Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Move in Progress. Saying Goodbye to our Tiny House and Hello to Hard Work!

I can't bear to wake up the kids yet, even though it is 10 in the morning. We rolled into bed at 3am after pulling a LONG night of working after waking up early to begin our long to-do list! And yeah, I am totally the mother that at 8pm, which is normally bedtime, I give my kids a pot of coffee and say, "We are pulling an all-nighter!" We are making memories for sure! Praise God for Nanny Diane, who has offered to keep our little ones as long as we need, they are gettign spoiled and loving it!

Our moving plans are becoming a reality. We have lived in our tiny 700sqft for exactly a year. Despite the fact that we have sacrificed a ton of our material items to move in and sacrificed our large, comfortable personal space boundaries we have found great contentment living in these tiny quarters! I truly did find a love for this tiny house, plus having 4 acres in the country has been amazing for this city girl.

Click here for the post explaining our move into our tiny house back in January 2014


In August God brought us a family interested in becoming debt-free also and possibly wanting to rent our tiny home for a season. God put a stong pull on our hearts to get out to our other property, a 7 acre raw property we paid cash for over a year ago, that was just sitting there and we are paying taxes on. We were tempted to take out a small loan so we could buy a used home and have it moved to our property. After much thought, prayer and wise counsel from others who have gone before us we decided that it was best we weren't unequally yoked to a mortgage company again. As we let go of this new dream of moving we had a brother in Christ offer to loan us money on biblical terms, no interest, 7 year forgiveness, on a handshake, to buy a home to put out there. We felt that although this was a hinderance to our plan to become debt free it would allow us to follow our strong urge to be where we really felt led to go!


After much shopping and looking at repo/forclosure mobile homes we found OUR house. It was an 1996 Homes of Merit 1904sqft mobile home. It needed new flooring and paint, maybe electrical and plumbing but the bones (as Dave Ramsey says) were BEAUTIFUL! We were able to purchase it for $11,500 and have it moved for $6000, we thought it was a great deal. Of course all big purchases come with "hidden" costs or at least costs that we fail to take into account. Permitting ended up costing almost $2000 and installing a septic system was just under $4000. God has blessed us tremendously by putting charity on the hearts of others. Mr. Rooter donated all plumbing work, a short-term friend offer to do our electrical work for free, and Brian's brother, a contractor from VA, flew in to re-do all our AC duct work, fix walls, repair floors, etc. We even had a sweet friend share our story with Lowe's who in turn let us buy all our supply needs at cost (a 40-60% savings from retail). And God provided any of our other needs through giving friends, thrift stores, free ads on craigslist and even the "trash" on the side of the road! God has been good to us through and through!

So here we are, a week before Christmas, busting our tails to get this house turned into a home and move in! God will work all things out in His timing! We may only have our tree up for two days this year but either way we will celebrate the birth of our Savior, the one who gave Himself up for us and lavishes us with continual, unmerited blessings!

Before and after pictures, prayerfully coming soon!!!
Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone


Friday, November 21, 2014

Is "All You Need is Love" True in the World of Adoption?

Happy National Adoption Month!
Happy National Adoption Day!

When adopting any child other than a newborn infant you are often met with one of two responses. Response one is the I-know-someone-with-experience-but-have-none-myself response, "I knew a person that had a cousin whose brother adopted two older boys and they burnt the house down." Response two is the I-have-absolutely-no-experience-and-don't-know-anyone-who-does-response, "Oh, older adopted kids have problems but all they need is some love and snuggles!" We were met with both of these at the beginning of our adoption journey and neither are true. Well, I don't know if the person's cousin's brother really had their house burned down or not....

When beginning down this path labeled adoption let us be encouraged by the truth, educate ourselves and open our hearts to God for Him to supernaturally equip us through the trips, falls and fires we could not have planned for. Here are three very real facts about adoption:
  1. Adoption is only necessary because a child lost the family they were born into. Whether due to their parent's death, an unwanted pregnancy, abandonment, neglect, abuse, or trauma remember that adoption is born in loss. We, as adoptive parents, are on the joyful side, saturated in the joy of growing our family, our children are swimming in the grief of losing theirs. Our compassion for their hurt is often what propels us to want to adopt them in the first place!
  2. Children will act out and exhibit hard behaviors due to their struggle to walk through that loss. Think if a stranger came and took you away from your husband, your children, and your friends and dropped you off in another home, "I know you are sad to leave your family but this new family has been waiting and waiting for a new mommy and they are so glad you are here!" Don't you think you would act a little, or maybe a lot, crazy! Let our compassion perservere even when the trials of behaviors hit long and hard.
  3. Children struggling with loss, grief, bonding and attachment will need more than just love. Yes, love is a huge key in their healing. The right kind of love. Not always huggy kissy love but a secure love. A love that says I am not going anywhere and there is nothing you can do that would take my love away. You can't steal enough, or lie enough, or run away enough to break my unending love for you. A love that is an action, a choice and a daily fight to put on. Besides an unshakable love these children may need some extra help from loved ones, friends, counselors and therapists. That is okay, because as they say, "it takes a village to raise a child." Don't be afraid to call on your village for help.

I have shared many of our struggles walking through the adoption story God has weaved for us. So many trying times that almost broke me to the point of quitting, of giving up. But hope shines through. Hope is not lost in adoption. There is an amazing event that transpires only through adoption. That is the reflection of what God has done for us. God had such a great compassion for us that "while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). Then although we are justified, although God has adopted us as His sons and daughters we still sin and behave contrary to His Word (Rom. 7:19). But God's love is unfailing and there is nothing that can pluck us out of His hand (John 10:28). "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

This is our adoption story told through 2 years of previous blog posts or videos:

     (Picture: A friend's princess party where the kids dressed up as princesses, knights and....a Croom)

Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Birth Moms, Adoptive Moms, Real Moms

After posting a picture with a short description on our Facebook page that gained  almost 1,000 likes, 100 comments and 200 shares, I feel compelled to share more information and expand upon my thinking. What was posted was 100% true and from my deepest heart affections. Here is the post:
"Today we attended a wedding. We sought counsel and over and over were advised not to attend. We were told it wasn't safe. People believed that it would be confusing. Brian and I prayed, as we usually do, that we would be open to God's direction even if it went against all human wisdom (there was a time we received the same negative counsel by well meaning Christians about accepting a 4th, 5th and ...6th child into our family).

After seeing the tears stream down her face and the joy she expressed at the sight of the blond 3 year old she gave birth to, God confirmed we had listened well. I am so thankful God grabbed a hold of my heart and led me courageously to attend Maggie's birthmom's wedding. I wasn't condoning her life choices but choosing to show her love and grace regardless of her behavior. God gave an overwhelming peace to my heart that no fear of man could shake. He had also orchestrated perfectly that in Maggie's "too big clothes bin" sat a beautiful flower girl dress that had been given to us when she was only an infant. It was too pretty to pass along before she could use it and when we dug it out it fit perfectly as if it was waiting there just for this moment!

Adoption is a unique journey and at times confusing. This little girl that I have raised and adore was not grown in my body. I will forever share her with another mother. While that thought could consume some with sadness it reminds me that it isn't love being shared as in separated but shared as in combined. My baby girl is loved twice! And when I adopted this little girl, I was not just given a daughter to love, but her mother to love also! We love our adopted kids best when we choose to love their parents!"
 If that post was true then what else do I feel compelled to share? There is a great tension between biblical truth and real experience. Both are 100% true yet can seem so opposite. I am going to attempt a balancing act of carefully upholding the unchanging truth of Scripture yet the always changing truth of emotional experiences. Let me explain using our FB post as an example. It is a biblical truth that God hates sin (Rom. 1:18), therefore we should strive to uproot any sin that takes us captive and avoid close relationships with unrepentant, habitually sinful people. We also know that God deeply loves sinners (Rom. 5:8), so much so that He took the payment for their sins upon Himself.

We see that the affects of sin cross generational borders. This in full display in the lives of our adopted children. A mama that drinks with a baby in utero may present us with a precious baby that struggles with FAS for the rest of their life. A mama that neglects the basic nutritional or hygiene needs of a child may lead to a us watching that child suffer a life of illnesses and deficiencies. A mama that makes choices that ultimately results in her not being able to carry out her role as mom and leads to her child being permanently removed from her care will almost always cause us to have to walk that child through attachment issues, which can include, mental or behavior issues and counseling or therapy for a length of time.

We also know that these mamas, whether they allow to sin to temporarily creep into their lives or are completely taken over by it, are still deeply loved by God. We know that God uses us to be His hands and feet and graciously gives us the strength to love people where they are. We see Jesus as our example talking to prostitutes and dining with tax collectors. (Luke 15: 1-10, Matt. 21:28-32, Mark 2:16-17, John 4, John 8:7)

Out of the deep love of our Father we stepped out in faith to show our love for a woman that has made decisions in her life that has resulted in her daughter being placed in our arms at just 6 weeks old. I made it my goal to show her nothing but kindness when I would bring this precious baby, that I was caring for and attaching to, to visitations. Then when the tables turned I reached out, confusing our case workers, for approval to write her during her prison sentence. We wrote almost a hundred letters back and forth during that 2 year sentence. I kept her updated on her baby's everchanging abilities and kept her 50 picture limit filled. Also, via letter, I had to inform her that her baby was going to become ours through adoption. A hard pill for any mom to swallow.

It was God's mercy filling my heart that compelled me to meet her at the bus station when she was released from prison and invited her to our church on Mother's day. As her old nature and ways began to creep back into her life due to her new found freedom, our contact became only through email. When we received a wedding invitation and request for Maggie to be the flower girl we were unsure what we should do. We didn't know the right answer and all the "what if"s we could think of began reeling through our minds.

There is an unhealthy fear of birth parents instilled in us from news stories, from a cousin's friend's brother's horrific experience and our own inexperience with this unique relationship. This fear is real, it is tangible, we can feel it. Fear can act itself out in many ways in our life. Fear can make us angry, paranoid, or unforgiving. While fear is a very real experience, let us move into the tension between experience and biblical truth. I am afraid, but God says, "do not fear" (Josh 1:9, Is. 41:10), "fear is not from God" (2 Tim 1:7), and "God is love" (1 John 4:8). While our emotions often want to take over we must "renew our minds daily" (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:21-24) to strive to stay in the tension. God is our protector and promises to go before us. Fear can stifle and even paralyze acts of love.

"God I am afraid (real experience), but you love this woman and promise to give me strength to love her (biblical truth)."

Click here for a blog post of a party with Titus' birth family.

So we attended a wedding. We chose love over fear. God confirmed we chose well but what should we think when real experiences begin taking over? The days after the wedding I had deep pangs of sorrow as I edited the photos and saw the same nose and smile I admire on my baby staring back at me on birth mom's face, not mine. We also had old behavior issues resurface in one child, another break down emotionally about missing their own birth mother and our littlest Maggie went through a bout of wetting. Some would ask, was it the right choice then?

True love is choosing to be vulnerable. True love is self-sacrificing, just as Jesus sacrificed all and bore much pain to show us the love we don't deserve (Is 53:4-5). Shouldn't we live out all that love is (patient, kind, content, humble, honoring, unselfish, slow to anger and forgiving 1 Cor 13:4-7) even at the risk of being hurt? Shouldn't we teach our children that love is worth it?

God promises to work all out for our good (Rom 8:28). Our oldest children got to see first hand the type of fearless love we extend to all our birth mothers even when it is difficult, though their own is not receptive or safe. Also, some deeply buried hurts were stirred and resurfaced so we can work through them together biblically. Maggie will have days that arise in her future years when she questions who she is and where she came from. The benefit of seeing love in action toward the woman that bore her during her time of questioning will far outweigh a few accidents as her tiny frame attempts to make sense of this crazy thing called being adopted. I repeat whole-heartily, we love our adopted kids best when we choose to love their parents!

Although adoption is beautifully designed by God we must remember that it is born in suffering and loss. Somebody lost family so we could gain ours. Adoption is so beautiful because it shows the power of God's Word holding true, that which was meant for evil, God used it for good (Gen 50:20)!

Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lesson in Submission and Mommyhood from Fort Rock

 Maybe some of you mamas love to live on the edge and a spontaneous road trip with 6 kids sounds like a dream but when my hubby asked if we could pack the RV for a 4 day getaway in less than 24 hours I know my face showed my lack of enthusiasm. I may have even cringed as my head reeled with packing checklists, on the road meal plans, and all the logistics that came with packing our RV for our family of 8.

Times like this is what tests my submission to my husband. I know some ladies just winced when they read the "s" word but God created us humans as submissive creatures. Jesus submits to the loving, merciful authority of God the Father. Man submits to the loving, merciful authority of Jesus. Woman submits to the loving, merciful authority of man. And child submits to the loving, merciful authority of their parents. There is a mutual submission, all parties are submitting to authority and ultimately to God.


(Picture Commentary: Mirabel, Risa and I arrived at camp Fort Rock in Arkansas)
When I say the word submission I am not talking about the abusive "woman, get in the kitchen" definition the world teaches us, but God’s loving, serving, self-sacrificing leadership that mutual submission willingly and happily bends to. Submission does not remove a woman’s voice but gives her a safe, protected place to share that voice. Submission chooses gentleness. Do not confuse gentleness with cowardice, timidness or fearfulness. Submission doesn’t say, "I am second class" but says, "I am a mutual heir of Christ, equal to man, but I choose to be a picture of God’s love by laying aside my own will or wants for the benefit of others.

True leadership that we are called to submit to is servant-hood. True leadership willingly takes the burden of making a decision that honors God and puts other’s best interests ahead of their own. Leadership washes feet. Leadership protects, comforts, encourages, builds up and loves so deeply that they would sacrifice all even their own life for the other.

When a man lives out true leadership and a woman chooses to willingly submit to that loving leadership we become a picture of Christ and the church. Together we point to the Maker of true love.


(Picture Commentary: We are having fun exploring this rustic, western looking camp)

Okay, rabbit trail, back to the RV packing and last minute road trip. Times like this test my submission to my husband. This man that loves God and wants to serve his family with their best will at heart wanted to surprise us and visit friends. He was able to get the time off, contact several friends that were available, and find local friends to care for our farm. This man wasn’t asking me to do anything sinful, illegal or wrong, just something out of my comfort zone. Although I have flat out put my foot down in the past my hubby graciously gives me more chances to leave my bubble of comfort and stretch my type A planner wings.


(Picture Commentary: We played in dress-up and jail and Risa got to do her favorite thing!)

This is what submission looked like in our home this time: "Do you think we can pack the RV quickly and take a 4 day getaway to visit friends?" my sweet hubby asked. I calmed the mini panic attack in my mind, "I love you so much Babe. You know I struggle with anything I don’t have time to plan for. I trust you and see how it could be fun. I will try my best to pack in so little time but can you give me a minute to digest and plan?"


(Picture Commentary: This horse ride was the real deal, through the woods and up a mountain!)

Well, let me be the first to tell you that trusting my hubby was SO rewarding! He had, in fact, called some friends in Springdale, AR and Guthrie, OK who gladly invited us over to visit and stay with them. He also surprised us and sent our two oldest girls and I on an amazing mother/daughter retreat at Camp Fort Rock, AR. We had so much fun horseback riding, range shooting, archery, zip-lining and being reminded of the hugely important, yet often taken for granted, job we hold as a mother. On top of all the fun we had enjoying activities and each other’s time together we also were privileged to hear some words of wisdom from a speaker, Nancy Newport, about our relationship with our children. I will try to digest and spit back out some of what was shared with us.
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end." Ecc. 3:1-11
(Picture Commentary: We got to do new things like rifle shooting and zip lining!)

In every aspect of parenting there is a season. Ever changing seasons in our lives as mama. We must remember that these little ones, given to us through birth or adoption, are not our own. They are on loan from the Lord. The Lord requires that we teach our children about their Father’s ways:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deut. 6:5-9

(Picture Commentary: Isn't my skirt just awesome! It is a Jeanology brand skirt I found brand new at a local thrift store for just $5.99. It is so comfy and easy to maneuver in. I am in love!)

As the Ecc. 3 verse above continues it tells us the different seasons we may see in our lives and this is also true for us mamas. There will be a time for us to die to ourselves, just as Jesus died to self (His will) to always do the Father’s will. There will be a time for us to plant the Word and a time for us to just pray, pray, pray. There will be a time for us as mamas to kill old habits and use healing words, comfort and touch to begin a fresh start.

(Picture Commentary: First time ever picking up a bow and I did pretty well!)

There will be a time to train, train, train our children! Train to listen, to come, to stop, to share, to sit quietly. Teach them "no", respect, authority, chores, accountability. There will come a time that God asks them to do something that doesn’t make sense (like building a large ark and filling it with animals) and we pray they were trained early to listen and obey. Use every moment to teach them the Word. Read, read, read God's Word as you walk in the way. We must be always filling up their hearts with Jesus and teaching in the good times not just as a tool for correction.

(Picture Commentary: The camp was a blast and the time with my girls was priceless!)
Praise them…LOTS. Be a living example of the gratefulness you want to see in your children. Believe that the weeds they pick for you are more valuable that any amount of money spent on roses! Build memories. Create a family fun night, let your kids plan what you will do on this special night. Work together, if you work hard together then play hard together. Laugh LOTS, don’t let the enemy discourage you. Let your hair down. Be a fun mom.

(Picture Commentary: While we were gone the boys got to attend a Razorbacks football game.)
There will be a time as our kids grow that we allow them to struggle. They are learning to listen to the Holy Spirit and we don’t want to get in the way. Your kids will hear and see things that you want to guard them against. We live in a lost world and will be around lost people. Help them see people around them from God’s perspective. There is never a time to yell at your kids, yelling says, "I am out of control" and counteracts all we have strived for to teach our children about self-control.

(Picture Commentary: After a double date we said our goodbyes and left these sweet friends.)
We must take care to not treat our aging children as little ones. They must grow into their own convictions, as mamas we must loosen our grip so they can find who they are. We must cast away our own inconsistencies in our lives. We should pray Scripture over their growing, changing lives. Let your children see your struggles, doubt and lack of faith and let them see you choose to trust the Lord in the mess you are in. When all is done and their wings are grown we will enter a time to just PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

(Picture Commentary: More fellowship on Sunday, visit this awesome family at Grace Family Farm!)

If you are anything like me, once you read this list you will think, "Although this is the desire of my heart, this is not where I am or feel I will ever be. How will I ever live up to this standard and do all that I should as a mom?" I have come to a place that I know I do not have what it takes to raise children after God’s own heart. It is here that I realize I must cry out to Jesus for His perfect power, strength and love to make it through day by day, sometimes minute by minute. He is always faithful to show up and fill me with that same grace and mercy that washed me clean and gave me a new heart over 5 years ago. My prayer is that my mistakes will not hinder my children and I may be an empty vessel used to fiercely love my children and point them to Christ!

Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dressing Modestly Cute on a Thrift Store Budget

When I first thought thrift store I thought vintage, unique, old, dusty, fixer-upper projects. I thought old camp t-shirts with holes and ripped up jeans. I thought flowery couches and dresses with shoulder pads and too many sequins. I didn't think adorable name brand outfits. While many thrift stores have plenty of dust and unique items most are chock full of amazing barely worn items of clothing waiting for you to dig them out.

I have noticed that the more organized, easier to shop stores are more pricey with their clothing priced at $2-$5 per item while the thrift stores with clothes in stacks, piles or bins have prices from $0.10-0.50 you just have to work for it. Most thrift stores have weekly specials like 1/2 off clothing days or my favorite "fill-a-bag" sales. In our town we have several stores with weekly fill-a-bag sales, one store runs a 50 items for $5 sale, that means each item of clothing is only $0.10.

We visit our local stores bi-weekly browsing for replacement clothing items. I always pick up any unstained solid, bright colored or white tees I find for under spaghetti-strapped dresses or to go with a patterned skirt. We almost never find an entire matching outfit at one store in one day but when you stick with solid colors and cute pieces outfits always come together! Each person in our family has 14 outfits and 4 church outfits, because our clothes are so cheap and our kids are growing so fast it seems like we are always replacing and re-donating outfits.
Just to note, although Goodwill has stolen much of the secondhand marketplace we do not donate or shop there. You can do your own research on how they choose to pay and treat their staff as well as how much money their CEO is pocketing off donated goods each year. There are plenty of small ministry-minded thrift stores locally that are helping the community, they are much cheaper than Goodwill anyway!
Although most anything other than a speedo looks modest on a boy we do have some dress requirements for our boys. All our boy's outfits have collars, either polos or button down shirts and shorts that come to the knee (which is pretty standard for boy shorts). They don't wear just t-shirts or play shorts, they also have matching outfits. We did the days where they had overflowing drawers but no matching outfits and it felt and they looked like chaos. I write a letter on each tag to help them sort outfits while folding laundry so they can easily put "A" shirt with "A" shorts and so on. 
With my daughter's coaxing I even got some outfit pictures taken to show what some of my thrift store, modest outfits look like. Now I know what your thinking "THE GIRLS DON'T WEAR PANTS!?!" Okay, first breath. We are not crazy, well maybe a little, but this has been a slow transition to live out our modesty to God's standards, not our own.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28

"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works." 1 Timothy 2:9-10

 "A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 22:5

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20     
I used to believe I was very modest with my jeans, t-shirt and flip-flops. I wasn't bearing any skin but in my size 4 skinny jeans I wasn't carrying the message I intended to first impressions either. I know I am a young mom, but after I was asked if I was a nanny every outing and many people even had the guts to ask how many baby daddys I had it made me question myself. Was this my goal? Was the way I was dressing God-glorifying? What message was I sending about our family or Jesus?

Our oldest daughter came to me one day and told me she wanted to donate all her shorts, pants and jeans and wear only skirts and dresses. I was a little perturbed as I thought this was just a trick to gain a new wardrobe at mommy and daddy's expense. She shared with me a verse she had read in 1 Timothy during her quiet bible reading time. She said, "I think God wants me to dress modestly and like a girl." She began this switch of hers on her own, slowly as we acquired her new (to her) clothing from local thrift stores. Then little sister, Risa, followed her sister's lead and also dawned on skirts. I wasn't ready to leave my comfort zone just yet, come on, I only had two skirts and one dress for church in my entire wardrobe plus I just LOVED my jeans.

Months passed and then my Mirabel challenged me to 30 days of skirt wearing, I took her challenge. To be honest I felt weird at first, like people were going to point, stare and ask me if I was in a cult. Those 30 days gave me a whole new perspective on modesty. During this month of the skirts I wasn't asked once if I was a nanny but instead asked if all these beautiful children were mine. Many strangers seemed to smile kindly toward our family instead of the blank stares we were used to getting in public. We were stopped so often for compliments instead of questions pertaining to my kids genetic origin. It was refreshing.

I realized quickly that I was SO much more comfortable living in FL wearing airy and breathable clothing. I also noticed that wearing skirts and dresses solved my being-a-mom-of-little-ones-wearing-nice-non-mommy-jeans-problem. You know that problem, the problem when you bend over to kiss a boo-boo, talk to or pick up a little one and those low-rising jeans creep down and your fitted shirt begins to rise leaving you exposing the color and style of your underwear or even *gasp* some crack! My big kids, customer's at Walmart, and patients at the doctors office got their fair share of viewing my plumber's butt during my fitted pants wearing days. Skirts never creep down or expose, and if the skirt's length is just past your knees it won't expose you in other ways when you squat down or sit criss-cross-applesauce either.

God used those 30 days to open my eyes to how we dress and how approachable we seem to strangers can open us up to amazing conversations, gospel opportunity and even new friendships! God changed my modesty view from the inside out. He showed me through His Word and Spirit that my skin-tight jeans weren't a modest, God-glorifying option by Jesus' standards yet neither was wearing baggy man pants. Well if I can't wear pants, what then Lord? My only option was to trust God and my Spirit's promptings and dress in modestly feminine skirts and dresses. Our goal with our dress is to not adorn ourselves with anything costly, tight or skin-bearing but to be approachable so that we can glorify our Father and open up opportunities to tell others about Jesus.

Start your 30 day skirt-wearing challenge today!
Well, first go to a local thrift store and pick up some easy, breezy, beautiful skirts, pray, seek the Lord and then start your 30 day challenge! Let us know how it goes! Remember, however you choose to dress, the Lord does not judge outward appearance but judges the heart, although it is tempting at times, we must never look with judgement on any person due to their dress or appearance alone.
"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24
"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7     

Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone