Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am back

Thank you all for your patience. I am certain you were all clamoring to hear from me again. I will be back to regular posting from tomorrow on. In the mean time I wanted to show some cute pictures.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A small hiatus

Life will be very hectic here for another ten days. But after that I will resume my series on modesty and atractivenes. Thank you for everyone who has commented. It really means a lot to me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Atractivenes and modesty

Modesty and atractiveness require some thought and effort. And many of us lead busy lives. We are also not perfect, which means we may fail now and again, or will need to reassess our wardrobes or our routines. The last few months I have realised that a lot of the garments that I wore that were both atractive and modest earlier, are not anymore. How did that happen? Well, pregnancy and breastfeeding changed my body type. Some places are now filled more and others less. This affects both hemlines and cleavage. Some dresses need a little top underneath it now to be modest. Some dresses are a bit too tight and therefor unflattering. And some things have been washed so often that they have become a bit more see through than they were when I bought them, making them both less modest and less atractive.

But it is not just a matter of clothes. I need to tone up a little bit, to make my body, my temple, strong and healthy. I need to find new routines for my hair and skin care. And underneath it all, as the fundament, I need to make sure that my spirit is aimed at God, my soul is longing for Him, and my mind is set on Him.
Does it sound overwhelming? It can be. Which is why routines and plans and actions need the occasional adjustment, and atitude often needs some finetuning.
Body, mind and soul need to be a unit. It is not a matter of either or. A Father wants the best for his daughter. A King expect a lot of his princesses, or even his ladies in waiting.

Mary, mother of Jesus said of herself: "Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord..." Think about it, each day we serve in His presence. Should we not dress the part? If today we were standing before the heavenly throne, would we feel ackward and underdressed?
I am by no means saying that there are not certain times in which practicality needs to have more sway than beauty. Sometimes we need to dig in the yard. Sometimes we need to be on our hands and knees to scrub a floor. Sometimes we need to take care of a whole household of sick people and we spend our days between buckets and toilets and dishes.
But the other 'busy days' in which we need to take care of children, we should not be wearing an outfit that proclaims to the world that we just don't care. Frumpy blouses, sweatpants and oversized T shirts, and overwashed ill fitting jeans have given more than one mom the appearance of having given up.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Atractiveness and modesty (2)

You should not judge a book by it's cover. That is true. And if you have time in the library to browse and read the backflap or half a chapter, you will often come home with an amazing book even though the cover didn't really promise much. But how often do you have time for all that? Between children, household, work, family, hobbies... quite often we run in and out of the library in fifteen minutes and we have to content ourselves with first impressions. After a while you even become very good at this. You know what styles of illustrations probably promise a great read, or what kind of font is often used just to draw attention to a cheap sensationalist piece of 'non fiction'. Now and again we have pleasant or unpleasant surprises, but in general, we know what we get. After all, a scientific work will not often have a full colour shot of playing children against the background of a wheat field on it, a family novel will rarely have a shiny black dustjacket with blood drops over the title.

In the same way, people who do not have the time to truely get to know us and be surprised by our personality, must judge us by what they see. The woman we pass in the grocery store, the librarian, the people we meet on the street. While it is true that beauty starts on the inside, the way we present ourselves shows that we care about the feelings of others who meet us. We should not explicitly dress to get attention to ourselves, but it is a thoughtful gesture to present ourselves with the beauty with which the Lord has endowed us undimmed by sloppiness or carelesness.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Atractiveness and Modesty

I have blogged about modesty before and will probably do so again. Modesty is very important to me. And yet few people would look at me on the street and immediately have it pop into their mind "Oh my, she dresses modest". If we make a feature of our modesty that atracts attention, can we call it modesty? Or does it become a way to show the world 'how holy' we are?

Many people cringe when they hear the word modesty because it is often associated with unatractiveness. And as daughters of the King, we are certainly not called to unatractiveness. He created us as women and wants us to celebrate that beauty, to adorn our temples, just not in a way that they incite lust in others. There often is confusion about the word "atractiveness" Should we dress atractive? My answer is a resounding yes.

In Corintians, it is said that our body is a temple, belonging to God.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (New International Version)
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

And in 1 Kings 6, we find a description of how the temple looked. It is clear that it's not a matter of putting up whatever as long as the structure is sound. The temple is build lined with carved cedar wood, the door to the sanctuary is carved and overlayed with gold, even the courtyard is made with dressed stone and trimmed cedar wood. Everything is done to make the temple of the Lord a work that delights the senses.
We too are to be a delight to behold, which means that "well, it's modest" is no reason for a potato sack of a dress or an oversized sweatshirt. That does not mean that we should frivolously spend hours and hours before the mirror or that we have to spend money that we do not have on designer clothes. Those are rarely modest anyhow. It means that in our appearance as well as in our demeanour, we need to represent the King.

((to be continued))

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March was insane, and April looks even more so

I am not used anymore to a life with lots of appointments. Aside from grocery shopping and trips to the library or childrens museum, my calendar is usually blissfully empty. Since Joseph has been sleeping well, this finally left some time for other projects. March however became utterly busy and just when I want to sigh with relief at the beginning of April I had a good look at the calendar again. April looks even more busy than March. I have volunteerwork, a boardmeeting, a general meeting, the fashion show, I have the fittings for the fashion show, dentist appointment, a preschool preview at the YMCA, my husband has the knights of Columbus convention as well as a five day event for the prison ministery... I urgently need a haircut and I should try and fit a well child visit in there somewhere. I also need to finish a newsletter, a fashion show program AND get a good start on a booklet.

Lesson from this insanity: when people ask me if I am available to do something, do not just look if I am free on that date, look at the calendar that month as a whole!