Tag Archives: Me and Thee Studios

Modesty Really Does Matter

My son made a quick trip back to his high school a couple weeks ago when his senior year annual arrived.  Bailey and I took the time to look through every picture, page, and caption together.

I’ve opened my own senior year annual many times over the past 23 years.  Wow!  That was some unbelievably big hair!

There is a picture in Bailey’s yearbook that has become quite the controversy.  The picture calls into question the amount of skin one should reveal.  I truly believe, for three very specific reasons, that Modesty (regardless of age or gender) Really Does Matter.

modesty 2

The question is not about confidence in one’s body.  My husband and I have taught our children that healthy bodies come in lots of shapes and sizes and that we’re all beautiful and unique.   I also believe that our bodies, as beautiful gifts from God, are meant to be shared between a husband and wife.

For me, the amount of skin one should cover depends on one’s audience, the distribution of images (should pictures or video be taken), and the affect of exposure on others in the American culture.

While I might believe something to be appropriate for myself, my husband, my own backyard, my girlfriends at a spa, etcetera, I must think beyond myself to the entire gambit of possible viewers. While the yearbook in question is a student production, it’s a given that a wide populous will see it.  It was produced using resources purchased with public money, will remain in several public collections for decades, and was likely paid for by parents.

In the weeks that have followed the release of this yearbook, the picture in question has circulated without any possibility of control on social media.  While I thought my 1992 big hair was “totally awesome,” I am less thrilled 20+ years later that several pictures of my hairdo fopa have popped up on social media.    The picture in this year’s annual has now been in local, national, and international news.  While I live in this moment, I have to acknowledge that my images, actions, and words will take on a digital, public life of their own and may live independent of my control for decades to come.

Most importantly (particularly for me as a 40 year old wife and mother) is the affect of exposure on others.  We do not live in a culture where nudity is the standard.

If I were to see a naked man ordering coffee at McDonalds or a naked woman shopping at Wal-Mart, I’d be shocked.  I’d wrestle with a mental replay of the image for the rest of the day.  My mind wouldn’t do the same thing if I was in Zambia, Africa on a mission trip or in an art museum.

While nudity is neither here nor there in many cultures, many of us (myself included) don’t know what to do with nudity in unexpected places.  Granted, the pictures were not full exposure but they did cause my eyes, and the eyes of my eighteen year old, to do a double take.

I have to acknowledge that immodest dress will cause others’ eyes and minds to wander, and those wandering minds may travel to a place I would never intentionally want them to go.

Do you intentionally teach your children about modesty?  If you’ve stumbled upon a fantastic way to address modesty with your children, please share!

Before you leave the site, follow my blog (top, right of this post).  It’s quick and easy! 

For more from Marea, check out Me and Thee Studios’ faith based leveled readers for 1st-2nd graders at http://www.meandtheestudios.com/early-reader-collection.html

A Written Word Really Does Matter

Our 9 year old checks our mail every afternoon.  He gives me a summary of the mail contents when he walks into the house.  If there happens to be something other than the normal advertisements, magazines, or bills, Caden’s interest is peaked and if there is a letter from a cousin or a friend addressed to Caden, then it is a very good day, indeed.

Caden has a big heart and finds comfort in connections with others.  At 9, he reminds me that A Written Word Really Does Matter.

writing letters

This Fall I’m participating in a Bible study on Paul’s letter to the church at Rome.  As I thought about Paul’s letters, both his prolific writing and purpose, I began to think about letter writing in my life specifically.

When I was 8, I spent a summer with my Aunt Sharon.  She introduced me to swimming, soap operas, Six Flags, and the dreaded monthly “cycle” that summer.  I also watched with interest as she wrote and received letters from loved ones.

When I was engaged to be married, my grandmother gave me an old, well-used book called Letters to Karen.  The book is a collection of letters a dad wrote his daughter in the months before her wedding.  My grandmother highlighted beautiful bits of wisdom and wrote short notes to me in the margins.  I’m so glad she took time from her busy life to sit and record her thoughts for me.

Long before texting from my smart phone at whim was an option, I wrote letters fairly often to my sisters.  We were all newly married and having our children and I found myself sitting at home more often than I do now.  In the years that have followed, I’ve received some of the most precious cards from my sisters by post.  Their notes are always such an encouragement to me.  They “fill my sails” for weeks!

As I’ve considered why I fail to write letters much anymore, I’ve circled back, yet again, to how busy we tend to be.  I hate that I’m often even tardy in mailing off “thank you” cards.

I’m going to change that!

Last week I made a list of people I want to write.  I want to do more than send a hurried 2 sentence text or Facebook message.  I want each person on my list to know that I think about them often and pray for them.  The list of names is long and varied; people who are hurting, people I’ve lost contact with, extended family that is so dear to me, and thank yous from our summer travel that I’ve failed to send.

Not long ago the person ahead of me paid for my coffee at McDonalds (because there is not a Starbucks in my hometown).  It was easy to pass that on and pay for the car behind me.  I loved participating in the “bless a stranger, buy their coffee” movement.  My hope is that I’m diligent in my letter writing in the months to come.  I pray my written word hits the spot like an unexpected gift of coffee in the drive through.

Do you (or your children) still receive letters from a letter-writing loved one?  How do you keep the art of letter writing alive in your family?

Before you leave the site, follow my blog (top, right of this post).  It’s quick and easy! 

For more from Marea, check out Me and Thee Studios’ faith based leveled readers for 1st-2nd graders at http://www.meandtheestudios.com/early-reader-collection.html