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Archive for the ‘Modesty’ category

Every woman’s wardrobe should have a black skirt–especially the wardrobe of a woman who never or rarely wears pants. I have several black skirts–long, short (ie, just below the knee), in between–but they don’t all fit me right now at 2 months postpartum. I had 3 that did fit: a jean-weave black skirt that I liked to wear for everyday, a black knee-length straight skirt, and a black and white stretchy knee-length skirt that has a ruffle of sorts on the bottom. The two latter ones were what I would wear to church, since they are the only nice skirts that fit and match the nice, church-quality blouses I own.

The stretchy skirt is almost too short for my tastes. When I sit down, it doesn’t ride up as badly as a non-stretchy skirt would, but it does tend to slide up over my knees when I’m sitting. I don’t like to show my knees, especially when I’m sitting, because it’s easier to see beyond the knees, if you know what I mean. But it was either that one or the straight one for church.

Now the straight one, well, I just never felt comfortable or modest in it. I mean, I like how a straight skirt looks on my figure, being rather square as I am, but when I sat, it went up over my knees, and the side slit went up even higher up my thigh (though I usually tried to tuck it slightly under my thigh, but if I wasn’t paying attention, and the skirt had twisted, it would show skin.

But I was hesitant to part with either one, because these were the only two skirts I had that were suitable to wear to church. The rest were more everyday kind of skirts. My other dressy skirts are still too small.

Finally, though, after wearing the black skirt a week or two ago, I finally said, Enough is enough. I don’t care if I have to wear one of my nicer everyday skirts to church, I just can’t keep the straight skirt. The stretchy one has an elastic waist, so I can wear it low if I wear a long enough top, but the straight one has an at-the-waist non-stretchy waistband, so it has to go. I washed it and put it in the give-away pile.

Today I was at the thrift store, looking for anything that I could find on my thrift store list (yes, I keep a list of things to watch for at the thrift store–helps me stay focused, not buy needless things, and not miss things I do need when they are available). I had collected several things on my list, including winter pajamas for my older son, a pair of Sabbath shoes for him in the next size up from the ones he has (and is outgrowing), and a couple of office chairs, and I was on my way to the checkout lane when I remembered that I wanted to look for a new Sabbath skirt. So I detoured back to the skirt section and began to browse.

It didn’t take me long. They only had one rack of longish skirts (and one of knee-length and shorter–I didn’t bother with that rack). On the rack was a black straight skirt that looked just my size. When I tried it on, I found it to be exactly my size. It comes several inches below the bottom of my knee, and completely covers my knees when I sit down. The slit in the back is short–it will barely show the back of my knee when I walk, and when I sit, because it’s in the back, no one will see anything. It has pleats in the front and darts in the back, and fits like it was made for me! It even has belt loops, so when it gets loose, as it will (I am going to lose this baby weight, you know!), I will be able to cinch it up with a belt, so it will last for quite a while. Maybe even when I’m back to 125 pounds (which I haven’t been since I got pregnant with my first… I’ve never actually gotten below 133 since then, but I can always dream, right?). And even if it just is too big then, I’ll have 2 other nice black skirts to wear, and some other skirts that I can’t wear right now.

Which reminds me… there is a maroon skirt that probably will fit me now, hiding somewhere with my winter clothes, which I should probably be hunting for soon. Because this Indian summer isn’t going to last forever.

In any case, I was amazed when I thought about this: When I chose to let go of something that the Lord had been convicting me about, He provided a replacement that was better than the former one. (The former one said dry clean only, and though I machine washed it, it was lined and heavy and hardly suitable for summer; the new one isn’t lined, so it’s great for summer, and it’s machine washable.) That’s how He works. He waits for us to surrender, then He pours out blessings. May we never forget that!

What have you found lately at the thrift store? Have you even been thrifting lately? Have you experienced surrendering something only to get something better in return? Tell us about it!


This post is linked with Works for Me Wednesday.

This article was first posted on The Modest Mom blog. I thought it was very insightful.

Adorned in Modest Apparel: It Begins with the Heart

by Mrs. Crystal Paine
A few years ago, my goal in life was to fit in with the world. I didn’t want to look different or be dubbed “weird” by society. I fought against my parents’ wishes and desires for me…not always outwardly, but inwardly I very often resented the restrictions they placed upon me. Was I happy?
The Lord began working in my heart little by little. After months of cutting and pruning away the dross in my life, He brought me to the place where I purposed I was going to honor Him in every area of my life—-no matter what. From that point forward, my life changed dramatically. No longer did my heart desire to follow the ways of the world. I wanted more than anything to please the Lord. I spent much time in God’s Word and in prayer. In doing so, the Lord convicted me of my need to examine every area of my life and hold it up against the penetrating light of Scripture. I realized there were many areas of my life in which I was walking contrary to Scripture. One of those areas was the way I dressed.
About this time, I was listening to a Bible tape while vacuuming the house. As I ran the vacuum back and forth over the carpet, I heard a familiar phrase from 1 Timothy, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing Godliness) with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Although I had heard this passage numerous times before, I was struck with it in a new light. The phrase, “…that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…” kept ringing through my ears. In studying the original Greek meaning of this word, I found it meant, “orderly, decent, a citizen who is quiet in the land.” Thus, I concluded that adorning ourselves in modest apparel would be apparel that does not draw great attention to one’s self. I am not saying we are to dress in black all the time (that could draw great attention to ourselves too, you know!), but that we not dress like we are going to a fashion show. Rather, we should dress in a quiet, neat, and inconspicuous manner. As Timothy Titcomb so poignantly expressed in his book, Titcomb’s Letters (©1858), “A woman was made for something higher than a convenient figure for displaying dry goods.” In reality, clothes are only a reminder of our sin (Genesis 3), so we don’t have anything to be proud about in wearing them.

On the flipside, I believe Christians are ambassadors of the Most High King to the world. Would you expect someone who represented the highest-ranking official of a country to come dressed as a ragged pauper? No, they would be dressed in a neat, orderly, and professional manner. In the same way, our outward appearance is a reflection of Christ to the world.

I do not believe there is anything wrong or ungodly in taking the time to “beautify” ourselves in order to be a God-honoring representation of Christ to the world. But beautifying the outward appearance must never, ever become one’s focus or chief end in life. We must seek first the Kingdom of God…not seek first how we can become outwardly attractive. 1 Samuel 16:7 drives this point home: “…For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” We need to always cultivate first beautiful inner character before we seek to improve our outward man. God is much more concerned with the heart. “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” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Ask yourself, “Why am I wearing this? Does this outfit glorify God and honor my authority’s wishes for me?” If you do not know what pleases your authority, ask them! You may be surprised to discover there are many things in your wardrobe that are not their first choice.

In further investigating the roots of the word “modest” I found it meant being sensible and self-controlled and voluntarily placing limits on one’s freedom. That hit me. How often, in all areas, am I pushing the limits of my freedom, instead of setting a higher standard so as not to be a stumbling block?

My wonderful husband, Jesse, told me after we started courting how much he appreciated the way that I dressed and how that actually was one thing that attracted him to me. He said he realized I was different, and he appreciated my willingness to stand alone. Then he looked at me and said, “Crystal, a girl can never dress too modestly.” I want to encourage you girls with that. You can actually earn a young man’s respect by your modesty.

I am not going to come out and condemn or condone any clothing in particular in this article. I don’t feel that God has called me to do that. Rather, I challenge you to question yourself, “Is the way that I am dressing in accordance with the Biblical mandate that women are to be adorned in modest apparel?”

We are so influenced by society in this day and age. We nonchalantly accept what our forefathers would have blatantly protested against as “wicked.” Let us not measure our lives by the world’s standards. If we do that, we will usually always come out all right. Let us be willing to measure our lives by the standards set in God’s Word. In eternity, we won’t regret it.

Crystal Paine is a homeschool graduate from Topeka, Kansas. She is the blessed wife of Jesse and joyful mother of four children. Visit her site, MoneySavingMom, an upbeat and encouraging blog dedicated to helping you find great deals, stretch your hard-earned dollars, and live on less than you make so you can save more and give more.

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