Sloppy dress is in – and what we can do about it!







“I like to wear skirts, but every time I put a long skirt on I’m told that I look really dressed up! My family thinks it’s crazy that I have a skirt on just to go to the grocery store. I’m really getting tired of the comments. I just want to look nice.”


I’ve received comments like the one above many, many times. As women become convicted in wanting to wear skirts, they receive a lot of negative feedback from family and friends. I’ve pondered on why we ladies stand out so much in a skirt, and almost make some people uncomfortable. When my husband went back to college last year the answer was perfectly clear to me.


Sloppy dress is in.


Pajama bottoms, sweatshirts, ripped jeans, shirts worn inside out, all kinds of mix and match outfits, shirts hanging off the shoulders, yes I’ll even throw in gym clothes…the list could go on. These are commonly seen in stores, restaurants, parks, and even social get together’s on ladies of all ages.


Society has simply dumbed down the normal look for ladies. If some ladies are at the grocery store in their pajama bottoms and fuzzy slippers, you’d better believe that a nicely dressed woman in a long denim skirt, cute top and *gasp* maybe even a fashionable scarf on, is sure to stand out a little more.


So then the next argument goes like this…


“I don’t want to attract more attention to myself. I feel like men stare at me even more with a long skirt on. It just makes me feel uncomfortable. I feel better when I wear my _____, like I blend in better.”


Yes, you might blend in better, but what are you blending in with? Does the sloppy look really appeal to you? Is that a better option than simply looking put together in a nice outfit?


I know there are ladies who look put together in a nice pair of jeans and top. I’m not trying to say it’s so black and white as simply sloppy outfits or a skirt. But I am trying to suggest that we not care about what society thinks. We need to care first and foremost about our convictions. How would we want to dress if the Lord was at the grocery store with us?


Recently I was shopping at Walmart later in the evening when my children were in bed. I saw a woman shopping that had on a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. Nothing fancy at all. Then I glanced again and appreciated what I saw. She had made a real effort to look nice even in a baggy sweatshirt, and put on a pearl necklace, earrings, and had on nicer shoes with her jeans. I never would have dreamed of putting a pearl necklace on with a sweatshirt, but it actually looked nice on her. It was the effort of the extra touches that made me realize she wanted to look nice. She didn’t just throw on the first pair of clothes she found in her dresser and run to the store.


Wherever we go we make an impression on people. Some of us stand out more than others – like if  we have lots of children :) Let’s make sure that the impression we leave has the potential to make an impact on someone. Our ultimate goal is to represent our Lord, and we can even do that with the clothes we wear.


24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man to Become a Gentleman

24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man

Boys will be boys.

For sure. But he can learn to be a gentleman as well. A gentleman in the right sense – not in a sissy, unreasonable manner – but a kind, respectful and godly young man.

It’s not that we’d ask our son to sit with his hands folded or keep him from running, building or exploring. No way. But we do hope he’ll learn to be wise, to consider others, and to remember that he’s a son of the King.

A true gentleman.


  1. Fear The Lord. It’s the beginning of knowledge. Prov. 1:7
  2. Listen carefully. A wise man listens intently and learns much. Prov. 1:5
  3. Pay attention to your father’s instruction. You’ll be glad you did. Prov. 1:8
  4. And don’t forget your mother’s teaching. She has wisdom to offer. Prov. 1:8b
  5. Control your temper.  “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32).
  6. Keep your word. A gentleman follows through on what he says he will do.
  7. Don’t hang out with the ungodly. Bad company corrupts good morals. I Cor. 15:33.
  8. Invest in strong, loyal friendships. The kind of friend who “sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
  9. Do what needs to be done. Without being told. Don’t wait to be asked when you know what you should do.
  10. Look sharp. Not sloppy or slovenly – simply neat and clean will do.
  11. Trust in The Lord. And don’t rely on your own understanding. Prov. 3:5
  12. Don’t chafe at correction. Consider it an opportunity to learn and grow.  Prov. 3:11.
  13. Be known as a hard worker. Learn to enjoy your job and take on whatever must be tackled. Prov. 6:6.
  14. Walk in purity. Avert your eyes and run from immorality. There is power in purity.
  15. Be polite. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  16. Work out. Keep in shape. A young man should be strong and fit for whatever he might be called upon to carry out.
  17. Watch over those who are younger or weaker than you. Never be too big for the small.
  18. Serve others.  To humbly serve is a very manly quality. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. Follow Christ’s example.  (Phil. 2).
  19. Look after the ladies. Step back to let her in the door first. Offer to carry heavy items for her. Protect and defend her.
  20. Make study a life-long habit. Commit to learning as much as you can about as many subjects as you can. Read books, research, observe and ask questions.
  21. Show respect for those who are older than you. Look them in the eye and shake their hand. Listen to what they have to say.
  22. Flee from sin. Get out of there immediately when you encounter temptation. (I Tim. 6:11).
  23. Be bold. As a lion. A righteous man doesn’t need be shy about what’s right. Prov. 28:1.
  24. Love God’s Word. Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of The Lord. Psalm 1.

So yes, boys will be boys. But prepare them to be gentlemen too.

In His grace,

24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Girl to Become a Lovely Woman

24 Ways to PrepareYou wouldn’t guess just by looking at her.

That she’s not so much a young girl, but a more of a woman every day. And that now it’s as though there’s only a small window of time to teach her the many lessons she should learn. This fleeting, but oh-so-wonderful chance to share wisdom to a girl who’s growing up right before you.

Because you and I both know it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. You understand – it’s not so much her appearance – but what goes on in her heart and in her mind. Things of truth and beauty. Of courage and kindness. Of strength and sweetness.


So how do you prepare her for that?



  1. Be gentle in words and actions. Let your beauty come from a gentle and quiet spirit (I Pet. 3:4).
  2. Determine to be strong. As a woman, you’ll face many situations where you’ll need to be steady and of a sound mind. Strength and honor are her clothing (Prov. 31:25).
  3. Live purely. There’s goodness and power in purity.
  4. Choose joy. You will bless everyone around you with your joyful countenance. Besides, it’s a lovely way to live.
  5. Seek wisdom. And as wisdom comes from above, look up (James 3).
  6. Laugh freely. It will lighten your spirit and everyone else around you too.
  7. Care for your health. Be sure and eat good foods, exercise, and get enough rest. If you care for yourself, then you’ll be better able to care for others too.
  8. Speak sweetly. People will be able – and more open – to listen to you if you do.
  9. Be willing to work hard. Learn to enjoy your tasks and take on what must be tackled (Prov. 31:13).
  10. Sing loudly. A song can both change a mood and give glory to God. So make a loud noise! (Ps. 98:4).
  11. Study many different things. Decide you’re going to be a life-long student. Learn about gardening, ancient history, bread-baking, new languages, natural medicine, geography, or anything else that fascinates you.
  12. Look after those in need. Have compassion on others and use your gifts to bless them.
  13. Bring beauty into your life. And into the life of others. Whether it be flowers, art, poetry, handwork, or bright colors.
  14. Walk through trials in faith.  Don’t walk in your own strength, but trust Him who will carry you through.
  15. Have a good cry. Now and then. It’ll make you feel better.
  16. Invest in a few good friends. Make time for and pursue relationships with those who can encourage you, inspire you and challenge you.
  17. Learn how to cook. It’s a handy and necessary skill. Because doesn’t everyone need to eat?
  18. Spend time alone in the Word. Don’t ever get too busy for time with your God.
  19. Be kind to others. Kindness isn’t all that hard to offer and yet has such a significant impact on those around you. And on her tongue is the law of kindness (Prov. 31:26b).
  20. Serve cheerfully. Look to Christ as your example, not what the world says about service. Nothing begrudging or stingy there (Phil. 2).
  21. Pray about all things. Don’t try to solve everything by yourself, but go to your Heavenly Father with your joys, cares and concerns (Eph. 6:18).
  22. Watch what you say. Your words have power to build up or tear down. So use them carefully.
  23. Love others deeply.  I Corinthians 13.
  24. Draw near to God.  And He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Yes, it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. But it’s so what I want for her.

It’s what I want for me too.

Lovely living. As a woman.

In His grace,

Reasons for Family Game Night


Recently we received our newsletter from Voddie Baucham Ministries. In it Dr. Baucham listed some great reasons to play board games as a family:

Game time is a lost art in the modern American family. Between Ballet, sports leagues, non-stop church activities, and the constant allure of various electronic media, few families sit down together long enough to play a game of Candyland. However, playing games together offers several benefits that we would do well to consider as we contemplate our schedules.

1. Game Time Builds Family Unity. While passive entertainment can be “enjoyed” together without any interaction, game time requires real interaction. We hardly get to know one another when we watch a movie, or a TV show. However, playing games together allows us to interact in ways that go beyond the surface.

2. Game Time Protects Family Time. Interaction with members of our household is important. However, that time is difficult to come by. If we are not careful, we will spend our time in the house together without ever saying a word to one another.

3. Game Time Reveals Sin and Provides Opportunities for Teaching and Correction. With small children in the home, it is important to find opportunities to teach important interpersonal skills. Game Time puts children in situations where we see their selfishness, competitiveness, and impatience on display. This is means game time is an important tool in the arsenal of the conscientious parent who wants to address the great need for the “fruit of the Spirit” (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, etc.) in a context that normally brings forth the “Works of the Flesh.”

4. Game Time is (dare I say it) Fun. Laughing, playing, competing, screaming and shouting (with excitement, of course) are all joyous expressions that make game time fun. I don’t know about your family, but around the Baucham household, we can sit for hours just laughing about previous game times!

In our house, we love games like Settlers of Catan, Pictionary, & Sequence.
What are your favorite family games? 


Naive, Unsophisticated Children {And the Evil That is Out to Get Them}

There is a common line of thought that says too much sheltering of children will produce naive adults that cannot function in the real world. In the case of homeschooling this is just an extension of the age old “What about socialization?” question. (As if the child who spends seven hours a day, five days a week in an artificial environment unlike any he will ever encounter as an adult, will be better prepared than a child whose main role models are mature adults.)

But ironically, this myth also abounds within the homeschool community.  Could it be possible that we decry the “What about socialization?” remarks but on some level we truly are still worried about it?

We fear that our children will stand shocked and bewildered when someone uses profanity in their presence or they aren’t savvy to the words and phrases that other kids use to speak of illicit sex.  We fear that the latest movie or pop star will be discussed and our kids will awkwardly stand there not participating because they have been too sheltered from the world and haven’t heard of these things.

Parents assume that the best way to know evil is by experiencing it for ourselves and so we expose our children to evil, but only to the degree that we deem appropriate. Yes, that sounds good.  And look it’s right there in the Bible in the book of…wait.  Nope, it’s not there.

God never intended His children to know evil.  He wants us to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil.  Satan is the one who told Eve to taste for herself.  And he wants us to fall for that same old lie.

Moms, our task is not to bring up children that fit in with this world.  Are your kids weird?  I hope so.  I hope they seem like they are from another world. If we are fitting in with the world then we are conformed.

The challenge of every parent is to raise up children who love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength.  Children who have a living and vibrant relationship with Christ, shining a light that penetrates darkness with righteousness and the gospel.  We want more than just “good kids”.  We want kids who enthusiastically love truth and hate evil and who have a burden to go out and change this world–not fit in with it.

We want them to know the difference between right and wrong because of:

1.) A good overview of the scripture.  I can teach my son more about immodest women and the flattering and seductive women of the world, through the use of scripture.  He doesn’t have to experience it.

2.) We can teach them the major doctrines of the Christian faith as well as teach them theologically rich hymns.

3.) We can teach them from biographies of true heroes–men such as Adoniram Judson, Hudson Taylor, David Livingstone and William Carey.

4.) And we cover it all in prayer, that God would bring the increase of all we sow.  We pray He would sustain them when they are one day out on their own and that their love for Him would motivate their choices once they are outside our protective walls.

We pray that the “faith of their fathers” becomes their own.

Shaping Them in the Greenhouse

One thing is to be sure:  Our children will eventually be exposed to lifestyles and choices that are foreign to them.  But we, their parents, are the shapers of their “want to.” Shaping them happens in the home–the greenhouse for tender plants that protects and shelters them until they are ready to be transplanted outdoors.

Children are going to develop an appetite and hunger for what they are fed. If all we feed them is junk food why would we expect them to grow up and eat nutritious meals?  And if we allow our children to listen to and partake in pop culture, why are we surprised when they develop a listening ear to (or outright embrace of) the world’s philosophies?

Our children will one day have the freedom to go places, do things and spend time with who they wish.  Has their “want to” been shaped by you?  One day their decisions will not be driven by what they are afraid we, their parents, think.  Their decisions must be driven instead by a strong sense of the presence and holiness of God.

The Path of Servanthood

I’ve been reading through Proverbs 31:10-31 a lot lately.

One of the things that strikes me the most about this virtuous lady is her utter selflessness.  She isn’t focused on furthering her career, padding her bank account, or receiving praises for her personal accomplishments.  On the contrary, she seems to be focused on the needs of others–her husband, her children and her community.

It bumfuzzles me that homemakers are often labeled as a poor, oppressed breed of women.  Yet when I look at the Proverbs 31 woman I see:

  • She is well-dressed.
  • She has plenty of food to eat.
  • She is physically fit.
  • She enjoys a well-ordered, emotionally stable life.
  • She is strong, dignified and yet cheerful.
  • She has a lasting beauty.
  • She doesn’t sit around wringing her hands about the future.  She is secure and content.
  • Her husband, who is well-respected in the community, thinks she’s awesome and remains unwavering in his faithfulness to her. He brags about her to his friends and tells her she’s one in a million.
  • Her kids are crazy about her.

So who wouldn’t be overjoyed to have these blessings?

But how did she attain all these benefits of life? Certainly not by insisting that her husband get busy and help do his share of the household chores (though there’s nothing wrong with men helping out), or by sitting around with an idle mind and hands.

She received these blessing by choosing the path of servanthood–making the needs of her family her chief priority, second only to her relationship with Christ.

We are never more like Jesus than when we are serving Him and others, and there is no higher calling than to be a servant.

“Homemaking”- By, J.R. Miller

While listening to “The Wise Woman’s Guide to Blessing her Husband’s Vision” by, Douglas Phillips, he mentioned a quote from J.R. Miller entitled “Homemaking”. As I researched and read his passages, I was enthralled at the way he described a godly wife. Our culture has gotten so far away from these Biblical virtues, it saddens me that I do not even recognize some of them when I read them. I think how wonderful it would be if we all were to strive to be more like those that came before us that knew the power of following the Biblical model of womanhood and manhood. Lord willing, may I be worthy to be described as the godly wife in the passage below.

J.R. Miller-“Homemaking”

One of the first essential elements in a wife is faithfulness, faithfulness, too, in the largest sense. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.” Perfect confidence is the basis of all true affection. A shadow of doubt destroys the peace of married life. A true wife by her character and by her conduct proves herself worthy of her husband’s trust. He has confidence in her affection; he knows that her heart is unalterably true to him. He has confidence in her management; he confides to her the care of his household. He knows that she is true to all his interests – that she is prudent and wise, neither wasteful nor extravagant. It is one of the essential things in a true wife that her husband shall be able to leave in her hands the management of all domestic affairs, and know that they are safe.

Wifely thriftlessness and extravagance have destroyed the happiness of many a household and wrecked many a home. On the other hand, many a man owes his prosperity to his wife’s prudence and her wise administration of household affairs. Every true wife makes her husband’s interests her own. While he lives for her, carrying her image in his heart and toiling for her all the days, she thinks only of what will do him good. When burdens press upon him she tries to lighten them by sympathy, by cheer, by the inspiration of love. She enters with zest and enthusiasm into all his plans. She is never a weight to drag him down; she is strength in his heart to help him ever to do nobler and better things.

A true wife makes a man’s life nobler, stronger, grander, by the omnipotence of her love “turning all the forces of manhood upward and heavenward.” While she clings to him in holy confidence and loving dependence she brings out in him whatever is noblest and richest in his being. She inspires him with courage and earnestness. She beautifies his life. She softens whatever is rude and harsh in his habits or his spirit. She clothes him with the gentler graces of refined and cultured manhood. While she yields to him and never disregards his lightest wish, she is really his queen, ruling his whole life and leading him onward and upward in every proper path. But it should be understood that for every wife the first duty is the making and keeping of her own home. Her first and best work should be done there, and till it is well done she has no right to go outside to take up other duties. She is to be a “worker at home.” She must look upon her home as the one spot on earth for which she alone is responsible, and which she must cultivate well for God if she never does anything outside. For her the Father’s business is not attending Dorcas societies, and missionary meetings, and mother’s meetings, and temperance conventions, or even teaching a Sunday school class, until she has made her own home all that her wisest thought and best skill can make it.

There have been wives who in their zeal for Christ’ work outside have neglected Christ’s work inside their own doors. They have had eyes and hearts for human need and human sorrow in the broad fields lying far out, but neither eye nor heart for the work of live close about their own feet. The result has been that while they were doing angelic work in the lanes and streets, the angels were mourning over their neglected duties within the hallowed walls of their own homes. While they were winning a place in the hearts of the poor or the sick or the orphan, they were losing their rightful place in the hearts of their own household. Let it be remembered that Christ’s work in the home is the first that he gives to every wife, and that no amount of consecrated activities in other spheres will atone in this world or the next for neglect or failure there. It is in her own home that this warmth of heart and this openness of hand are first to be shown. It is as wife and mother that her gentleness performs its most sacred ministry. Her hand wipes away the tear drops when there is sorrow. In sickness she is the tender nurse. She bears upon her own heart every burden that weighs upon her husband. No matter how the world goes with him during the day, when he enters his own door he meets the fragrant atmosphere of love. Other friends may forsake him, but she clings to him with unalterable fidelity. When gloom comes down and adversity falls upon him, her faithful eyes look ever into his like two stars of hope shining in the darkness. When his heart is crushed, beneath her smile it gathers itself again into strength, “like a wind torn flower in the sunshine.”

“You cannot imagine,” wrote De Tocqueville of his wife, “what she is in great trials. So it is in the dark hours of a man’s life, when burdens press, when sorrow weigh like mountains upon his soul, when adversities have left him crushed and broken, or when he is in the midst of fierce struggles which try the strength of every fibre of his manhood, that all the radiance and glory of a true wife’s strengthful love shine out before his eyes. Only then does he recognize in her God’s angel of mercy. In sickness, how thoughtful, how skillful, how gentle a nurse is the true wife! In struggles with temptation or adversity or difficulty, what an inspirer she is! In misfortune or disaster, what lofty heroism does she exhibit and what courage does her bravery kindle in her husband’s heart! Instead of being crushed by the unexpected loss, she only then rises to her full grandeur of soul. Instead of weeping, repining and despairing, and thus adding tenfold to the burden of the misfortune, she cheerfully accepts the changed circumstances and becomes a minister of hope and strength. She turns away from luxury and ease to the plainer home, the simpler life, the humbler surroundings, without a murmur. It is in such circumstances and experiences that the heroism of woman’s soul is manifested. Many a man is carried victoriously through misfortune and enabled to rise again, because of the strong inspiring sympathy and the self forgetting help of his wife; and many a man fails in fierce struggle, and rises not again from the defeat of misfortune, because the wife at his side proves unequal to her opportunity.

These are words that every wife should ponder. Every home should be a Bethesda, “a house of mercy,” where the suffering, the weary, the sorrowing, the tempted, the tried, the fallen, may ever turn sure of sympathy, of help and of love’s holiest fruits. A true wife gives her husband her fullest confidence. She hides nothing from him. She gives no pledge of secrecy which will seal her lips in his presence. She listens to no words of admiration from others which she may not repeat to him. She expresses to him every feeling, every hope, every desire and yearning, every joy or pain. Then while she utters every confidence in his ear she is most careful to speak in no other ear any word concerning the sacred inner life of her home. Are there little frictions or grievances in the wedded life? Has her husband fault which annoys her or causes her pain? Does he fail in this duty or that? Do differences arise which threaten the peace of the home? In the feeling of disappointment and pain, smarting under a sense of injury, a wife may be strongly tempted to seek sympathy by telling her trials to some intimate friends. Nothing could be more fatal to her own truest interest and to the hope of restored happiness and peace in her home. Grievances complained of outside remain unhealed sores. The wise wife will share her secret of unhappiness with none but her Master, while she strives in every way that patient love can suggest to remove the causes of discord or trouble.