June 23, 2014

June 21, 2014

Some Thoughts on Modesty

The topic of modest dress is so controversial, there are religious sects well known for how they attire themselves.  But does the matter of modesty need to elicit such passionate debate, or even division?

Interestingly I was just reading about the significance of clothing, from the wonderful book THIS MOMENTARY MARRIAGE (John Piper, 2009).  His understanding and explanation of this topic was refreshing, and simple:

God clothed Adam and Eve to remind them of the glory we lost and a confession that we are not what we should be, and also a testimony that God Himself would one day make us what we should be.” (THIS MOMENTARY MARRIAGE, P. 37) 

We see from Genesis 3:8, 21 that man attempted to clothe himself, to “hide” his sin, and then God’s solution – better garments made by God.

My own journey to dress modestly has taken me from a 90’s homeschooler wearing a denim jumper with white lace-up Keds, to a 20-something now wearing dark-wash, straight leg jeans, and tee-shirts.  Have my convictions about modesty changed?  Sure.  A lot of my beliefs have grown, morphed, matured, as I’ve gotten older.

What has not changed is my belief that modesty is important.  But, not just how I dress, what I wear; but more fundamentally, how I portray who I am in Jesus, that is, my heart attitude.

Although I may seem to have changed my views on what I wear, my zeal is still the same: my life (which includes EVERYTHING in it) is to be a true depiction of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Having this as my guiding standard, I purchase and put on my  clothing; I walk and sit a certain way; and I refrain from buying certain styles or types of clothing, because they would not be an accurate picture of Jesus.

But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.  And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.  And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need.  But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”  I Corinthians 12:20-25

Do I think some clothing is “sinful” and other clothing “not?”  I like to apply Paul’s words to that question: “However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it [meat] as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscious, being weak, is defiled.  But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.  But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.”  I Corinthians 8:7-9

Of course, Paul is not speaking in that passage about clothing or modesty, but I think the principle applies.  This is why I dress the way I do, and why I will not wear certain styles of clothing, because I believe they would be taking my “liberty in Christ” too far.  When my brother got married, I chose not to wear the halter-top dress they had picked out, because I didn’t want to draw unwanted attention to myself.  Was it an easy decision?  No.  I felt bad at first, when I brought it up with my brother and sister-in-law, because I didn’t want them to stress about it.  At the same time, I had a certain standard in my mind I was not going to betray. 

In the end, I was glad I wore the dress I did, feeling confident because I had made the right choice which I believe pleased God (and I must say Caleb and Claudia were most gracious and understanding).  As a side note, I had a handful of men (and women) thank me for my choice. 

This is just my take on this topic, but I hope that you will consider that modesty is really all about our lives portraying Christ as truthfully as possible, in a world where the most popular philosophy is: if it makes me happy, it must be right.  Modesty can look like a hundred different things in each family.  If you feel that God has called you to wear a head covering, or only dresses, or if you wear jeans, the most fundamental thing to remember is this: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”  Colossians 2:6-7

Let’s go out into this world and be beautiful portraits of the mighty, loving, and victorious Lord we serve!

June 7, 2014

Flora and fauna

I am not especially gifted when it comes to photography (I usually defer to one of my sisters in that department...), but from time to time I will pick up the camera and saunter about the area snapping close-ups of flowers, plants, cats, people, etc.  I did just that the other night and here are a few of the pictures from my exploits.
The reading tree

A field of color 
The clover is so invitingly soft 

Evening Primrose - such a dainty beauty

The moth landed just in time to be in the picture


... I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; 
but hearing often-times 
The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh, nor grating, though of ample power 
To chasten and subdue. 
William Wordsworth

June 5, 2014

Spring in the garden

We began our garden back in February, when Phoebe and I planted our onions.  From there we added two more beds, and more plants as we had the time.  Here are a few "before," "during," and "currently" pictures of the process we call gardening.

Unloading the first of three "rounds" of composted manure for the garden beds

Jaden has been such a big helper this year

Adding soil to the prepared bed

The gardens June 2014


Tiny bell peppers 

Sage and Thyme 

An assortment of herbs and medicinal plants 

These tomato plants are doing so well - they are quite bushy. :)
Ready to pick

We have planted some corn, summer squash, and melons which are all sprouting.  I just didn't get any really good close up pictures of them.