Headcovering-Maybe

Lately I have done very little veiling. At this point I am conflicted. Do I go back to using daily discipline to wear my veils? Or do I take some time off and reevaluate?

It has been hot lately and I haven’t wanted anything else on my head. Lame excuse but it’s true. While it doesn’t get as hot and miserable here as it does back in the Southeast, we are still adjacent to the prairie and it does get pretty hot on bad days. I dread having anything else on my head.

Then there is the issue of being sick. I began to fall off the wagon with my head covering when I started not feeling well. The summer has been a mix of not feeling well mentally and not feeling well physically. Sometimes both of them suck. Other times I might feel fantastic mentally but physically I feel like crap. Or vice versa. And as a result I just want to go out of the house and not worry about it.

I need to dive back into the verses of the word that cover head covering. I started wearing head coverings as a symbol of submission to my husband and God, as well as a reminder to submit to them. I do feel like I’ve made great strides with those things. Especially with submitting to my husband. I still have days where I am kind of willful and difficult to deal with, but by and large I accept my husband’s decisions. I contribute to them obviously, but I accept them. I admire my husband’s leadership and I want him to lead me and our daughter and set the direction for our household. The question is do I need to continue wearing the head covering daily if I am accomplishing these skills? Would it be best to save them and then begin wearing them again if I realize that I have fallen off the wagon and I’m not doing what I should be doing?

Also, my husband likes to see my hair.

Spiritual practices do not become superfluous because someone does not feel like having the disciplined pursue them. If I need to wear a veil please God then I should continue to do so. I am just not sure what the holy spirit is telling me. Whatever the holy spirit says, the holy spirit will not contradict the Bible.

My Husband Has Asked Me for More Modesty

My husband loves to see me wearing maxi dresses. He just likes long, flowing dresses. He’s always happy when I buy one. Maxi dresses are just his style. I haven’t bought one in a while though. Maxi dresses are hard to find sometimes.

Part of it though is modesty. When I pointed out to my husband that when I wear short addresses he can see my legs, he relied, “So can everyone else.” My husband would like me to be more modest, and as his wife I will obey. God has called me to obey my husband.

My body belongs to my husband. When we got married two became one. His body is for me, and my body is for him. If he doesn’t wish me to show off my body to other people I think that’s understandable.

To that end, I have ordered some conservative maxi dresses. I hope they fit me. It is so hard to be able to tell what size you are online. They are a long, flowy dresses in a few different colors. They have a high, modest necklines. It makes me happy to dress in something that my husband likes to see me in. And modesty can be good for the soul. In a society where so much of our worth is based on how much skin we show and how good that skin looks, keeping skin covered can actually be freeing. If someone wants to look and see if I’m beautiful, they will see my face rather than my breasts. If they want to talk to me, they will have to focus on my ideas and what I have to say. I want to be noticed for my personality.

I do not intend to dress frumpy. I will still wear jewelry and makeup – and of course I always try to make sure my headcovers are lovely. But out of respect for my husband I will try to avoid anything to form-fitting or too short. I wish to respect my husband. What matters most to me in terms of beauty is being beautiful to my husband. He loves long dresses and so it will be a pleasure for me to wear them as much as possible. He also values modesty, and I think it is good that he is helping me with my spiritual maturity by asking me to be covered and modest.

Developing a Gentle and Quiet Spirit

My spirit is much gentler and much quieter than it used to be. A gentle and quiet spirit in a woman is precious to God. But although I try to be gentle, sometimes I lose my temper. I don’t even try to be quiet at home. I am not even sure I am capable of being quiet!

What does it mean to have a gentle and quiet spirit? How does this pair with being a strong person, with having a strong personality, with being opinionated? Can they go together? It is such a hard issue to understand. What is wrong with a spirit that wants to do more and be more? There is a fine line between gratitude and complacency.

So far, although I am reading about it and searching scripture, the conclusions I have come to are this: do not be contentious, control your temper, and use soft words for the people around you. Perhaps being gentle and quiet has nothing to do with whether you are weak or strong, opinionated or not, or the color of your personality.

I have made so much progress on having a gentle and quiet spirit, but I have a long way to go to be pleasing to God. I focus too much on my own needs and not enough on my husband’s. I am short tempered and rash. I am too easily stressed out, instead of taking serenity from the knowledge that God is in control. My tongue is too sharp at times.

Biblical Gender Roles

As a firm believer in gender roles, the God-designed differences between men and women, and submission, I found this book to be one that really hit home. It spelled out cogent arguments for what I already believed, and it brought to my attention fresh ideas about the roles of the sexes in light of scripture. I have found that living out God’s designed role for me makes my life and my marriage better for me. I highly recommend this book, especially for Christian feminists.¬† It presents clear rebuttals to that ideology.

Marriage Journal

This is a lovely red journal I bought that I use to remind me to be a good wife. On each page is a verse about marriage or submission. In it I try to record daily goals for serving, respecting, loving, and honoring Craig. It really makes me think. You can’t take your husband for granted, and each day I should focus on serving my husband. He is such a blessing in my life, and he deserves the best of me. I get tired and busy and moody, and sometimes it is good to have something to remind me to prioritize my marriage.

I Met Another Headcoverer!

I was in Petsmart picking up some litter box bedding for Parsnip, when a girl stopped me and told me my veil was beautiful, and asked if I was Christian. She is too, and she wears veils to church! She’s Catholic, and in her parish headcovering is not uncommon. She said there’s even a couple of churches around here who do a Latin Mass and require women to cover. She said she’s thought about covering full time like I do, but she just isn’t sure yet. She always covers at church though.

It’s so refreshing to meet another woman who wears veils. She gave me a good recommendation for where to buy more infinity veils and mantillas, and I gave her a recommendation as well. I told her I was a Methodist and she was definitely surprised, which makes sense because headcovering is pretty uncommon among Methodists.

This may sound silly, but it warmed my heart to meet another woman who headcovers, even if she does not do it full time. I sometimes get looked at negatively for wearing veils. Some people really love my veils and I get compliments, but still many more are put off. It’s nice to see that other young women are wearing them too, and of course it is always nice to hear that someone likes my veil! My veils are beautiful to me, and it is lovely when someone else appreciates one of them.

She told me headcovering is coming back in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, and I think that is wonderful. I hope that someday more Protestants (besides just the Mennonites) will start to cover. I am in some headcovering groups online, and I know there are a few Lutherans, evangelicals, and nondemoninationals veiling now. Just not many. Headcovering is such a beautiful, reverent thing and can bring so much joy. Once upon a time everyone practiced headcovering, especially in church. Yet in so many churches, especially Protestant churches, headcovering is now eschewed. I pray this beautiful, scriptural practice is revived. But whether it is or it isn’t, I will continue to wear my veils¬† in obedience to the Scripture that has been laid on my heart by God. My conscience is convicted.

It just filled me with joy to meet another sister in Christ who believes in headcovering!

Benefits of Submission

Mantilla

I recently received some new Infinity veils and mantilla from Catholic at Heart. I love them. The mantillas are longer than what I am used to but so, so soft. And this one is particularly beautiful. If you look carefully you will see that it is covered in big hearts. I feel so feminine when I wear it.

I wear a head cover to show submission to my husband and God, and because of the Angels. And it’s really interesting what a power that had covers have. When I wear one I am reminded to be less short-tempered with my husband. I wouldn’t call myself a short-tempered person, but that doesn’t mean I can never be snippy. I just get impatient or I don’t feel good or I don’t even realize that I sound aggravated until after I said something. And while I wouldn’t say that wearing a head cover reminds me to be better about that all the time, it definitely does help.

It also reminds me to follow my husband’s leadership and let him make the decisions. At least the big decisions. He consults me and cares about what I think, but ultimately it’s not my call. And that’s actually really freeing and liberating. Some people would see that as bondage, but I promise it isn’t. A while back I had to make the decision about whether or not to have a second child. As you may know from this blog I am bipolar, and pregnancy presents great difficulties for me. I have to alternate between going off medication or taking medication that is not very effective because it’s as close as I can come to finding something reasonably safe for the baby. My pregnancy with my daughter was an absolute nightmare and I dreaded going through that again, especially because after she was born I was still bad off and I never really bounced back. I had years of instability and even now when I have a mood swing it’s worse than it used to be before I ever got pregnant. The doctors told me it was my new normal. But yet I really wanted a second baby. My heart yearned for a baby. And I knew that my husband wanted one too. And I was racking my brain trying to figure out which decision to make. I felt agonizingly torn between wanting to bring a new life in the world and wanting to be able to take care of the precious life that I already had.

This decision was giving me sleepless nights and I didn’t know what to do. And finally I realized that it wasn’t decision I had to make. I am married. And I’m supposed to follow my husband’s lead. Even in a totally egalitarian marriage a decision like that is between both spouses. When you are trying to submit to your husband it’s doubly true. So I took the issue to my husband and told him that I wanted him to decide. We both really wanted a baby and if he decided that it was worth taking the health risks, then we would try for another baby. If he was worried about having to deal with too much stress from a severely mentally ill pregnant wife and take care of a small child then we would not have another child. Each part of the decision had its pros and cons. Obviously if we chose to have a baby we would have the joy of having another little person to take care of and raise. But there is also a chance that in addition to a nightmarishly hard pregnancy that the bipolar issues would severely deteriorate my brain and I might not be able to do much of the caretaking or live much of a life. If we didn’t have another baby I would be safe and Angelica would have stability, but she would never get to have a sibling, and we would never know what it is to bring home a baby from the hospital again.

My husband didn’t take 10 seconds to decide. He said that he did not want to have another baby at the expense of my mental health and that we should stop at one child. I had a period of grieving after this. I so wanted another child. But I knew my husband was right and I was relieved that the decision was made. And the fact that he made the decision told me that he was satisfied with it. If I had made the decision I would not know for sure that it was the decision my husband wanted. But I put it completely in his hands and he told me what he wanted. And it relieves such a burden from me.

Teaching my Daughter to Submit

Yesterday my daughter Angelica pointed to the veil on my head and I asked why I wear it. I hadn’t really intended to address that topic until she was older, but since she asked I decided to go ahead and explain it. I told her that the veil meant that I would obey her daddy and that he would be the leader of our family. It means that my husband is my leader and that I submit to him, meaning that I follow his authority. I told her that one day she will have a husband and it is important to let him be her leader.

I also explained that I wear the Veil out of obedience to God. Wearing a head cover is not just for married women. I headcover out of reverence for God. I also headcover because of the Angels, but I decided not to get into that with her at this age.

This topic may seem a little bit mature for a child who isn’t quite yet 5, but I figured if she is old enough to ask the question then she is old enough to get at least a basic answer to that question. Perhaps it is better to teach her about submission young. I hope she will choose to wear a veil or some sort of head covering. The Bible says that that is what we are supposed to do, and furthermore I have found that wearing one reminds me to be a better wife. But even if she decides, based on her interpretation of scripture, that she does not need to wear a head cover hopefully she will learn lessons from me about submission and letting your husband lead. I want her to learn The importance of being a helpmate, and letting her husband be the leader that God designed him to be. I believe this is biblical. But I also believe this will give her a happier marriage if she understands the difference between the role of a man and the role of woman. Part of my job as her mother is to teach her to be a good wife. I’m not teaching her to be a doormat. But I do want to teach her about submission. Maybe it’s time to start and this was a good first step. She seems interested in wearing a veil herself, so maybe she will pick up on the more important aspects of respecting and honoring her husband as well.

Dominated by a Day

Tomorrow lies in my bed
As rugged as a coast.
I marvel at the sleepiness of my fist.
Where has my fight gone?
Has it left me for another woman?
A woman with more steel in her back,
a chest of gravel?
Tomorrow hums,
Brawny and blue and wastefully.
I adore extravagance.
He wants to tell me what to do,
I luxuriate in commands.

I am no longer holding my dice.
They burn in the green fire writhing in the corner.
This is not my game.
This is not my life.
It is time to surrender.