Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Views on Modesty.

 I'm about to touch on a hot button topic (couldn't resist the pun sorry).

   I came across this article years back and oh how I laughed, but it's honestly not a laughing matter. Many of the statements in this article even though it was a parody, hit close to home. For I grew up worrying about (and hearing) such similar statements from not only men but especially the women around me!

   Ever since Jessica Rey's video became popular it's revived the modesty debate all over my social media news feeds and elsewhere. It's funny how my views on modesty have changed as I've grown older. They used to be a lot more harsh and conservative although growing up I still got flack since my views were always a little more liberal than those around me. I personally have my own convictions about modesty and I understand that mine does not suit everyone. My stance and the way I approach my wardrobe can be summed up neatly in a quote by Emma Watson (one classy dame in my opinion). She said: "I find the whole concept of being ‘sexy’ embarrassing and confusing. If I do an interview with photographs people desperately want to change me - dye my hair blonder, pluck my eyebrows, give me a fringe. Then there’s the choice of clothes. I know everyone wants a picture of me in a mini-skirt. But that’s not me. I feel uncomfortable. I’d never go out in a mini-skirt. It’s nothing to do with protecting the Hermione image. I wouldn’t do that. Personally, I don’t actually think it’s even that sexy. What’s sexy about saying, ‘I’m here with my boobs out and a short skirt, have a look at everything I’ve got?’ My idea of sexy is that less is more. The less you reveal the more people can wonder." 

    That right there is my personal view on modesty and dressing. For myself, I like to dress from a less is more perspective. I don't wear bikini's because I'm not comfortable in displaying my body that way for anyone but my husband (at least at this point in my life). However I do not think it's acceptable or right to shame women into dressing from head to toe clothing because they have to "keep the men from stumbling." That makes it sound like men are animals who have no self control over themselves. A woman can be dressed as modestly as possible and still get raped. A man is going to look if he wants to look regardless of the other person and what they are wearing. This goes for women as well because we do it too (even though people like to ignore that). We have hormones and are attracted to people too! *cough cough* Robert Downey Jr. ;)  However there is a difference between attraction and lust. 

    I can't tell you how many times growing up I was afraid to let loose and enjoy myself swimming, playing games or whatever because I knew there were people eyeing me to make sure the wind didn't blow my ankle long skirt up too much, or my tee shirt wasn't too low cut to make the boys look at my non existent (and still basically nonexistent) breasts. And oh how I hurt for the girls whose mothers wouldn't let them wear anything even slightly pretty or attractive for fear it would be immodest. It would be 90 degree weather and these girls would be in ugly frumpy sweaters and long jean skirts. 

    Now if you want to wear those things go for it, but you should never be forced into it. Our culture when it comes to modesty likes to blame everything on the woman and her body which made many of us girls growing up ashamed of ourselves when we had no reason to be. I knew many girls who would stand with their arms crossed across their chest because they were so self conscious about their breasts, worried their dress skimmed across their rear too tight, the list goes on. 

    I came across an article today that very eloquently states my views on modesty and body shaming. It's a really great article and I hope you'll read it and it will make you think! No one should be ashamed of their body, but be happy in what they are comfortable in. 

"The truth is, a man can choose to objectify a woman whether she’s wearing a bikini or a burqa. We don’t stop lust by covering up the female form; we stop lust by teaching men to treat women as human beings worthy of respect."

   Regardless of what stance you take, the most important thing is that we don't shame our fellow women if they choose to dress differently from ourselves. All that does is promote insecurity, bitterness, and unhappiness instead of encouraging (and lecturing in self righteousness is NOT encouragement) and loving each other in Christ and isn't that the most important commandment of all? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Horses, Heat, and Home.

Whatever I suck at blog titles.

It's been a while guys! I've been home almost a month, and spending my days working 3 days a week at Fire Creek my horse barn just exercising the horses, teaching lessons, and other duties.

I'm happy to say it's been relaxing but at the same time, the summer is going by fairly quickly and for that I am thankful. I miss my boyfriend and my friends and not singing every day is driving me insane.

Some pics of my life these days:

This is Tom. Tom is a Fresian for sale that I am riding right now. He's a bit of handful but tons of fun!Z 

Listening to great music like the police as well obviously. 

I finally made it to the beach yesterday! It was perfect weather. 

Rasberry Passion Tea has become my new drink.

Lovely days in Princeton with Jenna. 

Perusing Barnes and Noble and came out with these gems.

In a few days it will be Deon's and my one year anniversary. I really was hoping he could come see me, but he got a job that he starts tomorrow. I'm so excited for him, but unfortunately that meant he had no time to come visit. Ah well. It will make when I see him so so much sweeter. :) I leave August 11th to go back to school. A friend is getting married here in PA on the 10th and then right after Victoria and I will drive back to Lee. I'm ready to start fresh!

I thought this summer would really suck. I do get lonely since I don't have as many friends here really at all anymore, but it is good for me to have some alone time to focus on me and trying to figure out what I want out of my life and where God is leading me. I also rediscover things I forgot I loved and never had time to appreciate such as READING!! I have quite the book pile. John Green novels, some books Deon gave me, and right now I am currently trying to work my way through the Harry Potter series. I'm on Goblet of Fire right now and loving it! I feel like I completely lose myself in that world. I also rediscovered my love of Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Judy Garland.

Speaking of actors/singers, have you seen Now You See Me? It's a film all about these illusionist magicians who steal from a bank using their magic act. So so so good and the effects are brilliant. There's a plot twist too! Go make time to see it.

I am also trying to lose 15 pounds. Yeahhh. That's def been a journey, but a lot of my friends are also trying to eat healthier as well so we can all encourage each other! I'm watching my calorie intake and between riding and workout routines I feel so much better! I don't feel bloated and blah anymore and even though I haven't lost weight quite yet, I can feel the difference! Right now I'm in the stage of trying to trick my body into substituting other healthier foods over what I like. My weakness isn't sweets..it's pasta, wings and soda! Soda has been the most difficult to cut out. I was up to 3 or more Mountain Dews a day and now have managed to go to one a day and then even skipping a day. And lots and lots and LOTS of water!! If anyone needs any workout ideas, follow my board on Pinterest (link is on this blog), for some really good fun ones!

And when the day is done, long late night Skype conversations and playing Guild Wars 2 make my nights worthwhile. :)

I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Little House in Chicago: What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married: Monica of...

Little House in Chicago: What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married: Monica of...: Monica and I became friends when she was a senior at Notre Dame and I was a freshman. Her wedding was the first one I was invited to "a...

Great article with some awesome advice. :)

Remember Your Brethren in Bonds

Really moving article about remembering our Martyr brethren missionaries overseas (and at home) who fight for Christ every day and how a simple faith is so much better than a tangled twisted religion full of rules and regulations. 

Here's an excerpt: 
"I never found a satisfactory answer to these questions. Not in ATI. Once I asked one of my parents, “If I walked away from ATI, but remained a Bible-believing, God-worshiping, church-going, Jesus-loving Christian, would you think that I had departed from the faith?” That parent answered, “No.” Neither of us said anything else, but in my heart I was crying, “Then WHY are all of these ‘principals’ necessary?” They were such a weight, and not the light burden that Jesus spoke of. They were impossible to live by, and I was not one who WANTED to walk away from the faith. I was not looking for an excuse to live however I wanted.*
Then I started noticing certain people. They were joy-filled like I’d never seen before. They didn’t pretend to be perfect. They just loved Jesus. They were filled up to the brim with peace, and THAT was what I craved. I told myself, “Whatever it is they’ve got, I want it.” Wasn’t that always the mark of a Christian? Others seeing your joy and being drawn to you? Well here I was, the “wiser” Christian, and I was looking at someone I would normally look down on as spiritually inferior, and wanting their peace! “That is the real Jesus, and I will find Him.”
What does Scripture really say? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8). “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Mt. 5:10). Much better, but still notquite what I was seeking. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). That’s more like it! What was more interesting to me was that this was the only stipulation: to believe and be saved. To put it modernly, Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Now we’re getting more to the point—salvation is a simple thing. Didn’t Jesus say somewhere that a child could understand it? “And [Jesus] said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Mt. 18:3).
I think of those martyrs. Uneducated. Simple. Believing. They didn’t get tangled up in ‘ologies and ‘isms. They just lived their faith and trusted God. I had found my answer. And I realized that while there were a spare handful of truly biblical teachings in ATI, there weren’t enough fully un-manipulated Bible truths to warrant me spending any more time devoted to a program that had failed me after years of faithfulness to it.

*Do I believe I have the right to do whatever I wish? No—nor do I consciously live that way. In fact, by all accounts, I’m still very conservative, and naturally prudish. There are several things I abstain from through personal choice, such as alcohol, tobacco, cursing, etc., and I have turned down many opportunities in my career because it may have caused a weaker brother to stumble. But I know that if I sin, I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and the burden of guilt is not one I have to carry anymore."


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Weddings! I love Weddings! Drinks all around!

Sooo I have to chronicle the wedding of my dear friend Frank and his beautiful bride Tess! I've mentioned before that I grew up with Frank. I met him and his family when I was 10 and he was 13. His sister is my best friend and is 20 like me. He just graduated with his doctorate in law and married Tess a week later. Frank has been one of my most loyal friends. He is always checking up on me no matter how far apart we are and I'm so grateful for him and his heart. He's my big brother honestly. He always prays for me and always gives me counsel when I need it. Even during the craziness of wedding planning he took me on a walk just to see how I was doing because he'd been worried! That's just how he is. :P He and Tess are on their honeymoon in Rome right now and then they start living and working in Chicago near her family. I loved being a part of their day and getting to sing for them!

Jen and I on our way to rehearsal dinner. 

I sang in the balcony for Ave Maria during the mass. 

My singing outfit. :) 

Saying their vows. Isn't her dress lovely? She designed it herself.

His first glimpse of the bride!!

Me and the best man!! I love my "lil bro" who is way taller than me now. 

The parents and the couple kiss. :P 

The bridesmaid and me. :P 

I love her! One day she'll be doing this again for me as my maid of honor!

Reception dress. 

Me and the happy couple. I wish the pic turned out better!

I love Tess! I look forward to getting to know her better. Even with all  crazy wedding planning she really took the time to talk to me and make sure I was comfortable. She's one classy lady and perfect for Frank! :)

P. S. She has a blog! http://littlehouseinchicago.blogspot.com Check it out. :)