Sunday, December 31, 2006

Broidered Hair

All pictures courtesy VRoma Project

From the back, this lovely hairdo would generously fill any woman's prayer cap or veil. The hair is obviously long, well kept and beautifully dressed. I wish my hair were long enough to wind around my head as many times as this matron's lovely crown.

But other views of this marble bust from the Flavian era, 69-96 CE, show just how much effort, time, pommades and slaves it took to dress hair in this manner.

This is the broidered hair that Paul speaks about in 1 Tim 2:9. Any woman who is taking this much time for herself in her toilette has no time left for spiritual thoughts or good deeds, she is consumed by vanity. Not only is she using time that could be put to better use, she is using up the lifetimes of other women,her slave girls and dressing maids.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Public vs Private Women

Several weeks ago a program appeared on the History Channel regarding the Civil War period of the 1860s in Nashville, TN. Prostitutes were licensed for the first time and were dubbed, "Public Women." I suppose public meant that any who chose to use them could compared to the private women men kept at home.

Last week previews for Victoria's Secret Fashion Show appeared on many channels. I was appalled by all of those private garments on public display and the almost naked bodies of the models. When I last saw a Miss America Pageant, each contestant had to appear in a one-piece bathing suit [what we consider a public garment]—those girls were fully clothed in comparison to the VS models—what a contrast in modesty.

When watching a rerun of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the life of Loretta Lynn, I was reminded of my high school days of the 60s where “Christian” and Mormon [LDS] girls wore jewel necklines and elbow-length sleeves on their long gowns; Miss Lynn wore those frothy, lacey and lovely “Gunny Sax” dresses—such femininity and such beauty in those long covered up dresses. Those covered girls were just as lovely as those girls in their strapless and spaghetti-strapped gowns—after all, isn’t a formal dance an acceptable place to display a little flesh? But what did all that lovely display and close dancing to romantic music [yes, it was still romantic—not acid rock and heavy metal then] lead to—how many girls of your acquaintance became pregnant on prom night? And can those escorts be castigated for succumbing to all that feminine allure—isn’t that what the VS models and prostitutes set out to do, but to lure our men into licentiousness?

All of the public display of what ought to be private makes me want to cover not only my hair but all of my body—to take a private stand against public women.

Monday, November 13, 2006

discrétion says it all -

EZEK 16:10-15 And I had you clothed with needlework, and put leather shoes on your feet, folding fair linen about you and covering you with silk. And I made you fair with ornaments and put jewels on your hands and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring in your nose and ear-rings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were made beautiful with gold and silver; and your clothing was of the best linen and silk and needlework; your food was the best meal and honey and oil: and you were very beautiful. You were so beautiful that the story of you went out into all nations; you were completely beautiful because of my glory which I had put on you, says the Lord. But you put your faith in the fact that you were beautiful, . . .Bible in Basic English

Sometimes it's hard to think of being plain when you once considered yourself beautiful.

Good deeds are more important than good looks. The proverb was first recorded by Chaucer in 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' (c. 1387). In 1766, in the preface to 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' Oliver Goldsmith wrote: 'Handsome is that handsome does.' First attested in the United States in 'Journal of a Lady of Quality' (1774). The saying is found in varying forms, including 'Beauty is as beauty does'." From the "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair [beautiful] woman which is without discretion. Prov. 11:22

discrétion f 1. (réserve, silence) discretion; ~ assurée confidentiality guaranteed 2. (sobriété) discreetness; (d'une toilette, d'un maquillage) simplicity; (des décors) unobtrusiveness; s'habiller avec ~ to dress quietly

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 1 Tim 2:9

Amazing how looking at another language can sometimes bring hidden meaning out. The French word discrétion says it all - Godly women will be reserved, discreet, unobtrusive, embody simplicity itself, and quietly dressed.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

USAToday on Covering

An article recently appeared in USAToday about women of many faiths beginning to cover and wear modest apparel. The gist of the piece seemed to say that there is a movement, a zeitgeist if you will, that crosses religious and cultural boundaries.

My husband used this article in a recent composition class which he teaches at a local university. The discussion brought up some interesting conclusions:
· Covering is the opposite of the slut look
· It’s an anti-Madonna [the singer] statement
· It’s a feminist statement [as in feminine but modest vs. androgynous and ugly]

Further discussion revealed that if it is, indeed, an opposite pole from looking like you’ve just crawled out of bed [some people pay a lot of money to get their tousled locks and off-shoulder looks], then one can expect to see as many women covering and dressing modestly as those who flaunt their sexuality in dress [or lack thereof] and unkempt hair.

Perusing other blogs about plain dress and comments to these posts can find even lesbians feeling the need to cover [but sadly not the need to repent] and going so far as to consider nudity as a means of “plain dress.”

I hope my husband's class discussion is right--it will be a blessing to begin seeing more modest dress and coverings as American women of all faiths begin to respond to the Spirit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

R E S P E C T . . .

Brittany bonnet, similar to what I wore that night.

Women who wear headcoverings are treated differently than those who don’t.

One evening in March 2001, while returning to Illinois from Old Fort Niagara, NY, I pulled off the freeway in Ohio seeking shelter from a blinding storm of lake-effect snow. I had been reenacting F&I and had delivered a lecture on French Colonial Housing at the Fort on the shore of Lake Ontario and had left the fort as the storm was approaching–I was in a hurry and had not removed my headwear, a “Brittany Bonnet,” made from a pattern purchased years before from a museum shop, one of a series of so-called French regional bonnets. My bonnet was warm and comforting and I still had the several layers of linen clothing on, as well; chemise, corset, two petticoats and a manteau-de-lit or bed jacket of cotton. I was warm and toasty and the layers were a good foil against the wind and swirling snow.

As I struggled through the lobby door to register for a room, the desk clerk looked up, and with a somewhat startled look upon his face, asked me who I worked for. At the time it was S7HD, a health department in Southern Illinois. That answer seemed to satisfy him, but he immediately asked someone from the room behind the desk to help me carry my bundles (reenactors do not carry suitcases) to my room. Now keep in mind, this was a Motel 6, and this service was out of the ordinary. When I reached my room and after I had shut the door and looked in the mirror, I realized what must have been the reason for the look on the clerk’s face–my bonnet looked like a nun’s coif–hence the “special” treatment.

Since I have begun wearing a head covering every day now, I notice that which ever man is next to me as I reach a doorway almost ‘busts his buttons’ to reach for the door first and hold it open so I may pass through. This gesture of respect did not occur, except as a rare occurrence, before I wore a covering with men other than my husband. I am thankful for the respect–I can only conclude that the sign upon my hair is responsible for this gesture.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

On Returning to Headcoverings . . .

I was raised an Episcopalian, and most every Sunday found me in church, wearing a hat and my best outfit. In my mind I remember seeing Communion celebrated about every other week, and as part of the service, the priest would chant each of the 10 Commandments and the congregation would chant back that we would/will keep them. When I was in third and fourth grade I attended a Christian school whose teachers were Quakers and whose students were mostly 1st Baptist. My brother and I were the only "heathens"--Episcopalians could smoke, drink but not get drunk, play cards, go to movies--we were definitely not like the other kids. Part of the schooling was scripture memorization and at 9, I had to memorize and recite the 10Cs. As soon as the assignment was given, I raised my hand and offered to recite them--I had already memorized them and "knew" that I kept them, including the 4th--the Sabbath. When I had finished reciting them perfectly to the Quaker teacher, Mr. Denzel Davis, I asked him if everyone still keeps the Sabbath--he said no, we kept Sunday instead. My 9-year old brain went on tilt like a pinball machine! I knew that wasn't right--that was not what I said I would do each Sunday in my mind. But it wasn't until I was 15 that I made a decision to keep the Sabbath, no matter what.

I first attended an Adventist church as it was the only one I knew of besides Jews who kept the Sabbath. After several months my family and I began attending the Church of God-7th Day, and still later that year with Herbert Armstrong's group, Radio Church of God, which became the Worldwide Church of God, and has since splintered into hundreds of competing churches and denominations and many no longer keep the Sabbath.

In August of this year I was doing some research for my husband on Anabaptists for an article he was writing and came across a site with two articles on headcovering on a Mennonite site from Montana. As I was raised in Idaho, I read them both, and immediately was convicted to seek to wear a headcovering again--not just a hat--which no one of my acquaintance had worn for at least 45+ years. I gave the articles to Homer, my husband, and asked him to read them and give me his opinion of them. This article resulted, with a small piece of my own attached at the bottom. I also started a blog regarding my plain dress and headcovering experience/journey. During the time that Homer was reading and writing the response, I was asked in the store if I were a "Frieda," a Mennonite of the acquaintance of the questioner. I told her no, but she continued that I looked like I should wear a bonnet--I now do and it's like coming home. No one in my past Sabbath-keeping faith group wears one but me [that I am currently aware of], nor is plain dress a practice. So it's back to being a pioneer again.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nasty, Nasty . . .

Debate: Nasty, Nasty

Last evening Michigan’s Democratic Governor, Jennifer Granholm, faced her Republican challenger, Dick DeVos, in the first of several televised political debates. This occurred at the end of a terrifying day filled with news of yet another school shooting–this time in peaceful Amish country–Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. After much rancorous mudslinging, each opponent was asked in conclusion to name an interesting fact about themselves. Granholm’s answer appalled me so that I do not remember what DeVos offered. And it is in response to her quip that I must take a stand and make a political comment.

With a cutsie look and a twinkle in her eye, she gave her interesting fact, “Before my husband met me, he wanted to be a priest.” Several awful possibilities immediately traipsed through my mind;
• her husband had so little character that he could not stand on his convictions
• she lured him from his faith by enticing him with her wiles
• she set her cap for him, even though he had expressed his desire to serve God–but wait–she doesn’t wear a cap

And maybe that’s the problem–she is not in subjection to God or man [her husband] and as a result, flaunts the desire of every Catholic family in Michigan, let alone the country or the world–that desire to have a son of the family serve God in the priesthood.

1 Timothy 2:1-31 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

And so, Governor, I pray that you will
• lead a peaceable life
• let your hair grow
• and cover it to redeem yourself from shame

Monday, October 02, 2006

Death comes a callin' . . .

The quiet lives of the people I see in my mind in P. Buckley Moss' art were visited by death today--black bonnets no longer mean contented lives for me.

If you wish to make a donation to the girls' families or for the sake of the community, you may do so by mailing a check to:

Nickel Mines Children's Fund
Coatesville Savings Bank
1082 Georgetown Road
Paradise, PA 17562

Roberts Family Fund for Children of the Roberts Family
Coatesville Savings Bank
1082 Georgetown Road
Paradise, PA 17562

Friday, September 29, 2006

Woman: An animal fond of dress.

advertisement in recent fashion catalog

What exactly is the woman poured into this pair of jeans with whiskers bleached into the crotch area and a lowered front band to show the belly button really trying to sell?

They might follow the custom or costume of the country as to dress itself; but they must not imitate the extravagance of those who, through impurity or little of mind, decked themselves merely to attract the eye of admiration, or set in lying action the tongue of flattery. Woman has been invidiously defined: An animal fond of dress. How long will they permit themselves to be thus degraded?
Adam Clarke on 1 Tim 2:9

Does what I do or do not wear really affect how angels see me, and therefore, my Creator, as well (1 Cor 11:10)?

Explore with me a journey of discovery in becoming meek & quiet.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Beginning of Sorts . . .

If my focus is to make Satan's government work or to spend my time trying to fix faults that will be cured by Christ Himself when He comes, then there isn't time to think or hears things [like a still, small voice from God I Kings 19: 11-12].

Pure religion [James 1:27] is doing; visiting widows and the fatherless and keeping unspotted from the world. Keeping unspotted would be not succombing to popular culture.

Being caught up or swept away or reacting to popular culture is letting it tell me when and what to do--as soon as it dictates my actions--it spots me. If this occurs, I allow physical things to rise in importance. When my motive is pure, a course of action that should produce holiness will follow.

* * * * *

The crux of St. Paul's message was that there is neither male nor female, slave nor free, Jew nor Greek. This new creaure born of spirit that dwells inside the heart and mind is a son of God domiciled in a tent of flesh and has either inside or outside plumbing. This tent of flesh remains male or female and has to conform to expectations of gender. As this son of God dwells inside the heart and mind and is garmented or cloaked by Grace, the tent of flesh will also be garmented in attire appropriate for holiness--meaning modest attire, not tainted or spotted by the world, not caught up in popular culture. But modest to the point where it doesn't cause the attention to be taken away from the actions or deeds of the one who would be holy.