Thursday, October 28, 2010

Can there be anything more annoying than sitting next to someone who has the dreadful habit of ksnerting? I don’t mean a person innocently teaching a child onomatopoeias. Or the chronically sinus-congested man who snores with out reprieve. No, not even the girl hysterically laughing and once in a while making an embarrassing nasal snort. I am referring to the people who realize they need to sneeze and try to be polite, but in doing so make themselves vastly more noticeable and obnoxious than they would otherwise have been. Sitting there with eyes tightly shut, mouth slightly open, gripping the arms of the chair, anticipating the explosion of stifled pressure which ultimately culminates in a stertorious and somewhat muffled, seizure-like attack. Everybody hears the ersatz sneeze and at least half of them turn around to see who the not-so-stealthy man was. On the other hand, simply sneezing is no big deal. It happens to the best of us when our noses are tickled. There is nothing to be ashamed of, just accept the amiable benediction you are bound to receive and move on; quite uncomplicated.

Ksnerters, know that the pain you undergo is all for not.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

*photo emendment

I have re-uploaded the pictures in my post "Acceptable Frumpiness?" so they should now be visible to those who were having a hard time seeing them before.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

celebrating week 8

Mel and I got together again and cooked. *imagine that* This time we made dinner--it was so much fun!

~the menu~
sausage/onion/tomato/mozzarella penne
(I took pictures, but the lighting makes it look quite un-palatable, so you'll just have to see it when I make it for y'all sometime.)

spinach salad

5 minute artisan bread

raspberry peach pie topped with vanilla ice cream
(ready for the oven)
as dinner drew closer I set aside the camera in lieu of hot food and company (sorry readers). we had a merry time discussing finals, crazy college experiences, and the close of our first term; it was a lovely night.

Tomorrow morning I have my last final! and to think I will be done with my first 8 weeks of college by noon--never thought that I'd experience this. wow. I am so looking forward to seeing my family on Saturday--for a whole week. Fall Break is AmaZInG

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

from the abundance of my heart

14. a short roommate
13. the growing stack of "finished" books on my shelf
12. getting to chat with Mama
11. trials and tears
10. hugs during said hardships
9. buttermilk

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Acceptable Frumpiness?

“Tastelessness has become an art form. The last thing women in America today want to be known for is virtue. How stupid to be thought a virgin--or worse, to look like one.” Clothing says more about the wearer than any other form of communication can. Repeatedly in the Bible, Christians are exhorted to dress in such a way as to honor God and respect others.

In society driven by celebutante news and My-Space profiles, women of class, style, and charm are hard to come by. As the Audreys and Katharines of the world continue to lose their it possible to maintain traditional virtues in a modern world?

The challenge of appropriate attire is in realizing that what a person wears conveys who they are and what they believe is important. Relationships are not based on outward appearances. However, this does not mean we can dismiss the importance of suitable dress.

Sweatpants may be the most comfortable clothing to hang out in, but that does not make it acceptable for wearing in public. “Today, [slouching] describes an interesting fashion style where oversized clothes hang off the body as if the wearer inexplicably lost twenty or thirty pounds between the time he finished dressing and the moment he showed up in public.”As Nancy Wilson said, we wear clothing not for our ease, but by actively pursuing virtue, we should make the people around us comfortable. This means considering who we are interacting with and how we can best demonstrate our thoughtfulness towards them. Once this has been established, the next obstacle is simply learning what it means to dress well. Christian Dior stated, “there is no fashion which is good without care, enthusiasm, and zest behind it. Zest in designing..zest in making...zest in wearing your clothes.” Mediocre societal norms are challenged in an organized survey of monumental depth concerning fashions, modesty, and assumptions which are associated with given trends. The Harris brothers, along with many other Christian authors, challenge women to synthesize their godly disciplines and dress standards.

Christian women should not wear saggy-baggy, skin-tight, low-cut, comfy-cozy clothing in public. We should not dress for ourselves but rather, dress in such a way as to make our brothers and sisters comfortable. Personal ease is not what it is all about. On the contrary, we should demonstrate honor, respect, and humility in our clothing. The world has a powerful charm and Christian women must be wary of its deadening effects. It can be tempting to adopt the clothing the culture deems appropriate, but we must keep our eyes off our selfish desires and look to edify others. Frumpiness does not only refer to the people in saran-wrapped jeans and plunging necklines, but also includes some “high fashion (see figure 1).” In fact, many of today’s popular trends are just as frumpy.

Figure 1. Above left, Pringle of Scotland, ruffled floral gown; above right, Hisaka. Photograph by Lisa Warninger.

Christian demeanor in dress is relevant in every woman’s life. Thomas Brooks aptly said: “Certainly such as fear the Lord should go in no apparel but first, such as they are willing to die in; secondly, to appear before the Ancient of Days in; thirdly, to stand before the judgement seat in.” The Bible is full of examples of people wearing noteworthy clothing and taking pride in dressing well. Beautiful, modest, embroidered and fine apparel, garments of praise, and choice clothes are all explicitly mentioned in Scripture. Dressing well is a matter of learning how to distinguish between frumpiness (see figure 2) and true class (see figure 3). Every situation we encounter requires a certain type of clothing: a backyard BBQ is casual, whereas dinner at an expensive restaurant is much dressier. Only after such a contrast has been made will we begin to raise the culturally accepted subpar standard of dowdy fashion.

Figure 2. Above left, Jeanette. Photograph by Lisa Warninger; above right, Ashley. Photograph by Lisa Warninger.

Figure 3. Above left, Escada cap sleeve Zanzibar print dress; above right, Lacey. Photograph by Lisa Warninger.

One of the biggest pitfalls of modern fashion is the misleading assumption that women can wear whatever they want wherever they go. Because people make judgements based on what we look like, and Christians are supposed to be representing God, we cannot disregard clothing. Sloppiness is not style; it is not cool, hip, or chic. Self-expressive style dismisses the authority high standards of fashion used to invoke. Excuses about dressing modestly and cramping personal style are plentiful.

If we are smart, sophisticated, and chic, our attire will most likely reflect those attributes. On the flip side, all of our rude, grungy, and vile traits can be portrayed through our duds, as well. It’s no secret that girls with self-image problems often dress to compensate for the pieces that are missing in their lives...our level of self-respect shows up in a number of different areas, and fashion, dress, and personal style happen to be some of the biggest and most obvious ones.

Walking the line is dangerous. When an authority give you a guideline, it is unwise to sink to the lowest end of the spectrum and get away with the least acceptable clothing possible. Rise to the challenge and impress them with your posh and tasteful style.

Wearing comfy clothes is completely appropriate--until you step out the door. In our casual society, women have ceased to care about their appearance. No matter how often people say you should not judge based on appearances, it always happens, “we make entire character verdicts based on the absence or presence of ratty tennis shoes, designer jackets, ill-fitting pants, or leather bags...”

When you go out in public, remember that your appearance says a lot about you and the God whom you serve; take time to present yourself well, change those shabbily-frayed jeans for a vogue knit dress and pearls, look in the mirror and touch up your make-up.

Fashion does not have to be immodest, expensive, or frumpy--simply attractive (see figure 4). Striving after truth, beauty, and goodness, we as Christian women should be concerned with what we look like and how we represent our families and God. However, it is also important not to let go of the double-fold vision of also having an inner purity which shines through the outward mien. By all means, wear your baggy sweatpants around the house, but when it’s time to leave, kick off the slippers at the door and step into the world, knowing you are a lovely, counter-cultural Christian woman.

Figure 4. Above left, Maren; above middle, Helen; above right, Julie. Photography by Lisa Warninger.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

from the abundance of my heart

6. fuchsia skies at sunset
7. fresh berries and cream
8. fall break

Saturday, October 2, 2010

After being inspired by my dear friend and an inspiring blog written by an ever thought-provoking Christian woman, I have finally decided to start keeping a "journal" of my thankfulness on my blog (maybe that mean's I'll post more?).

1. new-found friendship
2. love of friends and family shared over great distances
3. lagnaippe of fall colors
4. iced coffee
5. the ability to see and appreciate light