31 December 2007

Teaching Old Fashioned Values

School Administrators Under Fire for Protecting Female Modesty

Read here part of the article, written by Ralph W. Conner, in: School Reform News; Publication Date: January 1, 2008; The Heartland Institute. Then click on the title above to read the entire article. My, how "the dance" has changed since the days of the "old fashioned ladies".

School administrators nationwide are in a quandary about how to deal with the new freak dancing--or “juking”--craze going on at high school dances and proms.

The Wall Street Journal devoted an article in mid-November to the way the issue is tearing apart the Dallas suburb of Argyle, Texas. And last September, Evanston Township High School in Illinois issued fliers before its homecoming dance admonishing students that “salacious and inappropriate dancing” was outlawed. At Naperville North High, also in the Chicago suburbs, the dance tickets outlawed “sexually explicit and front to back dancing.”

. . .

Part of the problem here is the decline of academic standards. Student achievement and parental involvement are less important to some government school systems than socialization, and that means accepting highly dubious behavior in order to give students a chance to define a set of social mores in which they can feel comfortable.

As a result, rappers such as 50 Cent hold more sway with students than the civil rights icons of the 1960s, who extolled academic excellence as a way to elevate all Americans in a free-market economy.

This tag-team effort causes many parents to stand on the sidelines as another generation of girls is led to believe their self-esteem can be augmented by accepting their own degradation as normal. Those who disagree have to pull their children out of the public schools--while still paying taxes to support the institutions that are contributing to social decay.

Ultimately, of course, it’s up to parents to teach their children the lasting values of self-esteem and self-respect, while accentuating academic excellence as the path to the wonderful opportunities available to everyone not named Beyoncé or Britney.

But the schools certainly shouldn’t work against the process, especially while taking people’s tax money.

Underline this - parents are responsible for the children they have been given. Not everyone understands this, and many children are growing up with no better guidance than peer socialization and weak academic leaders who are not allowed to teach good moral behavior. If we live in a country where we are proud of our rights and freedoms, then we must realize that we live in a country where those civil liberties trump all other rights - such as the rights of all people to grow up safe, contented, and at peace. It is our responsibility, as parents and as concerned people, to train up our children, to correct one another when we harm someone else, to live as we understand to be the wisest, without fear that our government - or our government run school systems - will stop us from doing so. Make it a point, this day and all days ahead, to give the gift of responsibility to children - that is a gift that keeps on blessing in years to come. Putting a leash on a puppy is not as cruel as letting it run free and into a busy highway. How much more valuable is the life of a young human being?

Of course, the whole issue of public dancing has changed drastically from the days of folk and barn dances, and the lovely and complicated rules of Jane Austen era dances. Truly, the "dirty dancing" that our parents and grandparents were concerned about in the 50's and 60's has nothing on what dances are all about today. Some concerned administrators can see the difference. Some parents surely can see the difference in going to the prom in the high class preppy 80's (which still had its problems to be sure) and the "dances" of today. The dance has certainly changed in our culture - don't be fooled.

29 December 2007

Men and Women - Love and Respect

For those of you who appreciate the old fashioned Biblical approach to marriage and family books by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn, you can hear them online at a few different discussions at OnePlace.com. Based on Ephesians 5:33 -

"Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

HomeWord with Jim Burns : A Woman's Guide to the Mind of a Man (Part 1) - "In a landmark survey, author Shaunti Feldhahn asked several thousand men what they really want WOMEN to know about them. Parenting and family expert Dr. Jim Burns talks with Shaunti Feldhahn about the results of her research."

HomeWord with Jim Burns : A Man's Guide to the Heart of a Woman (Part 1) - "When it comes to understand what women want, most men are pretty clueless. Parenting and family expert Dr. Jim Burns talks with Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn - a husband and wife research team who have discovered tips for sharing with men "A Man's Guide to the Heart of a Woman."" (2 parts total)

Focus on the Family - Dr. James Dobson : What Men Need to Know About Women 1 - "Many husbands are clueless when it comes to understanding how their wives think and feel, even after years of marriage. If you're one of those husbands - or if you're a wife who wants to be better understood by her husband - today's program is especially for you. Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn offer insightful marital advice from their book For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women.
"Men love their wives ... but they really don't know how to communicate it in a way that is effective with their wives because they just don't think that they can understand them." - Jeff Feldhahn" (there are 3 parts total in this series of talks)

NOTE - these are NOT sermon tapes, but interviews with authors. Also, the radio show websites are trying to raise money for these programs, and you will hear that reflected in the opening and closing remarks. That aside, the thoughts shared in the discussions between the authors and the program hosts may give you something to think about, and Biblical standards seem to be upheld. Let me know if there's anything that goes against God's will for marriage and family, and I will post that here.

You can listen to these radio slots on your Real Player or Windows Media, or download the mp3 for free through the oneplace website.

27 December 2007

Holy days are not over, folks... :)

Don't forget Good King Wenceslas! Yes, it's really a Boxing Day song, so I'm a little late, but hey, let's keep the season alive!

"The words to the carol "Good King Wenceslas" were written by John Mason Neale, and published in 1853. The music originates in Finland 300 years earlier. This Christmas carol is unusual as there is no reference in the lyrics to the nativity.

Good King Wenceslas was the king of Bohemia in the 10th century. King Wenceslas was a Catholic and was martyred following his assassination by his brother Boleslaw and his supporters. His Saint's Day is September 28th, and he is the Patron Saint of the Czech Republic.

St. Stephen's feast day was celebrated on 26th December, now called "Boxing Day", which is why this song is sung as a Christmas carol." (courtesy carols.org.uk)

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

How are you sharing with those less fortunate today, this season, and all year long? Are you involving your children and showing them the way?

Proverbs 14:31: He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”
And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

21 December 2007

Seasonal Websites

"You'll find down to earth crafts, recipes, gardening advice and family activities plus tips on keeping your family history and teaching your kids and grandkids about the generations that came before them." - Old Fashioned Living at seedsofknowledge.com

Find the meanings behind many of the traditions at - All Things Christmas

Everything Christmas - traditions, Santa tracking, and lots of Music! - SantaSearch.org

Old Fashioned Christmas Candy recipes, - from CWBN

Everyone needs all kinds of Christmas cookies recipes - Christmas-cookies.com

Find several recipes for - Old Fashion Christmas Pudding

"Back in the 1800s, homemade and handcrafted ornaments adorned most Christmas trees. For the simplicity and beauty of an old-fashioned celebration, add antique ornaments, reproduction antiques or homemade decorations to your tree." -
How to Decorate an Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree

Everything you ever wanted to know about good old fashioned live Christmas trees - National Christmas Tree Association, Inc.

Old fashioned archives of information, pictures, legends and customs - The Christmas Archives

"Having an old-fashioned Christmas does not mean that you have to sacrifice your worldly goods. It simply means that you want to have a more simple, enjoyable Christmas, without many of the stresses. Isn't that what you desire?" An article with suggestions - The Magic of an Old-Fashioned Christmas

"Sights and Sounds of an Old-Fashioned New England Christmas" - Christmas at Old Sturbridge Village: A Virtual Photo Tour

18 December 2007

Fathers Killing Daughters

First of all, YES, the man was absolutely wrong to kill his daughter. No reason exists for a father who is placed in the position of caring for and protecting his family to strangle his daughter. One cannot blame a murder on religion anymore than one can blame a murder or beating on the loss of a job, or alcohol, or "that's the way people do it around here."

People in Canada, and around the world, are sputtering, fuming, sobbing and fretting over the recent murder of a 16 year old girl, allegedly by her father, in Ontario. If you haven't heard of it, it won't take much trouble to find the news in a search engine. You will also find the very strong opinions of the writers against Islam, because it is a religion which fosters this kind of behavior, against multiculturalism, because it means that people turn a blind eye to this kind of behavior, and against religion in general, because it makes people behave badly and blame it on some higher reason or mandate. People are angry with the tradition of parents protecting their children - in general - because no child should be required to follow the traditions of their parents. People are angry with the tradition of dressing modestly - because this girl only wanted to fit in and show her beauty. Grief makes people angry. It also clouds thinking.

If true, then this man was wrong, in any religion, regardless of certain parts of the world that condone what he may have done.

Because some men in some parts of the world treat their women as cattle (and probably don't treat their cattle so well either), doesn't mean that everyone who follows the same or similar religious or traditional beliefs will do the same.

Because some people see their neighbor being beaten and say, "what a shame", and turn aside does not mean that everyone in a crowded and multicultural community is turning aside from trying to do something about domestic abuse, or crimes against children, or other hatefulness.

Because some people do not think for themselves or with a pure conscience, and blindly follow their state, or religious documents, or parents even, into performing moral outrages condemned in nearly every culture of the world does not mean that every follower of a doctrine or truth has turned off their brain and their heart to what God has designed from the beginning, and which has been made manifest all over the world as the virtues of true love, joy, and peace.

Because there are fathers and brothers (and bosses) who abuse their God-given natural tendencies to rule and protect, abusing wives, children, family, animals, and the earth itself, does not mean that there are not men all over the world who truly care for those over whom they have authority, treating them with special tenderness, nurturing them as they care for their own bodies. Because there are women and children (and employees and servants) who cower ignorantly, never learning and never standing up for their own dignity as a human being, does not mean that all people who willingly submit themselves to their husbands, fathers, rulers, bosses, or other persons in authority are too ignorant to know any better, and that they must be taught that the only way to live is to rebel against the authorities. Because the roles of man and woman, of authority and subordinant, are abused, does not mean that the beautiful almost fantastic plan for headship and suitable helpers cannot exist.

Because a woman chooses to dress modestly does not mean that she is ashamed of her body, but that she understands the beauty and glory, and does not want to immodestly and vainly show it off. Because a parent chooses to dress their child modestly, and teaches them the value of protecting their beauty, their body, their lives, does not mean that they are ashamed of their children or want to put them in a cage. A parent does have the right to teach their child family traditions, however "strict" they may seem - as long as those traditions do not lead to the child being killed, either physically, mentally or spiritually.

Yes, parents do kill their children in all these ways. Modest dress is not to blame. Religious or cultural traditions are not to blame. Disrespect for parents is not even to blame. Misunderstanding of parents, of fathers and mothers, of adult human beings, of what true love is all about is to blame. One cannot say that they love their child so much that they would kill them, whether over a job loss, a divorce, a new marriage, or their own desire to die. One cannot treat their child or wife (or their animal or anything they possess, but not to this same extent) as something which has no value other than what is material, makes their life easier or more important or more holy in their own eyes - without killing their personhood.

I do not fully understand any of the world's religions, because they do have so much of the culture and the men who created and keep them in them. I cannot even truly understand all about true and pure Christianity - that which does not follow laws made by men that are added to the original scriptures, for business or cultural or other reasons. Because I cannot fully grasp the love of God for a world full of people where parents can kill children, husbands can abuse wives, and those in authority to serve and protect send ignorant men and women out to kill an enemy of some sort or be killed themselves.

But I do understand that at least one man is alive today who was never taught how to love in the sense of sacrificing himself for his family, of teaching his family what it means to truly protect the purity and beauty of women. His sons are alive, and they too need to be taught. If not by word, at least by the overpowering expression of love in the lives of families who do understand how family is supposed to be. The judges in this world - the media, the juries, the bloggers - all need to be taught to really see that here is a family in crisis because things are not going according to the plan for families that was set out from the beginning. Not because of religion or culture or multiculture, not because of modesty or immodesty or modernism - but because there really is A Truth that needs to be taught and lived.

Each of you who have actually read this all the way through - live in such a way that no one will have reason to slander you or your God. Live the way you were created to live - whether you are male or female, bond or free, Jew or Gentile. Let the world know that there is truth, and there is love. And it is real.

13 December 2007

Another Book for Prudes

Girls taught to value sex over achievement and intelligence

Yes, that's the title and the findings presented and discussed in a recent article for Scotsman.com. The article, by Malcolm Law, concerns a new book by Carol Platt Liebau, "a leading political commentator in the US and the first female managing editor of Harvard Law Review". In her book, she points out what most of us already know: that today's young women are being taught to believe "sexy" equates to empowered. That being "sexy" is just another choice for liberated women.

"The author said "promiscuity and sexual aggression" were now being seen as the only way to achieve admiration. And she suggested girls now competed for attention based on how much they were sexually willing to do for boys."

That's what concerns most of us "old fashioned ladies": that the new age of women, is actually just the old age of male dominance in a new outfit. And the new outfit is pretty flimsy.

She said: "The overwhelming lesson teenagers are now learning from the world around them is that being 'sexy' is the ultimate accolade, trumping intelligence, character and all other accomplishments. In a culture that celebrates Paris Hilton [and] thong underwear, there's scant modesty or achievement that isn't coupled with sex appeal. Girls are being led to believe that they're in control when it comes to sexual relationships.

"But they're actually living in a profoundly anti-feminist landscape where girls compete for attention on the basis of how much they are sexually willing to do for the boys. And living in an overly sexualised culture takes a toll on girls."

• Prude: How The Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls is available in the US on Amazon, among other places, and soon to be available in other countries as well. In the reviews that I have found, it seems that this is not a predominantly "Christian" book, and the damages presented are from the practical standpoint, such as economic and emotional, rather than merely the spiritual point of view that most of us "religious" folks are used to. The world finds it difficult to listen to us when we shout out that young people's souls are in danger. But maybe if they see that the results of that disaster also affect their country, they'll listen. God doesn't make rules and laws to be cruel; but because God knows how best we work, and if we follow the instructions, things always work better than we could make it on our own.

By the way, I always despised being called a "prude", as if it were an ignorant or evil thing to be "prudent" in behaviour.

This book is also reviewed in the UK Observer

... in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation ...

06 December 2007

On Wearing Skirts

I know that not everyone who dresses modestly believes that means they should be wearing skirts. And I won't say that it's a necessary part of dressing modestly or a "rule" of some kind - I simply cannot do that. But I found that, for me, the more modestly I was trying to dress and behave, the more interested I was in "lady like behavior" in general, and I developed a stronger liking for skirts. Now, I'm not into frills and laces and all that "mush" (I know some of you might be; please don't take that as an insult! - grin), but I do like skirts.

(photo: Long Floral tiered Prairie Skirt from modestapparelusa.com)

Here's a few links that I found about women in skirts, where they wear them all the time, and provided photos at their sites. They believe in wearing skirts modestly too, so we're not looking at above the knee or tight skirts that many of us wouldn't wear either. These are just offering their thoughts to those truly considering on these things.

1. Through the week in feminine dress from the Ladies Against Feminism website

2. Another lady's week, on the same site

3. From Mrs. Catherine of "Making It Home" - her own week of work in dresses and skirts

There may be other sites out there, but I just thought it might be nice to share these so you can see what some of us are talking about when we say that dresses and skirts are practical as well as pretty.

Remember - I never said wearing pants is wrong or immodest! I do it myself sometimes. I don't think these ladies are saying that it is wrong either, but they are sharing why they've made the choice themselves. That's all this post is about - just sharing.

For more pretty and modest skirts, try the above link for the outfits in the photo, as well as these:
Hannah Lise
Simply Modest
Butter and Honey
H2O Pink Label
Ringger Clothing - Sew Modest
The Frum Attic
and this online source list of Modest Clothing
as well as A Christian Home's Modest & Feminine Apparel

Also check out this modesty in dress blog I've linked to: offbeatmodestdress

I like to provide links when I can - in this day and age, it's so sad to hear someone say they "just can't find" modest clothing. Oh, and while searching, I came across a "new" link for modest swim wear, I'll have to add to the modest swim wear article I wrote a while ago. Since it's summertime in Australia now, how appropriate that this sun conscious website is providing protective swim wear in Australia, which just happens to be modest too: sharksuit.com.

30 November 2007

Long Skirts - Beautiful

I've almost completely shifted to wearing long skirts. There are so many styles popular now, from denim to dressy to East Indian, that are pretty, comfortable, and I can wear all day long, every day, even when cleaning the house! And I don't think I've ever had to worry about modesty when wearing them.

Long skirts are more practical than shorter skirts too (when they're fuller of course) in winter when you can wear leggings underneath for warmth. I even have one skirt that's made of a sweat suit type material that I've worn my old jeans underneath to play in the snow! The jeans were the uncomfortable part.

Did you ever notice how jeans can crinkle up behind your bent knees when you sit, especially if you have to get on the floor? A lot of bending pulls the denim across your knees in the front, and I'm not even going to go into the discomfort around the crotch at certain times. And how hot they are in the summer time.

Modesty, femininity, ease, comfort, practicality. I think there must have been a time when I'd have said, "who me? wear a skirt all day?" I'm glad I got over it.

Photo of fleece skirt above from The Mouse Works.com

20 November 2007

Old Fashioned and New in Istanbul

If you are interested in the various old fashioned qualities of various cultures, you must read this article. It is an enchanting visit of the author and family with some new friends in the country of Turkey. At home with the Usak Family, BY ROBERT WALTON, 11/7/07

Journaling Modesty in Dress

I think I only missed this website/journal in the past because it is "livejournal.com" and not a "blogger.com". However it happened, I am happily surprised to find the lively cross-cultural and helpful discussions concerning modest style, including head covering at this journal. If you can spare a moment, you might want to check it out.


10 November 2007


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


By Shawn Hlookoff

Some people say, I'm a fighter
Some people hate what I do
I stand for my country
I stand for you

I got a family that loves me
They respect what I do
Try telling your child you're leaving
Believe me it's a hard thing to do

So, If I die don't judge me
Cause, I will not judge you
And If I die, please accept it
Cause, I will die for you

We have our reasons
Rules, morals and beliefs
I won't slander your opinion
I'm just searching for peace

So, If I die don't judge me
Cause, I will not judge you
And If I die, please accept it
Cause, I will die for you

Click here to listen to this beautiful song

"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

"And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

"But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
"For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."

our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ

04 November 2007


"Living Apart... Together"

Click on the above title to read the article at MSNBC. It's not old-fashioned. It's not a 100% lady, though she's got potential. They're not actually Godly either. Just two happily married people with children, living in the city, who don't live together.

They're real people. And apparently they're not the only ones living this way.

Maybe I'm just "rubber necking", as they call it - turning to look at something and possibly wasting time at it because it's just so unbelievable and yet real.

I cannot actually think of anything to say after reading it, because, thoughtful lady that she was, she pretty much thought of anything that we might be thinking and addressed it in the article: why, how, what were you thinking, what about the kids, your friends, is this selfishness ... ?

And in the words of my beloved little brother, "Hey, I think this milk is going bad. You try it."

02 November 2007

And now for something silly

I got this as an email, and edited it a little to share with you. So many things are old fashioned these days ...

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill ...

BOTH ways .. yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way that I was going to lay a bunch of junk like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm getting close to 40, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy.

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog.

There was no email. We had to actually write somebody a letter ... with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there.

There were no MP3's or Napsters. If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself! Or, if that was too bold, you just had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up.

We didn't have fancy stuff like Call Waiting. If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your mom, your boss ... you just didn't know! You had to pick it up and take your chances.

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. We had the Atari 2600. With games like " Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics were so basic - your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever. And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died. (Just like LIFE!)

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating. All the seats were the same height. If a tall guy or some old lady with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, that was tough.

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control. You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on. There was no channel surfing. You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either - you could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning.

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove or go build a fire ... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use JiffyPop and shake it over the stove forever.

That's exactly what I'm talking about. You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

01 November 2007

Ladies Dressing Warmly

To go along with my last post of dressing warmly, and all my posts about dressing modestly and femininely, I offer you a link to a beautiful collection called Fall into Beauty.

How can I thank ladies of example enough for all that they are doing for me, and for others - to truly help us be the ladies we should be?

31 October 2007

"Old Fashioned Ways to Stay Warm"

An absolutely borrowed, copied and pasted article from the American Chronicle.

by C.D. Mohatta
October 29, 2007

A few weeks ago a friend of mine mentioned that she and her husband try each year to make it until Thanksgiving before turning on the heat in their home for the first time. She said, "It gives us yet another thing to be thankful for." I was shocked they can go so late in the season without turning on the heat even once! But I was also inspired by her story. I would like to match them this year.

You see, you can insulate like crazy, close off rooms you don’t use, and give your furnace a tune-up, but these things won’t make you more tolerant of the cold before the furnace comes on. So here are a few off the wall strategies for feeling more comfortable with less heat.

You’ve heard you should dress appropriately, but what is dressing appropriately? A lot of people don’t know. Start by layering. Several thin layers of long sleeved shirts, or two light or medium shirts plus a jacket or sweater will make you much more comfortable than just one or two thick layers. The reason for this is, it is actually the air in the fibers of sweaters and between the shirts that act as a barrier and keeps you warm. For this reason, several layers of clothes are warmer than fewer ones, much like double and triple pane windows are warmer than one thick piece of glass.

This is a trick I learned from a professor born in Germany. She showed me that when her socks wore out she’d cut off the feet and put the cuffs on her wrists in winter. This and a scarf around the neck is like wearing an additional sweater but without the bulk of it. The reason is, our blood passes close to the surface of our skin in these places. These days I knit pretty fingerless mitts or cuffs instead, and sometimes wear an old fashioned Dicky under a button-up shirt.

Multiple pairs of socks and / or extra warm slippers are also a must for staying warm in the home. Open-backed or acrylic slippers are not nearly as warm as woolen felted ones.

One year we discovered that if in the evenings we put on our coat and walked around the block for only ten minutes, that when we went indoors we’d be comfortable and warm for four or five hours. Metabolism is key in staying warm, which is why some people feel the cold much more than others, so stay active!

When my mother was growing up on a farm, they used to put bricks in the bottom of the oven, which would heat while cooking supper, and then after supper they’d be taken out, wrapped in towels, and put at the foot of the beds under the covers to keep the bed warm all night. These days you can use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to warm your bed or hold a heating pad or hot water bottle in your lap with a throw blanket over it while you are watching evening television.

With a little imagination you can keep warm in other ways: washing dishes by hand, drinking hot tea, having a cat or small dog in your lap, taking a hot bath. And let us not forget that two can stay warmer in bed than one!

To sum up the article, maybe your Mom or Grandma taught you already:
  • Dress in Layers
  • Cover Neck and Wrists
  • Extra Warm Feet
  • Stay Active
  • Use a Bed Warmer
  • Two Keep Warmer Than One
  • Be Creative in the Kitchen

And to help you out with that last entry, don't miss "50 Ways Chocolate Can Keep You Warm".

Picture above from "Vocational Guidance for Girls, by Marguerite Stockman Dickson", at Project Gutenberg eBooks

29 October 2007

Contrasts in Culture

Two articles referring to modesty came up this week I'd like to share with you.

In the first article, "Face-Veil: Mistaking Social Custom for Religious Rules," the author tackles a very ticklish subject. The idea of modesty, especially for a lady, is a part of her spirit, as what is inside is portrayed on the outside. For many religious women, modesty is a part of spiritual humility and the understanding that women were made differently from men for a reason. There is also the idea that beauty is not something to brag about or enhance vainly (since the physical things do tend to fall apart over time), but to accept humbly, or in "old fashioned" terms, modestly. What makes this subject so difficult is the fact that modesty is subjective. In regards to culture, especially, men and women grow up to understand that a certain style of dress, or certain behaviours, are humble and modest, while others are proud and vain. When a person moves into another culture - then what? Is the new culture too modest? Or not modest enough? And what makes people especially frustrated: Where will we draw the line? Muslims, this article points out, are taught to be modest in behaviour and apparel, but depending on the local culture, that definition changes. A very conservative, modest Muslim lady from Saudi who moves to the US, in this example, begins to move her own personal line, as she notices differences in the new local culture as to what is expected. I think most people in general would agree that there is no "law" which says that a woman is to cover her face and hands in public, and yet, there are women of all cultural backgrounds who may be very modest about their appearance.

And yet there are cultures where there seem to be no lines at all for modesty, and the idea itself is openly mocked. The second article that I came across today regarding modesty is the announcement that the Spice Girls singing group - known for their love of attracting attention - will be going on tour again, and this time, giving modesty and humility up for dead. The Spice Girls will get naked.
The Spice will reportedly being getting naked on stage for their reunion tour, and are getting paid $2 million each to do so..

Mel C, speaking to Graham Norton on his BBC 2 show, said: ‘We do actually go naked in the show, completely’

But, she insists that the girls will use props to hide their modesty.

According to Now Magazine, the famous four, who are reuniting later this year for an around the world reunion tour are also going to wow audiences with a pole-dancing strip-tease routine, for which they’ve reportedly received professional tutoring from exotic dancers.

‘It is their raunchiest routine ever and they just can’t wait,’ a source told the Daily Star.

‘It is going to be no holds barred. But they’re all in great shape, so why shouldn’t they just go for it?’

As I pointed out in my last blog article, Dear Abby says we modest girls should just grow a thicker skin and let these Spice Girls be. I think the "live and let live" attitude of our culture would agree.

But this disparity of cultures makes me sad. Sometimes it angers me, because I know that there are women who understand the difference between men and women, who know what the images can and have done to men and their families and their lives, and who still parade and flaunt and live in such a way that not only says that they are "confident" that they look good, but that they do not care about anyone but themselves and their own pleasure and comfort. They teach women who do not understand these things that to live immodestly is OK, and that the "backward", "old fashioned", "repressed" men and women will just have to accept them as they are. Not only accept, but get over the desire to be humble or modest, and live like they do. It's almost as if by proclaiming with flash and pomp: "Aren't We Naughty?", that they really want all people to be like them. But if all become like them, who will then be considered "naughty?" Unfortunately, it turns out that the ones in the wrong are those who want to preserve dignity, self-worth, marital fidelity, and mental purity; those who want "no lines drawn" will say that religious leaders, or leaders of families, have no right to make up arbitrary laws about the ambiguous idea of modesty - and then they will draw another line: that those who do establish limits are wrong. Noble Knights and Ladies are jeered. Honourable Fathers and Mothers are scorned and "put to death" in so many ways. All are sacrificed on the altar to the God of flashy self.

25 October 2007

So How Does "the World" View Modesty?

Grumpy old lady warning:

Does anyone still read "Dear Abby"? Apparently so, and they're still going to her for advice. In an article from October 19, she seems to say that it's "OK" to be modest and walk to the beat of a different drummer, at the same time pointing out that you are indeed "old fashioned" if you are more modest than your average slumber party girl. Oh, and she says to "grow a thick skin" - apparently an old fashioned modest girl needs it. Thanks for your encouraging advice, Abby. Way to keep "old fashioned" as the bad word here. /sarcasm

"About.com" has gotten in their say on the matter by ... putting it up for discussion. Reading some of the comments by grown women / mothers is kind of disheartening. Going nude or nearly nude, they seem to come to a consensus on, is just "being confident". Either that or just ignorant and unconcerned about it.


A Book about Christian Modesty

Normally when I post links, they are for information, and not to endorse or sell. However, I know this lovely author's wonderful Marmee, and am looking forward to her book doing some good work for the glory of God. Modesty: it's not so old-fashioned anymore. Is it?

The Modest Heart is now available for purchase through Xulon Press! Be sure to keep an eye on TheModestHeart.com for details.

Click here to buy.

Blurb from the website:

Discover how to cultivate the incorruptible beauty that is very precious in the sight of God with the practical guidelines and advice in The Modest Heart.

Be empowered to fight the waves of cultural immodesty that have invaded the lives of Christians today. You'll find new ways to effectively champion modesty in yourself and those around you.

Becoming a woman of godly grace is a journey that was never promised to be easy, but it can be one of the most joyful and fulfilling experiences of your life.

Discover how the true beauty of your heart is reflected in the decency of your body.

17 October 2007

Stay At Home Dads

A dear young Brother in Christ wrote to me and asked the following:

"There's this very strange movement that is recently emerging into the scene and showing its ugly head on the internet blogspots. I think you've mentioned it to me before but there are actually men out there (human beings of the male sex) who are actually remaining home and looking after the kids, housework and such while their wives are out earning an income. They're called "stay-at-home dads", it sounds extremely outlandish and absurd, I couldn't really believe that there were such men who would make such an outrageous choice. But anyways, it is a matter of fact and they're growing rather rapidly and have increased quite astronomically. I think there are approximately two million alone in the United States if I'm not mistaken. I wanted to inquire into this so I went to google it, but did not find anything sound from the Christian webpages. It is also a lamentable fact that many churches are actually condoning it, and there are many actual professing bible-believing "christians" who are going down this path. Do you know anything of this? Or is the media hype a bit exaggerated? Do you have any Christian articles that debunks this movement?"

I posted the letter anonymously in a private discussion group and received a great deal of feedback, which I include below.

But first, what does the scripture say?

Titus 2:3-5 "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

1 Timothy 5:8 "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

1 Peter 3 "7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered."

Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Also read: Proverb 31, 1 Corinthians 11 and the contentious woman Proverbs: 25:24; 21:19; 19:13; 27:15 which deal with the woman leaving her role.

The following are comments that were made by Christian women to my personal blog:

"Titus 2 says that older women are to teach younger women to be keepers at home (busy at home, working at home). Therefore, any man who takes on the woman's role is effeminate (taking on the female role/qualities) and emasculated (putting off the male role/qualities). Such a man is defiant against God's design for male and female roles (perhaps out of ignorance).

I Timothy 5 teaches that it is the responsibility of the man to provide for his wife, children, and relatives. Paul says that a man who fails to work and provide is worse than an unbeliever."

"A person that has not decided to stop living for themselves and live for Christ will not be ready to accept this teaching.

One of the greatest consequences of this switch in roles manifests it self in the lack of spiritual leaders that are ready to fight spiritual battles. Our men need to be on the front lines of this battle: Ephesians 6:10-20, Romans 10:14-17, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 2 Timothy 4:5. When we take our warriors and keep them at home we are setting ourselves up for certain loss."

"Perhaps a warning could read: Men, be strong and courageous ... LEAD! Women, be strong and courageous, stop controlling and let them lead! It takes more courage and strength to be led than it does to be in control."

"One friend wrote anonymously, and I wanted to share the thought, since many men have been forced into this situation: "Due to his physical disabilities, [a man I know] was forced into this role out of necessity and HATED it. I can't fathom why any self-respecting man would choose it.""

"I believe part of it is because the feminist movement has taught women to be unhappy with the best career in the world, to be a homemaker and/or mother.

I do not believe that it is wrong for a woman to earn money, the worthy woman obviously did, but I believe its obvious from those scriptures it was from things that she made at home because of all of the other things she did, it is quite the undertaking to do all of the mentioned and hold a job outside of the home.

There is nothing new under the sun, there had to be a reason there were scriptures admonishing women how they should act (Titus 2, Proverbs 31, 1 Corinthians 11, etc.). God did not create us equal, he sees us as equal in the respect that our souls are valued the same, but he made us different. He has specific rules laid out for both genders and for a while I resisted them because I had friends and the world telling me that I shouldn't be happy staying at home even without children. It is so hard to do good for others, to fulfill my role as a wife and a Christian woman without being at home.

Now I understand that there are some circumstances where the woman must work, but I believe they are over exaggerated, if we would stop listening to society and live within our means."

"I think the outgrowth of the stay-at-home dads is just the natural (really unnatural) progression of the feminist movement. If women ARE actually the SAME as men, why not? (said facetiously.)

The fact of the matter is that this is not the Lord's plan. Women are to be home keepers, men the providers. That's the way God designed it.

And I believe that there is a REASON for this design, beyond the natural order of authority. Men grow into Godly men by carrying the burden of provision for their families. They sacrifice self, and learn many godly characteristics as they bear their responsibility to lead and provide for their families. In the same way, we wives grow more godly as we lay our lives down in service to our families. I believe that this is the explanation for the verse in I Tim. that speaks of women being "saved in childbearing." "

"It seems a natural progression that with women taking on the role of provider that men would take on the primary role of keepers at home (Titus2-role for women). However, I would like to see an increase in the time that the fathers spend at home. A father need not neglect his responsibilities to the rearing and instruction of his children because he is fullfilling obligations as the breadwinner. Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is certainly hard to do with fathers spending only 6.4 hours (I think I read that was the average now) a week with their children."

"While I wholeheartedly promote the biblical example, I do like the trend today that was absent in the era of my childhood that fathers actually spend time with their kids and know them, thus knowing what they need."

"I think Dads who stay at home and "work from home" are still providing for their families, and not "kicking the wife out" of her place either, for the most part. The movement of the "home office" seems to be a pretty good one to me, in the sense that it will have fathers around their children to bring them up properly. I think the question above to be addressed really concerns the man who claims to be a man of God, and who chooses to send his wife into the world to make money for the family, while he stays at home to manage the home and children. "

Also - I came across this blog article (in Jess' Making Home blog) discussing this same topic: "It Starts With the Head", by Terry, who writes the blog "Ornaments of Grace". I encourage you to read this article and the comments made to it for more old fashioned, Christian thought and encouragement in this matter.

Volumes could be written, but very little will be said in the end that can go beyond the simplicity of Genesis 2:18. As one lady pointed out, those who do not have a Godly mindset will not understand this subject, as it comes from the authority of holy scriptures.

(To myself, I wonder how many honest non-believers though can look at the evidence of the world's experience and science, psychology and tradition, and not see the truth of these things: that there is a way that is best, and to ride that smooth path is actually easier and more peaceful in the end than to fight it on the ground of selfish ambition.)

A Christian Brother also responded to my post: "Except for brief periods of time, e.g. school, or if the husband is disabled and cannot do work outside the home (although I would inquire whether some business could be conducted from the home)." If the problem is that Dads aren't nurturing their children, and that's the reason that a man chooses to "stay at home", then it seems reasonable to expect that he won't sacrifice his wife's responsibilities or the family well being by leaving all work. I did come across one interesting blog/website encouraging Dads to stay at home with their kids by working from their home. Called "Christian Work at Home Dads". It's really not that hard.

02 October 2007

Modesty Modeled

Bod Squad Tour models modesty, fashion for girls (link)
quoted segments here by Cheryl Sherry; Post-Crescent, WI, staff writer

Created by best-selling Christian author Dannah Gresh for girls in grades three through six, the mother-daughter event features two fashion shows modeled by girls in the audience, new Gotee Christian recording artist Stephanie Smith, a Truth or Bare fashion quiz and Biblical teaching about the media and true beauty. The goal of the event is to show girls modesty and fashion can peacefully co-exist.

Not sure how necessary it is for modesty to coexist with fashion? Women wake up in the morning with a desire to figure out what to wear: to pick out a blouse, a skirt, and then what to do with her hair. Oops. Excuse the song from "Yentl". The idea is there - don't we, as women and even when we were girls, desire to at least look nice, presentable, not clashing, not frumpy? Maybe we get over it when we're older, and decide we don't have to look nice anymore because our inner beauty is all that matters, but most women still know that our inner beauty is reflected in what we put on. Think about it: why does almost every discussion of modesty turn to fashion? We really are what we wear. I think I applaud the idea of modeling modesty to the young girls. Optionally, it should be done by the family and spiritual family first, but if there is not a strong guide there, then someone who has some ideas to help is much appreciated.
Kimberly School District Superintendent Mel Lightner said dress codes are a big issue in public schools.

"Unfortunately, too many kids dress inappropriately when it comes to school," Lightner said. "I see one of the problems is that the culture and media promotes inappropriate dress many times in inappropriate venues. The message that children receive … is that it really doesn't matter how you dress, but it certainly does."
"(Modesty) kind of has a bad rap," Gresh added. "Girls are sort of afraid of it and think, Are they going to make me dress like a schoolmarm with lace to my chin? We tell them modesty is not about not expressing your beauty, but expressing it with caution because it is so valuable."

Check the link above for the full article/review, and the Bare truth fashion challenge in the side box.

In other news websites, see another review of "the burgeoning modesty movement," by Penna Dexter in the Baptist Press. And she quotes:
Allyson Waterman, from the shopping magazine Lucky and a regular guest on ABC's "Good Morning America," says we've hit a limit in style and behavior. She says the modesty backlash is not about being dumpy or "hiding under a lot of fabric" but "about embracing a woman's body with elegance and decorum," a la the style icons of the past like Jackie Onassis, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. No, they're not the role models for Christian girls, but we never saw their navels or their bra straps.

I really do think that modesty is all about being female, and is natural. Else why would it be so prominent a subject among women of many different faiths, and many without any faith, and not just Christian women?

28 September 2007

Clearing Up Breastfeeding Misconceptions

Follow up article in the Rockford Register Star, Rockford, IL

Perception vs. reality: Breastfeeding is OK

By Elizabeth Davies, September 26, 2007

Click on the title to link to the official news website and read the entire article. Below are a few extractions from the article.

Q: A teen girl walks through the food court at the mall. Her pants are so low-cut that it’s obvious she isn’t wearing any underwear.

Inappropriate or acceptable?

Q: The woman ringing up your purchases at the corner store is wearing a shirt that’s so revealing, it’s possible a stiff wind will blow the thing right out of there.

Inappropriate or acceptable?

Q: A mother is holding a crying baby in a restaurant booth. She lifts her shirt just enough to offer the baby her breast, and the child’s head covers any exposed skin.

Inappropriate or acceptable?

Too often, women in today’s society are condemned for feeding their children in public. Despite overwhelming health benefits for both mother and baby, the act of breast-feeding still carries a social stigma.

Here are a few of the perceptions surrounding breastfeeding:

. . .

Perception: Nursing in public is lewd and inappropriate.

Reality: There’s nothing sexual about nursing a child. It is, without dispute, the most natural and healthiest way to feed a baby. If you can’t look at breasts as something other than a sexual object, it’s time to spend more time learning to respect and honor the women around you. Breasts were created to feed children, not to entertain men.

. . .

Perception: A nursing mother could very easily put a blanket over herself.

Reality: Blankets aren’t always available. They’re often hot. Some babies just won’t keep them on. And replacing a blanket one-handed while trying not to drop your baby is pretty darned difficult.

Perception: Mothers who nurse in public are trying to cause trouble.

Reality: If a mother really wanted to irritate the people around her, she would let her hungry baby scream. Instead, she’s giving the baby what he needs in a quiet way.
And besides, very few mothers who just went through nine months of pregnancy are particularly eager to show off their bodies to the world. They’re just doing what needs to be done.

Perception: Nursing mothers just “whip it out” in front of God and everyone.

Reality: OK, so we’ve all heard the stories about moms who walked around with their entire breasts showing while feeding their children. But those moms are in the minority.

Most breastfeeding mothers simply look as though they are holding a baby. Chances are, you’ve passed a breast-feeding mother in the aisle at Target or on a bench at the park and not even realized what she was doing.

Perhaps if you caught the mother at the right angle, if the baby moved its head or if you stared really hard, you might see a flash of skin. Turn away, just as you would if a woman walked by with her skirt accidentally tucked into her pantyhose.

Perception: Women who breast-feed in public are offending those around them.

Reality: People who smell, wear their clothes too tight and learned their table manners in a barnyard offend me, but I don’t see anyone telling them to leave.

Posting because I appreciate this author's point of view. Each person must decide for themselves what is right and good. And if you offend me, I will discreetly turn my head, as I hope you will do if I offend you. If I am about to walk off a spiritual cliff, though, I do hope that you will at least tell me to watch my step.

I do not agree with everything she writes. Regarding her statement that "Breasts were created to feed children, not to entertain men:" I must, as a Christian and an honest human being, disagree. The wise teacher said "may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love." (Proverbs 5:19) Also check out the Song of Solomon! I think breasts were created to entertain men and to feed children. ERGO... we are responsible to be discreet, careful, and "modest", when we are feeding our children. People need to understand the and conjunction. Women are not to "whip it out", not caring for the men's hearts, and men are not to ogle, not caring for the women's hearts. But all in all, when men and women are being ladies and gentlemen, understanding that nursing a child at the breast is a beautiful way of nourishing a child, and in our Creator's own plan, then there is nothing wrong or indecent about doing it "in public".

"Education, education, education," as they say. Let us keep teaching the younger women - in the church and out - of the propriety of loving your children by feeding them in this natural, loving way, and doing so sensibly and discreetly. And then maybe, as they observe chaste and respectful behavior, men will also be won to honor women in an understanding way, as heirs of grace.

24 September 2007

Breast Feeding "versus" Modesty?

I'm thinking that old fashioned girls might get a tad confused by this one. Our mothers and grandmothers made very sure to buy the "best" formula, boil those bottles, and not even think about the commonality or animal instinct to feed babies at the breast. Much less would it be done or spoken of in public. Our society encourages mothers who want to feed their children in the even older old fashioned way to please treat this as if it is talking about "that time of the month." Sad thing is, products for "that time of the month" are talked about all over the airwaves and in magazines, but breast feeding is thought of as yucky somehow, indecent, something to be embarrassed about. Mothers who breast feed may be aware of the stories that are told of visiting foreign lands where women were more concerned that their heads were covered in the presence of a man, than their baby feeders. True - the breast is lovely. Even the Bible tells a young man to enjoy the breasts of his wife. But that's not all they're there for, just as that's not all the wives are there for either.

So is it modest to feed your baby at the breast in public? Most breast feeding mothers I know were very discreet about it, even able to feed their crying child during church services, so that no one knew that they were "proud" to feed their babies naturally. I say "proud" because it is often the opposite of modest, isn't it? A woman who isn't "modest" about it, flaunts it. Most nursing mothers aren't "flaunting it" - they're just feeding their children.

I wish there was a way to teach the world - well, at least the "educated"world who have some strange hang up against natural, old fashioned feeding of children - that it's perfectly all right for a woman to feed her hungry baby without feeling like she's broken some sexual law. They aren't "showing off", that is "being immodest", after all. They are some of the humblest women you know. If almost 75 percent of babies are breast fed, for at least a little while, I'm sure you know some of them too.

Thoughts spurred on by the following article...

Health, concern come before modesty for mothers
Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:00 AM
By Elizabeth Davies

Pick up any can of Enfamil formula and you’ll likely see the motto: “Even closer to breast milk.”

Even formula companies admit it: Breast milk is the healthiest food for our babies. So much so that the federal government has set a goal of having three-quarter of all babies breast-fed in the next two years.

At present, slightly less than 75 percent of all babies are breast-fed. That means 75 percent of new fathers have seen breasts function as a source of nutrition rather than excitement. Seventy-five percent of older siblings grow up knowing that a woman’s breasts do more than look good on the pages of Playboy.

But despite growing education and promotion of breast-feeding, society is sending nursing mothers a mixed message. Consider this:

* A nursing mother was asked to stop while at a Wheaton swimming pool because it was a “family” setting, according to the Wheaton Sun.

* A nursing mother in Kentucky was asked to cover herself in an Applebee’s restaurant, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Upon hearing her complaint, the company said it would provide blankets for nursing mothers in its restaurants.

(OK, all mothers go ahead and shudder in unison at the thought of putting a public blanket over your child’s face.)

* A nursing mother on a Delta Airlines flight was asked to leave the plane, according to MSNBC.

I’ve nursed my child in parks, restaurants and department stores. I’ve done it at the gym, in a hair salon and at church. To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t given an X-rated show to anyone around.

I have, however, fed my child when he was hungry and comforted him when he was upset.

I’m a fairly modest person, so I didn’t expect to be the type to nurse in public. But when your child eats every two hours, you have two options: 1) never leave the house; or 2) get a life and get over it.

Like many moms, I get a tad nervous about feeding in public. Obviously, I would prefer to be in the comfort of my quiet, private home.

Nursing moms always have their guards up, ready to spring into action if their little one’s busy hands decide to expose mommy’s goods to the world. But we’re more nervous about the one person who will walk up and try to bully us out of doing this very good, healthy thing for our child.

Moms in Illinois have the legal right to breast-feed anywhere they otherwise are allowed to be. Standing in line for a roller coaster? You bet. Wandering through the produce section at the grocery store? Absolutely.

But those hushed whispers and open-mouthed stares make it difficult. That shouldn’t be the case. Nursing mothers should not be made to feel dirty or promiscuous simply because they are making a choice for their child.

As breast-feeding becomes a more popular option for mothers across the country, society needs to learn some tolerance. This isn’t about sexuality — heck, teen girls wandering the mall tend to show more skin than a nursing mother — and it’s not about indecency.

It’s about giving a child the benefits of breast milk: A lower risk of obesity, reduced exposure to food allergies, a stronger immune system.

It’s one of the things mothers were made for.

Writer’s note: Next week’s column will discuss some of the myths surrounding public breast-feeding. Elizabeth Davies’ column runs Thursdays in People of the Rock River Valley in the Rockford Register Star.

17 September 2007

Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days

Blast from the past today. I can still see the 1988 Friends group singing this one. Some dear heart had written today about the good old days, and this song came to my head, though I haven't heard it for years. I never saw this video (gotta love the 80's hair).

Made me all nostalgic.

by the Judds:

Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this world's gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn't seem so hazy

Did lovers really fall in love to stay
And stand beside each other, come what may
Was a promise really something people kept
Not just something they would say
Did families really bow their heads to pray
Did daddies really never go away
Oh, grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days

Grandpa, everything is changing fast
We call it progress, but I just don't know
And Grandpa, let's wander back into the past
And paint me the picture of long ago

Did lovers really fall in love to stay
And stand beside each other come what may
Was a promise really something people kept
Not just something they would say and then forget
Did families really bow their heads to pray
Did daddies really never go away
Oh, Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days
Oh, Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days

15 September 2007

Lady Walking Alone

I came across this paragraph, reading a blog online, which is quoted from a book on dating and so on. She didn't say which book, though I believe it is from "Lady in Waiting: Developing Your Love Relationships" by Debby Jones and Jackie Kendall. I just really appreciate the thoughts.

"One lady wrote to me, frustrated that people often view a single woman as just marking time until the right man comes a long. Poor single woman! The world wants her to fornicate, and the church wants her to marry! Whatever happened to what Paul said about the blessings of being single?" William Booth wrote, "Don't instill, or allow anybody else to instill into the hearts of your children the idea that marriage is the chief end of life. If you do, don't be surprised if they get engaged to the first empty, useless fool they come across. Women and men should marry when it is plainly the will of God for their lives, NOT because they 'can't minister' otherwise, or because of social pressure."
Paul says, about the blessings of being single:

"I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

This is not to negate the beauty and holiness of a marriage in Christ, of course!
"A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her."
(And vice-versa) What do you think?


Sometimes, while planning to get married someday, a Lady might decide to work for the Lord in the meantime. Sometimes, while working for the Lord, a Lady might find that she can serve Him in marriage too, and what an added blessing that is.

Here's a list of books to read on living single in purity, and courtship, as opposed to spending your single years in mostly a pursuit of seeking your self and/or a mate, from a friend of mine, who is serving the Lord while living at home and serving her parents. She has organized them:

"These are all about making sure your relationship with God is right before you EVER even think about a relationship with a man...Very good books. "

"For those of you who don't know that I do courtship aka. not kissing before marriage...Plus some other things. I am just telling you in advance..If you don't like it then you probably should not read any of these books about keeping your heart pure or striving to please God in the process....j/k..You should read it anyway :)"
"Books on Raising Girls to be Godly Women-Yes I have done every one of these study books at least twice...But don't let how badly I've turned out discourage you from trying to make your girls into Godly women :)"
"Also if you are planning on doing courtship with your children and don't really like them reading love novels, the Castleberry's have come out with a series of stories for young people about various people that have done courtship-"
"You can buy just about all of these books from Grace and Truth Bookstore.. (for those of you that homeschool-wait until they come to the curriculum fair.They are always cheaper there :)"

"Vision Forum also has some AWESOME stuff about all the things that I mentioned.Plus they are having one HUGE sale right now!""Also if you have boys you can find books with the same material except for boys..."

Watch the trailer for Visionary Daughters' "Return of the Daughters"

Isn't my friend organized? All I had to do was google search each title, and link it to one of the websites where that book is available for purchase. I decided to use multiple sites that sell these books, because I was happily surprised at the number of websites out there that are promoting these kinds of thoughtful books. If you have time, check further into a few of them, for more things to read and think about.

Here's a couple of lessons to listen to on the same topic:
And some great blogs and websites to read:

Anna's Musings
Mayden Fair
Single Girl in God's Army
Visionary Daughters
Articles from With All Thy Heart E-zine
Articles Especially for the Unmarried, by Ladies Against Feminism

12 September 2007

Baby Boom of Large Families

It is interesting to me how sometimes a similar topic hits several blogs at the same time. Just this week, the talk is about big families. And these are only the three that I came across today; I am sure there are more. This is a big topic, after all!

I have four children, and I have heard many of the same questions that I read that those with families 2 or 3 times our size have gotten. To be honest, those Old Fashioned Ladies with large families are an encouragement and inspiration to those of us who have a "mere" 4 or 5.

May they continue blessing us.
In "No individual attention? Answering objections against large families," Domestic Felicity answers some arguments over-read concerning large families. Specifically addressed are the ideas that more children means there's less love to go around, and that problem of older children taking on responsibilities.

In "Large Family Budget Blessings," A Wise Woman Builds Her Home writes of the wonderful ways that a large family is blessed, even materially, when their priorities are set on the right things. They have nothing to fear.

In "Call for photos - "Full Quiver" Families," Mommy Life, "Mother of 12 lives to write about it!", writes, "it might be fun to put together a web album of Full Quiver (so to speak - I'm really still hesitant to use two words which have become too much of a slogan) families as part of my public gallery. This does not mean that you have to have a large family - it just means that your underlying philosophy is that children are a blessing and that you are willing to accept as many as God sends you through birth and/or adoption - and that at some point you stopped using birth control."

Also check these blogs and websites:
Large Family Mothering
Larger Families
Raising Godly Tomatoes
Foundation For Large Families

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:4-5

08 September 2007

Christian Ladies and Gentlemen are Old Fashioned

A study of 1 Peter 3 (See below for my thoughts and study)

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For

"Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

L'Angelus, by Jean-Francois Millet

I find it quite interesting that the things which make a lady, or a gentleman, are the things which signify a follower of the Way of Christ, according to these Bible words. Think of it:

"subject to your own husbands" - she knows her role is not man's role; men and women are different

"they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct" - she doesn't need to nag or preach to get her point across, but behaves respectfully and keeps her behavior above suspicion

"Do not let your adorning be external..." - she doesn't dress so as to attract attention to her physical self, whether boldly or immodestly in any way

"let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit"- she focuses on presenting her inner self; she is calm and prepared so as not to be rattled, or lose her cool in any situation; she is confident in her life and her beliefs and so does not need to have a loud, controlling spirit

"which in God’s sight is very precious" - Being an "old fashioned lady", you see, is precious in God's sight. It does not save her and bring her to heaven, but it is the outward showing of something that is already in her heart.

"For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves" - she looks to the old ways for her example

"Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way" - Like the ladies, the gentlemen of Christ are not harsh ogres, nor are they like egalitarian business partners, thinking of them as men. They think, and live their lives showing outwardly that which is in their hearts, as they treat their wives with respect.

"showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel" - he shows that he sees her value and her preciousness, treating her as a special creation that he does not want to "break", as a big, old rough man in a china shop might break a precious vase because of his unawareness

"they are heirs with you of the grace of life" - he doesn't look down on her service as servitude to him, but sees a spiritual oneness

"all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind" - Ladies and Gentlemen do not fight and argue but work together to find solutions that will benefit; they seek the good of others and not themselves only; they love others and treat them as dear family; they are not harsh and rude, but they refine their heart until it is tender and gentle; they are not proud and haughty as a "newly rich" person might ascribe to be, but rather bear their riches in Christ - the blessings, the grace, the love, the wisdom of God, the responsibilities - with meekness and humility, as a servant to all

"Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless" - their speech and behavior does not harm others just because harm has been done; they do not seek to slander others, but rather to encourage them, maybe even to lead them to a better way

"to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing" - Being "old fashioned" in speech and behavior is not what we were called to, was it? Then why does Peter point out that this lifestyle of blessing others is how or why we obtain blessing? It seems to me that this Godly lifestyle is exactly what God called us to. To live in such a way as to be a blessing to others - not merely to live for ourselves as the moderns might want to live.

One dear Lady pointed out to me that some of what I write about in this little blog is not really "old fashioned," but is "Godly living." This modern society may look at our old fashioned notions of femininity, service, meekness and humility and sneer, telling us that we will never get anything in this life living that way. But, oh, how much more we will get. And there was apparently a time, sometime in the "old" days, when many people, true Christian or not, saw the value of living this lifestyle of being a blessing by our manners, lifestyle, speech and behavior.

As David wrote to the Jewish nation, in Psalm 34:12-15,

What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

I am seeking to be an "old fashioned lady", if these things are what it means. Not a frivolous "lady of leisure" as some women of old days wanted to be, but a true lady, by definition and spirit. And, apparently, by the design and will of God.