it sound so important and spiritual. It isn't. It's a preference thing. That's why I responded SO emphatically. You aren't doing this - but the authors you quote are "taking it to the next level" - WAY past preference. That concerns me.

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  5. (Part two)
    I would not classify wearing pants or shorts as "dressing like a man". There is still a pretty obvious distinction between men and women's clothing in cut and style. Plus - as you pointed out, men in the time of Christ were wearing tunics. In other words - both men and women were in dresses. It was the cut and way they were worn (and colors and the person wearing them) that designated them as "women's" or "men's" clothes - not the clothes themselves.

    And again, with Peter - he was stripped down for work. This had nothing to do with privacy - he wasn't working alone. Granted, he was with other men, but the reason he had stripped down had to do with practicality - not immodesty or modesty. He clothed himself (in my opinion) because he was leaving his work and wanted to show respect for his Lord. This, to me is more like changing out of gardening clothes (or any other work clothing that is dirty and smelly) and cleaning up. I don't think he clothed himself to meet the Lord because he was inappropriately dressed as far as modesty so much as he was inappropriately dressed for anything outside of work.

    Adam said he "was" naked so he hid. Not that he is naked. It was stated in the past tense - before he had fashioned a covering for himself and hid. And the nakedness itself predated the fall, which in my mind makes the nakedness not the problem so much as the now sinful response to nakedness (again putting it back in the realm of a heart issue - not a "you are or aren't" issue). Obviously I am not condoning nudist colonies here - we live in a fallen world and we need to respond accordingly and being modestly dressed is an appropriate response.

    In other words - I think we both agree on the heart issues surrounding modesty, but we may disagree on the "outworking" of the convictions we may come to. Man will always look at the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. Our hearts can be just as immodest in a skirt as in pants. Starting with our heart motive and examining that first is very helpful to the choices we make. You did this in your own decision - that is a beautiful thing my friend! Just be careful not to make the outward adornment (modest or not) a standard of spiritual maturity or Godliness in others. It starts with the heart.

    Sorry it was so long it took two posts! Love you!

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  6. I enjoyed the quotations sprinkled throughout. Beautiful reminders...Thanks for sharing your heart, Bev. And I would loved to win that fancy bag of yours, if you don't mind entering me? ~Tracy

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  7. Good Morning Bevy!
    Thank you for writing about dressing modestly...I do believe it is definitely needed. No matter what anyone's personal convictions are we do need to question whether we are dressing appropriately. I'll never forget when my son was in middle school and it was back to school night, the principle was talking about the dress code. He simply said "I don't want to see what you got!" It made you chuckle but yet it was sad that this needed to be addressed at even that young age. So my thought is as women we need to set the example to young girls and young women( and sometimes even to the older ones, HA!) As for my own dressing... I have been slowly adding skirts to my wardrobe..I have a hard time finding them to fit, I'm quite short so I am sometimes swallowed up by them. Ha! I don't sew much but I might just give it a try to make some. I love a good pair of comfy jeans, I do have some long shorts and capris but I love, love, love, the feminitity of a skirt and more importantly my husband does. Keep up the good work, I love the way you speak from the heart. I always look forward to a posting on your blog!!!!!!!! Oh, I love the bag, please include me in on the drawing!! Enjoy your summer!! Melanie (mpoe@ccsites.com)

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  8. Dear Bevy,
    You are very brave to write of your views on what are considered hot topics...
    With that said. I too wear skirts and pants and sometimes shorts.
    It just depends...
    But as a whole...I love skirts. For their comfort, for the way they make me feel, for the way they look, and most especially for the way David looks at me when I do. He always loves a long and pretty skirt. ;o)
    So while I won't fuss with the theology or the doctrine about such things. I will fuss about what is pleasing to me and my husband. And I think that since skirts are more rare...you do tend to be noticed for wearing them. At least more so. Anyways, I think that God honors us when we honor our spouses in an authentic and loving way. And that is all the confirmation I need.
    I sometimes feel like it is a presumption that to be a real Christian or a real hoemschooler, skirts are the typical uniform. But for me, modesty is relative to the person doing the wearing, acting, walking and talking. When I wear a particular outfit, especially a skirt, I feel softer and more feminine. Which is strange to some degree, but true.
    I think that you can wear an itty bitty skirt and not be the least bit modest.
    But if this makes a difference...I also try to be aware of my tops as well.
    Think...bending over and gaping at the top. I have boys and so I am trying to be conscientious of more things than maybe someone else.
    In the end. It's a personal decision. I know a few ladies that sometimes wear skirts and sometimes not. Either way they are very put together and beautiful and modest...and their countenance reflects the Lord no matter what they wear. I love that. So in the end for me...it's about that and If I just happen to feel beautiful in a skirt and my hubby thinks I look beautiful....then that's where it's at.
    xo

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  9. I'm blessed by your honesty and desire to serve God! Thanks for helping me put into words my thoughts on femininity and skirts, etc...

    ~ Kristine Peachy (over from FB)

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  10. When thinking about modesty, I agree with Kristy that it all starts in the heart. I find this quote from John MacArthur is helpful:

    “How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood?…. Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshiping God? Or is it to call attention to herself, and flaunt her…beauty? Or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.”

    Enjoyed reading your thoughts on the issue...thanks for sharing, Bev!
    ~Rachelle

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  11. Bevy,
    Thanks for you honesty and being "brave" to approach this topic. I am thankful for the thoughts to ponder and trust it will encourage other ladies to do the same.
    I would love a new bag! ;)
    Praying for you - please call when you need.
    Amanda H

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  12. part one: goodness. how can one come here and NOT comment?

    It is an age-old conflict between the desire to conform and the need not to conform.

    Here's what I mean...

    In the operating room scrub nurses, even though they wear the same uniform as the surgeons, have a different role. Everyone in the OR is dressed the same, but the parts are different. One body, many members, different parts....

    Everything is team work.

    It is the knowledge of team members of the OR inside that counts, not the clothes he wears or the length of his hair....

    BUT IT MAY BE THAT THE OUTWARD THINGS NEED TO CONFORM TO THE TEAM...


    We seem to have a need to conform to something or someone in our culture.

    Our children {your Aubrey} is a great imitator. It is how they learn. Wearing a dress, or a skirt makes her feel...feminine. like a lady. she should. God smiles upon girlhood, boyhood. The seeds we plant now...affect eternity.

    Bevy {and any one else reading} Don't ever. EVER apologize for using the word "conviction" for a testimony in your life. Conviction IS a strong word. yes!!!praise God that we have ladies like you who not only have convictions, but are willing to follow through with them! Just because we feel convictions about something doesn't mean that we are sinning. Sin is something that separates us from God. Did you feel separated from God by wearing your jeans? I hardly think so. More accurate to say is that you--- plain and simple wanted to honor God and your husband and your children and dress more..lady like.

    A psalm comes to mind. I think of it when I'm at the wal*mart:-).... Psalm 39:6: “Surely, every man walks in a vain show.” Every man walks in an image. Shouldn't we all come to understand that there is a higher standard of conformity????? Paul told the Romans in chapter 12:1-2:

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV).

    It is worthwhile for the lady to ask.."What am I conforming to?".

    Paul doesn’t merely speak of conforming. He speaks of transforming. Here is an interesting contrast to help with the understanding: Conform: to give the same shape, outline, or contour to; bring into harmony or accord. Transform: to change in composition or structure; to change the outward form or appearance of; to change in character or condition.

    So it's not WWJD....but rather WHAT DOES JESUS TELL US TO DO.

    Let's be imitators of Christ.

    I can't become an OR nurse by putting on the green scrubs. It takes commitment, work and dedication to perform in the operating room.

    Let's be imitators of Christ. Jesus emptied Himself, humbled himself and became obedient until death.


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    1. Amanda - you have some great thoughts here.

      I think the point I was trying to make was exactly what you stated using the OR example (which was great BTW!). What makes the people in the OR part of the team is their position on the team. I think we can draw a parallel even further than you have taken it to a point and say that our position in Christ is what determines our "right" (? for lack of a better word) to call ourselves his children. Not our outward adornment (for good or for naught). And you are right that from that position, we should be considerate of what we portray - after all, we are ambassadors, and as such we are called to represent our King. No argument there at all.

      On the flip side, I think that just because someone is in scrubs doesn't make them a surgeon, a nurse, or even on the team. Sometimes we make the assumption that certain ways of dress mean much more than they do. After all - a burka would be the most modest form of covering out there right now as far as I can tell. And yet we would say that is not the garb a Christian wears - and we would be right. But also have to acknowledge that just because a Muslim woman is wearing a burka doesn't necessarily mean she is doing it because of her strong faith. It is a cultural and religious expectation and requirement. To wear or not to wear only skirts is not the main thing I am addressing - more importantly - the why and the cultural and religious assumptions we may make because of this standard we have (or haven't adopted)

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    2. As I said to Bev in my follow up - I would never EVER presume to try to talk anyone out of wearing skirts "full time". It is not worth arguing over. Not because it is not important. Not because I think it is legalistic. Not because I think it is the only way to go. Because it is her conviction, it is her husband's conviction, and as such, it is where the Lord is leading. The same way He doesn't state in scripture anywhere that only full time skirt wearing is an appropriate way to dress, He doesn't state that full time skirt wearing is an inappropriate way to dress. This is a gray area. Modesty in general is not - but how that is carried out is. This is one of those areas we are to seek guidance from the Lord in, and it is one we need to follow where He leads us in. Submission to our husband - MUCH less gray (in fact, pretty black and white if you ask me), and a further support that this is in fact where the Lord leads them at this time.

      Because it is a gray area, that word "convicted" would be a tough one to apply. Conviction, as you said in your follow up would be completely appropriate here, and I totally agree that when sharing a testimony the word conviction really holds a true definition of what is being said. It is a powerful word. Its definition is determined by the way it is used - not the way we would choose to hear it According to Webster, the word has three definitions.

      1. the act or process of finding a person guilty of a crime, especially in a court of law
      2. a. the act of convincing a person of error or compelling the admission of truth
      b. The state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth
      3. a. a strong persuasion of belief
      b. the state of being convinced

      When sharing a personal testimony, we are using the word as the third definition intends. It is our strong persuasion - something we are convinced of. That is the assumption made in context. I was responding to the word "convicted", and using the word conviction in the first definition's sense - because that is the only connotation the word convicted carries. You cannot be "convicted" by yourself. You can carry a personal conviction, but it takes someone else to make you feel convicted. It is a judgement coming from outside, and here are the definitions:

      1. To find or prove someone guilty of an offense or crime, especially by the verdict from the court
      2. To show or declare blameworthy; condemn
      3. To make aware of one's sinfulness or guilt

      To return a verdict of guilty in a court

      1. A person found or declared guilty of an offense or crime
      2. a person serving a sentence of imprisonment.

      So - the word convicted is always used in the context of crime, offense, guilt and sin. As you said - she didn't feel separated from God because she was in jeans - so she wasn't feeling convicted. She was developing a conviction (of her own). She clarified that in her response. The phrase "She convicted me." means she passed a judgement or declared me guilty somehow. Seems like semantics, but words matter. That's why I was asking Bev to clarify. Because of the statement we both agree on - she has no reason to feel judged or condemned for wearing jeans - she wasn't separated by God in that moment - and her NOT feeling that way is VERY important to me.

      Nothing can separate us from the love of God - not even jeans. Sounds like I am being flippant here (which is why typing can only communicate so far), but I wish you and I could talk so you could see how deadly seriously I take that last sentence. I really feel STRONGLY that the evil one takes just as much advantage of condemnation as he does licentiousness. We are called to be transformed but sometimes we get so focused on our feelings of condemnation we stay there in that place instead of moving on, and that makes me sad and angry and I don't want anyone who is in a pursuit of Christ to experience that kind of condemnation.

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    3. As far as our kids' views, as you stated, our children are imitators. I don't wear heels. I just don't. Not at home anyway. On the odd occasion I do wear heels - my kids notice. My kids notice others who wear heels (my mom will find ANY excuse to do so : ) ). They see a difference between what I do and what others do. To them, what I choose is more appropriate than others. I have reasons for not wearing heels (most of them, again practical - chasing kids in heels? YIKES!), and I can tell them those. They will then adopt them. My kids have often asked why my mom insists on wearing heels because it is so impractical. Oops. Now I have to correct their assumption that my mom herself is impractical. She isn't. She is just different (and has no small children to chase). I guess again my main point is modesty doesn't automatically = a long loose skirt. It doesn't. You can carry yourself immodestly in a long loose skirt. You can come across immodestly with your mouth even if you are dressed "appropriately". Modesty is a heart issue.

      I think you and I are saying a lot of the same thing, but, as I said to Bev, we have just landed on different sides of the skirt issue. I think we would both agree that the Bible has much to say on modesty (it just doesn't give us a dress code). That modesty is in manner, speech, humility, and most of all should be born out of a desire to please our heavenly Father and our King. As we develop that inward modesty and continue to pursue Him, that will flow out into the way we conduct ourselves in all areas, including our choice of dress. The specifics may change at times - who knows - one day I may feel that conviction to go to full time skirt wearing. You may find that capris aren't all that bad after all. Again - I feel that this is one of those "meat sacrificed to idols" issue in Romans 14. If you are convicted that wearing pants is against the Lord's leading for you, than to you IT IS SIN. Consider me the weaker brother here. For me it is not. It is an issue of practicality (like eating the meat sacrificed to idols was - yes there were spiritual connotations to idol meat - that's pretty obvious. But the reason it was eaten was because it was CHEAP. That was why a lot of people ate it - even in the church. Because they weren't ascribing anything to it except the fact that it was meat it what made it acceptable - it was not part of their worship). There are a lot of ways to dress modestly in pants. I do have standards - and they aren't the world's by any means. They just allow for pant and capri wearing (no short shorts over here). That's where I have been lead. That's one reason I appreciated Bev's "striking out" skirts and including modestly dressed in other ways.

      I want to honor Christ in the way I conduct myself - including my dress. But I also want it to come from a heart that's postured and inclined toward Him. He didn't judge others by what they wore. Did he set standards and were people changed when they encountered him? YES! But he had no problem being around prostitutes and sinners - and their dress did distinguish them. He was more concerned with the inward man. If nothing else, know that my main concern isn't what people wear - it's where their heart is. That if we go around judging people by the way they dress we are missing the point. The outward "transformation", "imitation" , and "conformation" MUST come from within - not without. It starts with the heart.

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  13. part 2
    Let's be imitators of Christ. Conforming to Him.

    And look at "Modesty for Women" like a little child...


    Here is what my six year old daughter has to say:

    "A girl should look like a lady. boys wear pants"

    And here is what my eight year old son has to say:

    "I like it when you wear skirts and dresses mama, it makes you look um...pretty. Daddy does too. wink wink. and I like to see other women wear skirts too."
    {i sense a respect in his voice when he says this to me}

    ..........................................................

    This is my testimony in that wearing dresses and skirts for me is falling on a CONVICTION to the need to NOT conform to this world in the area of dress... modesty. I think we can read something into scripture that it is not. Paul is so much talking about our inward self becoming more like Christ, not what we wear. But in conforming to Christ, being like Him, we are transformed and that SHOULD make us want to be different. Right?

    And in closing for me, making a choice to dress the way I do gives honor to the head of my home. my husband and this brings glory to his head...CHRIST.

    A conviction.

    Yes.

    And today as I read your post. {and comments.my goodness...I'm convicted...all the more to dress modestly by all the means I can to not conform to the clothing patterns of this world...I'm no blue jean wearing mama. I'll leave that to my boys;-)

    Fondly,

    Amanda

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  14. Well said, Amanda....and Bevy....

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  15. Enjoyed the read! I'll have to incorporate some of those quotes in my next retreat. I especially like the first one :) I just got back from leading a sr. high girl's retreat where we discussed issues of modesty and purity. It is always a hard sell to teens, especially over the past 20 years as the jeans ride lower and so do the necklines. It is certainly not a topic to be ignored and we need to start with our daughters while they are young or it will only get tougher to teach & reason with them when they are teens. I'm so thankful that my hubby insisted on rules for our eldest which include keeping her midriff covered, so that now at 17 it is only a minor battle if we ask her to change. Had she been wearing bikinis, low rise, etc since preschool, it would have been much tougher to get her to think modestly about how she dresses, especially in the summertime! Clara is now 3 and is already starting to want to "show off her bellybutton" like her cousins do...I think she might give us a run for our money!! That just happens to be the rule we chose for our family to start at a young age, despite the cuteness of our tot's belly button that I truly would love to show off :) It's more about teaching our kids to respect our judgment and guidance, so when my beautiful daughter wants to buy a bikini at 17 because everyone else does, she can handle it just a tad better when I encourage her to consider the gazes she would receive (wanted from the cute guy walking by and unwanted from anyone else!) It's a sobering thought. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Ok, my turn to comment, and I choose to put some humor into this conversation! As always, I can't get through life without laughing! :)

    Before I was married, I worked at a chiropractor's office as an assistant. One of my duties was to put the heating pad and the electric thingies on patients in a common room before they saw the doctor. One lady, who was a beautiful women in her 50's, wore long, flowing skirts every single day that she came in. She was a God fearing Christian, and we used to enjoy fellowship together. But there was one glitch when she got on the exam table to get the treatments: she always had to be covered with a blanket. Why, do you ask??? Because she never wore underwear!!! She was bare under her skirts! She felt it blew more air "around there" and would keep her healthier!

    How can one argue with that???!!!!!!

    So, hopefully every one smiled at this story!!!

    My serious thoughts on this - I don't know if I can put it in words. I don't feel a woman wearing modest pants or shorts is disgracing God. But I do feel, that what we wear can be a statement to the outside world, whether we want it to be or not. Whenever I see a woman in a modest skirt or dress, I feel she looks beautiful and feminine. When I see Mennonite or Amish ladies with their skirts and head coverings, I KNOW, WITHOUT A DOUBT, that they are Christians. Just their outward appearance signals to the world what they believe. Now, if I saw a woman out and about who WASN'T wearing conservative clothing like that, I have no way of knowing if she is Christian or not. But does that really matter if I know or not??? God knows, right? And that is what matters in the long run, really.

    So, that being said, if a woman is convicted to wear skirts as an outward symbol of her relationship with God, I think that's wonderful!

    I am using Rachelle's quote from above: "A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.”

    If wearing skirts, or head coverings, or whatever it may be, fulfills that obligation, then I guess a woman can feel pretty good about whatever she is wearing.

    And for the record, I happen to LOVE skirts.

    Love ya!
    Johanna

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    1. Johanna - you are too funny! That was one brave woman... : )

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  17. I would love to wear skirts more if I could only get past the chub rub...any advise on that one? Kristin

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  18. I thought I should come back just to see what others had to say...and wow...do they have something to say. Especially Amanda, she's always a power house! ;o)
    Love this all. Honestly. And I just thought I would share a little something else. We as a society have lost our filters...the things people say...the things they do...the things they share on-line...oh my goodness. My son, who is 18, told me something the other day that a young lady said to him. And it had to do with that time of the month and her wearing white pants. I about fell over. He said, "Oh mom, that's nothing..." and her parents are very well known in ministry and her mother is a contemporary Christian singer well known around the world. So...with that said..the filters are gone. It's disgusting to me... that she spoke of intimate things with my son. However...should we be surprised? Look at how girls dress all around us, or, for that matter women...and even at church the lack of modesty shocks me! All of this to say...I do think we can make a difference...like with your Aubrey. I don't have a little girl at home anymore, but I do have these boys and they do notice that I look different than other mamas. They love that I have long hair and Griffon especially loves my long skirts. The other day David mentioned that he feels like my skirts are a reflection of my character and the truth is...people...men...do seem to treat you differently when you wear a skirt. A little more polite and gentle perhaps? Whether other women agree or not...the truth is God has laid femininity on our hearts. And if being set apart...and noticed like you did with that lady in the parking lot shows a non conformance on my part....and is a reflection of Him and of the love and honor for my husband, who could argue that???
    And for the record...the pants are worn at home when I have to do "farm" work with my hubby. Or, gardening...I am in the transition phase and have yet to figure out what kind of skirt works best with dirt, stickers, and wind-wind-wind. The shorts are long, and only worn up to the pool with the boys which is private and in grandma's backyard. We don't even go to public pools anymore. And finally there are times that when I am in doubt..I ask David what he prefers and depending on the job...like haying the horses...he will say...how about pants? And if it's at home and in the house, or out and about, it's skirts because I love them and because sometimes when he leaves in the morning...I'm still in my nightgown. And when he comes home for lunch or later in the afternoon to grab some sweet tea. A skirt lights up his face and I always get the sweetest hugs and kisses. A win win if you ask me. This was all good, Bevy. xo

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  19. You have no idea how much this spoke to me. Modesty is huge to me! So many do not understand that men are visual creatures and women can play a role in being a stumbling block to them by how they dress. I appreciate your honesty.
    tarter95 at hotmail dot com

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  20. p.s. Bevy, I also wanted to say that it was no coincidence that you noticed the "pretty lady" and then later your hubby said that about wanting to see you in skirts. Those, in my opinion are God moments...He uses those to affirm us...or convict us. Either way, we live and die by our convictions and I myself specifically long for the gentle nudge of conviction in my life. ;o)

    p.s.s. Johanna...your story did make me laugh...

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  21. Bevy and Kristy- I love hearing your conversation on this topic. Makes me feel like I'm at a Ladies Breakfast just waiting for a chance to chime in...

    I love that I know the bond that exists between the two of you and the care and love you have for one another. And I love your willingness to openly and honestly share your thoughts on the matter.

    Bevy let me start by saying that I did not nor do I feel condemned by the way you express the things you hold dear. And Kristy thanks for reminding me that it is important that we not condemn others over the gray issues we may hold dear. I agree that God is more concerned that we keep the bond of peace than hold fast to our personal convictions at the expense of those we are called to love.

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  22. coming back here this morning and reading these comments, {good ones} it's clear bevy that this is an area that needed to be addressed.

    yes mid life mama, it's all about teaching our children respect and guidance in this area of modesty. If we don't, they will conform to the patterns of this world regarding dress.

    And yes at Johanna, whatever we choose to wear, as long as we are dressing each day to please God, we can feel good about what we are wearing.

    I want to add too that what Kristen states about her husband finding beauty in her with what she wears...really is all that matters. Because in pleasing him, she IS pleasing God.

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  23. Wow...maybe it's because I've been ill for a few days - but I didn't see the controversy here that others have - (I started to read though some of the comments but it's too much for my brain today!)

    Anyways - I just found this to be a great post about a conviction the Lord has brought you to and through and how He is using it in your life! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that He used Scott to confirm your thoughts - Praise our mighty Lord! I'm not up for debates or nit-picking about modesty - I do think our society has long left anything that would reflect biblical modesty or Godly standards - and the church is walking in society's shadow. What is allowed or accepted is crazy - but how to confront that - well I think (at least what I got from what you wrote) we are to confront it through God and His leadings in our lives!

    I am often irked when I hear quotes about how no matter what, men cannot help themselves and that as woman we must dress to protect them - as I said those thoughts irk me greatly - they (men) should have more responsibility then that - BUT I do see the validity in it too! And so I understand the need for modesty and the effects our choices can have!

    So all that being said I think this is a wonderful post about where God has lead you and I think all of the readers should find encouragement - maybe not in how they dress but in that we are to seek out what God wants for our lives and live holy and blameless before Him in the ways He calls us and our families! Being an example of how we love and serve our Lord, no matter what others feel (as long as it's biblical!) is a great testimony!

    And on that note - I don't do skirts - they really don't suit my body type!! But I LOVE dresses and have often thought of building up my dress wardrobe so I can wear them more often (I'm the opposite of you - I have a dress for gardening in! LOVE it, sooo much cooler then anything else!) I love Ma Walton - her dresses are amazing! I just haven't figured out how to survive our cold Canadian winters in one! ;)

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  24. Kristin quotes:

    "And if being set apart...and noticed like you did with that lady in the parking lot shows a non conformance on my part....and is a reflection of Him and of the love and honor for my husband, who could argue that???"

    AMEN!

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  25. (Copied from an email..)

    Oh Bev,

    I spent quite a bit of time actually posting a comment on your blog and I have no idea why but I don't see it there. It showed up as if it posted it after I hit publish or post. Not sure how that all works. bummed. I don't have time to retype it all here but totally totally spoke to my heart. It was as if you were reading my thoughts. love love love the femininity I feel when wearing skirts/dresses. I did say in my post that I totally observe different behavior from people when I am out and about running errands whatever, I have noticed greater respect/etiquette from others when I am in skirts. I carry myself differently and I think it shows. just like the woman you saw in the parking lot, she stuck out to you, there is a reason for that I believe.

    just wanted to quick send a note of affirmation and encouragement to you for sharing your heart in a most sensitive way.

    love ya,
    Teresa

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    1. I will say, one more thing,,,in my post ...the one thing you will enjoy. Jere is my little personal story. This past spring we had two weddings in the family. This has been the first weddings we have attended in years. So, I have not shopped for nice dresses in a long long time. I am queen of the thrift store. Anyway, I ended up with 4 dresses that I just could not decide on and my shopper experts, the girls were not with me so I purchased them all and figured I would return the ones not chosen. *caution; word to the wise, do not do this at dress barn, the small print on the receipt shows a much lower return price then what you pay for. two days later I returned it and received 20.00 less back then what I paid for it. expensive mistake:) We ended up liking 3 dresses, I really only needed one. my sweet husband said to me, it will be your birthday very soon and I never know what kind of clothing to get you and I know you like clothes, so keep all 3 dresses for your birthday. I love seeing you in dresses :) happy birthday to me!!! love this guy.

      Another reason I love to wear skirts/dresses, it makes Galen so very happy.
      Teresa

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  26. And for the record...and even though this post is closed. I feel even more passionate about pursuing my life in skirts. Not to prove a point mind you. But, because I love the affirmations about doing so in this post. And I value each and every perspective here. Bevy, this was hard in some ways to write about and dare I say lovely. Women of faith and convictions...skirts or no skirts...that's what I see here. xo

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  27. 1 Cor. 10:31, "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." I've been wearing skirts going on 9 years now, almost immediately after my husband and I married, and I can't explain it all. I can't speak for anyone else, but it wasn't Bible verses so much as just God speaking to my heart that there ought to be a change. Anyway, it was nice to stumble up on your blog. May Jesus bless! :)

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  28. Thanks for this article. It was nice to stumble across it. I've been wearing skirts for nearly 9 years now and feel God has led my heart to do this, and I don't regret it one bit. It just feels "right" for me. :)

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