Raising Daughters Who Are Worthy of a Good Man

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I’m raising five boys.  Three of them are already journeying through the teen years, but that part doesn’t scare me.  You know what does, though?

The fact that we’re inching ever nearer to the day they will be ready to consider marriage.

I’m not afraid of them marrying, exactly, but it’s a bit concerning when I look around and see a world full of young women who are terrifyingly bold and assertive.  Even more so, however, is the fact that girls are no longer being taught to respect themselves as the treasures they were created to be but are being encouraged to seek full and complete liberation from Biblical roles.

And this is not simply a “worldly” epidemic.  It is totally infiltrating the church from every corner.

I’m not impressed by the flesh-baring, egocentric, selfie-obsessed society I find myself raising children in.  Not impressed, yet it is my reality and it does me no good to sit and complain about what is or pining for what isn’t.  My time is much better spent helping my children navigate their way carefully toward what will be.

My hope and my prayer is that each of their will be’s include Jesus every step of the way.  Even the step that leads toward marriage, if one is in His respective plan for them.  But what kind of girl will be suited to walk beside my guys as they continue on in their faith experience?  As the mother of boys who is also raising girls, this is something I have thought about often.  Here are some critical components to their “princess” training we are striving for…

 

Join me over at Raising Homemakers for the rest of the article.

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A Custom Clothing Giveaway for Girls

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 So if you visited my home on any day of the week, you’d likely see my girls in clothing made by the lovely Sarah!  We placed an order with her this fall:  2 dresses, 4 pairs of culottes. and 2 skirts.  They turned out GORGEOUS!!

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This is the second time we’ve ordered through Joyfully Sewn {you can see my original review HERE} and both times I’ve been amazed at the quality of her work.  She doesn’t cut any corners and the fit comes out perfect!

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As for the prices…they are totally competitive or lower than department store price tags.  And much better quality so I feel like it’s money well spent.

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The good new is that Joyfully Sewn Designs is giving away a $35 gift certificate to one of you lucky readers!

All you have to do is take a look around the shop, then come back here and let me know what you would pick if you win the $35 gift certificate.

{You’ll find a few more ways to earn extra entries on the Rafflecopter below!}

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There are so many sweet styles to choose for babies, toddlers, little girls, and even women, so have fun looking around!

While you’re at it, hop over and take a look at the Joyfully Sewn Designs blog and consider signing up for Sarah’s referral program (you can earn free gift certificates to the shop!).

If you just can’t wait until the end of the giveaway, Joyfully Sewn Designs is offering a FREE SHIPPING code for all orders of 50 or more!

Use the promo code Merry Christmas to save.

This promo is good until December 18, so hurry and shop now for Christmas, or enter the giveaway below!

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Details you might want to know:

This giveaway is open to readers world-wide!

One winner will receive a $35 gift certificate to apply toward an order at Joyfully Sewn Designs.

Certificate will be good toward any in stock order and applies to shipping costs, as well.

Please contact Sarah (joyfullysewn@gmail.com) with any questions regarding specific sizes or products.

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Raising Boys Who Respect Girls…and Girls Who Respect Who They Were Made to Be

It’s a tired subject really.  So tired, in fact, that we hear it without really listening.  It’s an endless volley of disconnect and dissension.  And while it seems harmless to many, it’s the very poison that’s taking out marriages with alarming veracity.

It starts young.  Long before marriage is even a real consideration.  Adolescent girls cram online feeds with seductive selfies and their male counterparts ante up with the expected and much coveted responses.

And so the story goes.  Boy learns to like seeing what he shouldn’t see while girl keep showing him what she shouldn’t show because she wants to be noticed.  Liked.  Appreciated.

Only that isn’t what happens at all.  The boy doesn’t come to like her.  He simply enjoys the shell within which she is housed.  Not the same thing by any stretch.

No big deal, right?  I mean, come on.  This is an age old saga and you’re never going to manage to rewrite the script.  It’s just what young people do but it all turns out fine eventually.  Or does it?

Picture me standing here screaming from the rooftop that IT DOES NOT!  It truly doesn’t.  Nakedness, even “vegetarian” nakedness, doesn’t beget love.  Or respect.  Or honor.  It gives birth to lustful passions bereft of sanctity which results in the begetting of a whole bloodline of sin.

But with a world steeped and basted in moral corruption how is it even possible to raise youth who don’t end up standing in the doorway of destruction?  There is but one true answer:  The grace of God.

And in His infinite grace and mercy, He will equip us with the tools we need to raise kids who will turn from temptation in its most tempting form.  Here are a few ways we are seeking to arm our children for battle…

  • Get them in the Word.  While the world around us is drowning in the devil’s pool of perdition, we need to be keeping our families bathed in God’s Word.  It is there we find hope, strength and power to withstand the assault of evil when it comes dressed up and disguised.  Our family is reading through the Bible six chapters a day.  We’re just finishing up 1 Samuel which was 31 chapters of question-inducing Scripture that opened the door for a whole lot of conversation we likely never would have had otherwise.  Six chapters is a pretty hearty portion in one sitting but we’re finding it’s just the right size for this season in our lives.  You make that determination for your own family.
  • Get them out of Sodom.  Take ownership of what you’ve been allowing your kids to do.  Maybe they’ve had the liberty to be on Facebook or Instagram where their feeds are being filled with unsavory people and their postings.  Perhaps they’ve even been commenting on that trash.  Pull the plug, cold turkey.  If you let them dance with the devil they’ll learn to like the way he dances.  It’s time you cut in.  Warning:  Don’t steamroll your errant youth in an effort to bring them into the light.  Be willing to listen to them even before you talk.  Why are they drawn to those people?  How do they feel about it?  How can you help to bring their minds back to safety?  Kids who feel bullied into sanctification only bide their time until they are free to make their own choices.  Draw their hearts gently but with unfettered determination.
  • Exemplify gender roles.  Men and women were never intended to be equal.  They were created to be two unique parts that came together to create one whole.  Marriage, in its degenerate form, has become about women competing with men and fighting for dominance over them and men who either take a strong (arrogant/unloving) hand or cower under, emasculated and defeated.  It’s ugly.  Require your boys to nurture the women in their lives, deferring preference to them.  Instill the values that define a gentleman early and they will grow to know nothing else.  Likewise, teach your girls to respect themselves enough to honor the men in their lives, without feeling threatened or inferior.
  • Insist on honorable clothing choices.  So long as your kids are in your care you have the final word on what they wear.  Do not waver or compromise.  A young girl can look nice, and even trendy, without her cleavage or thighs exposed.  Don’t even let her step into that boat or you’ll find the current is much stronger than you realized.
  • Train them to guard their eyes.  Trash abounds and sometimes you can’t avoid it if you want to leave your house.  Since we all need to leave home sometimes, our children need to know how to avert their eyes when confronted with that which shouldn’t be seen.  This practice strengthens the muscle of self-control and will serve them well when they are older and making decisions for themselves.
  • Encourage them to wait on the Lord.  It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of the dating scene.  Everyone’s doing it and posting pictures to prove it.  But the reality is, adolescence is a time to get to know yourself and who God created you to be.  If your children are distracted by the opposite sex they’ll end up missing out on much of this crucial step.  It’s a nasty deception that you must date many to discover what flavor you like.  Invest time in preparing them for the day God opens that door so they may step through.  But don’t let ‘em barge through before it’s time.

What might you add?  I’ve got teenagers who will be spreading their wings before long…I love to hear how you are training yours to be prepared.

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Planting the Seed: And Sticking Around for the Harvest

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About a week ago, I was sitting in the van waiting on my husband.  We were in a busy parking lot and I was doing a bit of people-watching.

Big mistake.

Have you even seen something that made you want to scrub your eyeballs?  This was one of those times.  I jerked my eyes away and grabbed my head.  Eeeeeewwww.  Oh goodness, how I wished I hadn’t just seen that.  And then you know what I did?  I looked back over there and I saw it happen again.

For real.

We live in a culture where anything goes.  Profanity, vulgarity, pornography, nudity…it’s all commonplace.  You can happen upon it in the grocery store or at the playground and in the music being played in the cars rolling by with their windows down.

It’s even made a way into the church in various slightly more subtle forms.  Nothing’s sacred and nothing is safe.

I hear the tired old argument all the time that we should be allowed to embrace what makes us feel good.  We don’t want to be judged or criticized; we simply want to be able to express ourselves and it’s nobody’s business how we do it.  Even when it affects them.

As the mother of teenage boys I am beyond fed up with the nakedness that abounds.  I sometimes want to scream that everywhere we go my young men are blasted with arousing temptations.

I know (and they know) they’re to guard their eyes, determined not to look upon evil.  And I know it’s ridiculous to expect a society, that generally feels no regard for God, to be governed by His standard.  But have mercy on us when professing Christians are defending their rights to walk around with more skin exposed than covered.

The notion that a young man should avert his eyes to avoid a lust-filled encounter as the girl one pew in front of him wiggles and squirms to her seat in a mini-skirt is outrageous.  Why is she wearing the mini-skirt in church?  Where are the parents and why are they acting as accomplices to this heinous crime against the innocence of our youth?  Why is the church not standing up and speaking out?

If I struggle to look away from something I don’t want to see, what on earth are we expecting of a boy who, at some level, wants to see what he shouldn’t?

I believe in loving each other out of the path of destruction, not into it.  I believe we need to meet people where they are and help them to higher ground.

It isn’t love to stand by and watch the slow destruction of 10 in order not to hurt the feelings of one.  With tender pity we need to reach out to that one and hold them to a higher standard so they are no longer a vessel through which an evil work is done.

But this is where it gets sketchy.  And it’s where everybody likes to start talking about that plank in the eye.  It’s true…we have our own sins to deal with, every one of us.  We have our own weaknesses and struggles and failures to stare down.  What right do we have to go pointing out those of another?

What makes the difference is the attitude in which we do it.  If we huff up to some young beauty and tell her roughly to “cover up or get out” you can bet she’s gonna get out.  She’ll run from a people who preach God’s love even while they defy it.

But if we invest our hearts in the wayward youth (and non-youth) around us, we have a leg to stand on when we tackle tough topics that may bruise a few toes.  If people feel the love of Jesus coming forth from us, the soil will be much more fertile for the planting.

It’s about love, guys.  Not tolerance.  Or turning a blind eye.  It’s about loving so much you can’t stand still.

It’s about planting the seed and sticking around for the harvest.

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Where my hunt for modest girls clothing took me…

Note: The following is an honest review of my experience with Joyfully Sewn Designs. I do not receive a commission for any sales made through this post. I simply want to give you another option if you’re in the market for adorable, durable, beautifully constructed clothing.

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Last Spring I was looking for a place to purchase new clothing for my girls.  I was specifically wanting a dress and a pair of culottes for each of them.  We couldn’t find the culottes in any of the stores we searched and most of the dresses were either too pricey or they just didn’t provide enough coverage.  I had seen a few people post about Joyfully Sewn Designs so I began searching for the website.  I was thrilled when I found it!

  • The selections are adorable
  • The items are designed to provide adequate coverage for busy little girls.
  • The prices are excellent!

I contacted Sarah about placing an order and I was met with professionalism and Christian courtesy.  She was super busy at that point, but she took the time to help me get the proper measurements for my handmade items and answered all my questions regarding the different possibilities.  I was given an excellent variety of fabric to choose from or the option of selecting something on my own.  And once my order was officially submitted, I received periodic emails letting me know the status of progression.  I was not sent an invoice until my order was complete, so in the meantime I rounded-up a few items from my house and sold them on eBay to gather the money in my Paypal account.  When the invoice finally came, I felt like I was getting free stuff!

I can tell you when that package arrived, I had two very eager little girls ready to rip into it.  And what they found inside delighted their little girl hearts!  Two gorgeous white dresses, two pairs of adorable (and functional) culottes, and two pairs of bloomers since my girls have five brothers and tend to play hard!  And as a bonus, Sarah included sweet little hair bows that matched each of the items.

We were beyond thrilled with the purchase and the impeccable quality of her work.  A year later, though my girls have grown and the fit is slightly different, those articles of clothing are still serving us well!

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I’ve been browsing through her shop again, trying to settle on a few items to round out my girls’ Spring/Summer wardrobe.  I’m drawn to the cute, twirly skirts and my girls love the fun fabrics featured in the pictures.  I hope to get my order placed today, but I thought I’d show you a few of the selections that caught my eye {you can click on the pictures to be taken to the shop for details and pricing}…

 

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There are two ways to shop with Joyfully Sewn Designs…either through her ready-made inventory or by placing a custom order.  Either way you go about it, one thing is for certain–Sarah will ensure you are not only thrilled with her service but also her work!  And as a special bonus, she is offering all of my readers a 10% discount by simply using the code REDEEMED at checkout. 

 

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Have you heard of HALFTEE?

With warm weather finally settling in, the clothing around here has been changing gears.  We’re all more than ready to swap out bulky sweaters and long sleeves for clothes that breathe a little more.  Nothing says Spring quite like a sundress!

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Unfortunately, much of the clothing today leaves us with plunging necklines and armholes that gap so shamelessly our delicates are left exposed.  Not only do I prefer adequate coverage for myself, I want it for my daughters, too.  I was thrilled to get the opportunity to try out the HALFTEE.  I got one in my size and one in my girls’, and both have already become staples to our wardrobes.

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Long-Sleeved Girlee HALFTEE

I tend to sneak away from the camera so I don’t have any pictures of me with the outfits I have worn mine with, but my husband snagged of few of our little girl.  You can see in the pictures how much of the white from the HALFTEE is showing.  Which says to me that the cute little dress would be leaving a bit much of her sweet skin exposed with out it.

My favorite part of them is the fact that they are exactly as the name indicates…half a tee-shirt.  This prevents the rolling and bunching I have wrestled with when wearing other undershirts.  They fit a little bit like a sports bra only mine has short sleeves.  I grabbed white ones, but I plan to invest in a variety of colors and styles.

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The price is already pretty nice but I’m happy to be able to offer you 20% off your entire order for one week onlyJust use the discount code walking20 at checkout.  Right now they have some clearance items up to 45% off and shipping is free for orders over $100.

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