Reflections on life, marriage, and purpose...by a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"Skirt Girls"

When I was in high school, my sisters and I used to have a special name for the girls we knew who came from more conservative families. We did not mean it in a bad way, or in a demeaning way. We just latched onto the most obvious descriptive characteristic--that they always wore skirts.

These girls always seemed "perfect" to me. They were homeschooled (as was I), but they were set apart from your typical teenie-bopper in other ways, as well. Many of them were not allowed to go to college, but they didn't seem to care. They were too busy serving others or helping with the family business. They were always sweet and unselfish and obedient (probably not always, but that's what I thought). They were also extremely friendly. There were never any exclusive cliques among the skirt girls (BTW...If you wanted to include both men and women in this group, then you called them the "Skirt People." I know...it doesn't really make a lot of sense:)

I never felt like a Skirt Girl myself, although I was certainly not part of main-stream culture either, as a Christian and a homeschooler. I often wore pants or shorts. I listened to secular music. I never thought I was a sweet enough person--or a good enough person--to be a Skirt Girl. Plus, I really wanted to go to college. So there I was: suspended somewhere in la-la land between the Skirt People and all my mainstream-minded peers. I didn't know where I fit in!

It's a funny thing, thinking back. It took me several years to figure this out: (Actually, I'm probably still figuring it out, but at least I'm more secure in my identity now than I was back then!) Nobody can truly be classified as narrowly as my sisters and I used to imagine. Skirt Girls have their own issues, just like everybody else. We're not meant to be cookie cutters of each other. But we are meant to learn from others as we seek to grow closer to God. That's what it's all about: our relationship with Him. If that's cared for, then the little imperfections will be subect to His chisel; We will grow in character, and our purposes will be made more pure.

Whether a woman grew up as a Skirt Girl, or was a promiscuous high school drop-out--if she is God's child and she seeks His face in her everyday life--He will refine her into just the person He wants her to be. He will fit her into His body. She has a story to share and things to teach others.

I have learned so much from my friends with difficult pasts. For one thing, they are often SO passionate about the things of God, because they understand more what life is like without Him. I have also learned many lessons from the Skirt Girls in my life--namely, how to have a servant's heart and seek to be an encouragement to others. And as for myself, I trust God that He hasn't truly stuck me out in la-la land: He has a plan for me, as well, if I stay close and allow Him to do His work in my life.

P.S. As the years go on, perhaps I have actually begun to adopt at least one element of my former Skirt Girl stereotype: I now want to wear skirts a lot more, and have rarely worn pants in the last few months. Not because I believe it's wrong, but because I feel so much prettier in skirts. I feel feminine. And I don't feel entirely out of fashion either. I think it's wonderful that skirt designs have become more common, and more stylish these days, because I refuse to ever wear the "Homeschool mom skirt/jumper" OK...now we're just getting into more stereotypes from my past...and I won't go there! ;o)

8 Comments:

Blogger Holly said...

I understand!! I am starting to wear more skirts. And I don't want to look like a pre-school teacher AKA Jumper or "sack dress" No offense out there! I love that Skirts are everywhere right now!
by the way I am Holly, a newly married whom is contemplating homeschooling when the time comes. I would love to know more about your expirience being homeschooled.

Holly
Hollyshook@sbcglobal.net

9:14 PM, August 02, 2005  
Blogger Erin said...

Hi Holly!
I think homeschooling, overall, is a wonderful option because it can be tailored to each child and/or each family's needs. There are a host of other great things about it as well... I would be happy to answer any questions you have! I think there are a few other people who read this blog occaisionally who have experience with homeschooling either as the student or teaching parent, so maybe they might be willing to offer their perspectives too:o)
Erin

6:55 AM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger Donna Boucher said...

Hi!
This is such a lovely wise post...by one so young :o)

"He has a plan for me, as well, if I stay close and allow Him to do His work in my life."

Brilliant! God is using you already.

Your much older,
sister-in-Christ,
Donna

12:03 PM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger Carrie said...

I really enjoyed this post, as well. I also have known "skirt girls" (although I wasn't one of them) and even now I know ladies who may not have grown up that way, but now honor their husbands by always wearing skirts and dresses.

I have also been thinking lately about wearing skirts more often. I always wear dresses or skirts to church, but not usually during the week. I was curious, where have you found pretty, feminine ones (and at reasonable prices)? I have seen a lot of nice ones in catalogs, but they are usually more pricey than what I can afford. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of good clothing stores around here (only Walmart!) although we do have a Marshalls coming in soon, so maybe I can find some there.

Anyway, thank you for sharing this post--it was very good! :) By the way, do you mind if I link to your blog on mine? (If you would rather I didn't, that's fine--I know some people prefer to keep theirs more private--just let me know!) I do find your posts thought-provoking and uplifting, though, and would be happy to share your site with others if you like.

7:56 PM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger Erin said...

Donna,
Thank you for your encouraging words:o)
Erin

8:48 PM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger Erin said...

Carrie,

I would be honored for you to link my site to yours! Thank you for offering, and for your encouragement:o)

That's a good question about where to find the skirts for cheap! To be honest, I have not been able to afford many new clothes lately, but have just been admiring the ones I see in the stores and catalogues. Mostly, I have been wearing the skirts I already had more, and planning to either buy or make more skirts once we have room for it in our budget. (I'm not a fantastic or experienced seamstress...but it seems to me that skirts are one of the easier things to make, and I would like to learn!)

I do know that stores like Kohls, Marshalls, Mervyns and Ross Dress for Less often have great deals on clothes. Target is another good place...I've been surprised by how cute some of their stuff is. I have found some decent things--even namebrands--at places like these. You mentioned that you would be getting a Marshalls, so I hope that they will have a good selection for you.

I'm with you...I would like to find other sources for inexpensive but cute skirts and other clothes. If anyone has good ideas, please do share:o)

9:13 PM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger Rene' said...

This is a great post! I'm going to link it on my site. :)

4:17 PM, August 04, 2005  
Blogger Nichola said...

On cheap clothes, try the Goodwill. Many time you can find nice stuff there. Or yard sales. Just check it out carefully before you buy it. Make sure it has all the buttons, the zipper works, etc. I got a maternity dress at a yard sale once for 10 cents. I took it to the dry cleaners and wore it. It looked great and I got so many compiments on it. I didn't tell everyone, but it was fun to tell how much I paid for it since it was obviously a designer dress. Just cause you get it at the Goodwill or whatever it doesn't have to look like it.

6:55 AM, August 05, 2005  

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