Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Male Bonding

After dropping Jordyn off at school, I came home to find this cuteness in my bed.

So sweet.

Monday, January 31, 2011

My How Things Have Changed

Did you ever read through an old journal of yours only to realize that you don't recognize the person that you were then? That's how flipping through this blog has been for me this morning.

When I left this blog, I was dresses and skirts ONLY, considering wearing a headcovering full-time, and thought that the only place a woman belonged was in the house. So much has changed, and yet, I'm still the same.

One of my favorite things about God is how He works on us. As we read and study our Bible, new things are revealed to us; out of our obedience we follow them, sometimes blindly. There is always a balance to be had between unfettered growth and pausing to hear the Lord's voice, between growing stagnant and jumping into large changes with minimal amounts of information. So it was for me. I felt like my life had lost its purpose, or at least what purpose I saw, I didn't understand because it held little so little value to me. I dove deeper to find my purpose and along the way, came across some very strange notions- things I have never even considered before.

One of them was that women should only wear dresses or skirts. At first, I thought this was insane. Why on earth would you confine a person to wearing a particular outmoded garment just based on their gender? Then, I began to look around and more importantly, I began to read the opinions of other women who had dealt with this issue, almost all of them had turned to "dresses only." As I looked around me, I began to see that it did make sense, that women should be easily recognizable as feminine. I threw out the pants and made (poorly) some skirts to wear. The transition was difficult, but in time, I grew to love my skirts. I got better at sewing and I really did love the idea of looking pretty and feminine all the time. Now, three years later, my principle has stayed the same, but my application has changed. I do think that women should attempt to put an effort into evaluating both the modesty and femininity of their outfits. I think that dresses and skirts should play a much larger role in my wardrobe. Jeans make me lazy. It is too easy to pull on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and call myself dressed. Now, I own one pair of jeans and quite a few skirts. When I get my body back (since Andrew is holding it hostage for another couple of weeks), I intend to update my wardrobe with some nicer looking, feminine clothing. Pants still play a role, but I think that my focus needs to be on looking feminine. [For more information about why I actually made the transition, including the verses I used to back up my decision, feel free to browse my archives.]

One of the other things I found were whole communities of conservative Christian believers who wore headcoverings or pursued a simple lifestyle. My battle with headcovering still goes on in my head every once in a while. The thing is, I have never heard an argument that convinced me that headcovering was unnecessary, but I have heard several that have convinced me to cover. That being said, I don't cover my hair- why? Because, I am honoring my husband and respecting his headship in this matter. That is what covering your head is all about- to show proper order. God to Jesus to man to woman- see 1 Corinthians 11. Eric does not want me to wear a headcovering right now, but should his opinion on the subject change one day, I will gladly submit to his authority.

The simple life is even easier. As I searched for "like-minded people" that both desired their women to wear skirt and headcovers, I found these staunchly religious people who believed that God wanted them to deny many of the current conventions of our society and live an agrarian lifestyle, as close to the land as possible. I admit, that this too, held some allure for me. I felt like my life was going nowhere and thought that this big change was going to be the ticket. I was ready to pack up and move to Texas to camp out while Eric built our house from scratch and raise chickens and farm and use an outhouse. Thankfully, Eric refused. I still have some lingering ideas from this study. I believe that, as Christians, we are called to be good stewards of the earth, which means not wasting our natural resources and not harming the planet when there are better ways. I will eat organic food as my budget allows and I am planning on using cloth diapers (and transition to other cloth products instead of typical paper disposables like tissues, paper towels, and napkins). I would LOVE to have chickens in my backyard and grow some of my own produce. I think this is fun and is mainly a way to help my family live like good stewards while actually saving some money for the family.

As for women staying in the home...well that has changed too, but it is the hardest battle I have fought. I do think that women should be the "keepers at home" that we read about in Titus. However, I am also beginning to think that staying at home and keeping the home are different. Despite the fact that I will have a young baby this fall, I am still planning on going back to school to finish my degree. For our family, this is a financial decision. The VA is paying for me to go back to school so for our family, this is the best choice. I won't have this ability for long. I would love to go back to homeschooling my kids and staying at home, but for now, I am learning how to be the most efficient homemaker possible so that when I am forced to leave the house, I am ready for it.

So much change, so much study, only to change again. I think that God puts me into different positions to consider them carefully and to learn to rely on Him and His word above the conventions of society or whatever feels good or right to me. Sometimes, that has taken me down a crazy rabbit trail, but at the beginning and end, I see God. Lately, I've been seeing how I've become judgmental of people who have not made some of these choices. God has been revealing to me how "un-Godlike" that is in me- that it is, plain and simple, sin. I have a feeling that God is not done with me yet. That's good. My purpose in life is clearer, to be the best wife and mother as I possibly can, to serve God and my family with my whole heart, no matter where I may be, and to glorify God in my actions and point people toward Him.

I am still blogging (infrequently) at my other blog:, so check me out there if you want.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Moving...

Good-bye Blogger...Hello Wordpress!!!

My new site is and I am moving for one major reason: I love to journal, but often times journalling should be a private affair. Blogger doesn't give me the option to differentiate between my posts (private and public) so it's off to wordpress. I have transferred most of my archives to the new website, so feel free to browse them. I will be continuing to adjust their format (some of the paragraphs didn't transfer over) as well as updating some content, especially the links.

Blogger has been home for a long time, I didn't even know that other "weblog" sites existed, but I am excited about learning more about Wordpress.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dressing for the Summer

So here we are, the first day of August, summer is in full bloom and women who would otherwise dress modestly are finding excuse after excuse to not wear beautiful, long, flowing garments. I think the heat issue boils down to what is socially acceptable. In the 1800s, when they had a scorching week (like those in the Pacific Northwest have been having lately) they had no alternative. They couldn't strip out of their clothes and run around half-naked so they had to figure out what to do to keep themselves cool. They could stay out of the sun, wear light colored clothes, wear a hat, and stay well hydrated. They had the joy in knowing that this too shall pass while they fanned themselves with homemade fans and ate things that cooled them off.

Today, when it gets warm, we think we need to remove clothing, because it is socially acceptable to do so. This way, we don't need to be as inconvenienced by the seasons. Unlike the extremely seasonal lives of our ancestors, our lives run year-long, not offering any variation based on the season. We are spoiled by air conditioning and heating systems as well as our recreational activities.

We assume that the only way to cool down is to remove clothing (or wear less of them)- that it is the inherent properties in clothing that are making us overly warm. This isn't always the case though. Think about it, have you ever sat in a car wearing something black? I have, I was wearing a new black skirt and the sun was shining right on my lap and I was frying. My mother offered me her white sweater and I refused saying it would just make me hotter. However, eventually I gave in and you know what? It made me cooler! Adding a white layer actually reflected the sun enough that I could feel a difference. There is a reason that you see women's clothing from older time periods in white. We rarely wear white these days, even pastels aren't really "in fashion" but for summer clothes, white is essential. Now, I am a plus sized woman and the thought of draping myself in white is not appealing, so for now, I try to stick to cotton because it breathes, and as light a color as I dare to go, especially on top. It really does help!

AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Sweat is your body's own air conditioning, if you are not hydrated, it doesn't work. Common sense applies even if you are wearing tank tops and cut-offs or a beautiful flowing dress- stay out of the sun and keep covered when you are in the sun!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What to Wear?

I have been following Lady Lydia's blog, Living at Home, for a long time but lately she has been doing a series on modest and feminine clothing reflected in older artwork and how to apply that to our daily wardrobes. It has been an excellent source of inspiration for me. I have always been dependent on current fashion to dictate both the style and fabric. I thought that I was choosing things that I liked, but really, I wasn't. Now I have several dresses to make with less than thrilling fabric, but that's okay. They are still nice and will be pretty.

So with the school year coming up, even though we are still smack dab in the middle of summer, I have been trying to figure out what dresses I am going to make for fall and winter. I will probably start with a summer weight dress, but only one. I also need to be sewing for my daughter too. Basically, I have enough sewing to keep me busy for a long time!

Here is my sewing list:

Daughter (Jordyn):
2 Summer dresses for her birthday in August
2 Corduroy dresses for fall/winter
2 Cotton long-sleeve dresses
2 Full slips
5 pairs of modesty shorts/capris
2 knee length bloomers out of flannel
3 winter nightgowns

Brown skirt (already cut out)
Blue skirt
2-3 Blouses
1 Summer Dress
3 Fall/Winter Dresses
3 Full slips
1 Half slip
5 Pairs of bloomers
1-2 Pairs of flannel bloomers
3 Nightgowns

Among all of that, I have several little projects, a handbag (or two or three...), these cute crayon roll-up bags, a couple of stuffed animals and dolls for Christmas gifts and I would also like to make my children each a new quilt for their bed for Christmas. Yes, I am already thinking about what to do for Christmas. I don't know if we'll do Santa Claus this year. It really disturbs me that I am required to do a substantial amount of lying to my children just for the "fun" of it, but we'll see what the husband thinks. Feel free to weigh in on the topic.

I suppose what I am trying to say is: I have a ton of sewing to do!! I love reading progress reports, so I will probably try to post some as well, with pictures. I doubt that those items will be enough to get us completely through the winter, but it shouldn't be too difficult to make a dress here or there once I've gotten into a good routine. I am still looking for an easier dress pattern to make for my daughter (with no buttons or zippers) because I am rarely buying everything for the dress in one stop and I don't like having to wait to find matching buttons or zippers. It's much easier if the pattern is just simple! I just found this one, which comes with two different sleeve options and looks easy.

What I really need now is to carve out some time in my schedule to sew. It shouldn't be terribly difficult because of my current living situation, but it will require me to sacrifice nights lounging around the TV and most likely, my sacrosanct naptime as well. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the end, to know that I have created two wardrobes for my family and moved on to the Christmas gifts...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fun Challenges

In church today we discussed "perfection" using the first few verses of James 1. That whole notion of counting it all joy when you face trials and tribulation wasn't what I wanted to hear this morning (err, yesterday's late!) but it was, as always, a well-timed sermon. So speaking of challenges, despite the constant turmoil of living here, which I know is producing good fruit in my life through the working of the Holy Spirit, I have decided to attempt two different challenges.

The most recent is a home cleaning challenge and you can find the initiator here. I have decided to go through and "spring clean" several areas. Living as I do, in an extended family situation, there are always other people around to help keep things tidy, but there are areas that have been neglected, so I'd like to tend to those.

1. Living room- all that unwanted stuff that collects because you forget to remove it, along with a good vacuuming and window washing.
2. Kitchen- scrubbing the floors, clean out fridge, reorganize pantry and cabinets.
3. Dining Room- mostly the downstairs bathroom and the game closet, which is a wreck.
4. Master Bedroom- suffice it to say, this is the messiest room in the house, and it should not be that way!
5. Back Room- that evil, tiny, multi-purpose room.
6. Garage- where all our leftover junk is stored. Q: Where is that thing that I had when we used to live there? A: I don't know honey, look in the garage. Q: Where is it, in that garage? A: Who knows...see ya next week though, if the spiders don't carry you off first. Sigh.

Hopefully, I will be able to take (and POST) pictures of my progress. I fully expect this challenge to take two weeks. Though my list is pretty short, some of these projects are multi-day types, like my bedroom for example. It should be really nice to get everything clean and tidy, and (gasp) keep it clean, in theory. I have a related resource that I will be reading during these next few weeks called, Home Comforts, which is really a manual on how to keep your home. I found it at my library after two different recommendations. I reserved some "crafty" books as well just to "try them out."

Okay, so the next challenge is much more fun. It involves feminine dressing. I know that not everyone agrees on what is "modest" and what is not, but when we take the time to address modesty in light of femininity, things take an interesting turn. I have been a big fan of Mrs. Sherman's website, Living at Home, for a long time now, even though I don't always agree with everything she says, does, or suggests. However, I love what she has been doing lately. She has been taking older painting that show the feminine clothing of the past and pulling from them inspiration that she translates into something slightly more modern and wearable. Among all these posts have been little nuggets on sewing tips, dressing tips, modesty tips and so on. She prefers for her comments to be anonymous, so there is really a feeling that you can ask whatever you want and not be shamed. I have really become almost addicted to this series (hence the need for the first challenge!). So, she hasn't issued an official challenge per say, but I will endeavor to take pictures of myself during these two weeks spent cleaning so that you can see my feminine wardrobe change as I add new pieces.

One subject I need some help with is hair dressing. If anyone knows some tips or tricks on what to do with medium length thin hair, let me know! I can't stand hair in my face and it is just too hot to leave it down (we get to about 100 degrees these days...with no air conditioning!) I would love to look into older styles, but I really need simple!

***edited to add: I have found another great website for Christian women, called What Women Never Hear and it is a collection of articles geared toward the modern woman written by a man. The few things I have read are very interesting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Check out my Reactions!

I read a little blurb on blogger about these "reactions" that you can add to your posts, and I love the idea, so I set them up. You will find them at the bottom of each post (below my signature line) and you can check the box that is the most appropriate. Just to be sure we are on the same page, some definitions for you...

Inspiring: to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something.
Interesting: the quality of exciting curiosity or holding the attention.
Insipid: lacking flavor, vigor, or interest; boring.

*If for some reason, you find my posts offensive, please comment to me privately.