Monday, October 15, 2012

Blue Suede Shoes And Me

Hey y'all! Hope this Monday finds you well. I'm doing fantastic and have a ton of energy and lots to do... But there's very little I can actually do with only one hand. :-/ Thanks for the prayers and well wishes- it's doing better, but I tried to do too much with it this morning and kinda busted it back open. So. Back to the splint I went. Typing this post on my phone and emailing the text to myself because I'm way out of one-handed typing fast practice from my babyholding days. :p


 Yesterday afternoon we had a discussion around a book we all read: All Gods Children And Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers.  I super highly recommend the book- its about pop culture and its effects on us. The following snippets might really get you thinking:

"The Church should properly understand itself as a people: not as a club or a clinic or a show or a service provider, but something more like a nation, a polis. The Church is not simply in the business of getting individuals saved. The Church's task is to nurture and shape it's members into disciples, who observe everything their Lord- The Lord of heaven and earth- has commanded... It must offer a way of life- a culture- that is distinct from the world's ways. And it must seek to baptize its new members into Christ and into His body, which means that they must be exhorted to abandon their old memberships and allegiances...
 Our churches are quite likely to be low commitment clubs for religious people rather than definitive communities of disciples striving to live all of life under God's kingship. For modern Christians, churches are dispensers of eternal security and uplift- fire insurance and mood brighteners- not nurturers of a whole way of life, not the source of the best ways to act and think in all spheres of experience... To resist the disorientations of popular culture, church leaders and their followers need to recover a rich theology and practice of the church as a people with a distinctive culture." - 2012 introduction

 So, this has got me thinking about a lot of things, but lets talk about clothing. Why do I dress the way I do? I am not my own. I am not a Christian by myself. I am a part of the church of God and I am bound covenantally to that family. Am I just trying to Christianize the way I dress, or am I being deliberate about creating, being a part, and encouraging the culture of the church that defines who I am?

Honestly, this is why I wear skirts. Henry Van Til said that culture is religion externalized. We all portray a culture, whether that's that of Southern Belle, NY business woman, Southern California roller blader, or northern mall shopping nail doing Chicagoite.  What does my cultural dress, actions, disposition say about my religion? The Botkins in their Reclaiming Beauty Webinar talked about how we will always represent something, someone and that's so true.

I wear a skirt to be a little different. And not just because they are different than the common pants of our age and I'm trying to draw attention or gain kingdom points by being the exact opposite, but because they can portray beauty, modesty, and feminine grace, which I believe God smiles at His children for exhibiting, and that's a good culture to cultivate.
The ladies in our church have agreed to wear skirts especially in public around our tiny town (at home sometimes we have to work in pants), in an effort to show that we are set apart. Not holier than thou, but because our church's culture is deliberately different than the worlds, and we are not to put on a different face when we go out. I wear skirts to wear my culture. Or, at least the culture we are trying to encourage, despite not exactly knowing what that looks like yet since we as a local church are still trying to figure that out what this means for us. :)

Tank: Target
Cardigan: F21
Skirt: moms
Belt: sisters
Shoes: Stein Mart
Hat: Sears

 So, what culture do you portray? Do you think of your church as a place to become part of a people of God, or do you think of it as fire insurance that doesn't effect the rest of your life too much? Do you dress to just not get morally in trouble while still focusing on trends, or do you dress with a deliberate desire for cultural transformation? Hope this wasn't too preachy, it's what's going through my head as I think about my future wardrobe choices.
Hope y'all have a fabulous week!! Blessings.

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30 comments :

  1. Hey Oliva, as I was reading your post I saw you made the point about how sometimes you "have" to wear pants when you work around the house.. well that's not how it is..at least not for us.... We live on a farm and butchered (2,000 chickens this year) milk cows and planted 2,000 blueberry plants... and did it all wearing a skirt..never once wore a pair of pants....And if we are going to be doing something awkward.. we wear a pair of leggings underneath our skirts..That's what our family does anyways!..Btw.. Love reading your blog keep up the good work!!

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    1. Hey! Yeah, I guess "have to" isn't the right wording... "prefer" is more how it is. :) I totally agree you can do pretty much everything in a skirt! I've gone through stages of wearing skirts for chores or not. :)

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  2. I think you're on to something (OK - I KNOW you're on to something). Way to go! To God be the glory!

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  3. Amen sister!!!!!! :)
    Thankyou so much for sharing this - may God richly bless you for it... and give you strength to keep going! It is so exciting to find another young woman (on the other side of the world too!) who thinks like this, who is willing to be challenged by this - and then willing to act and live up to it!!!!! in the last few months I have been challenged by this same issue (including music,movies/tv,books and dress!) and reading this post has just really encouraged me to keep pressing on... Thankyou sooo very much for this Olivia! and NO, by NO means was this preachy!

    Keep looking Heavenward,
    Love your sister in Christ,
    Emily xox

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  4. hi! sorry i have to put this as anonymos. the way you spoke on that topic was lovely. my sister has done the same thing. wearing skirts to show she is modest and godly. i also want to say that i will be praying for your hand to heal! -Follower of Christ

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  5. Wow. Thank you so much for posting this today. It is so wonderful to have others around us that dress modestly not because they are trying to "one-up" another Christian but because they truly want to be set apart. Thank you... (:

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  6. What culture do I portray? Hmm. That really gets me thinking! Great thought provoking quesetion! I hope I portray, that I am, as you said "set apart", I am a child of God, Daughter of the King, yes, I am a college student and a working girl, pursuing the path that I believe to be God's will for me at this time in my life ( I hope I'm right!), but I am also prepared to drop those things, and stand behind the man that God has prepared for me, I am prepared to be a help meet to him and stand alongside him, to be a mother to his children, to teach his children academically and spiritually when and if that time in my life comes! That is the culture that I hope to portray! Cute outfit! Can you type emails? I have been thinking of emailing but I didn't know if you could type with one hand! Glad your hand is feeling better and hope it heals completely soon!
    Love,
    Katie

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  7. That was such a good post, Olivia. Really, that is the reason we should wear skirts - not to "Christianize" our dress but to portray ourselves in a way that honors God.

    Thank you for this good reminder - I needed it. :-)

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  8. Thank you for this post, Olivia! I, along with my mom and sisters, wear skirts everyday. We do it not because we are better than anyone else, but to dress modestly and give glory to God. I really needed the reminder, though because there have been times when it is a real struggle to dress modestly, especially when other people do not and it is easy to think, "well why can't I dress like everyone else?" But you reminded me that I wear skirts to be different and to be "set apart" from the worldly culture of everyone else.

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  9. What happened to your hand?! I guess I missed something! Hope it heals quickly!
    Great post! I sort of did a "response post" on my blog! :)
    You can look at it here if you like:
    http://natashaatkerson.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-i-wear-braid-sequel.html
    Natasha
    A Modest Fashion Blog:
    www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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    1. I cut it pretty bad with a filet knife. :P

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  10. I love this post. Thank you. The church should be different than the world....much different. I do not wear skirts all of the time, but always seek to be modest, feminine and classy in how I present myself. Blessings to you!

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  11. I like your purple sweater thing:)

    Speaking of chruch, could you pray my family finds one? We've been searching for over a year now, and I believe it's taking a toll on us. I went from having some people to keep me spiritually accountable, to being on my own in a sense...

    Also, I hope this doesn't sound rude, but I was trying to get an idea of a reasonable amount of money to spend on clothing a year [or a month, whatever lol] and I was curious to how much you spend on your clothing and how you stretch the dollar [besides thrifting]? I've heard you say you share with your sisters, that's cool. My sister and I are too different in size and shape and style to share clothing, so that's not an option. I love shopping for clothes but I think even if I don't spend much on them, I'm sort of hoarding...lol like, how much is TOO much? And then I feel weird spending a few dollars on a shirt when I know I could buy a new testement for $1 and give it to someone. Any advice?

    -Miriam

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    1. I'll say a prayer for your church situation-- thats hard. My family moved 10 hours for our church, so I understand. :)

      Not rude at all! It's kind of hard to say how much I spend... usually about $250 a year, including shoes, for both my sisters and I. But, my grandmother also gives us some clothes. I wish I were more frugal/thrifty, but I'm rather a shopaholic/clothing enthusiast. And I'm definitely the wrong person to ask about having too many clothes! Did you watch my closet video? That was about 3/4 of what we have... its rather bad that it barely fits in the closet. :P
      Buying a NT is great, but its also not wrong to buy clothes. Hope this helps a bit!

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    2. Thank you so much for the prayer and the advice! lol, and as far as you being a clothing enthusiast, you're in good company... I think most of us are;) lol!

      -Miriam

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  12. I can see I'm going to have to add a new book to the pile! This, btw, is one of my favorite outfits I've seen on your blog!

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  13. Thanks for the post,I really enjoy reading your blog! I was wondering do you have a specific verse to support your view of just wearing skirts?
    ;)lauren

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  14. All I have to say is AMEN! to that quote. It is SO true! The culture I try to portray is my family culture in Christ. Our family doesn't believe pants are taboo, but I always try to look feminine and modest, and wear skirts 99% of the time. :)
    Thank you so much for this post, and that quote. Now I'm gonna have to read that book... ;)

    Brigid

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  15. That is an awesome post! I really needed this reminder and encouragement. Your blog is fantastic and I appreciate it so much!
    ~Hannah

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  16. Your poor finger! :(
    Hope it gets better soon:)
    Kathleen

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  17. This is great!
    I love this. I'm a pretty much a modest dresser, but you've inspired me to go beyong "pretty much"
    Thanks!
    -Susanna

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  18. Olivia, thank you for this post! It was such a good reminder why I do wear skirts. I love how you used the phrase 'holier than thou'. That phrase is such a good way of wording how we have to make sure that our attitude and mind set does not become because we are different. This was such an encouraging post, so thank you!

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  19. Thank you for sharing! I LOVE everything about that outfit!

    Also, thank you for sharing reasons about wearing skirts. I love them, because they are modest and they DO portray a Christian culture. I have been considering going "all-skirts" for sometime, since my youth leader told me his sisters ( all 6 of them! ) grew up wearing only skirts. I think this post made my decision clear. :) I do have a question, though. I go for runs and play sports and stuff like that a lot... any suggestions for how to go about athletics in skirts?

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    1. Well, for going running, a lightweight mid-calf skirt is great, or a knit dress. Thats what I wear, but there are also companies that sell specific modest athletic skirts. And playing informal sports like soccer, lots of girls do just fine in denim skirts of any length. :) Hope that helps! Blessings on your decision!

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  20. I also have another question.. :) how did you put the table of links to posts of certain subjects? I can't figure it out on my blog, but I have seen it on many blogs.

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    1. Those are called "Labels" and its one of the sidebar widget things. but, you also have to label your posts. Thats on the right side when your in draft. :)

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  21. btw, my name is cosette... sorry i didnt specify that in my other two comments ...

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  22. I love your blog! I read it so much. I so, so, so want to buy your e-book!!!! C-U-T-E-S-T swimwear ever. I really really want to sew mine becuase that way I can make it just the way I want it.
    Keep it up!
    Cassia :-)

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Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!