Reminder: my Lilla Rose Giveaway is going on through Sunday night. A Flexi Clip is the perfect thing today, as we discuss clothing. Lilla Rose has beautiful accessories for any outfit! ~Giveaway has ended~
And now, we continue our discussion of The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. I’ve been putting off this chapter. I’m not a fashionista and I do not like being told by Madison Avenue and trendy magazines what I should and should not wear. I picked up my book anyway and read through chapter 12 again.
Did you see the beautiful flower in all it’s glory in the photo (taken by my daughter) at the start of this post? Did you read the verse printed there? Mrs. Schaeffer refers to this scripture early on. As we see the fields dotted with bright colors and stately trees wearing their robes of green and delicate petals of our garden flowers it should remind us of God the Creator, God the Artist, God the Fashion Designer. If he dresses them so beautifully, how much more will he provide for us, his children, those he created in His Own Image?
As I thought on this passage, I was reminded of the months we spent living at the base of the Teton mountains in Wyoming. The fields were filled with wildflowers such as Indian Paintbrush and Columbine and Larkspur. My photographer-hiker-husband snapped picture after picture (before the time of digital cameras!) and we filled an album. Someone once asked, “Did someone plant all those flowers there?” Mike replied, “Absolutely! God’s own garden. Man could never plan anything so beautiful on his own?”
How does this tie in with what we wear? Not far into this chapter we read:
“Indeed this is a passage which has always helped me personally to live on the basis of prayer. It encourages the Christian to pray for his daily needs, and follow the Lord’s plan for the use of his life, without what men might call ‘security’…”
It’s about focus, and trusting, and faith, and choice. I am wondering – do we prayerfully choose our clothing, stepping out on faith that our choices are pleasing to God rather than men (or best friends or the popular girls)? Am I trying to squeeze my over-50 grandma-body into made-for-teenybopper fashions because I want to fit in?
Personally, I prefer soft colors and feminine flowing fabrics and am really not comfortable in black or bold colors or form-fitting styles. That’s me, that’s who I am. My God says a woman is to dress like a woman, my husband likes me in skirts, I like my skirts, and so I wear skirts. Have I told anyone else they must wear skirts? No. I am not their judge. I make my choices to please my God, my husband and by my personal conviction. I leave you to make those choices for yourself, and by the writings in this chapter, Edith Schaeffer does too.
My Esther, now 12 years old is into DIY fashion and accessorizing these days. She blows me away some days, the way she whips up fashionable creations. We talk about what she thinks is attractive, we talk about how a piece of clothing draws attention to different part of the body. We talk about what type of attention we want drawn to ourselves. We talk about who we are trying to please and why we make the choices we do. These discussions help her form in her mind a foundation for making choices as she matures into a young woman. This is so important, because we don’t want to be caught unawares.
There has been LOTS of discussion around the web in recent months, recent years on the subject of fashion and modest and Christian standards. It can be a pretty heated and polarizing subject. Here are several articles I have enjoyed and been inspired by:
- Caroline writes about beauty and femininity and other womanhood/motherhood topics at The Modest Mom. She hosts the Modest Mondays Link Up every Monday where you can find inspiration every week.
- Chris & Kristin recently posted an excellent article on The Responsibility of Modesty.
- Deep Roots at Home has a wonderful 7-part series on Feminine Dress.
Here are 2 of the sites where Esther’s been collecting ideas and inspiration recently:
- Lisa at The Pennington Point has an ongoing series of posts on Embracing Modesty where she and her beautiful girls shares thought and tips and ideas about dressing modestly while staying true to your own fashionable individuality.
- Olivia at Fresh Modesty posts gorgeous photos of stylish and feminine outfits she’s put together for her days an active and vibrant young woman.
Where does a gal go to find feminine, modest, attractive clothing? We like some of the choices we find at Cato, Christopher & Banks, Kohl’s, Coldwater Creek, online stores like an affiliate of mine, Deborah & Co. and of course the thrift stores. Oh, yes, and there’s Pinterest. We have fun collecting ideas and peeking in to see what others are wearing and buying. WARNING: it is so very easy to get caught up in what others think is fashionable. Both Esther and I set limits on our time spent browsing and dreaming and collecting, as it tends to breed discontent and envy.
What I took away from this chapter is we cannot set arbitrary rules to determine spirituality or righteousness, but make conscious choices based on what is acceptable in God’s sight. I am looking forward to Heaven, where man will not dictate the fashion of the day or set the dress code of those residing there.