She Wears Purple : Modern Modesty

“…her clothing is fine linen and purple.” -Proverbs 31:22

How do we promote modesty within our own spheres of influence? I think the answer is two-fold.

First things first: we should talk more about who God is than about how we should dress. Good Biblical teaching that exalts Christ must come first before any discussion about modesty. These larger Biblical truths are to be the catalyst for teaching on modesty because a desire for true God honoring modesty is not born out of rule following or even some external reward, but instead out of exalting Christ with our bodies. Our hearts are only drawn to exalt Christ when we see Him high and lifted up as the Scripture displays Him to us. When we see His work of love on the cross that cleanses us from all sin in our past, present, and future. When we see His empty tomb as confirmation that we are also raised up with Him: raised out of a pit of sin and death, and enabled by that same power that brought Him from the dead to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel. This must come first.

Secondly, I believe that we should demonstrate that beauty is a good thing! A lovely dress, a tasteful pop of color, your favorite shade of pink lipgloss…. these things are not evil, and in fact these things can be pointers to the one who created colors, the one who is Himself described as beautiful. Modesty does not mean dressing frumpy, ugly, and with no personality. I think there’s a reason why we get this little detail about the color that the Proverbs 31 woman is wearing. Be who you are, let that distinct personality and passion that God put in you come out in the things you wear. This is not wrong, and in fact I think the more we do this while dressing modestly, the more we will be able to promote modesty to those around us in a winsome and loving way.

Just a few thoughts I wanted to share.

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This is one of my favorite dresses, and has been for years now. It’s just a simple purple maxi dress from Target. It was definitely $30 well spent because I’ve have been wearing it like crazy for almost 4 years now. it has held up so well! These pics weren’t taken for an official outfit post, but they work. And I obviously like them which is why they are currently being used as my profile picture. Really I just wanted to share some of these thoughts, and since I love this dress and it made me think of the Proverbs 31 woman, I thought I’d share here too as  Modern Modesty post.

Want to learn more about modesty? Check out a few of my posts.

 Modesty an Act of Love

Modern Modesty

My Journey to Modesty

Hope everyone is having a happy Friday!

,Stacey

linked up with The Modest Mom

Spring Day : Modern Modesty

It’s about time I put a spring outift up this season. :) I love when the weather warms up and I can live in skirts and dresses! So comfy, feminine, and modest…. perfect combo! This is one of my casual outfits to wear at home, for a play dates, or errands. Processed with VSCO with a5 preset Processed with VSCO with a5 preset Processed with VSCO with a6 preset skirt : ross
shirt : target
undershirt : target
shoes : chacos

Want to learn more about modesty? Check out a few of my posts.

 Modesty an Act of Love

Modern Modesty

My Journey to Modesty

Hope everyone is having a happy Monday!

,Stacey

linked up with The Modest Mom

My Journey to Modesty

Sorry friends, this about a month later than I said it would be. Life with five littles happened, but here I am now. And I am excited to share where I have come from and where I am now in this journey. I want to share because I want you to know this isn’t something I have always been aware of. If there’s anything I’ve learned since trusting in Jesus to save me, it’s that I have to be humble, ready, and willing to have my mind renewed from what it once was. It is good to make changes in areas of our lives that do not fully reflect the heart of Christ. We may not (and probably don’t) see all at once every area of our lives that need to be changed. It may be something we have to slowly grow into. It may be strange or uncomfortable at first. But shedding off sin and giving more and more of ourselves to Christ is always worth it! There should not be any part of our lives that we withhold from him.

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My Journey to Modesty

For many years I had NO concept of modesty…. even after becoming a Christian. I was saved at age 19. In those early years of my walk with the Lord when I was confronted with my immodesty I protested that pursuing modesty was legalistic. (I had no clue what legalism was, for the record, people who call obedience to God legalistic don’t know either). Truth be told, modest clothing didn’t appeal to me because I thought I would look frumpy and unattractive, and I didn’t really see a problem with my current clothing choices (they didn’t seem like sin to me). I didn’t want to look weird or ugly, and I wasn’t willing to even consider that changing the way I dressed was something the Lord desired for me. This is certainly not the way I would’ve articulated it back then, but it was what I can see in hind-sight was happening in my heart. Because of my aversion to modesty for myself I made assumptions about girls who talked about and pursued modesty; I believed their modest dress was just as much for attention as immodest dress; only it was that they wanted people to look at them and think “oh how modestly she dresses”. I thought it was prideful and assumed they had a “holier than thou” attitude. I reasoned that if it wasn’t for the praises of others or for self-righteous pride, that if they *really* felt it was Biblically necessary, then they didn’t understand Christian freedom. Turns out I was the one acting like a pharisee, judging the intentions of others’ hearts…. “thank God I’m not like those self-righteous modest girls!” (sound familiar?Luke 18:11) I shudder to think of my sinful heart back then, and I honestly had no clue. God is so patient and gracious with His children. He had saved me and He wasn’t about to let me stay where I was.

Another anti-modesty soap boxes I stood on back then:

I protested that men’s lust was their own problem, that they would lust no matter what women wore if it was in their hearts to lust. I thought dressing modestly to love my Christian brothers and assist in the effort to keep their hearts from lust was like saying they couldn’t help it and it was all the girls’ fault….. and I believed that line of logic lead to even more disturbing ideas; such as the woman being blamed if she was raped, and things of that nature. Maybe some modesty proponents think like that, but in reality I didn’t know any and was simply making a straw man up to build my case against the idea of Christian modesty.

If I’m really REALLY honest, it was all just a huge excuse to not give that part of my life up. I didn’t want to admit I was wrong for dressing the way I was dressing, and I didn’t want to change the way I dressed either. Truth be told, I liked my short dresses and shorts and bikinis and strapless & spaghetti strap tops. I looked cute in them (according to worldly standards). I turned heads. It fed my flesh and my pride. I liked it and didn’t see why I would have to give it up…. I wasn’t saved by works but by grace! (I had Ephesians 2:8 &9 down, just failed to read on to verse 10) “A short skirt wouldn’t make me unsaved”, I’d reason. And I didn’t want to admit the trouble dressing that way often lead me into. I was too stubborn to admit that it attracted the wrong type of guys with expectations that I knew very well were wrong. But again, that was ALL their fault, not mine.

It was very wrong thinking to say the least.

I had never been taught at my church or the college groups I attended that dressing immodestly was sin, so I had no real reason to give up the cute clothes I loved to wear. The conversation only came up every now and then with Christians I considered to be a little over the top, and so I never took them very seriously.

This stubborn mind-set went on for about six years after my conversion! (seems crazy I know, but as I said, the Lord was very patient and gracious with me! He would work in a perfect timing on my heart.) Eventually, some difficult circumstances in my marriage lead me to pursue the Lord much deeper than I had previously before. I began devouring sermons and the Word and spending much more time in prayer. The Lord was my only real joy during this time, and I wanted to be as close to Him as possible. His presence was the only place I could find joy. That was a good place for me to be, and I knew it! With all of this Biblical teaching and reading and prayer, my mind began to change about things, not just dress, but everything! It was unintentional, I didn’t set out to become a radically different person, but it happened when I began taking the Bible more seriously and reading it more earnestly. Life looked so different through the lens of Scripture! My mind was really being renewed, I no longer wanted to be conformed to the world. I didn’t know fully what that would look like, but things were shifting and the Lord was opening my eyes to see sinful ideas in my heart that I needed to turn from and sinful ways of life that I needed to quit walking in. I learned during this time that repentance wasn’t something the Christian does one time, it’s something the Christian walks in. We are constantly repenting of our sin and putting our minds, hearts, and bodies in subjection to Christ….. it’s just what Christians do. Christians aren’t perfect, but we are being made perfect! And by God’s grace we will be one day!

What happened next:

Shortly after this the Lord brought friends into my life who didn’t look like the world, including in the area of modest dress.  Before I would’ve thought these people were too over the top, but now they were beautiful to me! They were never unkind or judgmental to me even-though I had not yet made the complete shift in my clothing choices, but their example and gentle exhortations were convicting and helpful for my growth in the Lord, especially in this particular area of my life. The Lord had already made my heart soft to the subject and I was ready to receive Biblical advice from others. It made me sad that I had never really been taught on it before. It made me sad that more ministers didn’t actually teach or preach about this common (seemingly acceptable) area of rebellion. I was sad that I had been so stubborn and unwilling to change. But at the same time I knew myself loved and forgiven by the Lord through the blood of Jesus; I was able to see how He faithfully pruned me and lead me in this journey. Sanctification is such a beautiful thing! The Lord used many people and situations to teach me the Scriptures regarding modesty and to show me the loveliness and beauty of modesty. It became overwhelmingly desirable for me to make a change in the way I had been dressing. So one day I went through my wardrobe and I pulled out everything that I (at the time) deemed as immodest. I tried to discern if I could layer it and make it modest, if so I kept it and if not then out it went. I put t-shirts under strapless and spaghetti strap dresses and tops. I tossed out my skirts, dresses, and shorts that didn’t come down to just above my knees. I tossed out my bikinis and purchased a few cute one pieces and swim skirts. I also purchased a few long skirts and long (tunic type) shirts to wear with skinny jeans. (I’m not trying to say my standards are what everyone is called to, but this was what the Lord had laid on my heart.)

Honestly, it was a bit of a difficult adjustment for me at first. My mind had been so conformed to the world, that it was hard for me to know what beauty and femininity really were. The first time I wore my one piece and swim skirt, I felt somewhat insecure…. it was SO different than my tiny little bikini that I was use to. I felt like people were staring at me (I’m sure it was totally in my head!). My body hadn’t changed at all, in fact I was the most fit I had ever been. Prior to my mind change on modesty, I believed a girl would wear a bikini up until the day she didn’t look good in one, then she’d move to a one piece, but here I was all covered up, but totally not insecure about the way my body looked. I was constantly having to remind myself of what was really true, and what wasn’t. In the beginning I also had to fight feelings of frumpiness. Sometimes I felt ugly in my modest clothes. I think this was two fold: one reason was because my mind was still being renewed to understand that tight fitting and skin showing didn’t equal beauty and the other reason was that I hadn’t yet learned how to be me and be modest. I thought I had to have the same style as other modest girls, and it took me a bit to learn how to have the style that reflected my personality and still be modest. It was definitely trial and error for a while. But it was definitely worth it! Even though I struggled to “like” the new look, I loved the freedom I had gained! Freedom from sin and worldliness, freedom to walk in obedience to the God I loved so dearly. It was a true victory God had won in my heart! And in time, I grew to see so much beauty in modest clothing. Now it is worldly immodest clothes that seem unbecoming to me.

5 quick reasons it was worth it to submit to God in this!

1. I was able to cast off sin and grow in obedience.

2. My walk with the Lord got sweeter because I was not withholding parts of myself from Him.

3. My husband felt more respected by me than he did before the change.

4. Other men and women respect me more than before the change.

5. I am able to teach my daughters by words and example how to worship the Lord with our clothing choices.

This is just my personal journey to dressing modestly. If modesty has been something you are considering, maybe you know you need to make a change and your heart is being drawn to honor the Lord more with your clothing choices. Pray about it, consider what your clothes say about you and the God you claim to serve. And then just do it! Get in your closet and make some changes. Do it out of love for the Savior who died for your sins. Do it seeking to obey the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-39). Do it as an act of love.

I hope that gave you a little glimpse into why I’m passionate about modesty and why I’m doing these Modern Modesty posts. My hope is to help others see modest dress as beautiful too. 

So how about one wintery look before winter has completely passed us by (not that I will be the least bit sad about that!)

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I love to pair tunics with skinny jeans and boots! It’s one of my favorite looks!

top : rue 21 online

jeans : delias

boots : belk

blanket scarf : spoiled rotten (in Knoxville), a gift from my amazing mom

Psalm 16 bracelet : a gift from my sweet friend Jessica

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,Stacey

Modern Modesty

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Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31

I’m super excited to introduce something new I’m staring here at Abiding Woman.

Modern Modesty

In a nutshell, these will be modest fashion posts to inspire the modern woman to dress to the glory of God.

Why modesty?

I’m passionate about modesty, partially because I think it’s greatly untaught about in many Christian circles: perhaps for fear of offending people, or legalism, or both, but it just seems to be a taboo subject for many. But the thing is, we need to be taught about this! It is important.  I’m also passionate about it because of my own personal journey leading me to care about modesty which I will be posting next week.

Why modern?

As I’ve pursued modesty, I have learned that it is very possible to dress in modern clothing and be modest. BUT (and to be clear, this is a huge “but”) ultimately if being modest meant that we had to wear old fashioned clothes, I would be completely content to do that. Now I want to be careful here, I have grown to see a beauty in older styles of clothing, and many women and their husbands love that look! I think it is quite lovely too, it just my first preference for myself.  I have found that I enjoy dressing modestly with affordable clothes that are currently in fashion. It may not always be this way, but for now clothes that are currently sold in stores like Target, Old Navy, local boutiques, and more can absolutely be worn in a modest way. You just have to be intentional about it. You can’t always (or often) wear it like it’s advertised on the models. Take the style you love and layer it so that you can enjoy your clothing and be modest. That is what “modern modesty” is about on this blog. I have a deep desire to teach the why of modesty with Scripture and to demonstrate the how of modern modesty with “modest fashion posts”.

Now let’s get one thing straight

I am not a model. I’m 5 feet even and a mom of 5 (and hoping for more kiddos one day). My size and weight change often, and I am having a really productive day if I find time for a shower and makeup. So I am nowhere close to being a model, and I’m good with that!

But here’s the thing I’m not going to let that stop what I’m trying to do here. I’m passionate about helping women see that modest dressing can be beautiful, stylish, and even demonstrating that our creativity and care we put into our clothing choices can cause people to delight in the Lord.

How this will work.

I will share a few photos of my outfit and I’ll share where I bought the items I’m wearing. Not necessarily so you can go and buy the exact thing, because it’s likely that most of it won’t still be available, but instead so that you can see “how” I piece modern modest outfits together. I have some old posts (here and here, back when I was pregnant) where I did this sort of thing, but I had not yet caught the vision for “Modern Modesty” fully. I went back and re-labeled them as “Modern Modesty” because my heart for it was there, just not the full workings of the idea. So this isn’t the first time you’ve seen this type of post with me, but it is the first official Modern Modesty post.

Styles and Standards:

I know that we all have different styles. I’m not sharing these to say my style is the best. You may not even like my style for yourself. These styles are just what I like and what I wear. I tend to be drawn to slightly bohemian styles. You probably have your own style preferences, but that doesn’t mean these posts still can’t be helpful. I want to encourage women to find the styles they like and to wear them in modest ways. I love how God made us all different, and I love to delight in the different styles of my friends. Some are more classic, others casual, others sporty, and others vintage. I love the variety! Christian women don’t all have to dress the same! :) And I really believe we can dress with our own style preferences in a modest way.

Furthermore, we will likely have different opinions about modesty, my standards are just that…. my standards, granted, I have come to my standards through the Scripture and through what I consider to be sound teaching on the subject. Aside from this so many things have shaped my personal standards, and I’m sure the same is true for you. I realize others may have a different take, even on the exact same Scriptures. I always want to be careful that I’m not adding to the Scripture in any way. I look forward to posting on what the Scripture says about the way we ought to dress and even sharing my standards eventually, but even still I will share them as my personal standards and nothing more.  My standards may change or shift as I grow in my understanding of the Scriptures. I want to be ever-learning and ever-growing…. don’t you? So changes and humility are par for the course in the Christian life in all areas, even in the way we dress.

Finally, with this introduction to what modern modesty is about we’ll kick this thing off in one of my favorite dresses.

So here we go….

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dress : Rue 21 (online, I always shop their store online because call me crazy if you want to, they have some ridiculous music in their store that I can’t stand, so there’s that.)
scarf : Rue 21 (online)
belt : Target
leggings : probably Target ;)
boots : Belk (watch for the boots to go on sale soon, usually March or April you can get them for super cheap ((like 75% off)), that’s how I got these.)

A few reasons why this dress is one of my favorites. First of all, it’s cotton and feels as comfy as pajamas! Secondly, it’s black and white and pretty much goes with every accessory I own. Third, it’s knee length and flowy. I love the style and shape of it!

So that was the first official Modern Modesty post.

Ultimately, I hope these will be an overarching encouragement towards your pursuit of modest dressing, whatever that looks like in your current stage of your Christian walk, take a step… evaluate your clothing, be intentional to love God and others with the way you dress. And while you do, give grace to others in the process. We are all learning here.

Hope everyone has a great week!
Abiding in Christ,
-Stacey

PS These will NOT normally be this long.

linked up with The Modest Mom Blog

Modest Maternity Wear : 16 Weeks

On Getting Dressed:

I’m learning that mamas of many little ones have tired eyes, busy days, and full hearts. Tired eyes are just a part of it, and feeling scattered is beginning to feel a bit more normal than not, but one thing I can do that makes me feel a little more on top of things is to have  carefully planned outfits that I feel are a good representation of who I am, what I believe, the people I love, and my heart.

Periodically on Abiding Woman I will post some of my favorite outfits to inspire ideas for dressing in a way that is feminine, modest, and practical for moms of littles. I have been so inspired by other moms who are normal ladies of all shapes and sizes and walks of life. Mom’s like me; not models, but real people who really wear the outfits they share. They are willing to get in front of the camera and give all of us a little inspiration for putting together lovely outfits and I so appreciate this!

I have pinned so many of these mamas in their outfits, and I’ve learned a ton from them. This is why I wanted to start posting a few of these on Abiding Woman, I find it helpful and I hope you do too! So be on the look out for more like this soon and I hope it becomes a fun part of this blog.

 

The Outfit

This whole outfit came from Target; watch, shoes, and all. Yay Target! Who doesn’t love target? (if your answer is no, then just don’t answer that… I don’t want to know… it would hurt my heart.) The dress is maternity and should last me the whole pregnancy. #score

4 things I love about this Target maternity dress:

  • it comes to my knees (personal preference, but I don’t like my dresses and skirts any shorter than that)
  • it’s black and white, so extremely versatile
  • it’s sleeveless but comes up high on the chest and the tank top is wide and covers the back, so it can be worn without a cardi on those hot summer days.
  • It’s form fitted to have a feminine touch, but not too much.

16 week bump. Baby number 5.

I can hardly believe that I’m going to be a mom to five sweet littles! I love it! (just had to throw that in there)

maternity wear by the farm girl 2farm girl 16 weeks smilewear shoes 2maternity wear 16 weeks- dressing the bump

I have some thoughts on clothes… actually I have LOTS of thoughts on clothes, and I will likely share them as I can, but for today I’ll share a post that I wrote recently about how modesty is an act of love. I hope you will check it out and that your heart will be encouraged to love others with modest outfit choices.

Hope you have a great week!

-S

Modesty: an Act of Love

modesty an act of love

Christian modesty is a hot topic among faith bloggers. Understandably so, as mainstream media tries to persuade all women from all walks of life that it’s normal and right to show off what you’ve got; many Christian women are falling prey to this lie.

“Be proud of your body” is the message of the day. Because of this pervading message that is shoved in our faces through magazines, music, TV, pinterest, and more day in and day out, dressing in less simply seems “normal”. We’ve seen so much immodesty in our culture that our consciences have almost become desensitized to it. I used to write about modesty on my facebook page and on an old blog years ago, but here for the past few years I’ve kept quiet on the topic.  I’ve put it off because I longed to write about it in a way that would win your heart, and not make you feel condemned or offended. It is right to write on the topic of modesty, our hearts should be jealous to persuade ourselves and our sisters in Christ to dress in a way that honors Him. He is worthy of a church who honors Him in all areas of their lives.

A Tricky Topic

Modesty is such a sensitive subject though, because of the way that even most Christians are convinced (not by Scripture, but by worldly influences) that there is nothing wrong with the way they dress, they are comfortable in it, they feel like the way they dress is okay because it’s how everyone else dresses. And how dare someone tell them how to dress when the Bible doesn’t explicitly give out specifications for things like skirt or shorts length , tank tops or sleeves, how low cut is too low cut, one piece or two piece….. Start saying something is immodest, and someone is going to get fired up and offended.

Vague for a Reason

Scripture is a bit vague on the topic of modesty for a reason, although I do think there are places we can dig deeper and search out on dress to gain more insight, but detailed descriptions and rules simply aren’t given. We clearly know that Scripture calls women to dress modestly, but it doesn’t give us all the specifics that maybe we would like to know. God is a very intentional God, if He wanted us to know something then He would certainly have told us, so there is clearly a reason why the “rules” aren’t laid out in a clear cut way for us.

I believe that Jesus gives us some perspective on this reason as he answers the lawyer’s question in Matthew 22:

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40 ESV

It all comes down to Love

There are many laws that we could get hung up on (modesty included), but God doesn’t want us to get hung up on dos and don’ts; He wants us to get so hung up on loving Him and loving others that the dos and don’ts naturally fall into place.  Should we search the Scripture to understand what is right? Absolutely! But obeying God’s commands out of any other motivation than love for Him and for others is sin. It could be the sin of pride: wanting to look holy and better than others or the sin of self-reliance, not trusting in Christ to fulfill the law for you, but instead trusting in your own good works to make you right before God. Both are very scary! If you feel those things happening in your heart as you obey God’s commandments, run and run fast. Look to Jesus and look to the cross. He calls us to obey out of love for Him.

 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 ESV

Modesty is an act of love.

I wholeheartedly believe that we may not have the specifics on how to dress because the more we love and desire the Lord, the more our hearts will desire to honor Him in how we dress. And the more we begin loving others by thinking less of our own wants, needs, and desires, and esteeming others as more important than ourselves, the more modestly we will dress.

The Heart of Modesty

As you look in the mirror each day and evaluate what you put on your body. Instead of thinking: hot or not? does this look good? is it stylish? is it flattering? do I look fat? (don’t laugh, you know you do it!) how does my butt look? how do my legs look? how do my arms look? oh this looks cute/hot/attractive!

If these are the thoughts we are thinking when we look in the mirror then we badly need to change our focus.  Love is not self-seeking….. and those thoughts are.

Love seeks not to dishonor another, yet those thoughts aren’t even considering others.

(Love) does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking. 1 Corinthians 13:5a NIV

It’s time to put off those selfish thoughts and put on these loving thoughts. Try some of these out the next time you look in the mirror to evaluate your outfit.

Is this loving to the guys that I will be around today? Will I be helping them keep a heart and mind of purity? Will I be leading them into the sin of lust? Is there any part of my clothing that draws attention to or accentuates a certain part of my body?

Is this loving to the ladies I will be around today? Am I trying to draw attention to my figure or how good my body looks? Could I lead another lady into the sin of jealousy?  Will I be contributing to the agenda of the culture that says “show it off” and be a stumbling block for another lady leading her into the world’s lies? Would I want another women wearing this around my husband? Am I setting a good example for the young ladies in my life to follow?

Is this loving to my husband (or future husband)? Am I dressing in a way that shows honor and respect for him? Am I showing parts of myself that should be saved only for him?

More importantly, is this loving to the Lord? Is my outift something that a daughter of a Holy God would wear? Am I a good representative with my clothing of what is right and good? Am I being a light with my dress in a dark and dying world? Do I show with my clothing that Christ is my treasure above anything else? Am I seeking some type of glory for myself (beauty, attention) or do I long to glorify Christ with my clothing?

These are just some starting places, and I’m sure that as you seek to love God and love others with your clothing choices that you will think of even more ways to love.

Don’t make the question “hot or not?” turn the question to “loving or not?”

linked up with The Modest Mom