Tag Archives: Modesty

Body Image & Shame Free

“I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

I went running this morning. And I had been on the internet before and seen a really stunning picture of a beautiful friend and the day previous I had seen pictures of myself that left me feeling really insecure…to put it simply, overweight. I was struggling with my body image as ‘Dawn Light’ by Zachary Bruno played and I began my first steps as the sun rose.

Shame. Insecurity. All those messy words that leave you feeling worthless, because all that matters is beauty, right? I mean, I know that’s not true, but sometimes my heart feels that way.

Feelings. Man, sometimes they seem like the only voices in one’s head and where to find reason in it all? God, breathe truth. Breathe freedom.

I prayed as I walked my warm-up. I feebly asked Him to give me His perspective, was trying to remember He made me the way I am, that the world puts too much value on beauty alone, oh yeah–and all that Chris, our teaching pastor, has been saying in Sunday School about Esther these recent Sundays? God mades us each exactly the way we are. Just like He had made Esther beautiful for a specific purpose.

Oh, but wait. What about the weight on my face, stomach, hips, and thighs that’s there due to my lack of self-control…my sin. What about the other things that leave me feeling worthless, dare I say it: ugly? Maybe for some girls, it’s what about the scars made on their skin by choice in deep pain? Or…add whatever it is for you.

It’s easy to remember God made me the way I am–fashioned and formed me in His perfect wisdom and as a Master Artist–but that whole thought process crashes when I realize my sin has made me the way I am too.

But then, I get home from my run, rest and stretch. Denying myself in those last steps…man, what a battle of the mind near the end of my workouts. That last mile I can be so whiny.

I sat down on the floor and decided to go to my shereadstruth app and read the Women in the Word: Old Testament devo of the day. Technically, it’s Day 4, but I read Day 2 because I’m behind. After the scripture passages for the day which were focused on Eve and the Redeemer who would come [take a moment and read…Genesis 1:27, 2:18-25, 3:1-24; Joel 2:26-27, Isaiah 53:11-12] the devotion opens with:

“What would it be like to live free from shame? Not in a way that denies the existence of the Lord’s commands, but in a way that receives the freedom of His mercy?”

I don’t think the message really sank in until I read farther down.

“Genesis 3:7 says, ‘Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked,’ so they made a covering for themselves to hide their nakedness. But all the fig leaves in Eden wouldn’t hid the sin in their souls. Adam and Eve were ashamed to be seen by God–they were ashamed of their sin.

“Shame is a powerful force. Like Satan himself, it tells us all kinds of lies. But isn’t it interesting: Satan has a way of making us feel less ashamed of our sin (the thing that separates us from God) and more ashamed of ourselves (the thing that links us to Him).

“When we face the world, we are ashamed of our image, God-given though it is.

“And when we face God, we are ashamed of our sin.”

I realized the shame about my body that has really been weighing on my heart is not so much shame of feeling unlovely or unbeautiful, but shame over my sin. Shame over how I have failed to responsibly care for that which God made in His image, also coupled with shame that that image then looks even less appealing to the world.

Oh, the mess of sin.

I was ashamed of my body and self-image, because I am ashamed of the sin that has made it what it is. And for some crazy reason, I hadn’t applied Gospel-grace to this specific area of my life.

“Jesus bore the shame of the whole world–including our Eve’s!–on the cross and took it to the grave with Him. He defeated sin and shame and death itself so we can be presented blameless and unashamed before the Father.

“The prophet Joel told of a time when God’s people would never again be put to shame [Joel 2:26-27]. Isaiah promised a sinless and shameless Man who would come bear our iniquities and transgressions [Isaiah 53:11-12]. Jesus closed the door on shame and opened the door to repentance and freedom!

“Yes, yes–we still absolutely need to cover our bodies in modesty-so everyone keep your clothes on! But sisters, hear this and never forget it: The door has been closed on shame for good. You never need to hide form God [as Eve did]. Repent and believe and be free from all the lies the world will tell you about not being smart enough or pretty enough, good enough or clean enough. No sin or even a lifetime of sin excluded us from the freedom the Cross of Jesus affords. Yes, we are undeserving of God’s rich mercy, but Jesus makes us deserving. His goodness alone makes us good enough….live as people who are FREE!” (Women in the Word: Old Testament, Day 2: Eve, Raechel Myers).

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefor, and do not submit to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

Oh girls, in Christ, covered by His blood, we are free from the shame of sin. I can rejoice in how I am made, because He made me the way I am and even though sin has shaped some of that too, that sin is covered by redeeming grace and so I can rejoice in Him taking what should be death in my life, and making it a reason for me to draw near to Him. Because I am His, when He looks at that sin He sees Christ and therefore all of me is beautiful, forgiven, shame-free.

Being free of shame, does not mean continuing in sin. For me, it means I’m in a season (and I’m sure will be for the rest of my life!) of learning to exercise self-control–not just in areas of food and exercise, but in every area of my life. But in Christ, I don’t have to be ashamed of my body image–the exact ways God made me, and also the repercussions of my sin manifested in how I look–because Christ died for that. So every time I look at how sin has manifested itself on me, I can be reminded of a Savior who died for that sin and sets me free from condemnation, and be motivated all the more to obedience because I love Him and He loves me so. I can rejoice in Him making me fearfully and wonderfully because even the sin is fearfully and wonderfully redeemed and paid for.

His wounds paid my ransomed. So oh, dear hearts, let us live free from shame.

“Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the righteous One, my Servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will dived Him a portion with the many, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sins of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:11-12).

“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame” (Joel 2:26-27).

Never again be put to shame. Oh, what a glorious Christ.

Pure Princess Conference: Biblical Femininity Session by Melanie Knapp

Earlier this year, I had the sweet privilege of speaking at a conference for young girls and their moms in South Carolina. I honestly don’t think I had considered posting the 20 minute sessions I presented until I re-listend to this one this morning during my walk. I hope it blesses you as you hear a piece of my heart on Biblical Femininity and the Gospel. (I also have one on modesty I may share later).

The founder of Pure Princess, Rita Santana, prefaced this session with Leslie Ludy’s video, “True Beauty.”

I’m sorry I talk so fast. I had never done anything like this before and when I listened to it for the first time I was like “Woooow. I need to slow way down.” So please bear with me. ;) Blessings on your day!

Dressing With a Heart for His Glory: 4

It’s snowing outside today, and was white this morning. Yesterday Mrs. Douglass said it was one of the latest snows she had ever seen in Tennessee in all the years she’s lived here. Can April 2013 really already be on the horizon?

We’ve been a sick home lately–Emily is in her room with sniffles listening to an audio version of Anne of Green Gables, Cody’s in the basement, mom’s resting in her room. Me? Just listening to lectures by Dr. Jeff Myers.

For the outfits below, I’m finding I often enjoy tucking my shirts in when I wear skirts and adding a belt with an outside cardigan or coat. It’s easy to take summer shirts and make them wearable for winter time if you have solid cardigans to wear over the short sleeves.

This is also one of my first winters to buy dark brown and black leggings so I can wear shorter skirts without freezing. I’ve found that leggings go a long way with a cute pair of winter boots. Though I do greatly enjoy my cowgirl boots, I’m finding for some outfits they’re what my mom and I might call “clodhoppery” (i.e. too bulky…you can almost see this in my navy blue skirt outfit below) and flats are a better choice.

One other thing. I used to love shirts with patterns and that was about all I owned. However, I’m finding that solids in general go alot further, especially in Tennessee winters when layering is nice. Solids are also more flexible for patterned skirts. However, I think vice versa works too (patterned skirts with solid tops, as you can see below in the blue shirt, patterned skirt outfit).

And girls? I’d love to hear your ideas or thoughts in the comment section! Feel free to share for the sake of other readers (and myself) things you’ve found helpful in your own pursuit of dressing for the Lord modestly, on a budget~ I know it’s always helpful to hear other’s ideas or suggestions as they’re walking this similar journey…

Cardigan: JCPenny?

Shirt dress: Store in CO whose name I can’t remember. : P

Skirt: Catos

Belt: Catos

Boots: Cavenders

Hairbow? Was mine as a little girl.

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Shirt: JCPenny?

Skirt: Target

Scarf: Gift

Camisole: DivineModestee

Boots: Cavenders

Leggings: Walmart

Hairpiece: Homemade

Coat: Target

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Skirt: Catos

Sweater: Target

Jacket: ?

Scarf: Shawl from a dress outfit I had as a little girl.

Skirt: Catos

(The second picture is the face “Mom, you were supposed to stop snapping when we said we were done…why are you still taking pictures?”) ;)

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Cardigan: Thrifted

White t-shirt: Target?

Skirt: Ross

Scarf: Christopher and Banks

Boots: Figured it out yet?

Sorry for the weird exposure in the next two pictures.IMG_4436 copy

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Shirt: I think mom got it from Walmart or Target…

Skirt: Catos?

Belt: Belk?

Hat: Target or Walmart…years ago.

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(Credit for the first couple photos goes to mom. However, the last four pictures were taken by Khloe…)

http://pinterest.com/4everhisservant/dressing-with-a-heart-for-his-glory/

Dressing With a Heart for His Glory: 3

See original post here: http://foreverhisservant.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/dressing-with-a-heart-for-his-glory-1/

(All photo credit goes to my dear mom.)

It’s a quiet, cold(er) day here in Tennessee. The sky is covered by a blanket of grey clouds, the evident sunlight causing them to glow every so slightly as they drift over the bare-tree mountains. I can hear the crickets and frogs down by the creek nearby through my closed window. The wind causes my screen to shake every now and then.

The first “two” outfits (three pictures) were actually on the same day. I had put on the pink jacket but found that the short jacket fell at an awkward length for my waistline and long shirt. The long, burnt orange cardigan helped smooth out the outfit vs it looking choppy and unflattering to my body shape~

Interesting how one piece can totally change an outfit, isn’t it?

Pink jacket-thrifted for me by my mom years ago?

Shirt-Catos?

Jeans-I don’t remember. : P

Necklace-homemade

Earrings-Kohls

Boots-Cavendars

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Orange cardigan- Christopher and Banks?IMG_3792

White shirt-Target(actually wearing it again right now *quiet laugh*)

Pink Jacket-thrifted (Karm?)

Necklace-a boutique in CO

Earrings-?

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I wore the outfit below on a chillier day last week~ These winter days are slowly changing into spring-type weather here…

Cardigan-JCPenny?

Red Camisole-Divine Modestee. My mom and I love their camisoles…high-necked and long. They’re expensive, but the company runs sales pretty regularly where you can snatch up a couple at a time for an okay price.

Skirt-Catos in Texas

Jacket-Recently bought on sale at Walmart~

Necklace-a gift

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I wore the below outfit this past Sunday…church, nursing home(one of the dear old ladies commented on how when she was my age the girls all dressed like I was dressed at the time. Maybe I should have been from her generation. ;)), concert~

White collared shirt-I don’t remember where I got it from, but did want to share some thoughts. This is an old shirt of mine that is a short sleeve button up. I no longer wear it as a short sleeve by itself because the sleeves are a bit peculiar for someone my age. However, I saved it for an outfit like the below where I needed a collared undershirt without a lot of extra bulging under the sweater from the sleeves. It was perfect!

Cardigan-thrifted

Skirt-on sale from DownEast Basics. I will say I struck out the one time I ordered from them (this skirt is o.k. but I can only wear it one way: high on my waist with a shirt tucked in. In addition, it is sewn to where it slides around the elastic band at the waist. For the price they asked, I think it should have been tailored more efficiently), but I have a friend who loves their clothing~ So it may just depend on the day you order, what you order, or your body shape. ;)

Necklace-recent gift. Yes, it is a “pocket watch.” Love. Think it might have been bought at Cedar Springs Christian Book Store.

Earrings-Target

Black Flats-Rack Room?

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Yesterday I found myself in the outfit below heading out to a dear little coffee shop in the town where I live. Sipping a creamy drink, surrounded by quiet noise, I found myself with a couple hours to just spend some much needed time with Jesus.

Dress-material from Hobby Lobby…made by a friend(primarily) and I.

Cardigan-JCPenny? Exact same one as the black cardigan four pictures above. However, in brown. :P

Necklace and earrings-don’t remember.

Brown leggings-Walmart

Boots-Cavendars

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https://pinterest.com/4everhisservant/dressing-with-a-heart-for-his-glory/

Dressing With A Heart For His Glory: 2

See original post here: http://foreverhisservant.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/dressing-with-a-heart-for-his-glory-1/

Something I’m beginning to realize is that if you have the right items, you can mix and match them to make alot of a different outfits. But having the right color items is key. Some of this just “happened,” but if you look at my outfits below, notice the repeating color themes….brown, aquamarine, burnt orange.

Here are a few outfits I’ve worn over the past couple weeks. :)

Sweater: Thrifted

Skirt: Hand-me-down

Socks: A girlfriend

Necklace: Christmas gift from my parents~

Boots: Cavenders. Okay, these are my new favorites; I just recently bought them. I took them on a outdoorsy college retreat a few weekends ago and wore them almost (one can’t really play volleyball in boots) nonstop. They work great for everyday wear or dressier occasions.

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~

Recently, a girlfriend (Khloe) did a sister session with my little sis and I. It was very last minute, but so enjoyable. :) I was helping Emily get ready for the day (we were going to go to the library together) and realized we matched. I may have sent Khloe a text saying that if she happened to be free and if she could maybe meet us at the library at a certain time, we might just be up for a photo shoot. I was so excited when Khloe said yes~ I’d been wanting sister photos with Em for a long time, but it just hadn’t happened…until now. I didn’t want them to be picture perfect, but rather to capture Emily and I interacting as normal–to capture the faces of Emily I’ll one day long to remember again~ Thank you, Khloe!

My Outfit:

Shirt: Target?

Scarf: Actually a shawl from a skirt and shirt outfit I had when I was ?10?.

Skirt: Hand-me-down

Socks: Girlfriend

Boots: Cavenders

Jewelry: I don’t remember.IMG_6237IMG_5949-1~

Blouse: I don’t remember

Dress: Walmart

Leggings: Walmart

Belt: And old one of my mom’s

Boots: Cavenders (starting to see a trend in my pictures yet? Yeah, I love them).

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~

I wore the one below yesterday…

Sweater: Target

Camisole: DivineModestee

Skirt: Dressbarn

Belt: Same as picture above

Leggings: WalmartIMG_3745

 

(~On Pinterest~)

Dressing With A Heart For His Glory: 2

See original post here: http://foreverhisservant.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/dressing-with-a-heart-for-his-glory-1/

Something I’m beginning to realize is that if you have the right items, you can mix and match them to make alot of a different outfits. But having the right color items is key. Some of this just “happened,” but if you look at my outfits below, notice the repeating color themes….brown, aquamarine, burnt orange.

Here are a few outfits I’ve worn over the past couple weeks. :)

Sweater: Thrifted

Skirt: Hand-me-down

Socks: A girlfriend

Necklace: Christmas gift from my parents~

Boots: Cavenders. Okay, these are my new favorites; I just recently bought them. I took them on a outdoorsy college retreat a few weekends ago and wore them almost (one can’t really play volleyball in boots) nonstop. They work great for everyday wear or dressier occasions.

IMG_3678IMG_3683

~

Recently, a girlfriend (Khloe) did a sister session with my little sis and I. It was very last minute, but so enjoyable. :) I was helping Emily get ready for the day (we were going to go to the library together) and realized we matched. I may have sent Khloe a text saying that if she happened to be free and if she could maybe meet us at the library at a certain time, we might just be up for a photo shoot. I was so excited when Khloe said yes~ I’d been wanting sister photos with Em for a long time, but it just hadn’t happened…until now. I didn’t want them to be picture perfect, but rather to capture Emily and I interacting as normal–to capture the faces of Emily I’ll one day long to remember again~ Thank you, Khloe!

My Outfit:

Shirt: Target?

Scarf: Actually a shawl from a skirt and shirt outfit I had when I was ?10?.

Skirt: Hand-me-down

Socks: Girlfriend

Boots: Cavenders

Jewelry: I don’t remember.IMG_6237IMG_5949-1~

Blouse: I don’t remember

Dress: Walmart

Leggings: Walmart

Belt: And old one of my mom’s

Boots: Cavenders (starting to see a trend in my pictures yet? Yeah, I love them).

IMG_3715

~

I wore the one below yesterday…

Sweater: Target

Camisole: DivineModestee

Skirt: Dressbarn

Belt: Same as picture above

Leggings: WalmartIMG_3745

 

(~On Pinterest~)

Dressing With a Heart for His Glory: 1

Hi friends. :)

For a little while now I’ve wanted to start doing some type of practical, semi-regular posts on feminine dress. I’ve gone through a lot of different periods in my attempts at dressing modestly and femininely. I’ve gone through frumpy stages. I’ve gone through “people pleaser” stages. To be honest, in today’s culture it’s not very easy to dress in a modest, yet femininely beautiful style.

And yet, as time has gone on, I’ve seen Him molding within me and many others a desire to dress for His glory. When I wake up and decide what to wear each day, I don’t want to be thinking about who I’ll be around and what’s “cute and catchy”, but rather, I want to dress as if I’m dressing for Him. I truly desire to honor Him, honor others, and represent His character of beauty, creativity, and modesty through my clothing.

Right now, I’m seeking to grow in this area. I love getting ideas from other girls who are pursuing modest femininity and recently attended the Botkin sister’s Reclaiming Beauty Webinar Series  (I highly recommend it: http://westernconservatory.com/products/reclaiming-beauty). After first going over in depth what our heart attitudes should be towards beauty based on Scripture, the Botkin sisters also taught on things such as color palettes, thrift shopping, alterations, makeup, and so many other things.  I thought it might be fun to occasionally document parts of my journey with these new ideas/lessons. I went thrift shopping with a savvy girlfriend about a week ago, and spent about $35 on 6 nice items. These consisted of a skirt, two blazers, a sweater, sweater tank, and a cardigan in great condition. Typically, I would get about two shirts for that price. But I think I had my first taste of purposeful thrifting. I went into the stores knowing the generalities of what I was looking for and sought to limit myself to those things. God was so faithful! :)

In addition, I also wanted to let you all know I now have a Pinterest account and you can find me at: https://pinterest.com/4everhisservant/. I will be pinning my outfits/ideas from my blog on a specific board titled “Dressing With a Heart for His Glory”. This is more for my own sake and some things I’m trying to do, but I thought some others might get some fun ideas also in the meantime!

So without any further ado(sp?) here are the first two outfits…

Tank–Christopher and Banks

Cardigan–Goodwill or Karm?

Boots/Leggings–Walmart?

Jewelry and Skirt–I don’t remember. :P

I’ve been wanting a pair of leg warmers for a while and finally decided to make myself some a couple nights ago. Frankly, I love them. I used a circle knitting loom and picked the color yarn I wanted. They’re nothing fancy, but they work great!

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(This is Emily before her first basketball game!! It’s a new adventure for her…and to our great delight, the Lord granted her a goal right before the final time ran out…nothing will erase from my memory the smile she had beaming on her face when she looked over at us after the fact.)

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Outfit 2:

Dress: Walmart

Cardigan: Goodwill or Karm

Necklace: Homemade

Belt: ?

Boots: Target

Okay. As to the jeans. Personally, I really dislike skinny jeans, for various reasons. But I found that I had a delimma any time I wanted to wear outfits like the one below. I typically wear looser jeans that flare out at the bottom, and therefore trying to tuck all the material in my boots ended up looking funny as it gathered above the top of the boots.

I had an old pair of jeans in my closet I didn’t like very much; I decided to make an attempt at turning them into a pair of skinniER jeans to be worn strictly under dress-type shirts. That way I didn’t look like a sack with all the extra bulging material and the jeans worked with boots tucked in, yet also functioned as more than leggings. I merely trimmed the material to about 2/3 of the way up each leg, resewed the seam, and walah.

Side note: After the fact, I ended up slipping on my shorter cowgirl boots with the leg warmers turned down over the top. I felt like the boots below were too bulky after the fact and the outfit was unbalanced.

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IMG_3669That’s all I have this time around. :) May you have a blessed day–one of renewal in the knowledge of His grace and holiness….