Monday, January 21, 2013

Button Skirt + Spiritual Gifts

Hey y'all! I trust you had a fabulous weekend! I had a headache all of last week, but I think it's finally gone. Good things came of it though- like this skirt! When my headaches get bad, I can't do anything around anyone who is making noise, so I retreat to my room. But, I'm also a pain-pacer (meaning I have to walk or move or bounce when I'm in a lot of pain), so I find sewing to be a good distraction. Anyway...

This skirt was a lot of fun to make, and you can read about it on my sewing blog, Working with Eager Hands.

Yesterday's sermon was so encouraging for me. Something I thought y'all might be likewise edified by was one of the little points under the big point (which was that the gospel does not leave a man the same- either it hardens him or he is drawn to it, but he's never neutral; the text being Romans 1:8-17). Our pastor was saying that the gospel takes us from being a consumer of God's blessings, to being a producer of them through His work.

I've been one, talked to, and run across many girls who, though they are staying at home and doing chores as they believe God calls them to do, their faith is stagnant. They are lack-luster (although still passionate about crochet or vintage sewing patterns), and although their walk with God is not falling to the side, it's not charging forward either. 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 speaks about the variety of spiritual gifts that Christ has blessed His church with, and in Romans 1:11-12, Paul tells us, "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—  that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me." He's saying that in exercising his spiritual gift when he visits them, his faith is strengthened, and all parties are blessed. 
He goes on to say in verse 14 that he is a debtor to them, because the gospel has changed his life. He is a different man, and these are his comrades, his encouragers, his fellow members in the body of Christ. He feels indebted to them because he finds his purpose ministering among the believers. Although Christ is all we need to be saved, exercising our spiritual gifts in the church is a way to grow in our faith. An arm is nothing without a head, and torso, and legs... basically, we need our church friends. In using our spiritual gifts with others, we ourselves are edified and, because the gospel has not left us the same, we are able to be producers of blessings. 

I would encourage you that if you are not actively aware of the ways in which you could be serving in your church, that you seek out opportunities. I'm not talking about teaching children's church or cleaning the building. I'm thinking of the mothers who need meals, the young girls who want to sew, the friend who needs some chocolate, the family who needs help painting their house. The elderly lady who would love some company grocery shopping. The girl scared of a doctor's appointment who would be encouraged by fresh flowers. Minister at abortion mills. Someone moving? Mow their grass, deliver sweet tea, and scrub their baseboards. They are blessed, you are blessed, you get to know each other. Win win win, no?
This also means offering to cook a double-portioned meal weekly so your family can invite people over for dinner and be mutually encouraged. You are comrades with your church family-- act like it! Spend time with them! What are your spiritual gifts? Sewing? Spearhead the quilt project for the new bride. Working with children? Babysit for free. Cooking? Tons of options there. Writing? Send cards to the shut-ins. Hospitality? Get on it! Being cheerful? Smile!
Some of these things can seem like they don't really give "purpose" but rather just something to do and fill time, while still encouraging others. They might be. But, the main thing is to be available. Let others know they can count and call on you. Once you get started, opportunities will arise. Maybe they won't specifically apply to your giftings, but giving of yourself is just that- giving what you want for what others need.
Sometimes, this means being the invisible force for your family's ministry. You cook healthy meals and clean their clothes so that your daddy and brothers can go help fix someone's roof (and maybe send along a bag of muffins). You take over the grocery shopping for a day so your mother can take time to encourage a new homeschooling mom. You watch your young siblings so the rest of your family can work on a project.  You pray hard.
Shirt: Handmedown
Skirt: Made by me
Necklace and earrings: Little local boutique ($12)
Boots: TJMaxx ($15)

The gospel does not leave us the same. Will it harden us to God's love, or will it drive us to our Savior? Are we merely consumers of God's blessings, or also producers? Our spiritual life, maintenance, and growth is dependent on exercising our spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Are we bearing fruit?

So, I want to know what your spiritual gifts are. I think they can sometimes confuse us, and it can be hard to determine exactly what we are gifted with. These aren't just talents. Leadership? Organization? Gentle encouragement? Languages? How are you using these gifts? I would love to hear your thoughts on applying these in church and stay-at-home daughter life.
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17 comments :

  1. Cute outfit!

    Wow,I guess I never thought about it before but I am definitely a pain-pacer:)

    ♥Michelle

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  2. that skirt looks like fun to make...love your thoughts on spiritual gifts :)

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  3. I have to disagree slightly on what you said about the some of the girls you know being stagnant. I believe that if we're not growing in our relationship with Jesus, we ARE getting further away. Our relationship with Him requires constant work and dedication, otherwise it becomes non-existent (not to say that you can lose your salvation, I'm talking about the relationship aspect).

    I'm not being proud here, but God really has blessed me with a ton of abilities and gifts! I don't think I'm prideful in saying this, as it's all from Him and I didn't do anything to receive them-other than being His child! :) I have artistic, musical, writing, cooking, computer, knitting, crocheting, fast learner, a good listener, loyal friend, good cleaner. I try to be willing to use my gifts anywhere God calls me to. But like I've told you before, when it comes to my future plans, it makes it extra hard. I have so many interests and possibilities that it can be overwhelming.

    I really admire your being a SAHD, you seem like a really nice young lady, I'd be honored to meet you someday! ;)
    For me, our family doesn't have any small children, and only two kids younger than me (13 and 16) and I'm feeling like God is calling me to work at our family business (an automotive shop/gas station). I would be working with my dad and sister. It's not exactly my dream job, but I've asked God for peace about the decision and I feel okay about it. I've also asked Him to smack me upside the head if I'm making the wrong choice! :) All in all, each persons' path will be different, and God will never leave us. I have faith that if I'm not doing His will (as long as I seek Him with all that I have) He won't let me make a choice that isn't in His will.
    *wow* sorry, this comment got a little long! LOL!
    Beautiful skirt! I love the buttons-so cute!
    Natasha
    A Modest Fashion Blog:
    www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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    1. See, I would still qualify you as a SAHD if you are helping your family out by working the family business. Sure, you may be getting paid, but your dad is still your boss, you're still living at home, and your goal is still to minister to your family! The term SAHD is really vague, but to me it basically means you're choosing to remain under your father's authority and focus your attentions on serving others as opposed to going off and pursuing your career dreams. I may be off, but this kinda seems to be what you believe God is telling you to do, at least for now.
      You're totally right- each girl's life will be different, and whenever we seek His face, He is glorified!

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    2. Oh, and I'd love to meet you too. :)

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  4. All of this is so true! I would probably say that God has blessed me with, for the most part (I do have my grumpy moments!), a cheerful and happy spirit. We as daughters, especially oldest daughters, have a large impact on the tone of our home. Whether in a negative, grumpy and pesimistic way or in a positive, happy and hopeful way. One of the ways my family, or friends, can tell that I am happy is that I will sing (a lot!) while I do chores, cook, or am just walking from one room to the next.:) I also smile and laugh a lot.:) Laughter, I think is truly a medicine for the soul.

    I really like the nice contrast between the blue and white. Even though there are no stripes anywhere, I think the outfit has a bit of a nautical look about it as well. You look very pretty in the white shirt!:)

    Maria

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  5. Very cute skirt! Love the buttons.

    And very well said, about our walk with Christ.
    This is applicable to all ages, in all times.

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  6. Very cute and classy, skirt and outfit! I loved your thoughts on using spiritual gifts to bless others and I love your practical suggestions! The problem for me is, between work and school I don't have much extra time!
    Love, Katie

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  7. I LOVE that skirt!!! You really make me want to learn how to sew...especially so I spend less on my clothes. :))
    My Pastor recently did a whole 4 or 5 part lesson on Spiritual Gifts (Can't remember how many sermons exactly that he preached on it) and it was really inspiring. One thing that he said that I really liked was that no one has the same gift, they may both be good at a certain gift but they use them differently. I'd say I'm gifted with compassion, I've always been very compassionate with everything and everyone, although sometimes I feel like that's a bad thing, I have a hard time seeing bad in people. :)) I totally agree with you on the using the gifts part. If you just forget about those gifts that the Lord have blessed you with, what good are they? A group of people in my church have recently wanted to go on a mission trip, and we decided that we are going to try and have a "rent-a-youth" day, where we can be "rented" by a person that needs work done. Like if an elderly lady needs help mowing her lawn, or cleaning her house, or if a new mother needs a break and needs someone to watch her children. :) I love the idea, and I think it's a great way to use whatever gift God has given us and also have fellowship with certain people in the church that we may not have ever even talked to before! :) Well, this comment is getting long, so I'll stop and not bore you, haha!
    ~~~Kalin from http://modestyismypolicy.blogspot.com/

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  8. Do you think it is easier for SAHD to more easily fall into the trap of letting our relationship with Christ grow cold? After all, we're doing the "good spiritual" thing already. If we're focusing to much on our good works, we forget that Christ cares more about our heart attitude. I'm going to be very honest here, I did the "good SAHD" daughter thing, and looking back, I wish it had been less about me, and more about serving Christ where he had placed me. Not that I always did it wrong, but it was so easy to "do the right thing" but not necessarily with the right heart attitude.

    I do want to mention, and this in no way negates what you said regarding getting involved in ministering to others, but I would caution that for some young women, ministering only at home may be what God is calling them to at certain times. I konw you're not demeaning that in anyway! For me it is an important point, because I've struggled with this, feeling like I wasn't doing enough, but I was working exactly where God had me. I do want to expand doing ministry/charity in some way, but it just hasn't been possible - with the exception of doing it almost exclusively for my family. Honestly, serving our families can be one of the humblest most invisible things we can do, but if we let God train our heart, when he calls us to other things, we're ready with a servants heart.

    Anyway, that's my two cents worth. I usually have something to say about everything. :)

    Blessings!

    T.W.

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  9. Soooo, now I understand why there were all those beautiful navy sailor skirts on your pinterest ! I have to thank you for the idea...I have 2 yards of navy fabric (not denim but a really nice material) that I got for almost nothing (I think it was 2$/yard) and this gave me an idea on how to use it !
    Your question about spiritual gifts is really hard. I don't have it all figured out to say the least and I'll be praying honestly that God may show me what my gifts really are and how i can use more because I feel like I'm busy with Grad School and not taking enough time to think about those questions...
    Have a blessed day !
    Marie
    http://lescrapdemarie.blogspot.fr/

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  10. Wow! This was a very thoughtprovoking post! I come from a church that actually degrades young ladies trying to serve outside of the home (meaning you serve your family and no one else). It can be frustrating at times, but the Lord is teaching me how to gracefully "buck tradition" and try to change that wrong mindset! You have a very good list of ways young ladies can serve! Hopefully I will add a few of them to my to do list! =D

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    1. Hannah, yeah, I meant in no way to suggest that serving inside your home "isn't enough" or somehow to put serving outside the home over serving inside, since obviously home is our highest priority. But, it is good to realize that home isn't the whole world, and that we need to be the gospel to others. :) May the Lord bless you.

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  11. You have inspired me to sew some skirts for me and my sisters, in this day and age it is definitely hard to find modest clothing! We made two skirts last night, and they didn't turn out to bad for first time sewing (: God bless- Hannah Sue

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  12. What a beautiful young lady and how refreshing to see one that dresses so modestly and is gorgeous without having to show every part of her body! Thank you for being such a role model in this crazy world of crazy half-dressed people! May God bless you for your example! I'm a 73 year old old-fashioned grandmother who loves Jesus.

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  13. Our spiritual gifts Inventory is a discovery tool that provides you with a personalized analysis.Knowing your spiritual gifts will enable you to find your place of ministry in the local church.

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  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE your skirt!!!!!!!!!

    I think that is very true how some girls are not placing their faith on the forefront of their life. I was one of those girls once, and am very thankful that I can say that my faith comes first in my life.

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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!