Monthly Archives: August 2009

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On Thanking God For The Little Things…

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So, yesterday I received the biggest vomit-shower of my life! Gross, I know…I was holding a fussy Alyssa in the baby back pack, and couldn’t seem to help her stop crying. All of a sudden, I was drenched, covered, dripping in yuckiness! All the girls have passed this bug around all week, and we’re finally on the last couple little ones, so hopefully we’ll be done soon. That moment was the messiest, and it took me a moment to figure out how in the world to clean everything up! But I did, and we threw everything into the laundry for a very hot wash.

…Fast forward to this morning. I was up most of the night taking care of Isabelle – she always seems to get the highest fevers! Long story short, she ended up in my bed, and finally went back to sleep at 6:30am. I was trying to figure out how to get up and get ready without waking her when a phone call endangered her sleepiness. I quickly snuck out and managed to do so with her still asleep.  I’d been puttering about downstairs for a bit, getting some morning things accomplished, and thinking about making breakfast. I finally decided to make some food, but was disappointed that I’m still in my jammies, which don’t happen to be what I want to wear in front of our neighbor-facing window. It would be impossible to sneak in and get clothes without waking the little one. Knowing this, I was right in the middle of thinking to myself (hadn’t even got as far as praying yet) how much I would really, really like some clothes, when I passed the dryer. Voila! All those dripping, icky clothes from yesterday are now clean, fresh, dry, and just waiting for me to wear…Thank you, Lord, for a lovely morning gift!

Summertime….

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Well, I have all sorts of fun curriculum waiting for the fall (well, actually we plan to start school again in August, since we ended a bit early in the spring). and I’m hoping to get a day to myself so I can organize and plan everything out.  We also have the busiest little autumn I’ve planned yet – piano lessons, choir, Schola Cantorum (happily, our church is starting a singing school for the wee ones!), and a few other things we’re still deciding if we can fit in. In addition to all of this, we’re pondering moving (again, I know – we’re terrible at keeping the same house for more than two years!) We are thinking of buying a little farm – or at least a couple of acres where we can keep our horse, have some chickens, let the girls run about and also learn "farm chores", and all that lovely sort of stuff! We’ll see how this all plays out – and how I manage to get any schooling done if we do move – but it does make for some exciting things to look forward to! Before we say farewell to summertime play, here are some summertime photos:


Part Two….

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Here are a few more of my thoughts on the adornment thing. I wrote this as a response to this post on Femina.

I really enjoyed this post, Rachel, and I think you made some great points to ponder. But I still think it misses the point overall. Much of what I was going to say (whilst waiting for my little girls’ naptime), Aubree already pointed out very well. But I’ll still add a few things.

One thing, however minor, is that I genuinely do think earrings and nose rings are essentially the same type of thing – Biblically speaking. No, I wouldn’t put a nose ring on a baby, but I also wouldn’t put makeup on my baby – that doesn’t mean I think it’s any less appropriate at a different time.

I also have to point out, in the vein of what Aubree said, that just because we as Christians *do* something that is similar to something to the world does, it does not logically follow that we therefore are imitating the world. Examples abound, from the mundane and simple like eating three meals a day and enjoying wine, to issues which could seem more complex like home mortgages, nose studs and blogging! Honestly, being that we all live in this world God created, and are working with the same “raw material” of creation, we are bound to come up with similar things. Sometimes, yes, and even often, our modern American *church* culture tends to struggle with wanting to imitate the world. But you can’t just throw the baby out with the bathwater and assume that any fashion statement we make, if it was made previously by someone ungodly, is therefore made in imitation.

I’m guessing most of you ladies wear modest jeans, and don’t have pierced noses – is that really the “uniform” of a Christian? Because honestly it seems to me you might look just as much like a conservatively dressed atheist, a mormon, or any other group of people which uses that same style! I am all for Christians being the trend setters, but as there is “nothing new under the sun”, it’s likely that some group at some point in history thought of the same creative style idea a Christian might come up with while they trying to look different from the world. Of course I’m not saying that some group in ancient history dressed in the unpleasant punk style of modernity, but piercings, body art, jewelry, makeup, hair styling- these things have existed in various forms throughout most, if not all cultures – people define beauty very differently, but most cultures still strive for it. I still believe as Christians we are called to seek to adorn ourselves in a way that we believe (reasoning from Biblical principles) is honoring to God, and appropriate and lovely for one bearing His name. I also believe that this WILL look different to different people, and we must make allowances for the fact that our personal opinions do not constitute a binding Biblical standard. We have obviously allowed for some creativity of appearance, or I think our community would look a bit more like the Amish.

The other main point I wanted to mention is that although the Bible teaches much about how to array ourselves in a way pleasing to God, it doesn’t say that is what should identify us as Christians. God says others will know we are Christians by our love. Also, since I’m already being rather long-winded, I’m going to post one of these key “principle” passages in it’s entirety here:
1 Peter 3:1-6
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

Does this passage say we should not have adornment? Absolutely not! It says our adornment should not be merely external. Meaning, again, that we are not defined or identified as Christians by our externals alone. We are shown to be Christians by our love, or as this passage puts it, by the hidden person of the heart…a gentle and quiet spirit, etc. If Peter is talking about making sure our loveliness is shown in the ‘conversation’ of our lives, and not relying on braids and gold jewelry, etc to make us seem beautiful, then it seems to me that the braids and gold jewelry were indeed there. And that brings us right back to the point that we as Christians use wisdom in choosing our adornment. If we choose an adornment which looks like one the Egyptians used, perhaps we are imitating them wrongly; or perhaps we are rightly ‘plundering the Egyptians; or perhaps we thought of it all on our own and it’s entirely coincidental that it looks like the Egyptians. God looks at the heart. I think it’s great that we are able to pound these things out together in seeking to come to a greater understanding of how to form a lovely Christian culture. And I will still happily admire a friend’s beautiful tattoo, or nose stud, in the context of admiring her godly life and beautiful heart.

"Trousers, Ankles, and Other Forms of Immodesty"

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Ok, so this is a random re-entry into the foray of blogging, but since I actually took the time to sit and write something, I thought I’d put it here on my little blog as well. The wonderful Wilsons, over at Femina and Blog&Mablog have brought up the subject of piercings, tattoos and the like. It’s been quite the lively discussion on the comment streams! While I have to disagree with their conclusions, I hope the discussion has included kindness and charity from all parties. Here are some of my thoughts on the whole thing, if anyone is curious to read them.
PS. I don’t mind if you have different thoughts on the matter – we’re all hashing things out and trying to do it in a way that glorifies God! I wrote this particular comment mainly in response to the question of why a Christian should ever get a nose ring.

I’ll happily offer a possible reason for getting a nose stud, tasteful tattoo or any of these other forms of adornment. Assuming right motives, respect of one’s authority, love of God’s temple, and lack of insecurity behind it, I would think the simplest reason would be the same reason for getting your ears pierced: beauty and adornment. I also know those who have taken the Biblical principle of a piercing or adornment being a symbol of submitting, and have chosen to show that they are cheerfully under their authority in that way. I could probably think of a few others, but I am confused as to why I don’t see anyone asking for a valid reason to get one’s ears pierced.

After enjoying reading through all of these posts and comments, I just can’t see any huge fundamental difference between getting a nose ring, etc, and getting earrings. I think Hannah nailed it when she pointed out that there is certainly a progression of what is deemed lovely at different times and in different cultures. I wouldn’t want to assume that anything was “universally” considered lovely, simply because it is widely considered lovely. I also wouldn’t want to say that adornments from certain cultures or times are ok, because somehow those cultures or times had the market on the ideal Christian “look”.

I would consider a daughter’s request to get a pierced nose, or a floral anklet tattoo as perhaps a step beyond earrings culturally, but honestly they’re all pretty equally common where I’m from. I wouldn’t eschew wearing trousers because it was first done by rebellious women – I would simply make sure that I wear trousers in what I deem to be a God-honoring fashion. Likewise, I wouldn’t eschew more permanent forms of adornment/jewelry such as earrings, noserings, etc, because they were once only worn by rebellious women, but I would seek to wear them in a way that is lovely and consistent with Christian character – I don’t think those things are mutually exclusive.

I realize my opinion may not be shared by a majority of readers here, but it doesn’t change the crux of the matter: that these things really fall under the heading of Methods, rather than Principles. I appreciate the Biblical principles outlined here, but I would be cautious not to confuse the Biblical principles with the personal opinions of what they should look like. My husband gave me a chuckle by pointing out that a few generations ago, this blog might have been titled: “Trousers, Ankles and Other Forms of Immodesty”. Likewise, I’m sure we could find (and have, in many of the blog comments here) all manner of varying opinions about whether and how we should wear makeup, jewelry, clothing, and many more issues relating to the body than we could count! But the fact remains that these things ought to be reasoned out from the same Scriptures, and we as fellow saints ought not to assume that a brother or sister didn’t have a valid or good reason to get an adornment, simply because it is against our personal taste. I just can’t see Scripture extending to say that “earrings are fine, nose studs aren’t” or anything of the like. May we grow in beauty as we learn to kindly discuss these things, and seek to adorn our bodies to be lovely expressions appropriate in godly lives!