Friday, December 27, 2013

No More Holy // in Pink Sequins

Hey y'all! I hope you had an awesome, blessed Christmas! Our family sure did. I meant to share this outfit earlier in the week... but you know how Christmas preparations go. ;) This is what I wore to church and our Lessons and Carols service last week. It's a little less-Christmasy than 2011's outfit, but I am a huge fan of the sparkles. ;)

In the sermon on 11.24.13, we continued looking at Romans 7, now studying verses 7-13. We've just heard in chapter 6 that we need to do good. But then Paul comes along and tells us that grace reigns and that righteousness is a gift. Keeping the law to earn God is a wrong conclusion to "do good". The law does not sanctify. Sanctification is not achieved -nor is our right position before God maintained- by being oriented toward the law. Are you ever disgusted with yourself because you cannot achieve "the standards"? Do you struggle with those in your heart who do not have the same conviction as you? Do you make others feel guilty by lording the law over them instead of encouraging through a relationship of respect and honor? These are clues that we are oriented toward the law and not toward Christ. We need to learn what mercy and righteousness really mean and be liberated from these types of legalism. The law does, however, serve several purposes and that is what Paul explains in these verses.

1) The law reveals a knowledge of sin. This a little different than knowing intellectually or internally that we've done something wrong because it feels that way. No, transgression of the law of God is SIN, whether we realize it or not. Lying is a personal affront to our Creator, not just a bad white-lie habit from middle school. Those little things you do are not just character flaws-- they are sin and we will be judged for them eternally if we do not trust in the Lord. I don't know about you, but every time I read the 10 commandments I am convicted and see another area of my life that needs grace. 

2) The law revives the sin in the sinner. Remember-- there is nothing wrong with the law-- the problem is with us. Verse 8: "But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire." He's telling his personal testimony here, of knowing the law and having his sinful nature aroused. When we think we are doing OK, the law will come and remind us that we are sinners-- and not just that-- our natural flesh will rise up and want to sin more, simply because the law tells us not to. You've seen this in a two-year-old. Mom says, "don't stick your finger in the butter"  and next thing you know there are fingerprints in it. Jesus made it clear that we need to know the law and recognize our sin when He said, "I have not come to save the righteous, but sinners." The sinner who knows we have to realize our sin
We don't like being told, "Obey me" because we are fallen. We justify rebellion and this shows the fabric of our souls. Oftentimes a directive derives exactly the opposite, because sin uses the law to energize disobedience in us.

3) Sin uses the law to deceive us. Verses 10-11: "And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me."
When we try to follow the commandments, we come up short again and again. The law is not the problem, but our own flesh. Sin produces death in me by taking an occasion for good and making it bad by trying to do it for my own reasons. Sanctification is not attained by the law. We have NOTHING to commend us to God. Our conservative applications of the Bible do not make us ANY more holy than someone who is less "conservative". Because we are all deceived in our own flesh.

How are we to navigate these tricky waters? God reveals Himself to us because our relationship to the law, which was bringing death, has changed, and now we are being reoriented towards grace! Our orientation should be to the Father who is warm and loving. Bet your bottom dollar, our sinful flesh when poked will be shown to be living within us still, but the answer is not more law, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

This shirt I had been planning on wearing for Christmas Sunday ever since I ordered it, but when it arrived it was a little longer than I was expecting (#petitegirlprobz). Not having time to sew it, I just taped the hem up underneath with masking tape and no one was the wiser. :)
Cardigan: Forever21: $8
Tank: Forever21: $1.80
Skirt: Made by me: Fabric: $10
Boots: Gift
Pearl set: Gift
Hat: Target: $20

How was your Christmas? Any gifts you were particularly ecstatic to get? What did you wear make the occasion festive? 


33 comments :

  1. I can't say it enough...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! I am a 49 year old mom of a 16 year old and, as you know, that age becomes a battle of dress. I love what you put together. Who says you have to be a frumpy dump to be a Christian young lady/woman who values modesty. Your outfits are trendy but modest and so adorable. I also love the fact that so many of your outfits can be put together from the thrift store without going broke. Thank you, again, for allowing the Lord to use you in this manner. You truly are a blessing.

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  2. Hey Olivia! So happy to find your Christmas outfit ! It's lovely ! I love how you wore this pretty pink shirt. I'm definitly not a huge fan of sequins, but on you it looks cute and makes me want to give it a try !
    And also thank you for your diligence in sharing those chapters of Romans. I love reading it !
    For Christmas, we had a nice dinner with my family and I went all back : a black skirt finished the day before (oh, the joy of wearing your newly sewed creations ;-)) and a black turtleneck, with black pearls. And on the 25th, I wore a liberty shirt that I made the day before (hihihi) with a purple blazer, and the same black skirt. My family told me it was cute, and I believe them ;-)
    Christmas itself was good, reading again the story of Christ birth, singing hymns in family (actually, I didn't get to sing much because I was playing the piano and I'm not that good at multitasking when it comes to music !) and the events the weeks before. The year I've been particularly overwhelmed by the work of grace from God to reach us, to show us the purest and most perfect in the form of his Son as a man...
    Hope you have a great time preparing the new year's eve, I'm looking forward to your outfit ! Blessings from France !

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  3. Super cute outfit and color scheme, Olivia! On Christmas Day we served at a Christ-centered ministry to the homeless and it was such a huge privilege. There is usually such a long waiting list that our fam isn't able to volunteer, but this time we were able to help out and I'm so happy + thankful for the opportunity. <3 For our extended family get together, I wore a deep blue dress (yay for kohl's clearance racks + coupons!) with black flats/tights/hat. Blessings, Olivia, and thanks for sharing your lovely outfit examples! :)

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  4. Hi Olivia! I recently became a huge fan of sequins, I love your outfit!! My favorite gift that I received this year was probably necklace that my brother MADE me:) He never makes jewelry, and that makes this even more special. I was just wondering, can you do a "What I got for Christmas 2013" blog post? I think alot of people besides me would enjoy it:)
    Thanks Olivia!!
    Mary

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  5. Thank God that we have grace--and Him--and that we don't have to be focused on the law anymore! Thank you for this recap of your sermon :)

    I love your Christmas outfit. Mine on Sunday was not very Christmas-y at all, but I don't mind that too much. That sequin-y blouse is adorable, and your hair just always looks so lovely! So soft and pretty. Somehow my hair always seems too frizzy. #curlyhairedproblems :)

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  6. I have a tendency to be very legalistic, I have to watch myself in that regard.
    Let me see... I wore a red shirt? That was the extent of my Christmasy wear! I'm not very big into sequins or sparkles, I tend to lean towards understated items ( with the exception of prints of course!)
    Love your outfit! Never would've known you taped it!
    Natasha
    A Modest Fashion Blog:
    Www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  7. How did you get the shirt for free?

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    1. When folks I refer order from ThredUP, I get $10 to spend. :) The nice thing is, anyone can refer a friend and get $10, and, if you click on my link above, the first time you order you also get $10 free!

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    2. Have you ever bought a shirt from ThredUP with the condition being "tiny flaw"? If you have, were you pleased with the shirt?

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  8. Merry Christmas Olivia! So glad it was a good one for you and your family. It was for us as well. :)

    Your outfit is beautiful. On Christmas Day I wore a red long-sleeved shirt under a lacey white cardigan and black skirt with a blue scarf that I got :)

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  9. Nice outfit, Olivia! I love the pearls. I have a post request--will you please do a post on how to identify and evaluate trends as they change? Like, are there certain trendsetters or websites that give a clear analysis? I know Pantone does colours of the season. I'd like to know how to find out. Thanks, and may God bless you! :)

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    1. That's a great idea for a post! I've had some wheels turning in my head about how to do that-- honestly I don't really pay attention to trends hardly at all, but I'd kind of like to start doing that a little more. Thanks!

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    2. Trends? I'm thankful for the blogging world in that respect, as NZ is usually years or months behind in catching up with them.

      I've noticed that Plaid has become extremely trendy at the moment (esp Red, yellow and black or green and black or red and black) and layering is all the rage too, as in two jackets or a open collared shirt under a moto jacket with the cuffs and collar showing. Oh, and mixing patterns (small pattern with big pattern and vice versa. Never two small patterns or two big patterns. Think of stripes and florals.)
      Trends such as Ombre, drape-y cardigans and Hi-low hems aren't AS popular at the moment, but it's still going strong in the U.S and especially NZ. :) Pinterest is a great place to identify trends, I must admit.

      Love the sparkles in this outfit, Olivia! And the Cardigan and fedora! I really should pluck up the courage to wear a fedora sometime in the near future...
      My favourite Christmas present was possibly a tribal-ish printed handbag from my Grandmother or the pair of simple clip-on earrings from my family. :)

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  10. Hi Olivia :D
    You know how in the OT it says that men shouldn't wear women's clothes, and women shouldn't wear men's clothes? Didn't both men and women wear robes back then? So why do people make a big deal about pants being men's clothes, and skirts/dresses, women's?

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    1. Hey! I also have the same question. :P I think I heard they had different kinds of robes though? That verse is not the reason I wear skirts most of the time, so I'm really not sure what that line of reasoning is, except that we are not to try to look like a man because we shouldn't be trying to blur the distinction-- we need to rejoice in who God made us as women and submit to those differences. And likewise, men need to be men.
      So, I don't really have an answer, sorry!

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    2. Cuz it's not not like most women wear men's jeans, they wear women's jeans...just sayin :D
      Why do you wear skirts?

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    3. Hi Leah! Don't mean to jump in on your conversation here, but I saw your question and thought it was a good one. I too have wondered this before, and still haven't gotten it all figured out. There are multiple reasons for wearing skirts. Modesty is one... skirts have a way of not hugging areas that pants do if you get my drift :) . Another is femininity... I for one have always felt girly in a skirt! Here is another reason that I personally have for wearing skirts... I feel as if the way I dress affects how I act and think. Envision you are dressed in a army uniform and looking in the mirror. What would you think about? How would you act differently? What if you were dressed in a wedding gown ? How about athletic clothes? Personally, what I wear affects how I think, act, and feel. I what to do everything for God...including how I dress. For me, I feel called to wear skirts. does this mean skirts are amazing garments that make us holier? No! The important thing, in my humble opinion, isn't really WHAT you wear, but rather WHO you are dressing for.When I dress, am I trying to fit in with my peers? Am I trying to impress that new boy at youth group? Am I trying to draw attention to my body? Who you try to impress reflects who is important to you. God should be more important to us than any other, and He should be the one for whom we live for. God calls for us to be modest. He calls for our focus to be on Him and doing good for Him...not what we wear. As for the details... pants vs skirts, makeup vs no makeup, and so on... I believe that is between you and the Lord. Pray how you may dress for Him. Delve into God's Word!
      Thanks for any time you may spend reading this! I tend to ramble on a bit! God Bless!
      Natalie

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    4. Sure both male and females wore robes in the Bible times.. But their must've been a distinction between the two types of robes, or they wouldn't have written that verse. In the Bible it also mentions 'Girding up the Loins' with is basically picking up the back of the skirt and tucking into the waistband of the front... I think. Men girded up their loins to work. Obviously females didn't do that. :)

      When it mentions that it is a shame for a women to wear men's clothing it isn't saying that "this only applies for the clothing of this century" it applies for today as well. Pants are men's clothing for today, and even though their might be 'woman's pants' or jeans, It's mainly due to that fact that females have decided that they like wearing pants, so they made female pants to look more flattering, I suppose. :)
      I think that is an entirely personal choice.... My profuse apologies if I offended anyone. It's so hard to bring it across, gracefully, without feeling like you just trod on ice.

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    5. Hey... completely agree with both Sayna and Natalie here! Wonderfully said ladies!

      Cassie

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    6. What if I don't want to feel girly/feminine? And I have 5 brothers who grew up with their sisters wearing skirts, and they don't think that pants are immodest?

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    7. Hi Leah! All I can say is that what you wear is between you and God. Modesty standards differ from person to person. The important thing is that you love Jesus and seek Him with all your heart. Things such as modesty are simply an overflow of that love. Our love for Jesus and His love for us inspires us to live as much like Him as we can. Just pray for guidance concerning what you wear and seek the council of those you can trust. Do everything for God, and the details will fall into place. Don't worry about anything!

      In my personal opinion, pants are not necessarily immodest. It depends on how you wear them. I have recently felt led to wear skirts, and have found it to be a blessing. Others don't feel led to wear skirts, and that's all right.
      It has been a pleasure to have a blogger comment conversation with you Leah :-) ! I am so pleased to talk with fellow Christian sisters through blogging. God Bless you!
      Your sister in Christ,
      Natalie

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    8. I know where you're coming from, Leah. :)
      Knee (or just below knee-length) denim straight or slightly aline skirts aren't too feminine. I wear them a lot of the time and they look great with striped T-shirts.
      As mentioned before, this is totally your choice, so I don't wish to interfere, but have you considered guys other than your brothers? http://therebelution.com/modestysurvey/ is a great place to 'base' your final decision on.

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    9. Actually I had already checked that out, and majority of guys thought that pants aren't more immodest than skirts. http://therebelution.com/modestysurvey/browse (under pants/shorts/leggings)
      I have some knee/just below the knee length denim skirts, but they seem hard to find. Do you have any suggestions where to buy more?
      Thanks for your help ladies :D

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    10. Hi Leah! Today skirts can be hard to find...I was shopping at Kohls once and found around five skirts that I personally would consider modest! They were also pricey! Here in Colorado there are good thrift stores, and I find most of my skirts there. I can get a great skirt for a couple of bucks! You can also sew a skirt.... I made a long denim skirt a few months ago that I wear a LOT! I am no expert sewer...if I can do it, anyone can! You can also buy skirts online. I have never bought clothes off the internet, but I have looked at clothes on the internet to get ideas.

      It has been great talking with you! God Bless!
      Natalie

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    11. @homeschooled teenager: I am really encouraged by what you mentioned about what we wear affecting actions--that is so true in my life! Modesty is a daily reminder of our calling as Christians to be set apart and "in the world but not of it." Sisters, it is so refreshing to read the above dialogue. In my homeschool group, these concerns seem to be nonexistent with most of the girls I am friends with, and totally unappreciated by the guys, so being modest can be rather emotionally challenging and even sometimes make me feel left out. Subseequently I feel tempted to get as close to the world as I can get in my dress, which never fails to trigger a chain reaction of disrespecting parents and devaluing my devotions, and the results go down from there. Very discouraging! But it is awesome to read what y'all said and remember that I am not alone, and modesty is ALWAYS worth it!
      And the outfit was classy as always, Olivia:D
      Happy New Year everybody!
      Blessings and bubbles,
      Erica

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    12. Hi Erica! I am so glad that our blogger conversation encouraged you! I can certainly relate to feeling like no one else shares my convictions. One time I went to a homeschool group expecting everyone to be very conservative in dress and actions.... it didn't turn out that way at all. I felt awkward because I had expected these homeschoolers to act different from the world, and yet they really didn't. I went to numerous youth groups where I felt as if they acted so worldly! It hurts to take a stand against the world's ways. Swimming against the current is tiring and difficult to do. How tempting it looks to just turn around and go the same way as everyone else. How nice it would be to just float along.The problem is, the current will take you to a steep cliff. The hard way leads up a beautiful mountain. Alone, we couldn't make it... but with God, our strength will be renewed!

      I just recently felt led to dress more modestly and have felt so blessed by the decision. I had tried to look like the world, and therefore acted like the world. I wanted to be accepted and liked. I was trying to impress the wrong people. I found that when my wardrobe changed, my focus began to shift. Having that physical reminder really does help! I certainly make a lot of mistakes... I am human and will never be anywhere near perfect. I'm so thankful for Jesus, who forgives me and gently nudges me to make the right choices. Sometimes I don't listen, but Christ in his mercy still whispers His love and direction to my heart.
      God Bless, Erica!
      Natalie

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    13. You are so right! God gives us the grace to make choices that honor Him, Natalie:)
      Bubbles and blessings,
      Erica (finally got a blog:)

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    14. Congratulations on your new blog, Erica! I am going to check it out right now! :-)
      God Bless,
      Natalie

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    15. Could I have the link to your blog? I tried clicking on Bubbleaandblessings2014, but your profile doesn't have a link to your blog. Anyways, I would love to see your new blog! :)

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  11. Nice outfit Olivia! I like your braid and shirt :))))

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  12. Great goals/thoughts/ideas..whatever you want to call them! I only found out about your blog somewhat recently, so I hadn't seen your post from last year with your goals for this year. It was fun to read the recap though on how you did! Gave me some great ideas too of things to implement in my life/spending/closet for next year!
    -Chels

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  13. Olivia,
    I love that outfit! I wore my long sparkly, black skirt and my red "Merry Christmas" shirt. My Christmas was WONDERFUL! I got a new sweater that is really pretty and I really enjoy wearing it! The day after Christmas, my mom, sister and I had to return something at Kohl's and then we got distracted and picked out some really cute outfits. The whole time we were saying, "Now, what would Fresh Modesty turn this into.... etc." We are all HUGE fans!:) Anyways, we came out with some great outfits on sale and quite honestly, they look like something you would wear- which I'm really pleased with. Hope you had a Merry, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year!
    ~ Hayden

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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!