Thursday, April 21, 2011

The 411 on Modest Swimsuits

Hey Girls!

Summertime is practically upon us! Yay! For most, summer means no school, days out on the lake, pool parties with friends, Camp Cherokee...all soo much fun and all requiring a swimsuit. While we have certain guidelines when it comes to swimsuits for Camp Cherokee and church events, it's my desire that you understand the Biblical foundation for these guidelines and choose to make them part of your lifestyle choices and not just for church events. In this post I want to share with you three points, 1) Why God cares about what you wear, 2) Why your guy friends need you to dress modestly and 3) Where you can find modest swimsuits and still look just as stylish and uber cute as you want! I am even providing a discount code (good for a limited time) at one of the websites below to help you out! It is my prayer that moms and daughters alike will take this mission for modesty seriously and prayerfully consider how you might could possibly honor God more in this area of your life. But regardless of your personal position, part 3 will help you as you prep for Camp Cherokee and other FBC Youth events for this summer!

1) Does God care about how we dress?

Yes! Yes, He does. He cares about all aspects of our lives. 1 Peter 1:15 reminds us of how we are called to holiness, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do…” God calls us to holiness in what we say, what we do, how we think, how we respond, what we listen to, what we watch and read…and yes, how we dress! All aspects! 1 Timothy 2:9-10 speaks specifically, "I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." Ephesians 5:8-10 reminds us too, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”

We must remember that we are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20); in everything that we do we represent where our trust lies. It will either be for the fame of our pride or the fame of our Savior. As believers, must never forget that the lost are watching us. "Find out what pleases the Lord" and do that!

2) Why your guy friends need you to dress modestly.

The reality is many guys and men struggle with the area of lustful thoughts (which are generated by what they see) so we cannot afford to be ignorant about how we, as girls, present ourselves or dress in public. (*Notice I said men...of all ages. In public how you dress is seen by everyone...grandfathers, pastors, your litter brother, etc.) Many times as sins are listed in the Bible, the sin of lust is listed with it. The responsibility to flee from evil in this situation doesn't just lie on the guy. We girls need to work hard to help our brothers in Christ. (Quick Question: Do you think of your guy friends as brothers in Christ?) In a blog series on Photo Taking/Sharing Tips, I talked about this responsibility and specifically with our swimsuit choices. I challenged you to think about this.…if guys struggle with lustful thoughts…do you think wearing a bikini would help with that thought process? Do you think a bikini looks like lingerie/undergarments? I do! Trust me, a guys mind does NOT say…"oh that’s just a bathing suit...not lingerie, so I'm good." This only takes their mind to other dark places. I challenge you to care more about your guy friend's sanctification/holiness/growth in the Lord more than how good it feels to receive attention from them. (*and this is to be applied in any unwholesome action/words/text/clothing/dance moves that might garner attention).

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” -1 John 2:16
3) Ok, so you want to honor God and STILL be cute...where can you find such swimsuits?

Oh girls, have no fear! Lack of style and availability is NOT an excuse this year! I have found some great options for you and while many of these are online, many sites offer free return shipping or have an actual store you can go to yourself. Sometimes more modest suits cost a little more but with the amount of time you spend in the water, it's worth it! Plus, you don't need a new suit every year once you have a good one! I have a feeling that if you added up how much you spend on a couple skimpier suits each year, you'd still come out spending less on one good, modest swim suit that doesn't compromise your words with your actions.

So, what is a modest swimsuit? A one-piece swimsuit or appropriate tankini. This means that your chest is covered, your stomach sides are covered, and no low dipping backs. For a tankini, your stomach must remain fully covered even with your arms raised. Check out these sites for some examples and as always, feel free to ask me if you have a question before wearing it!

A.) Lime Ricki.com - Ok, this is my all time fav site. SO CUTE! Their mission statement is the best too! It says, "Lime Ricki Swimwear is all about exposing your style while keeping you comfortably covered. {That means no tugging, pulling, adjusting or otherwise worrying about anything hanging out.}" I couldn't have said it better! They great one-piece suits well as appropriate tankinis...and have a great free shipping on all exchanges policy...in case you chose the wrong size! Better yet, they love encouraging modesty and have offered GirlsForHisGlory.com readers a special discount good now through midnight on May 16th. To receive 10% off enter code "MODEST10" at checkout! Keep an eye on this site as I have been told that they still have about 7 NEW tankini tops and 3 NEW one-piece suits to be added to the site in within the next couple of weeks! In fact, plan to be sporting one of these cute suits this summer!

B.) These sites are hit or miss. There are some great, appropriate suits offered on these sites, but most of them probably don't meet modest standards. Obviously you are going to have to use the guidelines listed above as you consider what is available. I am listing these sites though because there are some suits that are great!

- Delias.com has some one-pieces. However, their tankini tops are not long enough to cover the stomach.

- Lands End.com - awesome. They have a large selection of one-piece and tankini's that would work great and look cute!

- Nordstrom.com has some on sale!

- Target.com - I've found better in the actual store...and you can try them on there too! Remember to make sure there are straps included for any "strapless" suits. Yikes! I can't imagine swimming/tubing/jumping around in a strapless suit!

- J.Crew.com - Again, a few really great options. I personally have a tankini from here and it follows the covered tummy guidelines! Love!

- Anthropologie.com - reeeally on the pricey side but definitely some cute/trendy finds here!

- Khols.com , Gap.com, Old Navy.com, Ann Taylor Loft, PacSun.com,

- Of course, I'm always a fan of athletic swim wear...especially for days on the lake and activities you know you are going to be doing a lot of jumping around! Check out: Athleta.com, Speedo.com, Nike.com, and places like T.J MAXX and Marshals! (ß LOVE!)

*BONUS* I love this site for modest and WAY cute dresses/skirts. I have been dying to try something from here! The Shabby Apple.com - sign-up for there newsletter and get 10% off too!

There you have it! This is just a selection that I've come across recently and as I shop for my summer suit! Please comment below with a link to your favorite site for modest swimsuits! Also, feel free to email me a link to a suit you're considering if you want my advice or approval for camp...or bring it to me!

Love you girls and love helping you as you seek to honor Christ in ALL things! :)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

T.I.H....THIS IS HAITI, Part III

This was written by Gina Allison, one of the adult leaders on our Haiti mission trip. So thankful for her ministry, leadership and faithfulness to Christ!
*You can make the image larger by double clicking on it. :)

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

T.I.H....THIS IS HAITI, Part II

We have been back from Haiti for two weeks and yet the experience still dominates my thoughts and prayers. For me, this trip was eye opening in many ways. Eye opening in the vastness of God's people...how on one hand we can seem so incredibly different, but yet so incredibly the same. Also, truly our joy comes from a relationship with Christ.

Most of us expected to see a country full of people down and out...depressed if you will because they have nothing. Not even the bare essentials in many cases. But that's not what we saw in totality. There was a stark difference in those that had a relationship with the Lord and those that did not. There was pure joy expressed in the face and eyes of those in communion with Jesus. Surrounded by trash and filth, I saw pure joy. It opened my eyes to a deeper reality that our blessings from the Lord are not in the things that we have, but in our communion with Him. There was fellowship and community in Haiti that we barely touch here in America. Despite all the trash, Haiti is a beautiful, beautiful place.

God also opened my eyes and gave me a glimpse of Heaven too. One afternoon we went on an intense, steep hike that went vertically up a mountain. About 30 Haitian believers joined us (many running up the hill in flip flops and skirts like it was nothing!) and it was an experience I will never forget. Atop the mountain was a cross and we gathered around it(many breathless) and we worshiped our Savior.

Us Americans sang and read Scripture and then the Haitians would do the same in Creole. But then a beautiful collision occurred. As we sang "Here We Are to Worship" the Haitians joined in singing the same song in Creole. Two languages, one body of believers. THIS was my glimpse of Heaven.

For the days following our trip our team met up for little reunions and share time. It has been so sweet to hear from the 29 students we took on this trip. Actually, that was another eye opener for me...just to see students putting others first, serving and loving unconditionally...being the hands and feet of the Lord and not hiding behind their age. It was beautiful and made me love my job even more! Along with two awesome video treats at the end of this post, I had a couple girls write up a little blurb about the trip too...enjoy!

From Monica Allison, 9th Grade:

"Haiti was the most amazing experience. I learned probably more from them than they did from me. I made great friends with the Haitian kids. Ashley knew some English and it was easier to communicate with her. One of the first things she said to me was, “Jesus loves you and He loves me, too.” That blew my mind. Not only did she know that in English, but she said it to a complete stranger. They have almost nothing and they are so happy and grateful for what they do have. That really made me look at my life and think back at all the times I didn’t like this or wanted that.

My favorite day was when we hiked the mountain. To praise the Lord as His children not as Americans or Haitians really struck me—to realize that one day we will all understand each other in a beautiful and perfect place. With the mountains on the left and the ocean to my right, I got to see how majestic God’s creation really is. On this trip, I made new friends and grew a lot closer to old friends. Our team bonded so well. I will always remember this one week and keep it as a lifelong memory."

From Payton Tipton, 12th Grade:

“While in Haiti, I experienced the Lord's presence in a more tangible way than ever before. It was no question that He was living and working among us, and loving through us and through the Haitian people. The fellowship we got to experience was heavenly, and something that would be impossible to forget. I loved the simplicity of day-to-day life there as well, and am trying to apply it to my life here at home. I can't wait until God brings another opportunity like this one into my path, and am so very thankful that He took me on this trip.

From Sara Miller, 11th Grade:

“I was really convicted of being materialistic, even though I didn’t think I was, and God taught me that it isn’t about what you have or what your parents have... its about Him and doing things for His kingdom, and to get to spread His love out all over the world.

My most memorable moment was seeing the Haitions scream out their songs to God and when they prayed some of them cried and some of them yelled and some of them just sat in complete awe of Him. When I saw that I thought "have I EVER done that"? It’s a good question to ask yourself when you think your walk with God is going good and you’re being a 'good Christian' by reading your Bible and praying every day or every other day.”

From Hayley Brewster, 12th Grade:

“My experience in Haiti is hard to describe in words. God taught me so many different things. He taught me how much bigger He is than anything we could plan. He is ALWAYS in control, and will work things out according to His perfect plan. However, I would have to say that the biggest thing He showed me was His unconditional love. Those children loving on us was the purest example of His unconditional love for us. God continued to reveal things to me after I got home. It was such a special trip, and I'm so blessed to have been able to go on it. I think about the people I met there ALL the time. I miss them so much. I would go back in a heartbeat!”


Be praying for the people we came in contact with in Haiti! I specifically got to pray with Christine and James as they accepted Christ. Pray for their growth in the Lord! Pray for our students as they continue to sort through this experience...may their lives forever be changed to the glory of God!

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PS: A treat for you!! Though please excuse the poor quality! oops! :)

Video 1: A tour (with some of our goofy friends) of the Mission Home we stayed in while in Haiti!! :)


Video 2: My FAVORITE video....our Haitian Security Guards leading us in worship songs on the bus!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

T.I.H....THIS IS HAITI, Part I

More recaps and thoughts from our a-mazing trip to Haiti are brewing....but here's a fun treat in the meantime. Our Haiti Highlight Video! Thanks goes to Trae, this is AWESOME!

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