My modesty journey began almost ten years ago on October 7, 2001, when this scripture literally turned my world upside down. I was a 19 year-old college student who thought the more skin I exposed, the better. Growing up, I can’t recall ever being told a particular piece of clothing was off limits — tube tops, miniskirts, halter dresses — I wore them all with no objection from the maternal figures in my life. But in the months leading up to that “fateful day” in October, I began to find myself becoming uncomfortable exposing my body, putting on so much makeup and wearing body piercings. I even began to think my short, bleached hair (which I had dyed bright red) wasn’t exactly the look I should be going for any more.
This process of transformation wasn’t motivated by any human source; my family didn’t suggest the change and I wasn’t going to any particular church at the time. I no longer wanted my old lifestyle and I wanted to dress the part. Eventually God saved me and I began attending church regularly. It wasn’t long before I was introduced to the “do’s and don’ts.” Some of these standards aligned with the way I felt God had led me, while others seemed a little unnecessary. However, I deemed the less needful “standards” as trivial compared to the awesome transformation God had made in my life, so I just went along with what I was told.
Over time, though, I began to notice individuals who didn’t feel they were given the opportunity to possess their own convictions or had a difficult time aligning with the standards — and who could blame them? Most times they were given a list of regulations — in place of biblical teaching. This group seemed to be well-versed in the do’s and don’ts but completely oblivious to the “why’s” and “how come’s”. As a parent, I’ve been thinking of how we will instill modest convictions in our daughters, rather than a dogmatic list of rules and regulations.
I know that I want to share my personal testimony and experience with my daughter, but my prayer is that she never has to wear a miniskirt to develop an appreciation for modesty. With so many colliding ideologies and opinions, how does one put a love for godly principles in the heart of a child so they learn to form their own convictions? How do I take Hebrews 5:14 and put it into practice so that my daughter, “through training [has] the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong?”
When I came across MoMoMod a couple years ago and saw fashionable, modest, young women who enjoyed the way they dressed and seemed to have personal convictions related to their standards, I rejoiced! As a mother this gave me hope. The women who are a part of the MoMoMod community intrigued me. How had these individuals come to value modesty and what role did their mothers play? Were they taught why they should dress modestly as a child? Or were they given the regulations of a particular assembly? Is their mother an example of modesty or has God used them to be an example to their mothers? Was their relationship with God cultivated by their parents — therefore leading them to make personal decisions about their appearance?
This post isn’t my way of opening the gates to bash any particular standard or assembly (or to learn the specifics of your personal convictions) but to explore the role of mothers in the modesty journey of their daughters. Do you dress modestly and enjoy it? If so, what role, if any, did your mother play in your journey…inquiring moms want to know!
As much as I’d like to think I’m living a Proverbs 31 lifestyle, I fall short. Waaayyyy short. My childhood was filled with Proverbs 31 women; you know the kind — waking up with praises on their lips to Lord, a kind face, gentle, soft answers to all the irritations around them, seamstresses, fabulous cooks, tidy homes, perfect hostess, ladylike. Hah. Well, we’ve come a looonnng way baby and send me someone who can present 5 women between the ages of 25-35ish who can attribute most of those characteristics to herself.
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
Exactly. It’s a lost, dying art. Unbelievable. A Proverbs 31 woman should not be a rarity; we should have them in excess (in my opinion)!
So, over the last year I really took Proverbs 31 personally–really personally. I read and re-read it, dissected it and started applying it to my life, actively.
It just made so much sense to me.
Like I said, I really fall short, but because I’ve read the guidelines and know what is expected of me. I’m confident I’ll grow into each characteristic over time.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
Part of my commitment to live as closely to these principles as possible includes saving money. Doing what I can to pinch valuable pennies here and there so our family can live comfortably — it’s a lot of fun.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
This noble woman was savvy. She knew how to find a good deal, she took care of herself, she knew how to make money right along with spending it wisely. My kind of woman, I tell ya.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm[c] clothes.
Who wouldn’t want to be like her? So, I set to work. I scoured the internet and found recipes for making homemade supplies.
Household cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, fragrances, facial care products — I just became enthralled with all the possibilities and since then I will never buy these particular supplies from the store again:
Bleach for my clothing
Multipurpose cleaning spray
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Liquid Dish Soap
Ointment (for cuts, scrapes, burns, scarring etc…)
There are so many other recipes I will be showcasing soon, so stay tuned. (you can click HERE for all the recipes, or you can click on the item above for the individual recipe on my blog)
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
Most of these recipes take all of 5 minutes or less to make. The longest one will take you 20 minutes. With the economy playing dirty, saving $12 on laundry soap, $3 on dish soap, $7 on ointment, $5 on air fresheners, $6 on softener can go a long, long way.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
My goodness, I really pray that one day my children WILL –
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
Being a mommy does a lot of things. It helps you grow (if you’re willing), it stresses you out, it shapes you, it saps you, it educates you and then the one aspect most common — the feeling of losing yourself to your children.
Confession. I am one of those moms. I’ve suffered severely from what I like to call — a loss of a sense of self. A while back, on my blog, I posted about getting back to the basics, finding my passions and believing in myself again.
While I have my good days, I still struggle on a regular basis with being content. Yes, thank you Phillipians 4:10-12 for reminding me to be content in what ever state I find myself in. *groan*
As much as I try to encourage myself, keep myself busy, that little dark cloud surfaces more often than I’d like to admit. Recently, I sat myself down and challenged my mood (pesky little storm cloud). After admitting that I was completely lost on what I wanted to do with my life once my babies were both in school, I cried a little. My younger sister, an accomplish musician, world traveler and a great inspiration to me, has known her calling for years. When she was 16 the light turned on and ever since then, her every move has been directed toward achieving her life’s goal. Not me. I have many little arrows blinking and flashing, each pointing a different direction. So distracting and frustrating. So, I narrowed it down.
What an amazing feeling it was to identify something solid about myself and start creating a plan to accomplish it. I can’t say that I won’t have my bad days, but they will be much better knowing I identified my passions. In an effort to keep myself from falling into that mental slump of feeling useless, lost or just plain brain dead (because I DO sit around with a 3 year old all day and hold very silly convos, nothing adult level. heh) I keep up with the news, I turn on my computer and play NPR for background noise, I read books, I latch onto causes and research them to keep my mind supple.
If there are any other moms out there who struggle with these horrible feelings, take a moment to find out what you love doing, aside from being a mommy. Don’t be afraid to be passionate about something other than your family. Just don’t forget what your priorities are. Maybe, having a life outside of your family isn’t something you care for…that’s fine too. But if it is — then focus, stay abreast, identify, make strides.
It’s ok to have dreams and passions and watch them come true…even if you are a mommy
Oh, I’m a rule breaker! A Sunday Best post on a Monday! Please don’t call the blogging police!
Vibrant color (it’s available in several colors), versatile, modest, comfortable.
Needs to be a little longer (for me; I am 5 feet 7.5 inches tall).
I noticed that I can take the hem out a little bit, so I’ll most likely do that this week.
…I enjoyed some In-N-Out Burger–A California must.
..we found our wedding venue! Brandon’s putting the finishing touches on our wedding blog and I will let you know when it’s finished. You will be able to read all the details there.
…I spent some time in San Francisco wedding dress hunting with my mom and sister.
…I was thankful for glorious weather.
How was your weekend? Did you have great weather?