Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why do You Wear What You Wear?

Last year we drove 12 hours up to Ohio on Thanksgiving. I was dressed in sweat pants and a comfy shirt. While we took a break at a rest area, I saw another family apparently on their way to Thanksgiving dinner due to the way they were dressed up in nice clothing. I particularly noticed the teenage girls who dressed themselves femininely and had lovely long hair. It suddenly made me think, what affect does my clothing have on others?

Next time I go on a long car trip, I might still wear my comfy pants. They are simply the most practical for long trips in a crowded car. But whenever I go out in public back at home, I try and consider what affect my clothes are going to have on others. Will my clothes make me blend in, stand out to draw attention, or inspire men to be gentlemen and women to dress and act as ladies? I have the choice. Perhaps it is just me, but when I see a girl walk by in a feminine outfit (generally a modest skirt) she stands out, in a good way. I’m guessing most people notice her as well; she is just too different not to notice.

Sure, I can wear what I feel most comfortable in, but the Christian life isn't about my comforts. Instead Christians are to take dominion over this sinful earth. Changing the world for the cause of Christ.

There is ongoing debate on what girls should wear, always skirts? Usually wear skirts? Or pants are always fine to wear? There is not a right answer. I believe it is a personal decision how you believe you should dress, taking in numerous factors depending on your personal life situation. But Christians should not stay as close to the world’s idea of “modesty” as they can. We need to be as close to Godliness as we can. That said, I don’t believe we should go around in burqas with absolutely no skin showing. I’ve heard it said your clothes should be tight enough to show you are a woman, but loose enough to show you are a lady. If a non-christian looks into your closet, they should notice something different from the rest of the world.

In my opinion the Duchess of Cambridge has had an effect on the minds of women today due to her beautiful and feminine wardrobe.
Here is what Elizabeth Botkin from Visionary Daughters says about the Duchess of Cambridge:

"The fashion leadership of Kate Middleton holds a lesson for every Christian girl. As wife to Prince William and presumed future queen of England, Kate is in a position of representing Great Britain to the world. Every inch of her appearance, from her hairstyle to her fingernails, sends the world a message about the nation and the monarchy, the laws and the traditions, the culture and the history she represents – messages the world scrutinizes keenly. As ambassador to the crown, she can’t dress to merely express her individuality, follow the trends every other girl is following, or refuse to think about clothes at all. Her job demands making deliberate and strategic decisions about what message to send through every detail – from her traditional little British hats to her sleek High Street heels.

The truth is, every Christian girl has just as much to represent as Kate Middleton. Our King is no less ruling, and we are no less ambassadors. Unlike Kate, we don’t have to spend £122,000 per year to represent our King and our heavenly citizenship. Like Kate, however, we also don’t belong to ourselves. We were bought with a price and represent the One Who bought us. Like Kate, we can’t afford to let others make these decisions for us. And like Kate, we have a world watching. What message are they picking up about our Lord, His edicts, and our loyalties?"

This is not to say Kate's wardrobe is impeccable, in my opinion some of her dresses are short and her necklines low. But she does dress like a lady--dresses, skirts, and adorable hats. And in the picture above all she is doing is playing various sports with the British olympic team, yet she has on a cute dress and heels. If someone walked into the room dressed like her, or in ratty jeans and a t-shirt, who would you trust, who would you rather be friends with?

So girls, next time you walk out, consciously dress for Christ's kingdom, show everyone who you belong to, that you are cherished, loved, content in being a woman, and are a priceless jewel in Christ's kingdom. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Around the House

Here is my last post of our vacation, I'll take you on a tour of our cottage.  

This is our least favorite room.  It's dark, has no view, and has pretty ugly furniture left behind from the previous owners.  But... it does have a cozy fireplace (did you notice the cross built into the chimney?) This room is the original portion of the cottage which we've heard was a vicarage.  We're still seeking to verify what we've been told about the history of the cottage from a couple of sources.  In a little while, this room will probably look VERY different.  Stay tuned.

This is Lottie's room taken from the room pictured above (her room is the original front porch).  This was taken the day we were moving in so it looks rather sparse.

 The kitchen. After painting.  Before decorating.

As you might imagine, this is our favorite room;  it is sunny, pretty, and has a beautiful water view on three sides.

A beautiful screened in porch with a perfect view (they call it a "Muskoka Room" up here).  We ate pretty much every meal out here together as a family.

Our dining room, before we started painting.  Goodbye purple!

This is our Amish cookstove. I didn't use it this trip... as you might imagine, it also acts as a heater and would have made the living room unbearably hot.  Of course, my mom had to go antiquing to find just the right accessories.

Here I am on a daily basis, reading in the hammock with a beautiful view and enthralling book. In case you're wondering it's an eno hammock which we love and highly recommend, they are so comfy. 

Dad prefers the rope hammock. But one false foot movement and down you go.

Here is our adorable cozy boathouse.  The room above is my parent's bedroom.

Taken from our porch

I know this isn't a very artistic photo but it gives you an idea of how clear the water is. Its about 4 feet deep on the right. We could see about 10 feet down. 

The evenings were the prettiest. The sun shining on the water reminded one of the "Lake of Shining Waters" (Can you tell which book I was reading?)

A still, quiet morning in Muskoka

Halfway through our trip we had a beautiful full moon that rose in front of our cottage

Our favorite sound in Muskoka is the call of loons. They have a beautiful, haunting call. We saw them nearly every day.  But one morning this darling little family decided to visit right in front of our cottage.

This isn't my video, but it gives you an idea of what they sound like.

When this family swam by Mama loon was with the babies and the dad (I assume) was a ways away. They called to each other across the lake, and eventually met up. 

The view of our cottage early one morning from across the bay.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Muskoka Faces

Anatomy of a jump

On our evening boat rides to watch the sunset it was quite chilly and we had a delightful time wrapping up in blankets and thinking of our friends at home sweating in the heat and humidity. 

My mom's cousin lives just 20 minutes from the cottage so we had a lovely time seeing them on a couple of occasions.  My mom was the flower girl in her wedding about 45 years ago!

My mom's parents came and stayed with us for several days. Because three members of our family had already left it was great to have more people in the house and we loved showing Nana and Grandpa our new place.

Grandpa celebrated his 81st birthday with us. I'm approximately a 1/4 of his age.

My Nana and Judy, who was a flower girl in Nana's wedding 55 years ago!

Me reading, again. I estimated that by the end of the three weeks I had read approximately 60 hours. 

During our last week my my mom's aunt and uncle, and cousin came for the day. 

Andy, Donna and Charlotte

Charlotte and I with Uncle Jack and Auntie Barbara, creator of the world's best Scotcharoos

The ubiquitous group photo

Charlotte likes to tame the chipmunks with peanuts. By the end of the trip she could feed them out of her hand. Auntie Barbara also likes to tame chipmunks, she used to have one in her yard that would sit on her shoulder.