carried + loved collective


Why I Wear Skirts

FaithJessica Scheks3 Comments

reading book falllModesty is such a passionately debated topic among Christians. I haven't always dressed modestly and I wanted to share the journey that got me to where I am now. I know that every Christian's walk with God is different, and I don't expect everyone to be the same as me. Contrary to popular belief, I am not offended in the slightest if a girl, whether she's a Christian or not, chooses to wear skirts and dresses on a daily basis. That is between her and the Lord. I became a Christian after I started going to church with Michael (who's now my husband) when I was sixteen years old. I had absolutely no clue what I was getting myself into! I quickly noticed that every woman wore a skirt or a dress to church that at least came to the knees. I wasn't bothered by it but at the same time I could never see myself wearing skirts for the rest of my life and I hoped it was something that would die with an older generation.

I want this post to be a voice for women who wear skirts -- we're not scary, we don't hate you (we love you), we don't care if you wear pants or a tank top, we don't mind talking about our way of dressing if you ask in a genuine manner! Below are a mixture of reasons that I choose to dress modestly as well as common misconceptions:

NO ONE IS FORCING ME My pastor never forces women to wear skirts. I feel like being forced to wear long skirts is a very common misconception, however at my church my pastor wanted us to get our own conviction. If you don't have an experience from the Lord it can be hard to explain to others why you choose to dress the way you do and to have the strength to keep wearing skirts during trying seasons of your life. I'm sure there are some places where the women feel like they have no option, but that's not how it is in my life.

CHANGING FROM WITHIN As the Lord began to work in my heart I slowly had the desire to cover up more of my body. I no longer wanted to wear a bikini or short shorts. For awhile I always wore pants that at least came to my knees. Around this time I was a senior in high school and the Lord was definitely dealing with me. However I was keeping Him at a distance because I didn't altogether want to hear what He had to say to me about modesty quite yet. And to be honest, I was scared to hear what He had to say. Choosing to dress modestly is a lifelong commitment and since my family did not go to church with me it was really hard to make changes in my life that they didn't necessarily agree with.

Choosing the dress modestly is a lifelong commitment...

But once I moved away to college I felt God telling me to dress modestly stronger than ever before. It was something I could no longer ignore. And I went through every excuse in the book. But eventually it came down to one question: For some reason I kept picturing myself in a group of people lined up (like when the police have a witness look at a lineup of possible criminals) and telling someone to point out the Christian in the group. Based on appearance alone, the only way they'd be able to tell is if I was dressed extremely modestly. And I know that the Lord is not calling everyone to minister to the world in that way. But this is how He worked with me individually. It really scared me to think that if I dressed of the world, people would have no way to tell that I was a Christian if they saw me walk by.

THE INSIDE REFLECTS THE OUTSIDE This kind of goes along with the previous section. But true modesty isn't simply how you dress on the outside. It's a reflection of what's on the inside. As I mentioned above, the closer I got to the Lord the more I wanted to change! I wanted people to know that I was different and I felt different in the best way possible! I didn't want to blend in with the dark world. I wanted the glory of the Lord to shine through my clothing! I also liked to think how I would feel in whatever outfit I had on for the day if Jesus walked in and saw me.

TIGHT ENOUGH TO SHOW YOU'RE A WOMAN; LOOSE ENOUGH TO SHOW YOU'RE A LADY When I first started to think about dressing modestly, all I thought about was coverage. But eventually the Lord showed me that just because I'm covered doesn't mean I'm being modest. Wearing a super tight shirt or skirt that shows every curve leaves less to the imagination than I would like. In yesterday's post I talked about the fig leaves of the world -- fig leaves are a false covering that man has made to cover and justify his or her own sin. Sometimes as women, especially when something is cute or it accentuates parts of our body that we know will bring us attention from men, we try to tell ourselves that it's fine. But we are not seeking man's (or woman's) approval! When you are getting dressed for the day don't think about pleasing man, think about pleasing the Lord!

DRESS CODES I'm not here to tell you what the dress code for Christianity is, but I am here to remind you that places with authority and dignity in the world require people to dress differently. The armed forces, police, hospitals, office buildings, and even Target all require their employees to dress a certain way. When you need help and you're at Target you just look for a red shirt. I want people to identify me as a Christian if they're looking for spiritual help! And I'm sure this isn't going to be something that happens on a regular basis, but I have heard multiple testimonies from people who knew that a girl was different based on how she dressed. And it intrigued them enough to find out why she was different. If that happened just one time in my life, it'd be worth it to me.

IT'S A SACRIFICE When I first began to wear skirts all of the time it was truly a sacrifice. I was sacrificing my pride, my comfort, my happiness, my desire to fit in, my desire for approval from peers, as well as many others I'm sure. But looking back, all of those "sacrifices" don't even seem like sacrifices anymore. Yes, it was really hard at the time, but it was all temporary! While I momentarily sacrificed my pride and happiness, I eternally gained joy. And while I temporarily sacrificed my desires to fit in and for approval from peers, I gained new Godly desires that have completely erased and replaced my previous carnal desires!

"IT'S NOT PRACTICAL" I hear this most often in the winter. Someone will see me walk by and exclaim, "Aren't you freezing?!" And I always tell them that I'm probably warmer than they are. In the winter I wear a skirt, tights or leggings, warm socks, and boots. Therefore I have at least two layers covering my legs. When people just wear jeans they only have one layer on their thighs! I can tell you that I do not suffer in the winter at all from being cold.

AVOIDING CONFUSION As the world gets more and more off-center I want to keep my eyes on Christ. Gender confusion is becoming so much more prevalent in the world today. I think that when women are feminine it brings glory to God because that is who He created us to be! As women of God I think we need to start becoming more conscious that we don't cross over too many lines and wear things meant for men. Gender neutral used to be deemed as okay, but I think that if we're going to take a stand and rise against the confusion in the world we can start by the way we dress. I realize that defining what it means to be feminine is very subjective. For me, I choose to wear skirts. However you define it, I encourage every woman to seek the Lord in this matter; thank Him for purposely creating you as a woman and ask Him to show you how to dress and act like a woman of God!

I'm sure there are many more reasons I could have listed today. But for now I will stop. Do you wear skirts? Do you not wear skirts? How has the Lord worked in your life in terms of dressing modestly? Comment below, I'd LOVE to hear from you!


This is day 6 of the #Write31Days Challenge, to view more challenges clickhere. For a complete list of my posts in this challenge, click here.

I'm So Thankful

FaithJessica Scheks1 Comment

The following is a testimony I wrote out several years ago on February 10, 2013: image

This morning while I was getting ready for church I kept getting frustrated: I tried on at least four different outfits and every time I looked in the mirror my hair was sticking up again. By the time I got in my car I was running late and just annoyed. Then I was stopped at a red light, and as usual, a homeless person was holding a sign on the corner. I saw the car stopped next to her roll down their window and hand her some cash and a bag from McDonalds. The homeless woman sat down and couldn't seem to open her bag of food quickly enough and then she inhaled the breakfast sandwich. She might have even finished it by the time the light turned green. But I realized right away that God was putting me in check; I was upset this morning because I couldn't find an outfit because I have too much to choose from. I was upset with my hair even though I am able to wash it everyday and buy endless products to use on it. BUT I wasn't hungry, and I have NEVER been hungry because I couldn't find anything to eat; I've never had absolutely nothing in my fridge. When I say, "I'm hungry and there's nothing to eat," it's because I'm being picky and choose not to eat what I have. And the entire way to church I just kept thanking God for all that I have! There has never been something I truly needed like water, food, warm clothes, or shelter that wasn't given to me. Once you really start to think about all of the blessings in your life, the list grows exponentially. We need to be thankful 100% of the time! We are all so blessed. It is so easy to become discontented with your life, but there are people who are much worse off. Right now, there are most likely people praying for something that you already have. And I just thanked the Lord for everything i could think of. Because at least for me, I know I sometimes jump into the things that I need when I pray, and I don't really take time to thank Him. I couldn't go an hour without Jesus. Sometimes when we pray we focus on the negatives. We need healed from this and strength for that. But God also sees the good in us; He did purchase us after all!

I still remember this day pretty vividly. For quite some time I've been meaning to type it out and post it because it was such an experience for me at the time. I remember feeling so bad for being so upset over such ridiculous things that just don't matter.

Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs!


This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge I'm participating in for the month of October in 2015. Click here to find a list of every post!

Binge Listening to The Happy Hour Podcast

FaithJessica Scheks1 Comment

This is day 3 of the #Write31Days challenge. To read previous posts in the challenge you can go here. Do you listen to podcasts? If not you definitely need to start! I've only every listened to faith-based podcasts, but I've been hearing about all types of genres that I want to eventually give a shot. I'm not really sure how common this is, but once I find a podcast I like, I "binge listen" to it. And currently I am binge listening to Jamie Ivey's podcast, The Happy Hour! Jamie is just so real and I honestly feel like we're friends... sometimes I have to remind myself that she has no idea that I exist. And she is the reason that I'm participating in this writing challenge because she is doing a 31 day series on podcasting currently.

I only found her podcast about two or three weeks ago, but I'm already on episode number 27! I literally find myself laughing out loud while listening, I've also cried as her guests often share deeply moving and personal thoughts, and I always feel inspired after listening to an episode (or three).

I thought I'd share one of my favorite moments from The Happy Hour so far:

Episode 23 with Becca Harris & Maris Bush. This is the episode I've cried the hardest in. Like ugly cry. Both Becca and Maris are involved in the foster care system and have adopted children through that system.

First off I want to touch on the fact that before listening to this episode I clearly didn't know much about foster care. The number one and most important thing I didn't know about foster care is that the primary goal of foster care is reunification. I had never taken the time to really think about foster care, so I'm not even sure what I used to think, I was just simply unaware.

I feel like many people equate foster care with adoption and with terrible parents. But both Becca and Maris said otherwise; many of the parents are great people who unfortunately hit a rough patch but are working like crazy to get their children back. And while you do fall in love with the kids you are fostering, your prayer is that they can be reunited with their family, as heartbreaking as that can be for you.

Also let me preface this by saying that before I began listening to The Happy Hour I had never been challenged to really consider adoption. Pretty early on, one of the guests or perhaps Jamie herself described how badly she wanted to adopt but her husband wasn't on board yet. BUT GOD, in His perfect timing, gave her husband an experience one day allowing him to feel what it was like to be an orphan. For a moment or two it was like God let him experience how heartbreaking it is to be an orphan. I'm sitting in a Panera right now typing this trying not to cry because when that was shared I didn't think much of it, but while listening to Becca and Maris, it finally hit me. And that's when the ugly cry started.

Maris was talking about two little girls that she fostered and just fell in love with. She only had them for forty days, but she could barely keep it together on the podcast as she recounted the experiences she had with those girls who had been reunited with their family ten days prior to recording the podcast. Jamie asked Maris what it was like the day they had to give the girls back so they could go home because Maris and her husband were a representation of the gospel that day to the family of these little girls.

I just wanted [the family] to know that they were loved, that they were absolutely loved like crazy from the moment they stepped in our [lives]. And wouldn't you want that for your kids, to know that a family loved your kids when they've been in a really tough spot? And so they were extremely grateful and they saw the pain that we had sending them back . . . I'm like how many tears do I have in me? Like how long can I keep doing this? But that's a time where we can go back to scripture, and Isaiah 58 says that He will meet us in our scorched places, and right now there are parts of my heart that feel scorched because I have literally poured myself out for these kids and they are gone and I'll probably never see them again. But I have to believe that when we do those things, when we love kids in hard places, He is going to bring peace to our hearts, we'll be like a well-watered garden when we pour ourselves out for these kids who need these things and most days I'm fine, and can look in the mirror and be like 'I'm okay I'm really okay, I'm fine.' I do cry some but I'm okay, and wasn't it worth it to pour myself out for these kids and love these kids? I'm an adult, I'm fine and can do this. I just have to believe that God's gonna keep restoring me when I am stepping out there and doing things for the gospel. I have to really believe that He's going to restore me in that.

I'm sorry for such a long quote but I just LOVE it! Jamie went on to talk about having our perspective on eternity; we're only here for approximately 80 short years. That's barely a noticeable blip on the radar. Do we just want to live an easy life and gain nothing from it? If you lose your life on earth, you'll gain eternal life. And you definitely have to lose some things when you foster children. You lose time, money, you suddenly have to have certified baby sitters, but in the end it's SO worth it.

I have no idea what is in my future. I just know that I want to pour my life out for the Lord! I want to feel like I gave everything I had to give in the areas where God called me when I get to the end of my life!

Be sure to come back tomorrow! I'll be talking about my never-ending journey to get closer to the cross!

#Write31Days Challenge - Getting Closer to the Cross

FaithJessica Scheks14 Comments

I am excited to share that I will be participating in #Write31Days for the month of October! If you look back on my past blog posts you'll see that I've always posted very sporadically, so this is definitely going to be a challenge for me!

closer to the cross

I have chosen to link up to the Inspiration & Faith category and already have several ideas in the works that I hope you'll enjoy! I've titled this series "getting closer to the cross" because that is the journey I am on right now and will be for the rest of my life. Some topics I plan to write about are some details about a devotional I'm designing, dressing modestly, ways I am intentionally getting closer to the cross, and more of my own personal testimony. I also have some lighter topics I might share, and while they aren't spiritual yet I've found that almost all of my posts end up becoming spiritual in some way or another, and the majority of my posts will be very faith-based! If there's a topic you're interested in or you have a question for me, please comment below and it may just inspire a future post!

I love writing about things that inspire me and that I'm passionate about. I'm so excited to push myself to write everyday this month! I know it's going to be hard; I've never done anything like this... but at the same time I think it will be very inspiring for me and hopefully for you, too!

Day 02: Soaking in the Word Day 03: Binge Listening to The Happy Hour Podcast Day 04: I'm So Thankful Day 05: Being Modest Before God Day 06: Why I Wear Skirts Day 07: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Day 08: Love One Another Day 12: The Power of the Cross Day 13: You Worship What You Listen To Day 14: Day 15: Day 16: Day 17: Day 18: Day 19: Day 20: Day 21: Day 22: Day 23: Day 24: Day 25: Day 26: Day 27: Day 28: Day 29: Day 30: Day 31: