Friday, January 29, 2010

Last Chance!!!

You have until Monday to sign up for the Annual IDD Chocolate Swap.  I loved getting my chocolate in the mail!  Definitely a highlight from last Valentine's Day!  Monday is the deadline for entering and we still have spots available so sign up now!  Go HERE for the information and don't forget to email us your address.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Why is there such a lack of fashionable, feminine, MODEST clothing?

Ever felt the frustration?  I think all of us have asked this question at one time or another.  Meet someone who has actually DONE something about it.

Christa-Taylor is an online company devoted to providing cute, fashionable clothes for the modesty-conscious crowd.  :) In her own words "...Feminine and beautiful without compromising self respect and dignity." You can read more about how the company started and all about Christa Taylor HERE.

To start with I want to say that Christa-Taylor is not paying me to talk about her company.  She didn't send me any free products.  Everything I've ordered from Christa-Taylor has been purchased with my own money.  I happen to think that they have a great mission and I think their clothes are cute so I don't mind supporting them one bit! By the way Christa-Taylor donates 5% of every purchase to Warm Blankets Orphan Care International. which is pretty cool. 

I've ordered from them several times and every time I've been very pleased with my purchases.  I bought my winter coat from Christa-Taylor, and I wear it EVERYWHERE and get compliments on it all the time.  In fact, just today a random lady I walked by stopped me to tell she loved my coat.  

Their shipping is super fast, I always receive my order in two to three days.  Look at these sweet dresses I just bought!

Blue Best Friend Dress
I don't care if it is the middle of winter.  I wore this dress to church last Sunday with tights, a cardigan sweater and boots.  I LOVED it!

Vintage Dot Dress This one, I admit isn't exactly in my color scheme...  But, I don't care.  It's so adorable, I had to get it anyway!

Christa-Taylor also has a BLOG that she updates usually once or twice a week full of fashion and beauty advice that I highly recommend you check out.  Right now she's got an awesome post up about how to shape and maintain your eyebrows.  :) Every girl needs to know how to do this!

I hope you check out Christa-Taylor and find something you like!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Proverbs 31:11

Choosing to not date doesn't ensure that you can give your future husband a perfectly intact, non-bruised heart.  (See: Hello Mr Wrong).  Face it, we live in a world where sensuality is prevalent and encouraged.  Where you supposedly learn by giving your heart to person after person only to have it held, loved, and then returned to you broken, bruised and worse for wear.  If attraction is encouraged and cultivated what happens when you get married??  The attraction doesn't just automatically turn off or transfer to only your husband.  It's still there.

So, how do you protect your heart?  Some time ago a thought popped into my head and it's been a big help to me.  The thought was to practice being faithful to my husband even before I know who he is.  I am destined for one man, saving myself, keeping my heart for him.  But, allowing  myself to be attracted to other men is not being faithful.  It's running around on him.  Behave as a married woman.  Practice faithfulness now! So that when God blesses you with, as Peter Marshall said, "The highest halls of human happiness".  It won't be hard to protect your heart from outside attraction and you will be able to give your husband a fuller, less bruised or unbruised complete heart.  A heart that belongs to him, that is beating out a tune for him and him alone.  Just think about it.  "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil."


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

Every high school student knows those dreaded words “So, what are you doing after high school?”




Choosing a career path can be a daunting, scary and in all honesty, (let’s face it) an IMPOSSIBLE thing to do.  At age eighteen my chosen career path was “Wife and Mother.”  I was raring and ready to go.  One teeny-tiny problem: “Wife and Mother”  is one of those joint-partnership occupations, it goes hand-in-hand with “Husband and Father” and the “Husband and Father” division of the corporation was conspicuously absent.

So, maybe, I decided I should look at some alternate career options.  Something just to pass the time, you know?

I’ll just be honest and come totally clean here.  That was me ten years ago, and it’s basically still me.  Passing the time…

Don’t get me wrong.  I haven’t been completely idle.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve been idle at all.  I’ve worshipped while I’m waiting done everything I could think to do while I’m waiting, and I’ve been happy and fulfilled.

But, my future is still out there, Gigantic and Unknown and getting closer and closer.  I’m still looking at career options.  Of course, my first choice is still my first choice, and if it becomes available I’ll jump in with both feet.  Meanwhile I continue to search and pray and be led.

There are a lot of well meaning people that have tried to help.

“You should be a teacher.”

“You should be a writer.”

“You should be a makeup artist.”

“You should be a chef.”

Oh, incidentally, I want to say that I LOVE getting these suggestions, so I’m not saying that people shouldn’t offer up ideas.  Please, if you have an idea let me know!  It’s fun to think of the possibilities and I have certainly given my share of career opinions to other people.  smile.gif

At age eighteen, one person made a career suggestion to me that I am ashamed to say I rolled my eyes at.

“You should be a Virtuous Woman.”

Come on, really?  That’s not a career!

(Almost) Ten years later I look back at my younger self and I have to disagree.  Virtuous Woman is the ultimate career.

It’s the job that, if done properly and wholeheartedly will make any other path you walk successful.  The Virtuous Woman radiates success, accomplishment, wisdom, education, self-confidence, beauty, happiness, kindness, love.  All the things that we all want and need in our lives.

Ten years ago I had two opinions about the Virtuous Woman.

A) That she was abstract and unattainable.


B) That she was an overused stereotype.  And I didn't want to be a stereotype.  I wanted to be DIFFERENT.

Silly me.  Of course I'm going to be different.  God created only one me.  I'm certainly not going to be like anyone else.  What I failed to realize was that  working to become a Virtuous Woman wouldn't interfere with developing my individuality.  Rather, the opposite.  Being a Virtuous Woman gives us the tools we need to become the best versions of ourselves.  The career path of Virtuous Womanhood is created by God to bring us to our full potentials in Him.

The IDD Blog is going to publishing over the next few weeks an insightful, topic by topic look at the Virtuous Woman.  We want to encourage every young lady to make Virtuous Womanhood her goal, and we hope to offer practical advice on how to apply these principles to you own life.

We want to stress that even though The Virtuous Woman is described as a Wife and Mother that we believe that a single female supporting herself has just as much chance of achieving Virtuous Woman status as a married woman.  It's never too early or late to start!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Hear Ye!!! Hear Ye!!

It's time for the annual IDD...........


Here's the details:
What: Chocolate Swap
Where: The IDD Blog

Who: Anyone who wants to participate

When: February 14th, 2010

How: If you are interested comment here, then email us your address by February 1st. (Our email address is in the sidebar).  After that we will compile names and addresses and email you the name and address of a fellow  IDDiot. You get to buy chocolate and send it to that person.  They buy chocolate and send it to you! Try to have in the mail before Feb 14th.  Then on the 14th (Valentine's Day) we can all enjoy our chocolate together!!! (If you have any allergies let us know in your email so we can send them on to your "Chocolate Santa".)


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Dear girls,

I know that many of you have seen pictures or heard about the devastation in Haiti. It's truly heart-rending to hear what has happened there. We want to take this opportunity to encourage you all to do three things.

Pray. Pray for strength for all those suffering in the wake of this tragedy. Pray for those who are on their way to help them, that they can endure the struggles and terrible sights they will find.

Donate $5. If you can give more, that's wonderful, of course, but even five dollars can do so much. You can find a list of agencies to donate to here (if anyone knows of another one, feel free to leave their name in the comments). The Red Cross is always a helping hand, or there are other agencies, like the Baptist Haiti Mission which "is operating an 82-bed hospital that is 'overflowing with injured.' "

. Love the people of Haiti, who have suffered poverty and neglect for years. Love those around you, because if there's one thing we should learn from this tragedy it's that life is precious. Love God, in spite of this horror.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Not By Sight

 Today we have a special guest post by Susie! 

You know that analogy about the person or persons in a raft riding the rapids of a river twisting through a deep canyon? They can't see where they're going and what's around the next bend, but fortunately they have somebody looking out for them.

A helicopter hovers above the canyon looking down on them with a clear view of where the raft is, where it's been and what's ahead.

Now comes the most important part of the analogy: A two-way radio.

The helicopter can communicate with the raft. Warning them and giving directions so they can navigate safely, when the river splits ahead of them telling them which direction to go. The raft has to trust the helicopter, disobeying or disregarding the helicopter's instructions can get them hurt, lost or even killed.

Here's another analogy. A small town girl moves to a big city. She isn't used to the traffic much less navigating her way around in a city 30 times bigger than back home. Six lanes of traffic, exit ramps, entrance ramps, signs, lights every moment feels like you're heading around a blind corner.

Fortunately She has somebody looking out for her. A GPS satellite orbits this planet up in the atmosphere broadcasting signals to GPS receivers all over the world.

The most important part of this analogy is Grandpa and Grandma's GPS receiver attached to the girl's car window. (We would like to interrupt this paragraph with a special "Thank You!" to Grandpa and Grandma) This specific GPS we will now refer to as "Ginger"; Ginger Penelope Siggy. Ginger gives specific turn by turn directions, advises lane changes and alerts you to exits and entrances, with mile by point mile accuracy giving her exact location all the way through the big city.

Ginger has three ways to communicate with this misplaced girl.

1. An audible voice speaks to give instructions and warnings.

2. An animated digital map complete with color coded streets and a cute little blue care to give visual aid.

3. Written instructions are easily read on her bright screen.

Also if the small town girl misses an exit or takes a wrong turn she won't be lost for long because Ginger can get her back on track as fast as you can say "Recalculating".

Both of these analogies correlate with our spiritual journey, walking the Christian path of Faith. We are pilgrims, in this world but not of it. We have a destination a goal but the immediate future is as uncertain as the bend of a river or the exit ramp three lanes over. Every day, every moment we have decisions to make, ruff rapids to struggle through, people all around us, signs pointing every direction, a wrong move can get you hurt, lost or even killed. We can't navigate through life by ourselves.

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12

Fortunately we have someone looking out for us: An All Seeing, All Knowing, All Powerful Heavenly Father. Most importantly we need to be listening and obeying Him. He's always speaking to us giving us clear directions so that we can walk this road as His children.

He speaks to us in three ways.

1. That great "voice of many waters" and yet "a still small voice" speaks to the hearts of men.

"I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly." Psalms 85:8

2. All around us He has shown His plan in the very earth He created for us if we would only see it.

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fish of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath off all mankind." Job12:7-10

3. He wrote it all out in the Bible His own Word for us to read and understand.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalms 119:105

Also if "we like sheep have gone astray" He will find us and bring is back to Him. He love us and has us in the palm of His hands.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wrap it up!

Typically when I think of good stewardship, money handling comes to mind very quickly. One of my most bothersome monetary puzzles was "The Thing".
It stares at you everytime you enter your room. Mostly pennies are inside of it, but you have a few nickels too. Maybe a few dimes. A quarter or two.

You know what I mean--it's "The Change Jar". The open item where you dump the change from your pockets, or purse, or wallet, or whatever holds it. The item you keep wondering what to do with, because well, you can't exactly take it to the store to dig through and count out the $23.70 you need. So it sits there. And you fill it. Little by little.

You could take it to a money counting machine--if you don't mind paying a percentage out of each dollar you put in. But since saving money is one of my favorite hobbies, I use a different solution--recycle it.
No, don't dump the jar in with the plastics to be taken to the city recycling place--but do take your jar and find a nice flat surface to work on. And you will need a bag of coin wrappers like these:
which you can get at Wal-Mart inexpensively. Or you might check with your bank and see if they'll give you some for free.
I like to dump out most of my jar, and divide the coins into sections, like nickels in one pile, dimes in another, etc. Then count out the right amount into each cartridge and fold down the top--like 50 pennies to make 50 cents, 50 dimes to make $5, and so forth. The great thing about this is you usually only do it every few months, depending on how long it takes you to fill your jar up. So it's not really that time consuming. Plus, it helps me cut back on how often I have to deposit money from my paycheck into my checking--my recycled change becomes extra money for checking.
Next, assess the amount you have after it's all wrapped up and take it by your bank sometime to deposit it all back into your account.
Then wait till your jar is filled up again and repeat.
And now to borrow and slightly alter the words of Benjamin Franklin: "A penny wrapped is a penny saved."
Happy wrapping--North & South is a great money wrapping movie, in case you wanted to know.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A strange and most wonderful mystery

Tonight all around the world Old Calendar Orthodox Christians, like myself and my family, will be going to church to celebrate Christ's birth. Ineffably (one of Orthodoxy's favorite words) the church becomes the cave where Christ was born; we become the shepherds and wise men come to glorify Him. The service says "Heaven and earth are united today, for Christ is born. Today has God come upon earth, and man gone up to heaven. Today for man's sake is seen in the flesh He who by nature is invisible" (Festal Menaion 263). We have been given the greatest gift possible: the gift of God's love for and mercy toward us. The paradoxical beauty of this feast, that He who is without time became part of time, points to the mystery of our faith.

Throughout the night we will refer to the prophets of the Old Testament, those who foretold the birth of Christ and the redemption of mankind. The patriarchs and righteous women of old are the lineage through which Christ was born to save us all, so we honor them as well. We sing the rich and ancient words that the Church gives us: "A strange and most wonderful mystery do I see: the cave is heaven; the Virgin the throne of the cherubim; the manger a room in which Christ, the God whom nothing can contain is laid. Him do we praise and glorify" (Festal Menaion 282).

In this great mystery of Christ's birth, we see His love for us. So let us say together:

Christ is Born!
Glorify Him!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


 I am inspired by Nichole Nordeman's song "Live."

Did you come that we might just survive?
Did you come so we could just get by?

Did you walk among us
So we might merely limp along beside?

I don't want to "just survive."  And I don't think I was ever meant to just survive.  There's so much more to life than that.

I want to thrive.   I want to be the best version of myself.  I want to take every opportunity given to me, whether it looks like one or not, and I want to grow.  

I don't think I'm asking the impossible or building ivory towers.  I choose to believe that I was created for great things.  That I was meant not to just survive, or just get by.  

I believe I was meant to LIVE.

You make me want to live...
You came to shake us
And to wake us up to something more
Than we'd always settled for
And you make me want to live

It is because of Christ's great love for me that I want to live.

It is through submission to His great love for me that I can live.  

If, without Him I am nothing... than is it not equally true that WITH Him is my greatest potential?

"...We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, 
and we gave them reverence: 
shall we not much rather 
be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, 
and live?"

 Hebrew 12:9

Never give up.
Never back down.
Never despise the chastening.
Learn to grow.
And as Ralph Waldo Emerson said
"Without halting, without rest, 
lifting better up to best."


Friday, January 1, 2010

The New Year

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'

And he replied,
'Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!'

by Minnie Louise Harkins 1875-1957


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