My examples

I hesitated adding this post because someone could easily be offended. Whether they were not on the top of my list, or not on it at all. I have to say that I have taken something from every single person I have met. Whether good or bad, we all do that. But know, if I do not mention you by name, that there are many friends and family that have taught me many lessons that have helped me get this far.

First off, mom... of course. How could I not mentioned the woman that birthed me! :) My mother is strong. As I said before, you will never meet a woman that works harder. She has instilled this in me. I fear that I am not nearly as hard working as she is, but I like to think that I have some of that in me. My mother also has shown me that kindness and empathy are essential in life. I thank her for being that example to me.

Next is my sister (in-law) Amy. Besides being the best friend anyone could ask for and always listening to my whining over the phone, she has shown me what it is to be a wife and mother. Even though she has only been married a little over a year more then me and her oldest is 6, Amy knows so much more about being a wife and mother. I know this is because she is simply applying what she has learned from God's word. Specifically, Amy has taught me that having kids and getting stuff done is absolutely not impossible...even when pregnant. Ha. She never ceases to amaze me with her latest creation, or project. And she does everything so wonderfully. I learned from Amy not to come downstairs in the morning until you and the kids are fully dressed. It just starts your day off right. And I don't think I have been in my PJ's in the morning in over a year.

Vickie has been a huge encouragement to me. For those of you that know Vickie, you probably will agree with me in saying that she just LOVES her husband. They have been married for 15 years and she looks at Eric like she's 18 and they have been dating for 6 months. It's great. I love hearing her all mushy over him and how cute she thinks he is. She has really encouraged me to love my husband that way. Peter and I are not really the mushy type in public, but I let him know that I am still head over heels for him. :)

I know many moms that have taught me to love my children. But my friends that struggled to have children for years, and finally have their own are the ultimate example. I think these moms know what a miracle having a child is and that we should never take them for granted. They love their children with all their heart and actually are THANKFUL for times of training and learning. I have stepped back a few times and just reevaluated my love for my kids because of their example.

I think I am going to end here. I know that I will be mentioning more people later on. But the reason for posting this is to emphasis the passage in Titus that I highlighted. The older teaching the younger. And even though many of these woman are not much older then me, they have experienced more then I have and I have learned many lessons. Thank God for friends and godly woman willing to teach.


Concepts of a woman

I had a question posed to be recently, "How has your concept of womanhood changed since you were younger?" That really got me thinking. Of course, at a very young age, you don't think to much on this. I saw my mom. She is the hardest working woman anyone will ever meet. She is tough and self sufficient. She always knows what needs to be done... and does it.

And then there was Grandma. She always wanted people fed. Ha. I know that sounds funny, but what I am trying to say is that she wanted people to feel comfortable when they came into her home.

As I got older, the Lord blessed me with other great examples from different venues of my life. From work, to church, and even from random meetings. I took bits and pieces of each lady and wrapped this neat little package of what woman was in my mind. Where did I err? I didn't go to God's word. Who better to ask, What is a woman, then the God that created her?! (Thankfully, as I said, he did give me some great examples along the way...)

I added scripture in my last post and I will be making reference from that passage. So if you have not read it, I highly recommend it. The Scripture goes through a list of things that the older woman are to teach the younger. As I get older, I completely understand why God designed it this way. The more I learn the more I realize I fall short and don't know it all. SHOCKER! Who better to help guide me then woman who have done it before. Had the kids. Married the husband. Lived the life.

To keep this post on the shorter side, for now I just want to list the qualities that God is telling us to have. Seeking holiness (which I find it really interesting this is first...), good conversation, teaching others, sober, loving our husbands and children, discretion, chaste, keeper at home, good, and obedient to husband (calm down ladies... this isn't a bad thing).

I am beginning to study each of these separately, so later, maybe you will hear from me on them, but I realized that some of these things I do not possess or have never even admired in a woman.

To pick out a few, I can say that my sobriety has changed over the last year. I'm not saying that I finally gave up drinking! I am talking about this seriousness that has settled over me. Not that I am a downer. God wants us to have joy in our lives. Why else would he give us wonderful foods to eat, children to laugh with, and a husband to enjoy. By being sober, I am saying that I feel this sense of urgency. A seriousness in life.

There is not much time on this earth. Even if you live fr 70-80 years. I do not want to waste it with worrying. I do not want to waste it with entertainment that really does not better me, but leaves me in a worse place. I want to hold my children and teach them as much as I can. For one day, not too far off, they will be on their own. And their faith will be their own. What have I taught them of my faith?

I still have a long way to go in this area. There are times that my old anxious self creeps in. Or I just want to watch that movie that will just corrupt my mind and heart. But I am encouraged in knowing that God wants to grant us our desires and my desire is have this soberness that a woman should have.

One more thing that pops off of this list to me is being discreet. Peter and I talked briefly about this, and then I realized that he is a great example of discretion. If you have to confide in someone, he is the one. He would not yap to anyone my secrets. And he never EVER talks bad about people. I think that is why I am drawn to him. I don't always give people the benefit of the doubt and I have been known to let my tongue flap when I should be biting it. Sometimes, there is no filter between my brain and my mouth.

Gossip is not all that is involved with discretion. It's not just NOT saying or doing something... it's also knowing when someone needs an encouraging note, or smile. And doing it quietly. I am not sure if I am even making sense here. But I think it's coherent.

If you are reading this, I would encourage you to leave a comment about what woman in your life is an example to you. I will be posting that in my next blog, but I would love to hear what you all have to say.

What is a woman?

Well, of course we all know what a woman is, but I have really been asking myself and God, What is a woman in light of what God's word says. We live in an age where God's beautiful plan and image of a woman has been dragged through the mud and spit upon. We are in an age where woman "fight for their right of equality." Why would I want to be equal to a man? We are not the same. News flash: Men and woman ARE different. I am not saying one is better then the other. I am simply saying that we have different roles, different gifts. We see things in completely different ways. This is why they say Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. God designed us this way!

I think the next few posts are going to be dedicated to how I can obtain this "womanhood" that God wants for me. I know that I have a distorted picture at times in what I am to be as a woman. But I know if I keep studying God's word I can find out who God wants me to be... as a wife, as a mother.

I encourage you to read Titus 2:1-5. In fact, I will add it below. Much of what I have learned lately on womanhood has come from these 5 verses.

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The aged women likewise, that they may be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.


I came across this passage today, and it knocked my socks off:

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel,But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,which is in the sight of God of great price.

God has really been making it clear that my conversation, or my way of living, is so important, especially when it comes to how I present the Gospel. I want to have a meek and quiet spirit, but I know I am far from it. I just pray that the Lord shows me where my conversation is "lacking" and that I remember that eyes are always watching... especially my little ones at home.


Making clear

This will be quick. I was talking to a friend and she informed me that maybe my last few posts have not been the most clear. The decesion that I have come to is not to wear pants anymore. It's hard for me to know what I do and do not make clear. But just to say one more time, this is MY conviction. I would never put it on someone else. And to my friends and family, this doesn't change who I am to you. So, as asked earlier, if you are a lady and you come over and have pants on, we will not be thinking twice about it. Remember, this is all still new to me too. :)

Let me ask you this...

As promised, I wanted to add 4 good questions to ask yourself when you are trying to figure things out. These can be used for clothes, music, entertainment, and more.

Question #1: What (or with whom) am I associating? There is a perfect example of this in Corinthians, where Paul was dealing with the believers being divided over whether or not they should eat the meat offered to idols. So, you can ask in this case, what is a V-neck shirt generally associated with? These days, the way our culture is, we can not really ask what pants are associated with. Pants are no longer considered rebellious like they once were. But let me just throw this out there, just because the world changes, should we be following close behind? I can't even fully answer this one without my head spinning.

Question #2:Am I controlled by it? I Corinthians 6:12, "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (profitable): all things are lawful for me,but I will not be brought under the power of any." So the question is, am I controlled by fashion or what others think? This one is the easiest for me because if you know me, you know I am not fashionable. I am not a shoe girl, or a purse girl. I just want something that is going to make me look thinner... like any other woman. :)

Question #3:Is it edifying to my brothers and sisters in Christ or is it a stumbling block? We see in Romans, verses that fit this perfectly. 15: 1-3a, "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his (the neighbor's) good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself..." Also see I Corinthians 8:9. Basically, when making any choice, we need to consider how others will be effected.

Question #4:Does it glorify God? First we need to define "Glorifying God". It is displaying Him and His attributes back to Him in view of others. I Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Simply said, is what I am wearing reflect who my God is?

To sum up a few things, I would like to say I absolutely believe a woman can glorify God and be wearing pants. I know many MANY strong Christians that differ with me on this topic. That is OK. Because all I am doing is showing everyone why I stand where I do. It has taken a lot of studying and prayer on my part. I did not take this lightly simply for the fact that in 2 years, I didn't want to change my mind.

The question in our family has come up, "What will we do about the girls?" As of right now, they still wear shorts, pants, diapers! :) What we feel is that we want to teach our girls about modesty. And focus a lot on it being a heart issue. We don't feel we want to tell our girls they can not wear pants. But we will have standards. And who knows, down the road this might change. I just pray when they grow up and leave the house, they will take what we have taught them with them and make the decision to wear modest apparel.

I don't think I added this, but I want to say that I believe there are times that pants just need to happen. For instance, I wear pants and sometimes long shorts to the gym. Why? If I was wearing anything else, it would be inappropriate. Also, there are some professions, like medical professions, that ladies are asked to wear scrubs. My mom is actually one of them. I know there is an argument both ways. I am just stating where I stand.

So to conclude my whole modesty discussion, I really want to emphasize that it all comes down to the heart. We are all in different walks in life. We are at different places with the Lord. And it took me YEARS to get where I am at, even after hearing this teaching over and over. Only God can put these things in your heart and if you try to force it, you will end up changing in a few years. If you try to fight it, you will be miserable.


Considering Biblical Principles: What to wear

Much of this blog will be quotes from my friend, Stephani, who has been a great encouragement and source of information during this time of change. She was kind enough to take the time in writing out a 3 page paper on what modesty is for her and where in the Bible we can get info on it. Thanks Stephani!

I want to focus on 3 Biblical Principles to consider when looking at modesty. First being, Distinction. We all have seen the sign on the bathroom doors. The little silhouette of a man or woman. Which door to go in? It's obvious to everyone, all over the world, that the men's room has pants, and the woman's room has a dress. God has made men and woman different, and despite the fact that the world seems to be fighting for "equality" and make us all the same, God wants us to rejoice in our differences. We are His creation.

Let's think of the dress code on a 1-10 scale, 1 = masculine. My husband will tell you that I HATE sweatpants. I won't let him even wear them. So let's say that's a 1. The scale gradually increases. You would have ladies jeans, dress slacks, Capri's, straight skirts, A-line skirts, jumpers... which I think jumpers are just about a 10. What I am getting at is that there are degrees of femininity.

Many know the verse in Deuteronomy 22 where God talks about women are "not to wear that which pertaineth to a man." I think the Scripture principle we can pull from this verse is distinction.

The second Principle is Modesty. OK, here's where I am going to be blunt and if you are offended, I apologize, but sometimes I don't know how else to be. We all know what men like. God designed a woman with curves. He designed men to LIKE these curves. That in itself is not wrong. I want Peter to love my body... and he does. :) (OK, TMI!) The problem is, lust and sensuality is the way of life now. And as Christian woman, we need to guard our brothers in Christ. What does this mean? Well, even though men should be controlling their lusts, that doesn't mean I have the right to go around showing off my goods.

We should not want to highlight the areas that God intended for men to enjoy... in the privacy of their own home. So if a pair of pants passes the distinction test, meaning they are feminine, they probably are immodest, especially with fashion now a days. I won't be adding scripture here because this is kind of straight forward.

The third Principle is Communication/Testimony. Let's be honest, whether we like it or not, what we wear communicates something. It may not always be accurate (ex. I could walk down the street in a long skirt, with a turtle neck on, but still have a heart that is not right. Or, I could be wearing a mini skirt, and a sports bra but really love the Lord, just not know any better.)

Philippians 1:27 reads, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ." Conversation in this verse does not mean talking. As Spurgeon put it, it is "the whole course of our life and behavior in the world." So when I get dressed, I need to be thinking, how is my dress representing the Gospel?

In my next blog, I will be bringing up 4 questions that you can ask yourselves in regards to modesty, or other issues, that help you sort our motives.


To "dress" or not to "dress"...

Ah, that is the question. Or it seems to have been the question of my life. To give a quick background, I came from a home where my dad asked me at the age of 12 to begin wearing skirts exclusively. In the day and age we live in, he sounded nuts to me. My wonderful mom wore pants. I had never heard him talk about me wearing skirts until we started attending our new church. But being the kind of kid that I was, even though I was at time rebellious, I really didn't like conflict, so I "gave in" to his request without much of a fight. Besides, that just meant new clothes! :)

Life moved on. I had the occasional look from a stranger, or a question from a family member in regards to why I dressed that way. My answer? Weak. I would sputter off things I had heard my father say and other families that dressed like me, but I think it wasn't hard to hide the fact that the conviction was never mine.

Just to interject here. If you are a young lady in this situation, meaning, your parents ask you to dress a certain way and it either A.) is confusing why you do it or B.) it is not your thing, I encourage you to continue. For a number of reasons. If it's for reason A, I encourage you to do what I never did, search it out for yourself. Ask your parents, your pastors, even peers can be a good thing. But use caution, because someone might be in the same boat as you. If your answer is B., let me tell you that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that even though I didn't understand the whole modesty issue, and at times, just wanted to put on a pair of pants, I know by obeying my father's request and showing him honor, I was right where God wanted me.

Moving on. So here I am. Newly married. My husband doesn't really mind if I wear pants. What to do? For the first little bit, I continued to wear what I had, because let's face it, clothes are expensive. But slowly, I bought a pair jeans here, and a shorter skirt there and BAM! 4 years later, I am doing my thing. Let me make something very clear. Again, I don't think I was completely out of God's will. What I mean by this is my husband was not asking me to wear anything different then I was. I wasn't harboring bad feelings towards what my father asked me to do for years. I simply felt that you can be modest in pants and wear what you want as long as you don't have a check. My fault was, I wasn't seeking out answers.

I had stopped searching for God's best. I had stopped yearning to aim for the highest. I was coasting. I was livin' life and not thinking about much except how much I loved my man, and what my day brought.

Things began to change. I started feeling off. I started wondering why was I so unhappy. I realized quickly that my source of joy is in Christ Jesus. So I began to walk with Him. Talk with Him. I began to see things in the Bible I never saw before. Things bothered me that never did before. This was conviction. Now that I was walking in the spirit, I was able to hear what the Lord wanted for my life. This was all so new and exciting!

So where I am right now is as follows: at the start. I really don't have all the answers. I have some principles about modesty that I would like to share in my next blog. But I really am taking it day to day. And honestly, I don't have any desire to wear what I wore before. I like being more feminine and ladylike. And I have found some skirts that are flattering and nice.

Before I end this I want to say this is not going to be a series on why all woman should wear skirts. The best part about all of this for me is that God is only showing me what is right for my life. I have been so excited because I have made changes in my life because God told me to, not someone else. And it is so freeing. I have never experienced anything like that before. I don't have bitterness, or confusion. Just peace. And that is how I know it is of God. I will show in another post that you can wear the longest skirt and a turtle neck and still be immodest. This is all a heart issue that is revealing itself outwardly.


Command Vs. Principle

I would like to start this off by saying I am NO Bible scholar. Far from it. The more I read God's Word, the more I realized I know so little about God. At times I get frustrated, but then I am reminded that one of the greatest gifts God has given us is our ability to learn. Imagine how boring life would be if we knew everything. I had a good friend even tell me she believes we will continue to learn in Heaven. How wonderful that sounds!

As I mentioned in my past blog, my plan is to start tackling some issues in which the Lord has/is dealing with in my life. Before I go into specific areas, I thought it would be wise to share with you some insight I have received from the Bible (and my dear friend, Stephani)on the difference between a Command and a Principle.

A command is very clear. Very black and white in the Bible. It would be hard for anyone to argue their way out of it. The best known commandments are found in Exodus... the 10 Commandments. When it says, "Thou shalt not kill", that is pretty straight forward. Christ even emphasized the first commandment,"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart..." by saying this was the first and greatest commandment.

The most important commandment in the Bible in regards to our eternal security is found in Acts 17:30, where is says,"... but now (God) commandeth all men every where to repent." I strongly encourage those who haven't to follow this commandment.

So, now that we understand commandment, what is a Principle? This is where is gets a little more tricky. Principles address issues in the Bible that God has chosen to not clearly define. There are many examples, such as, music, dress, movies, and head coverings. (Some people may disagree with me on these, so feel free to comment.)

I believe the principles of God can be confusing, but wonderful as well. Looking at Ephesians 5:18 speaks about being filled with the Spirit. By walking with the Lord, speaking to him daily, or as the verse says, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms...giving thanks always for all things...submitting yourselves...in the fear of the Lord;" we are able to have discernment in these matters.

I think this will all make more sense once I give an example. My next post will be on modesty. And with this "hot topic", I think it will become clearer how God can use specific principles and reveal Himself in people's lives. I know He has used modesty to teach me much. But that is another story...


Starting if off

A few days ago, I was able to share in our family blog what has been going on in my heart. To fully understand where I am and where I plan going with this blog, please read ,here. I can not wait to share more!


I have decided to start a new blog. Our family blog,seen here, is great for keeping our family and friends updated on everyday life. Pictures are posted and even the occasional deep thought. But the Lord has really been tugging my heart to write more. Not about my family though. More about my victories, struggles, lessons, and convictions in Him.

So I hope that I learn much about myself and the Lord in this new blog, but also that others can be blessed, encouraged and even challenged. Here's to a new beginning!