Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just Hike It Up

It seems to me that one of the biggest problems in our world today is modesty. Not one person can even walk into Wal-Mart without needing to cover the eyes more than once! It doesn’t even matter that it is the middle of February, and it’s freezing outside… The inappropriate clothing is still prominent.

I think modesty is so important because of the many boys in the world. When girls walk around half naked, it exposes them to something that they do not need to ever be exposed to. No matter how hard they try to stay away from girls like that, they still cannot keep their eyes from accidentally seeing something. I want to respect my brother’s in Christ and all the boys of this world in the way I dress, so as not to influence them to do evil.

Now, my modesty standards are probably higher than those of the average person, but I don’t think that’s a problem. I would like to share with you what I believe is Biblically appropriate and I personally would wear. If you know me very well, you know that I am SUPER modest, and don’t even own something that I feel uncomfortable in. So here it goes…

My Modesty Standards:

A. Shirts

1) No v-neck shirts without a camisole under it.
2) When I bend over, nothing must be exposed.
3) Not too tight.
4) No spaghetti-strap shirts or skinny strapped tank-tops.

B. Pants

1) Not too tight.
2) Shorts are not any shorter than one inch above the knee.
3) When I bend over nothing is exposed.
4) When I sit down, no one is embarrassed.

C. Skirts

1) Not any shorter than past the knee.
2) When I sit down, no one can see up my skirt.
3) Not too tight.
4) Can walk without looking like a penguin.

D. Dresses

1) Not form fitting or clingy.
2) Past the knee.
3) Modest neckline.

Now I realize that most people would classify this as over the top, but this is what I feel is right, and what God wants me to wear. Every time I try something on at a store I ask myself this question: “Would I wear it to church? Would I wear it in front of my youth group or my minister?” I do not buy anything that I would not feel comfortable wearing at my church. With this simple technique, I keep myself from buying anything that might be even in the slightest inappropriate.

Girls and modesty do not seem to go together any more. I hope that I can be an example to them in the way I dress, even if I am a bit uptight about it. If I could tell the girls of this world one thing, it would be to hold the front of their shirts when they bend over. It’s really not that hard, and it saves all the other people in the room a lot of embarrassment.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

To Find the One

On Sunday, I was struck by a song that was played during the offering. I came home and looked it up and found that it was written by Paul Alan and is called “Only to Bring you Back”. Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

“I left the ninety-nine, to find the one. And you’re the one! I walked a thousand miles in the desert sun, only to bring you back.”

I love the chorus because it makes me think of the world today. We Christians have the opportunity every day to make something more important than God. We can turn to money, possessions, other people, and just about anything you can think of, but we have chosen to make God the center of our lives.

So many times I have found myself prioritizing something above God. When I catch myself, I am so ashamed, and I wish I could run and hide. Yet, I know that I must turn to God for forgiveness. It is very hard for me to admit my mistakes to anyone, even God. It is so easy in the world today to find something that consumes all of my attention. If I flip on the television, I see a million things that I “NEED” to have. I think commercials come straight from the Devil! They try to make us want something that will take away our focus from God.

When I was eight, I finally figured out why I didn’t feel complete. I was trying to find something to fill this empty place inside me, but I didn’t know what. My parents helped me find that I wanted to become a Christian. They took me on long walks around the neighborhood teaching me about God’s love and Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. I made the decision to be baptized, and my dad did the honors in our bathtub on May 18th, 2002. I had turned to many different things trying to find that one that would complete me forever. I looked to my not-always-good friends for affirmation of who I was, turned to buying stuff when I felt like I didn’t have enough (when I really had way more than I needed), and many other things trying to figure out what it was that would fill me up. I may have only been in 3rd Grade, but it is amazing what you can feel at that age. I finally found that it was my soul that was not complete. When I went under that water in the bathtub and came back up, I was complete. I had found the one in the ninety-nine that would confirm my identity forever. I found that my identity is in Christ, not in the world.

Even now, after I have been a Christian for six and a half years, I still turn to the world on occasion. I look back at the ninety-nine and wonder if they are really any better than what I have right now. Sometimes, I even go as far as to test it out and see what they are like. Fortunately, I am able to recognize my mistakes and go running back to bow at the feet of Christ.

The song I heard on Sunday voiced what I often feel, but could never explain before. I realize that I do want to leave those that are of the world, and join the ONE and ONLY ONE who will fulfill my life forever. I encourage all of you to make this leap, and make the goal of your life to find the One who was, is, and will forever be there for you.

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Dad is Awesome!

Guess what my dad did today? He took me and my sister to the father-daughter dance (Butterfly Kisses) at the Lincoln Center DURING THE SUPER BOWL. My dad may not be the biggest football fan, but it still made me feel good.

This has been a tradition in my family for the last eleven years. On Super Bowl Sunday for the past eleven years, my dad has taken me to Butterfly Kisses to show me how much he loves me. When my sister was born, he offered to take us to two separate dances so as to preserve our alone time with him, but we decided to go together.

These past eleven dances have been the highlight of my year with my dad. I love spending time with him, and I love that he wants to spend that time with me.
Last week, Dad pulled Lexi and I into the living room and bent on one knee. He pulled out the tickets to the dance from his pocket, and asked us if we would go with him. Do you know what he is trying to teach me? He’s trying to show me how a man or boy should treat me when I am old enough to court (which according to him is thirty-five). He doesn’t do it just because it’s a tradition! He does it because he wants me to set my standards high so I don’t settle for a man that is not meant to be my husband.

My dad has taught me so many things. He’s taught me how to change the oil in the car (yes, I really do know how), do a job well (he is Mr. Perfectionist!), how to understand the subject of Economics, and lots of current events. But the most important thing he has taught me is what to expect from a guy. Because I have his example, I don’t give a second thought to those who are not up to my standards.

So many teenage girls do not have a father figure in their life. Whether it is through divorce, death, or something else, these girls have a higher chance of settling for just any boy. A dad’s influence in his daughter’s life is so very important. Without this, a girl will not know what to look for in a husband.

My dad is a great example of respectfulness toward women. I love watching him with my mom. He makes a point to kiss her as soon as he comes home from work, he buys her thoughtful gifts, and he tells her she is beautiful (which she is). My dad shows me how my husband should treat me when I get married. I hope to find someone just like my dad when I grow up. He is such a good man, who has set a great example for me.

Thank you, Dad, for being there for me whenever I need you. You have shown me the importance of finding the right man, and how to set my expectations high. Thank you for building up my self-confidence by frequently telling me I look beautiful. It may seem small on your part, but it means the world to me. I love you, Dad, and hope to dance with you at Butterfly Kisses for many years to come. You’re the best, and I love you very much.

Here are the pictures from before the dance:

Lexi, Dad, and Me.

We love you, Dad!

Excited for the dance!

The dog wanted to pose, too :)

Do I look stupid in this picture?