Tips on Dressing Little Girls

My daughter wears dresses only, so this post is discussing just skirts/dresses/tops/coats, etc.  I've received a lot of questions on this topic, so I thought it would be a help to others to share how I do it.

I thought I would give some tips and ideas for those with girls in dressing them and were you can find good clothing and how to get the most use out of your daughter's clothing.  I plan on making my daughter's clothes hopefully in the future but up until then I have been buying most of her clothes at Gymboree and ebay.  You may say "why spend all that money for Gymboree clothes?"  Well, I've have learned that higher quality clothing lasts longer than say clothing from Wal-mart that barely lasts a year! 

Here is how I shop for my daughter:
  • Buy clothing 1-3 sizes too big, depending on length
  • Make sure you have tights and shoes and accessories to match
  • Feel the fabric - you can tell if it is sturdy and will not fade easily
The reason I buy my daughter's clothes big is because I want them to last a few years.  For instance, I bought her several lines from Gymboree when she was 2 and she wore those outfits up until she turned 5!  They didn't fade and now that she has outgrown them, I'm saving them for our next little girl.  All I had to do was buy the bigger tights and shoes on ebay.  This winter, because she has grown out of a lot of things, it was time to purchase a large amount of clothes and I got them all mostly in size 10/12, even though 7/8 is more her size right now.  I expect the clothes we bought will last her 3 winters, along with the coats I purchased.  It has worked for us since she was 2 years old!

I'm so impressed with the high quality in Gymboree's clothing and how it has stood up to many a washing and even after 2 1/2 years use, it can be used again for the next child and still looks almost new!  That to me is worth the investment.  With some of her corduroy items, they fade quicker than any other fabric I've had and I use Rit dyes to bring them back to their rich color.

The only problem we have had with buying larger sizes in dresses is the first year of wearing them.  For instance, this year - the size 12's are very big on her but I simply use a fabric fit clip in the back to cinch the waist and then roll under the sleeves.  The coats that she has worn since she was 3 are now too small, so I had to purchase those as well and know they will give us at least 3 winters worth of use!

Since my daughter is homeschooled, I don't have to buy her school clothes.  I buy her church clothes, since we go 4-5 times a week and then I buy her a few "going out to the store" clothes and then play clothes usually come from the second hand store. I hate going in "kook" stores and they always make me sneeze and itch all over but I do maybe once a year go to Value Village and get some used clothes for my daughter's play clothes (playing outside, vacations, etc) and wash them really good.  I'm itching right now just thinking of Value Village LOL!!!!!!  =0 However, I'm thankful that we have such places for those times we have been in need in past years and it was a blessing to have those stores.

Taking care of the clothes: I wash them all on delicate in cold water and hang some to dry and for others, I put them in the dryer on delicate/low. For stains, I use Tide-2-Go pen or shout gel.

I try and make sure I don't buy anything that she doesn't have shoes that match.  However, black shoes match almost anything - but there have been some outfits I really couldn't see going with even black shoes or any other she had and so I didn't purchase them. 

My daughter wears a lot of tights, but in the summer months when she doesn't wear tights under her dresses/skirts, she has some stretchy or cotton shorts underneath when playing.  I've seen the Duggar girls when they play sports have those stretch biker shorts to the knees and those work really well for girls when riding their bikes, playing outside, playgrounds, etc.

I like to earn Gymbucks, if you are unfamiliar with this program, it is basically buying items during the time to earn Gymbucks and then spending those Gymbucks during redemption week.  If you purchase $100 worth during the earning period, you get $50 in Gymbucks.  So when the week comes to redeem those Gymbucks - you get $100 worth of stuff for just $50!  It works really well for us and I got $100 worth of free clothes last week.  I also do the Gymboree Rewards.  I normally earn the Gymbucks at the Gymboree Outlet and then you can only spend them at the regular Gymboree store.  The outlet is cheaper than the regular store.  The great thing about Gymboree is that they match everything for you!  Each line is interchangeable and everything matches, so you just have to pick out what outfit you want.

Hating Evil

Psalm 97:10
"Ye that love the LORD, hate evil"

 Thou hast a good reason to hate evil, for only consider what harm it has already wrought thee.  Oh, what a world of mischief sin has brought into my heart!  Sin blinded thee so that thou couldst not see the beauty of the Saviour; it made thee death so that thou couldst not hear the Redeemer's tender invitations.  Sin turned thy feet into the way of death, and poured poison into the very fountain of thy being; it tainted thy heart, and made it "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."  Oh, what a creature thou was when evil had done its utmost with thee, before divine grace interposed! thou wast an heir of wrath even as others; thou didst "run with the multitude to do evil."  Such were all of us; but Paul reminds us, "but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

We have good reason, indeed, for hating evil when we look back and trace its deadly workings.  Such mischief did evil do us, that our souls would have been lost had not omnipotent love interfered to redeem us.  Even now it is an active enemy, ever watching to do us hurt, and to drag us to perdition.  Therefore "hate evil" O Christians, unless you desire trouble.  If you would strew your path with thorns, and plant nettles in your death-pillow, then neglect to "hate evil"; but if you would live a happy life, and die a peaceful death, then walk in all the ways of holiness, hating evil, even until the end. 

If you truly love your Saviour, and would honour Him, then "hate evil."  We know of no cure for the love of evil in a Christian like abundant intercourse with the Lord Jesus.  Dwell much with Him, and it is impossible for you to be at peace with sin.

"Order my footsteps by Thy Word,
And make my heart sincere;
Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
But keep my conscience clear."

by Charles Spurgeon

What Brings a Great Revival?

I contend there has never once been a great revival without the preaching against sin.  Without feeling the very fires of hell and awfulness of sin - one has not been brought to salvation.  Flowery messages and pats on the back have never produced a great revival in which the sinner is turned towards God. One-sided preaching is not only un-biblical it is often the practice of such preachers who can't bear the criticism and hatred of people for their own egos but rather want the acclaim and love of men.  They want to make "God seem like a doting old granddaddy with no righteousness, no holiness and no wrath against sin."

If people never become lost, how can they ever be saved?  A sinner can never be saved without repentance.  So how will a preacher who never preaches the full gospel lead a sinner to repentance?  Repentance of what?  If there is no preaching and no conscience being brought to the realization of sin, then how will people know they are in need of a Saviour?  What should they be saved from?  "Until sin is made hateful, Christ is not made lovable and desirable.  Until a man sees himself a great sinner, he does not see Christ as a great Saviour."

Great revivals are brought on by great preachers of God.  God tells us in his word in Romans 10:14 " shall they hear without a preacher?"  We can look at accounts from the Old and New Testaments to see the evidence of this great truth.  Jonah tried to run from God's commission but eventually he went and cried against the city and their wickedness as God instructed. Jonah 1:2 For the city to be revived and to be turned back to God - a preacher was sent by God to cry out against them and their sin!  Then great revival came to Ninevah because of one man denouncing sin and God spared them!

What about Isaiah?  We could be here all day sharing his wisdom but let's look at a few concerning what God required in his time.  How did God tell Isaiah to speak to the people?  In quiet, soothing tones with flowery messages that made them feel oh so good?

Isaiah 58:1
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."

Whew!  God instructed to cry aloud and lift up the voice like a trumpet!  What was he to show the people?  Their transgression and their sin. There are many other examples in the Old Testament of what preaching really is but what about the New Testament?  Did God change his hatred for evil?

What about the man whom Jesus himself said "there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist."?  Matthew 11:11  John the Baptist was the boldest of bold at that time.  He not only name-called the religious leaders but he got even more personal and rebuked King Herod for his adultery!  He was so bold against sin that it cost him his head!  How many preachers today have lost their head for preaching against sin?  Are there any left that bold and that "great" as Jesus said John the Baptist was?  To preach even if it cost you your own head - now that's some real Holy Spirit filled preaching!  This is what Jesus calls a GREAT preacher!

Peter boldly accused the others for the murder of Jesus!  Acts 2:23  He denounced sin, not only in sinners, but Christians as well.  Going so far as to see God strike one couple, Ananias and Sapphira, dead in front of him.  "Tradition says that Peter was crucified downward by those that hated that 'kind' of preaching."

Stephen preached so boldly against sin the people couldn't stand it anymore as his words cut them to their heart, they ran on him and gnashed on him with their TEETH and beat him to death with stones!  How many preachers today have preached so hot for God that their own life was taken away from them?

Lastly, we will discuss Paul.  I love Paul, he was my kind of preacher!  He didn't back up for anyone and no wonder God let him write so many books in the Bible because he truly was a man of God.  How about the sorcerer who tried to prevent Sergius Paulus from hearing Paul's message?  Did Paul just let this man stand in the way of another's salvation?  NO!  He boldly stated:

Acts 13:10
"O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?"

He then continued praying for this man's blindness and God blinded him!  Then guess what happened?  Sergius Paulus saw and heard Paul's rebuke of this man and the judgment of God and it led him to salvation!  One man standing up and being bold against sin, caused another man to repent.   Sometimes it is for those around others that we must take a bold stand in public.

Paul continued to preach against just about every sin in the book and instructed others to do so as well.  He didn't preach a one-sided gospel, he preached the full gospel!  Because Paul was bold and a denouncer of sin he faced persecution from having to flee in the middle of the night to being stoned and left for dead to scars in his body.  He suffered for Christ's sake.  He could have said "I don't want to offend anyone and have enemies so I will just calm down a bit".  No way!  Paul was not like some preachers today because Paul demanded repentance everywhere he went.

If preachers are preaching what God wants they will be hated in this world.  For the greatest preacher of all, Jesus himself, was hated and he told us:

John 15:18
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."

The Great Revival in our land rests in the hands of God's preachers.  Will they be willing to give their life or their "head" by preaching bold against sin to bring others to repentance?  Or will they cowardly back away and become as the watchman in Isaiah who it says "are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter."

1 Timothy 5:20
"Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear."

2 Timothy 4:2
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine."

Titus 1:13
"This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;"

A sinner must first realize he is lost in sin before he can ever be saved and God chose the "foolishness of preaching" to bring about this realization.  He needs a preacher to show him his sinful condition and need for a Saviour! 

Some items in quotations are quotes from John R. Rice

The Joy of Time with Children

I came across this article today in the UK's Daily Mail.  It was asking the question if working moms should feel guilty.  I want to concentrate on the first part of the story - the woman with experience.  The Mother who had children and is feeling, 20 years later, regret.  She worked and missed a lot of her children's life.  At first she did it just because and then she was divorced and it was a necessity at that time for her to work.  However, she got married again and recently chose to stay home with her children.  Then she realized the error of her ways with her previous children. 

Here are some of her quotes:

It may seem strange to some, but it is only recently that I have felt able to acknowledge that mixing work and children comes with its downsides. Why did it take me so long? Part of me doggedly believed I had to stick to my 'line' - that work gave me independence, adventure and, of course, money. But I have to admit that another part didn't want to examine what the effect of more than 20 years of working motherhood had had on my children. 

It's obvious, perhaps, but what I give them now, which I rarely could before, is my attention.

I am also happy to be discovering so much more about the joys of spending real, unrushed time with them.

Her answer to those choosing to work over staying home with their children:

'Are you sure that it's the right thing to do for everyone - children and husband included - and not just you?'

When you stop and look it at, you see that it isn't about you anymore.  It is about your children.  They need love and attention!  You let go of your selfishness and love of money.  You realize the things in life that are most important are the things you can take to Heaven with you.

What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 18-20

Tonight's message was just what I needed! Pastor preached about Elijah and Ahab and the abundance of rain.  Ahab tried to blame it all on Elijah for causing the problems but Elijah threw it back in its proper place and told Ahab, it isn't me that troubleth - its you and your people's wickedness!  Isn't that like some to blame the one who preached the word of God?  But Elijah was bold and he told them it was their own wickedness that troubleth Israel!  Elijah had those that worshiped Baal do a 'showdown' of gods.  You may remember the story how Elijah taunted them and told them to scream louder, maybe their god can't hear them.  Then God came and showed himself to everyone that day with Elijah's sacrifice.  Even after that great victory, Elijah goes and gets discouraged.  Ain't that like us sometimes?  lol  Moping and pouting about how bad we have it waa waa waa!  Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to SHUT UP! 

Notice that Elijah was one of the greatest prophets, yet he himself was even able to let satan discourage him into thinking that there was no one left that was righteous.  God asked him twice "what doest thou here Elijah!?!?"  Elijah kept whining that no one is left and he's tried to stand for God and waa waa but wait.......did God smite him because of his pity party?  No!  God encouraged him!!  What did God tell Elijah?  He told him to open up his eyes!!  There are 7,000 that have not bowed their knee - there are those who haven't turned over to wickedness!  Christian, be encouraged that there are those who will stand and be counted.  There are those who just like Elijah will wave the flag for God and not bow to satan.  God wants you to know there are others living holy, you are not alone.

I've been where Elijah was before and its not a fun place to be.  However, I've learned over the years, that even if wickedness and compromise surrounds you and seems like everyone is doing it, you can rest assured that there are those which have not bowed the knee.  Though sometimes we can't see for the cloud around us and our circumstance - we can know that God has not forsaken us.  Pastor was even mentioning tonight about some preachers in our organization who are out preaching we are the only ones saved.  How wrong they are!  I'm in a group with about 400 other holiness women who attend holiness, trinitarian churches across the US that preach and teach the same as NTCC!  These ladies are fine as gold and God exudes from their life and its wonderful to be in the fellowship of the saints!  They love to talk about God and soul winning and the wonderful things God has done in their life.  Since being in the group - I've been strengthened by them and edified.  Since seeing the others out there, it has given me hope and its been a wonderful fellowship.

Pastor was also talking about smiling through it all, even when you are discouraged, etc.  This is something I had to teach myself over the years.  People ask me a lot why I smile all the time and seem so happy.  I had one lady think that I never had a battle because of my cheerful personality.  I explained to her that I sure 'nuff do have battles lol - but I make it a point to smile and be happy around others because it could be worse!  A phrase I often say (that i got from Dave Ramsey) when others ask how I'm doing is "Better than I deserve!!!"  I've been pretty sick over the years and at times almost died, so I know that it most definitely CAN be worse.  What I'm suffering now is nothing compared to what I used to suffer in my body - so why complain!?!?  I have it so much better than I used to! 

Once Elijah got over his pity party, he got out of that self-pity pit!!  Don't be downtrodden, that is what satan wants.  If satan can get you down, he's got you!  Count your joy something so special that you guard it and don't let anyone rob it from you!  Keep yourself unspotted from the world and be a testimony and example to others. As another Pastor preached a few services ago - guard your treasures, those that God has given you and those of your church.  Don't let satan steal God's treasures!  A peaceful mind is often the first thing that goes when we got our eyes off of Jesus.  However, all we have to do is get our eyes back on him and the peace and joy floods back in.  Ignore satan on the sidelines waving his sin for all to see - don't give him the time of day and just go on and that will be the greatest hit to satan that you could give.  He hates to be brushed off as uneffective!!!

The message was a great reminder to not go to the place of discouragement and stay there but realize that God knows all and sees all and just get up and go on and keep serving God!  We are on our way to glory!!