A Girl’s Guide To Summer Modesty: What Even Is Modesty?

Being a girl who spent the majority of her teen years {and beyond} in a youth room, I am no stranger to the groans and rolling of the eyes that usually take place the second the word modesty is mentioned. My youth girls beg not to have “modesty talks” and we battle constantly with dress code because they have never been taught the true meaning of the word and what it really entails in their lives as believers. They’d rather fight against it than conform to the mingling of their closets with the Gospel because it has become nothing more than a broken record playing the same song over and over.

The way we have been taught the concept of modesty – a list of rules, restraining us from being ourselves, and holding us back in our freedom, a bondage of sorts – has turned us away all together. We don’t want to practice it because it seems as though it is holding us back. It adds unwanted pressure and expectations and weighs us down with extra work. {Like I said in my previous post…modesty isn’t meant to be easy.} And now it just seems a foreign concept all together because we have forgotten the importance of it. And I get how it has lost its appeal. Modesty can be really annoying when we don’t understand it.

To practice the art of modesty, we first need to understand it.

What even is modesty? My goal in this series is to uncover each facet of modesty that I believe is important for us to understand as girls. We talked about the heart, and today we will continue to dig deeper…seeing modesty as a sensitivity to sin and the practice of discernment as well as a display of our freedom in Christ. My hope is that once we have the whole picture, we will no longer run from the idea, but embrace it.

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A Girl’s Guide To Summer Modesty: Heart Check

Summer is here and that means snocones, outdoor movies, swimming pools, popsicles, fireworks and sunshine. I pull out all the pineapple decorations {because SWOON} and I start planning all the fun adventures that will blow up your Instagram feeds for the next 3 months. The major closet clean out of the year happens and my Chacos become a permanent fixture of my feet {got to get my tan on and all}. On days off I live in gym shorts and loose t-shirts, sunglasses always poised on my head, and messy hair for dayssss. Minimal makeup and a bright lip are my go-to, dry shampoo is life, and I almost always smell like sunscreen {#paleskinprobs}. Sweet, sweet summertime.

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. But as a girl, prepping for the warmer weather has its challenges. What do I wear that is still glorifying to Christ?

Over the next 2 weeks we will look at modesty, fashion, and Jesus, and how all of those can work together in unity to bring greater glory to our Savior. We will start with looking at how modesty is defined by the Bible and what that means in our lives today as girls following Jesus. We will talk about modesty as it relates to discernment in our lives and freedom rather than restraint. And we will finish with some fashion tips and tricks for dressing in a way that is glorifying to Jesus, but still leaving us with our ability to create cute {even trendy} outfits.

I’m beyond excited to dive in with you girls these next few weeks, talking about one of my favorite things: Jesus and fashion. I know modesty can seem like a daunting topic, full of rules and regulations, but when we approach it with a heart bent towards Jesus and a joyful attitude, it can be a beautiful outpouring of worship for our King.

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Porch Time Stillness

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up just feeling attacked by the Enemy before you even step foot out of the bed? Those days where your heart is unexplainably heavy, your mind is preoccupied to the max, and no matter how hard you try to just “be still” you can’t seem to quiet the anxieties that seemed to take root while you were fast asleep. You pray and you pray and you pray, knowing the moment you open your eyes it’s going to be a big day with Jesus. You anticipate good or bad, never knowing what might happen, and you experience a day full of battle.

My friends, that was me today. Honestly, I didn’t plan on blogging today. I had no plans to write, but I just felt this overwhelming sense to put the pen to paper and be here with you tonight. And as I sit on my porch, wrapped up in a blanket, worship music on, and awaiting the sweet rain that should be heading my way, I can feel this sense of peace as Jesus wraps His strong arms around me. That beautiful overwhelming feeling that says, “I know this is stretching you, testing you, frustrating you. But, child, grab my hand and let Me lead. I’ve got this. You don’t understand this feeling of anticipation yet, but you will. Let. Me. Lead.”

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“Single All The Way”

 

It’s the happiest time of the year! But it can also be the most difficult time of the year living as a single girl in the big world. Our social media feeds are flooded with pretty engagement rings and cute couples standing under twinkly lights. Ice skating is much more fun on the arm of a handsome beau and hot chocolate tastes better snuggled up rather than on the couch in your pajamas. {Although I’m sure my dog would beg to differ. ;)}

It’s a magical {and romantic} time of year, and although we love to celebrate the hype and joy of the season, it is all too easy to let discontentment flood our hearts. We are quick to look to others and compare our lives with theirs, to let discouragement take the front seat to gratefulness, to become distracted with our wants rather than the things we have.

So, here we are, in the days leading up to Christmas, and many girls feeling less than worthy in the secret places of their hearts. Many girls feeling as though all their hopes and dreams have once again been dashed. Many girls who will give up their pursuit of Christ simply for a desire of their flesh, settling for the okay guy right in front of them rather than holding out for the prince that is waiting and praying on their behalf.

How do we fight the ways of this world and the attitude of discontentment that seems to seep in during this season? How we do keep our eyes focused on the Bride-Groom, looking to Him for our complete satisfaction? How do we hope and dream, but yet still remain on our knees before our King?

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The Bravery of Femininity

Femininity. A word that is often equated with weakness. Ironically though, we change that word to feminist, and we think upon courage and bravery. Somehow in our culture, we have made being a woman and taking a stance for women two completely different things. One is frowned upon, yet the other is revered as a worthy cause. Like I said, ironic.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that feminism is necessarily bad. However, I do think we have lost sight of what the bravery of femininity truly looks like. And to rock the boat even further, I think independence might be our biggest weakness, rather than the strength we so heartily fight for.

Amidst the fight, we’ve completely lost the femininity God created us to possess.

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How-To #GirlsMin: Dealing With Dress Codes

Sweet, sweet summertime. Girls nights. Snocones. Sunshine. Late night Bible studies. Summer camps. Sundresses. Swimming pools. And what could be the most dreaded part of Girls Ministry…Dress Code.

I still remember the first time I was asked to approach dress code with a girl. Sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat…I was terrified of hurting her feelings and I stumbled through the words as best I could while mentally planning the quickest escape route. Instead of getting mad, I’m pretty sure she was the one to tell me to relax because it was no big deal.

I mean…how do you tell a teenage girl that what she is wearing is inappropriate without making her hate you?! It’s a tough job, but I’m here to tell you it can bring joy to your relationships with your girls in that beautiful “iron sharpens iron” kind of way if it is handled right.

One of the biggest questions I get asked from other girl leaders is how I approach the issue of dress code; more specifically, how I enforce it and still love my girls with a love that is overflowing with Jesus. Now, there obviously is more than one way to approach the conundrum of short shorts and crop tops and skin-tight dresses, but I have found a bit of a groove when enforcing it with my girls that has ended in more thank you’s than angry outbursts. And I would love to share it with you in hopes that it might make the task of dress code a less fearful moment in your ministries.

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A Tribute To Elisabeth Elliot: A Most Remarkable Woman

“Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.”

I can only imagine the sweetness of heaven right now as it gained such a beautiful soul. I can just see the smile on Elisabeth’s face as she entered completely into the fullness of Christ, falling on her face in worship of her great King for the rest of eternity. It’s a beautiful picture that fills me with such raw emotion.

Almost a year ago, the world lost one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever known. A truly remarkable woman. Yes, technically I didn’t actually know her…as in I never met her…but this woman helped shaped my walk with Christ in such a way that I feel a real, tangible connection to her. Her books are like those lifelong friends I so desperately longed for, the words falling off the pages and filling my heart with hope over the years. I felt the pain of her loss keenly, weeping over the fact that she would no longer be with us and rejoicing over the fact that she was now in the presence of the God she so faithfully served. And now, I hold on tightly to the legacy she left us.

Jesus.

You see, my love for Elisabeth isn’t just a skin deep love for a person with a beautiful soul. I am in love with her love of Jesus. Her brokenhearted surrender to Christ in all things ignited a fire in me many years ago to know Him better, more intimately through the act of self-abandonment; and I’ve looked to her for answers, inspiration, hope, and understanding throughout all these years. In many respects, she became my mentor; the woman I always knew I could turn to for the right answers because she never looked to herself for those answers, her gaze always fixed upon Jesus. Her heart always open to receive Him.

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