Sunday, April 8, 2012

Purging Immodesty from my Closet

Happy Easter to everyone! What a glorious day it is, knowing that no matter who you are, where you come from, what you've done, or what you are going through, there is a savior who has a free gift that will wash you clean before God the Father.

My husband and I chose to stay home for the holiday, even though it would have been nice to spend the weekend with family. We really felt that we needed to be at our church, celebrating Christ with our church family today. Our families can have every other holiday... this one belongs to Christ.

So this morning I woke up and got dressed for church. I have quite a few dresses, and have purged most of my more immodest choices from my wardrobe. Today I put on my favorite dress, which is the one I wore to my mom's wedding 2 summers ago. I chose it then because it was a more modest choice, but was still very cute. However, today I realized that this dress is definitely not as modest as I once thought it was.

The pretty yellow dress I wore today for Easter
 I wore the dress that you see above, and put a cardigan on over it to increase the modesty factor. However, when we got to church I was distracted because all I could think about was how uncomfortable I was with how much leg was showing when I sat down.

I am sure many of you are rolling your eyes right now, because the dress above seems quite tame by modern standards. And believe me, I have worn WAY more scandalous clothing over the years. However, when I accepted Christ back into my life a few years ago, God poured his Holy Spirit into me, and began to pull and tug at me to mold me into the best person I can be for him.

I was just telling my husband today how amazed I constantly am that God, who sees the worst parts of me, who sees the horrible decisions I made in the past, has chosen to have me for his own. And he didn't stop there! Over the past few years he has slowly erased the worst parts of me, and strengthened and grown the best parts. I have become a new person not in order to be saved, but because in being saved God now calls me his own.

One of the ways God has changed me is in my clothing style. I will not elaborate too much here on my modesty standards, but you can read more about them at these links. I chose to become more modest in my clothing style. Not because I am ugly or self-conscious, but because as a sister in Christ, I have the responsibility to help my brothers in Christ in their journey, and tempting them and causing impure thoughts because of my dress is not Christ-like. I also have realized the joy in drawing attention to my face, my smile, and my personality. My husband tells me often (and in fact told me this morning) how he thinks I am more beautiful now that I keep my body safe from others' eyes. He is happy that I am only his.

So back to my story from this morning. Here I was in church, tugging on my hemline, trying to use my purse to hide what little of my thigh can be seen. I was so sad! My favorite dress, in my favorite color, does not meet the modesty standards I have set for myself! Where even a year ago I may not have hesitated to wear it, I am now so uncomfortable in it!

As my modesty standards have changed over the last few years, I have slowly changed out my closet. It started when I gave all my mini-skirts to my old roommate. Then I gave all my thin-strap tank tops to Goodwill. Now I rarely wear tank tops without a cardigan or other shirt over it. Then I gave away a few of my shirts which were maybe a little too low cut. As I have gone on this journey, it has been very difficult. Especially as I have given away some of my favorite clothing! It made me so sad at first, but as I have slowly changed my wardrobe I have been rewarded with encouragement from my husband and more wholesome attentions from others.

So today I realized I have another layer of clothing that needs to go. It is very sad for me, really, as I've realized I have no nice dresses which meet my modesty standards anymore! I knew for a while that some of these dresses were inappropriate and that I need to get rid of them, but sentimental value made them stay in my closet longer.
Finally letting go of my favorite, and yet still too immodest, dresses
Today is the perfect day to purge these last remaining remnants of my old self from my closet. I am not that woman who wore these dresses anymore. I am not a woman who relished in getting attention for my 5'10" frame, my thin body, or my long legs. Christ has cured me of that need for attention and between him and my husband I have all the assurance I need that I am beautiful!

Luckily I have found some great websites which offer modern and modest dresses at a decent price. Take a look at Mikarose if you never have. They have beautiful dresses, most around $50, which are all quite modest. I will be saving up to buy one or two of them in the coming months.

How about you? Have you also fought with modesty before?




Growing Home

15 comments:

  1. Great post! I too have been convicted about modesty lately. I have some things in my closet that I should probably get rid of too. Like you, they are pieces that most would consider modest, but I wouldn't! I think I'll be cleaning out my closet today! :)

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  2. I am always amazed how the Lord works. My own family think that my modest clothing is on the side of prudish.. but as a mother of two girls I have to set an example for them. This worlds and sad to say some churches views differ from each other. Thanks for sharing your story.. It is encouraging to see young ladies striving for modesty!

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  3. Hello Amy Joy-
    just stopped by from Teach me Tuesdays Blog hop... your title caught my eyes... I too have had modesty on my mind... though you would be interested in reading what the Lord put on my heart.

    God Bless you!
    By His grace,
    Monica

    http://www.godsmostprecious.blogspot.com/2012/04/truth-about-modesty.html

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  4. This is something I've been struggling with, daily, for the last 4-5mths. I too have been feeling the gentle but assertive nudge from my Father to preserve my "fleshly beauty" for my hubby only. It is very difficult sometimes..I wasnt raised to dress too worldly, but, His standards are even more different than my mother's. Idolizing the culture that we deal with for so long has left me weak and sometimes confused but this blog and many others is confirmation that my feelings are real, and that I did do the right thing by giving away some of my more "risque" clothing. Headed back to the closet in a while to do some more "cleaning"...thanks for sharing.

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  5. Beautiful post. I've been on the modesty journey for a while also - here are some other sites I've found: For dresses (although more expensive than mikarose) http://www.sweetinnocencedresses.com/shop/ (they have a yellow polka dot dress!)
    http://www.shabbyapple.com/
    For skirts (and a few dresses also): http://www.downeastbasics.com/
    http://www.modbeclothing.com/
    There really are a lot of fashionable, modest options online, just not so much in stores...Hope these help!

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  6. I found your post through the Teach Me Tuesday blog hop and really enjoyed it. The Lord has been working in my heart to on modesty, especially when it comes to skirt wearing. I am still trying to figure out exactly where I should stand on this issue, but it is good to know that others are going through the same thing too! Thanks for the encouragement!

    My blog is www.fatihfulsteps.net if you wanna take a look around

    Blessings,
    Kristen

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  7. Great post! I love how you take us through the process of transforming your wardrobe. When I came to the point of realizing my wardrobe needed some work for either modesty purposes or just improving quality I began to determine how to go about doing it because I can't just toss something out and immediately replace it while maintaining a family friendly budget. So, I decided to limit my wardrobe severely (weekly laundry allows plenty available at all times). When I purchase, I aim to make it count in buying higher quality pieces that hopefully will be better fitting and last longer. I believe someone else may have suggested it, but I find a lot of cute pieces at www.modcloth.com. I particularly like that they have a section of "longer length" so that you don't end up with something too short. Check them out it you get a moment. Enjoyed getting to visit your site through the Growing Home link-up! :)
    -Whitney @www.revivinghomemaking.blogspot.com
    p.s. In case you're interested, I wrote on simplifying clothing here:http://revivinghomemaking.blogspot.com/2011/03/simplifying-clothing.html

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  8. I completely agree!

    Thanks for pointing out that site as well - I've browsed it before but I'm placing my first order this week! So nice to find some cute modest clothes!

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  9. Thanks for this reminder! This is something I have just started really thinking about lately. I have always dressed fairly modestly (but not for righteous reasons... just because I have been self conscious about my body!) But, this is something I want to be even more intentional about!

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  10. I enjoyed reading your story. You can find very nice modern but modest(though pricey) dresses at http://www.sweetinnocencedresses.com/shop/sweetinnocence?limit=all. Being petite, I've had luck finding nice dresses at Kohl's and JCPenney (I just buy regular sizes rather than petites, which gives me a few inches in extra length). I've heard that one can find nice modest dresses (and modest skirts) in consignment shops as well.

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  11. Love it :) I'm always growing and changing what I believe is modest too. If you ever come across a shirt that is a little too low cut, or doesn't have sleeves, try Half Tees. They are awesome! I have a bunch, and they make clothes shopping a little easier. http://halftee.com

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  12. I am not sure if you do any sewing or not, but it usually fairly simple to add a ruffle or band around the bottom of dress. :) If you choose the right fabric it isn't even noticeable that you altered it since contrasting bands around the bottom of a dress or skirt are common. There are a few ideas here, too: http://thesassypepper.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-lengthen-skirt-or-dress.html

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  13. I found your blog through Growing Home and I really appreciate your openness about this subject. I remember after I was newly married I sewed a dress myself that was my dream dress...the fabric, the pattern, the way it fit me. It was really special because I am not a fast seamstress and don't even enjoy sewing so it was rare to wear something that I made myself, let alone something that "perfect!" And I had high standards of modesty!

    One day at church as one of the ushers greeted me I noticed his eyes swept down from my face and all the way down my body, and he gave me an approving smile. I was wearing "the dress." It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was slender and the dress really looked good on me. Too good. I mustered up the courage to ask my hubby about it later, and he agreed that it did show my shape a bit too well, and it did naturally attract eyes to wrong places.

    I was crushed. I let it hang in my closet untouched for some time before I had the nerve to get rid of it. That was a growing experience which reminds me of what you are doing. God bless you for being sensitive to His heart in this matter and for loving your brothers in Christ enough to make this a priority.

    Incidentally, a few years later that usher had an affair with another married lady in our church. Chills went up and down my spine when I learned of it. We ladies protect ourselves and our own marriages as well when we are modest.

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  14. Love your blog. You are as cute as pie. I did the same thing recently and I am almost 38, so you are never to young or old to change your heart. I think it is very important I set an example for myself, the younger women around me and most importantly, my son, who is 6. It was painful to watch 4 garbage bags of clothes leave my closet but it has been the best choice I have ever made. I am slowly replacing items as I can afford it. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  15. Go to www.eshakti.com You'll LOVE it! They have yellow dresses :-)

    And you can customize the size, length, sleaves/none etc. all customizations FREE.

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