I have been pondering this subject for many years, asking the Lord to show me how to be modest, ladylike and feminine. He has helped me a lot, and while we have come to wear more skirts and dresses in everyday life, we aren't a dresses only family.
The key word for us is feminine. I want my girls to be lady like and not look like a boy wearing pink colored clothes! Sometimes the work we do around here on our property is more easily accomplished in pants. Also for riding horseback...although I found a pattern for a split skirt for riding that is cute!
I decided to write about this subject today, because this summer my daughter was told that basically there was "modest" and then there was "too modest" and we (gasp) fell into the "too modest" category. We have also heard accusations of being "legalistic" because we hold to certain standards (we require our girls to where dresses or skirts to church on Sundays). Mind you, we have never said to anyone that they should dress a certain way.
I found a blog through a link from my blogging friend Kelly - The Barefoot Mama. It is to a blog by a sweet missionary gal who is a mother of 5. They are missionaries in Indonesia with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Her name is Joy and her blog is called "The Stay-at-Home Missionary." In reading her blog I found some encouraging posts about Modesty and Femininity some of which come from being a missionary in a country that largely Muslim.
This particular post with an audio message from Voddie Baucham and some terrific links was very encouraging to me today. Go here for that post.
A big part of the encouragement for me today was Voddie's point about inward modesty - having a quiet and gentle spirit. So good!
I know for myself that my whole mindset about my work as a wife and mother is impacted by how I feel about myself. How I dress myself says a lot about me and my point of view. If I choose to put a cute outfit on and look feminine it makes me feel attractive and sets the tone for my day.
I also want to have a humble spirit and honor God with my life. I want to live for Him. And just as I don't want my clothes to be a distraction to others, I don't want my "self" to draw attention away from the Lord either.
I think a common misconception about wearing dresses is that it is only for special occasions. My friend has a story about a relative staying at her home, who was sure she must be going somewhere special because she came downstairs dressed for the day in a regular everyday knit dress. You know the comfy, casual kind! The relative was so uncomfortable that she had a dress on, that the relative made her feel uncomfortable and would have changed clothing except she hadn't done laundry for a few days and didn't really have anything else to wear.
I have known women who own no dresses, and a few who had never worn dresses. I might even have gone that route except for a gal named Diana Spencer who became engaged to the Prince of Wales the year I graduated from high school. She wore such cute things - blouses with cute skirts, great shoes, hats. Her early clothing was distinctly feminine. That did it for me! I loved her clothing. It encouraged me to be feminine.
Here are some paintings from www.allposters.com that show women in real life work and yet there is a feminine air about them.
Look how cute the ruffles are on the bottom of that work skirt! This gal is working out in the fields.
This is a gal working in a garden.
This painting is called "The Reapers."
This one is called "Woman Reading" - which is what I am going to go do while my little ones have quiet resting time.
Thanks for letting me ramble. I am interested in some discussion, if it can be done kindly and not in an attacking manner.