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: http://krankemommy.wordpress.com, so check me out there if you want.