Sunday, February 28, 2010
"Authentic love is obviously something good. Without it, life would hardly be worth living. It fulfils our deepest need, and when we love, we become most fully ourselves, most fully human. But how easily it can be made into a false god! People often think they are being loving when actually they are being possessive or manipulative. People sometimes treat others as objects to satisfy their own needs rather than as persons to be loved and cherished. How easy it is to be deceived by the many voices in our society that advocate a permissive approach to sexuality, without regard for modesty, self-respect or the moral values that bring quality to human relationships! This is worship of a false god. Instead of bringing life, it brings death."
Ladies: Do you have a favorite modesty website to share — either a source for purchasing apparel, or for going deeper into this subject? Are you willing to write a brief personal testimony about your modesty journey, why this virtue is important to you, or an experience or change of heart that you've had?
Gentlemen: Why is modesty important to you as a Christian man? Does it help you respect and reverence women? How does a modest gal help you in the quest for purity? How do you appreciate the girls and women in your life who seek to model modesty?
I'm calling on everyone: If you are a blog "lurker" who visits here and never speaks up, please do now. Your quotes will help me add valuable insight to this new print booklet, and/or to expansions on my website (which is another project on the burner). Now's your chance to speak out on this relevant topic! Only first names and ages will be published. You don't have to write a ton — anything from one sentence to a few paragraphs is perfect.
You can email your responses to me at lily maiden @ sbc global . net (remove all spaces). The only thing is that I need you to act fast. :) This edition of the booklet will be going to the printer within the next 2-3 days. So if you can send me something before then, that will be terrific. If you need more time, just send it as soon as you can, because it can still be helpful for future printings and/or the website. Please remember to include your age.
Quotes from Christian/Catholic men are always especially powerful. Women want to know what real men really think about this subject. After all, you are the ones whom modesty/immodesty affects the most (besides ourselves). So guys, speak up! And ladies, ask your husband, father, or brother to lend input and send me a quote from him, too.
Hope to hear from you soon!
This will also help me know how many visitors I have... I tried subscribing to a site meter recently, and it's telling me that I have received 0 hits. I think/hope there's at least a couple more than that!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
The online PDF brochure can be downloaded here. You can still register by calling
I will be presenting two talks...
Clothed with Grace: Feminine Modesty and the Call to Beauty
Society depends on our authenticity as women, and more than ever has need of our gifts and dignity. This feminine dignity is empowered by purity and protected by the virtue of modesty. What does the Church say about feminine dignity, and what does it teach about modesty? What is feminine mystique? What role does beauty play in the healing of society? While exploring the answers to these and other important questions, we will learn from the inspiring examples of Our Lady and heroic feminine saints to understand the noble call of womanhood.
Raising Marylike Maidens amidst a Culture of Death
In a culture that eschews virtue and encourages vice, powerful influences infiltrate from every direction to affect the formation of our young generation. The challenge is to train our children to be in the world, but not of it. How can we raise young women confident in their identity as daughters of God and filled with holy boldness to resist the darkness? Sharing from her homeschool upbringing and experiences as a teacher and Catechetical leader, Claire will offer wisdom relevant not only to mothers, but to all Catholic women.
Regardless of your proximity to La Crosse, WI, please keep me in your prayers this week as I prepare my presentations, and work to update and replenish my print resources. I also really need to update my website... Holy Spirit, grant me efficiency!
Priests are called to consecrate their lives to God for the salvation of his people and to unite themselves more closely every day to Christ the High Priest.
United with Jesus Christ the Great High Priest, we pray;
Lord, show us your face!
That priests will renew and intensify their devotion to daily prayer;
Lord, show us your face!
That priests will prayerfully meditate on the law of God and put into practice what they teach;
Lord, show us your face!
That priests will sustain God's people by sharing with them the fruits of their own prayer lives;
Lord, show us your face!
Friday, February 26, 2010
If you're on Facebook, look up this wonderful group started by some friends of mine: Humble Prayers for Holy Priests.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"Oh, how great is the priest! If he understood himself he would die...God obeys him; he speaks two words, and Our Lord comes down from heaven at his voice, and shuts himself up in a little Host...
If man well understood this mystery, he would die of love."
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I decided there would be no better time than today to begin a novena for priests. I've had the Magnificat Year for Priests companion sitting in my book basket for at least a few months...
Won't you join me? Drop me a comment to let me know that you're participating in this spiritual effort, and if you have your own prayer source, do share it with us!
I will try to share a portion of the Magnificat Novena each day...
A Prayer to the Mother of God for Priests by St. Charles Borromeo
O Holy Mother of God, pray for the priests you Son has chosen to serve the Church. Help them, by you intercession, to be holy, zealous, and chaste. Make them models of virtue in the service of God's people. Help them be pious in mediation, efficacious in preaching, and zealous in the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Help them administer the Sacraments with love and joy. Amen.
You can learn more about the wonderful Magnificat booklet here (it's only $3.95, and I found mine free at a nearby parish), or there is a beautiful prayer from EWTN here.
Monday, February 22, 2010
but do it with gentleness and reverence..."
Jesus, Good Shepherd, Great High Priest, today I lift to You in prayer all of our priests. You left us Yourself in the person of the priest. Mold them into what You want them to be. Let them be You to each person they meet. May they fill all the needs of those who turn to them today. Send someone to lift their spirit and to be Jesus to them when others knock them down, to encourage them when their hope is gone. Give them all the strength and courage they need to persevere in holiness when under trial or just worn out from saving souls. Please bless us with many more holy priests. Teach us to love and appreciate all of our priests and to see You in them.
I consecrate all priests to the Immaculate Hands and Heart of Mary, Our Mother of Divine Love Patroness of Priests. I thank You for their priesthood. Keep them close to You. Please enfold and protect them in Your Mantle of Divine Love. My Lord Jesus I trust in You! Amen.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Young Counselor Threatened with Knife Learns that Baby Was Saved from Abortion
Three months after being threatened with a knife to her throat by a woman entering an abortion mill, 21-year-old pro-life counselor Leah Winandy has
learned that her attacker has decided not to abort her child – and credits Leah
and Leah’s mother for saving her from a life of regret.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Today is Valentine’s Day, concluding National Marriage Week which was February 7-14! Despite what many think, this is not just another Hallmark holiday. This day actually started as the celebration of a wonderful Catholic Saint:
St. Valentine, a priest in Rome during the persecution of Christians in the 200’s, risked his life to help his fellow Christians to worship in secret. When the Emperor Claudius issued a decree forbidding marriage (in order to increase troops for his army, believing that single men made better soldiers than married men), Valentine defied this decree and urged young lovers to come to him in secret so that he could join them in the sacrament of matrimony. He knew that marriage is a holy union willed by God. Eventually he was discovered by the Emperor and was thrown into prison. While in prison, Valentine converted his jailor to the Christian Faith, and also healed the jailor’s daughter, who was blind. Legend has it that while in jail, he wrote letters to encourage the Christians and signed them “From Your Valentine”. He was martyred on February 14, and his feast day became Valentine’s Day.
Our society has a lot of mixed-up ideas about love. We might hear someone say “I love pizza”… then “I love my wife” and “I love Jesus”! In reality, love can only be toward a person – never a thing. It is about much more than flowers, balloons, chocolates, poetic cards, or warm feelings. True love is not just expressed in a costly gift, but in the giving of oneself. It can be much easier to bare one’s wallet than it is to bare one’s heart.
If we want a picture of love, all we need do is look at the cross. Jesus Christ, Love incarnate, came to show us that love equals sacrifice. He said to us: “This is how much I love you” – and then gave up His life for us.
How many spouses get motivated to do something memorable and romantic today, and then return to Mr. or Mrs. Grouch tomorrow? The challenge to each of us today is this: Am I willing to lay down my life – or at the very least, my comforts or preferences – for the sake of the one that I love?
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Style: "The Rachel Braid" :)
Done: Last July at Ave Cor Mariae Summer Camp
Time: 3o minutes (?)
Supplies: Comb, hairties, bobby pins
How: Rachel's hair is only a bit past her shoulders, but is thick and textured. It was also wavy from being previously braided, so that added even more volume! As is often the case when I "invent" a braid, this one is the combination of a few different things. :)
1. You will first need to know the "X & O braid", as explained here.
2. You will also need to experience doing an upside-down single french braid. This is the same concept as a regular french braid, only started at the neck going upward. It's explained here.
3. The first part of The Rachel Braid is a combination of the above two: an X braid down up-side down, but leaving some of the upper hair free.
4. After doing the X braid, I parted her upper hair down the center and made a small rolled bun on either side, placed so that the ending braids from the X could come up around the outside of each, and the braid ends tucked into the center.
I'm not sharing this one to intimidate anyone, just to provide an example of the kind of thing you can come up by creatively combining what you know. :)
Back (see the X?)
Friday, February 12, 2010
Style: French herringbone/fishtail, tucked under
Done: Last summer (as you can see from all the foliage in the photos!)
Time: Maybe 15 minutes
Supplies: Comb, hairtie, few large bobby pins and/or small claw clips if you plan to tuck it under. *This braid is challenging on fine or slippery hair. Miss MK's hair is somewhat textured and was also just perfectly damp-dry at this time I did this, which is why it turned out best of any french herringbone I've tried! If you are going to try it with fine hair, I suggest using mouse or a volumizing product first.
How: Go to "Fishtail or Herringbone Braids" on this page. I generally recommend adding very small sections of hair for this braid. The hair should always be damp or wet for best results. I do recommend trying out the basic herringbone technique first with the hair in a ponytail, then without the pontail, then the french way.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Style: The no-iron curled updo
Supplies: Comb, plenty of bobby pins, hairspray, accessories or flowers if desired
Time: Between 15-45 minutes, depending on thickness and type of hair
How: I just started doing this one in the past few months after seeing the basic concept. It's been well-received every time, and would be ideal for any formal event or a wedding! Here are the fundamental steps:
1. Do something — either small twists or braids or a "poof" using bobby pins — with the upper hair so that is frames the face and is drawn securely to the middle of the head with criss-cross bobby pins. On both the models below I did a side part and two small french ropes using the same braiding technique used here.
2. The updo is achieved by taking a small to medium strand of hair (the thinner the hair, the smaller the section), combing it through and coating it with hairspray, then using two of your fingers as a "roller" to roll it toward the head. Do this as neatly as possible, making the roll somewhat wide and thin. When you have rolled all the way to the scalp, carefully remove your fingers from inside, smooth the "curl" and position it whichever direction you would like, and fasten it in place with a bobby pin or two in each side (underneath the roll so that you can't see it).
3. The key is thickness and placement of the "curls". You don't want them all going the same direction, but there should be some order to it. Depending on the length, texture, and thickness of the hair, you will make probably 10-30 rolls for the entire updo.
4. When finished, hairspray your masterpiece and add any desire accessories, flowers, or hair sparkle dust. :) For our December orchestra concert, I did this on three of us, and we added red roses for a beautiful effect. Alas, somehow there aren't any pictures of those...
I have done this one on myself with the aid of a mirror, and then had my sister secure a few out-of-place strands when finished. This style can be done nicely on shoulder-length to waist-length hair, whether layered or not.
Different lighting and angle
The sparkly flower clips made by Veronica and I
ended up being featured a lot in this series —
I suppose because they are so versatile!
My sister Sarah at this year's Father-Daughter Snow Ball
Accented with peach-tone roses and babies breath
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Style: The heart braid (I learned this one from Vicki!)
Done: About two months ago
How: Seat her so that her face is looking at you. Part hair down the center and about halfway down the scalp. Take a very small section of hair from the middle of her head, next to the part, and start braiding toward yourself. Use the french "lace braid" technique by only adding sections from the part. As you come towards her forehead, curve the braid into a J shape for the left side, or a backwards J for the right side. Finish the end of the braid and secure it while you do the other side. Join the braids together in the middle and add a barette or accessory, if desired.
Time: About 10 minutes
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Style: Two-into-one french rope
Done: About a month ago
How: For this style, part the hair down the middle and clip one half of it while you do the other. The french rope is done using two sections of hair (not three until the end). Do the right side first following these steps:
1. Take two small sections of hair from the top. Twist the outer piece clockwise before crossing it to the left over the other section.
2. Add a small section of hair to both pieces and repeat the above action. It is important to twist the outer section clockwise (or to the right) every time you cross it to the left. This is what makes the twist pattern show up.
3. Continue until nearly half the hair is included. Leave a small section — about half the thickness of what you just braided — undone at the bottom. Add a few extra twists to the rope for security and place one or two claw clips to hold it while you do the other side.
5. The left side is done exactly as a mirror of the right. You cross the outer section over the inner, but this time you will be twisting it counterclockwise, or to the left, before crossing it to the right.
6. Leave a section of hair at the bottom, the same thickness as the other, and join these two together. For the hanging down rope braid, three sections are needed, and this has just become your third section.
Supplies: Comb, hairtie or scrunchie, and maybe a few tiny clips or bobby pins to secure loose strands after you are done. *If the hair is fine or slippery, you will need to wet it down with a spray bottle before trying this style.*
Time: About 15-20 minutes (but allow more if you are just trying it out)
Monday, February 08, 2010
Style: A combination of five princess crowns, named after this young lady since I invented it for her. :)
Done: About a month ago
How: The "princess crown" is what I call a small, horizontal, curved french braid which pulls hair only from the front. This combination is explained in more detail with the photos below...
Supplies: Comb, small hairties (and I actually styled her bangs with hand lotion because it was nearby — it worked!)
Time: I redid parts of this one while deciding how I wanted it to look, so it was probably about 30-45 minutes.
The first two braids go from right to left, the middle braid from left to right, and the bottom two from right to left.
The other side...
The front gives an unique "pigtail" appearance with two braids on one side and two on the other
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Model: Miss Havilah
Style: A updo variation on the diagonal french braid. I've given names to some of the hairstyles I will post this week, but some (including this one) are currently nameless...so I'm going to invite reader participation to help me out here! What do you think this braid should be called? Give your suggestions or cast your vote on others' suggestions in the comment box!
Supplies: Comb, one hairtie, about 10 blonde bobby pins and (optional) a double-comb piece like those shown here (they are sold at Jewel, Walgreens, or Wal-Mart for less than this site).
Time: About 10 minutes, maybe less
Photos (these are also in chronological order so you can see its progression!):
Other side — you can see where the braid was started
Braid up with end tucked in — voila!
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Today's outfit #1... I wanted to post the "bonus" Day 8 to highlight a casual feminine outfit: a dark denim gored skirt with cotton tights, snowflake/snowman-print turtleneck, and sky blue zip-up sweatshirt. A combination ideal for housecleaning, chores, or "loungewear".
Today's outfit #2... For the baptism celebration and student contests, a more dressy ensemble: floral polyester skirt by "Southern Lady" (from a boutique), dark purple turtleneck, and lavender zip-up suede jacket.
I do want to share a picture of my necklace today because it's very special...my dear sister Sarah, who is a freshman at Christendom college, gave one to both Veronica and I (as well as herself) before going from Christmas break. The back reads, The best thing about having a sister is that I always have a friend. It's nice having the reminder close by even though she's 12 hours away. Love and miss you, Sarah!
Veronica's outfit... Black stretch-lace skirt — it also has a touch of velvet — from Burlington Coat Factory (as you can tell by the number of times I've mentioned them, there is more there than just coats!), wool sweater, and black dress ankle boots from Famous Footwear. Her spandex turtleneck shell was ordered from Boscov's: she has blue and black and really likes them for layering under sweaters and other tops. They fill in low necklines perfectly, as well as add warmth and style.
This snapshot offers a nice view of her miraculous medal from The Catholic Company (my Confirmation gift as her sponsor), as well as the way her turtleneck is gathered across the front, and her chastity ring.
Today's feminine website:www.catholicmodesty.com
And that, my friends, officially concludes our Winter Week in Feminine Dress. The comment boxes have been rather quiet... if you have been encouraged or inspired this week, please let me know! I really appreciate your thoughts and feedback. My purpose in hosting this is not to see my own face in print, but hopefully to offer a glimpse of how skirts and dresses can be implemented effectively into daily life.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Skirt: The brand is Liz Claiborne, but I'm not sure where I got it. It's a dark grey with tan and red plaid.
Shawl: Self-explanitory. Cream, knit, and cozy. :)
Top: Venetian red according to this page (color charts are such fun!), with a lace-up front and small collar. I really like that the lace-up has its own insert.
Necklace: My "Friends in Christ" necklace that I share with my dear friend Malori (who, by the way, just started her own Week in Feminine Dress. Do go and visit!). We've known each other for 14 years and we've only had reunions about six times, living many states from one another...so we started this tradition early on. Each time we are able to see each other, we exchange necklaces. One has a filled-in cross, and the other a cut-out cross. As you can see, I currently have the former.
There has been a lot of controversy over the Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mother discussing how she chose life for her son.
The ad is a simple sincere look at a personal story. Yet the left and the "feminists" have gone nuts over it.
23 years ago, The American Life League, one of the largest Catholic Pro-Life organizations, produced a short featuring members of the Super Bowl winning New York Giants.
As you watch former superstars Phil Simms — the game's MVP and current sportscaster for CBS! — Mark Bavaro, Jim Burt, Chris Godfrey, George Martin, and Phil McConkey speak out against abortion, try to imagine what the reaction would be to this film if it was made today.
The roar from the left would be heard from outerspace...
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Top: Dusty lavendar sweater with attached tie-collar, found at a boutique. There is a rhinestone button sewn through both ties. Most of the time I wear a close-fitting short sleeve top underneath my pullover sweaters. No only does this aid in warmth, but in keeping the sweater fresh enough to wear a few times between washings. My favorite undershirts are soft organic cotton tops by Seed Supply Co. — which, believe it or not, are sold at Wal-Mart in a variety of colors. They aren't bulky, and the long length keeps them tucked in well. This company makes leggings and such, too.
Legwear: Maggie's lightweight cotton tights in black.
Hair: Nothing extraordinary today — just the "bangs" pulled back with a flat silver barrette.
Outerwear: I've had my main winter coat — suede-type in deep plum with thick, soft inside — for about three winters already. A coat that probably costs $50-$100 or more new is usually about $10-$20 at Unique. I also found this pretty aqua scarf there recently. It's super long, which means I can wrap it several times around.
Veronica's top is from Burlington Coat Factory, and she layers a black tank underneath to remedy the low v-neckline. Her pashmina/scarf is from Wal-Mart, and her grey skirt I gave her from Christmas (a Goodwill find). She often gets compliments on its trio of side pleats.
Today's femininity quote:
Today's feminine website: www.endowonline.com
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Skirt: Mock-suede Chadwicks that I found secondhand for probably 1/10 of the new price. Yet another winter favorite.
Top: A deep violet turtleneck underneath a soft, warm sweater with flower/bead decor. Maybe at this point I should just stop mentioning thrift stores and say only when I got it somewhere else!) :)
Shoes: Same boots as yesterday, with nylons.
Hair: I must admit that for most of the day, I didn't have time to do anything with my hair, but before going to orchestra tonight I snagged a few minutes to freshen up. I twisted the sides using small clips, and tried something new with the back. It came out being what I always imagined a chignon to look like (you know, the hairdo they always mention in civil war books?). Although now that I've looked it up, it seems like perhaps the term just meant a bun or knot. Oh well...maybe I'll have to give it a new name.
This was my first-ever YouTube video uploaded...and I learned that it was not near as simple or quick as I expected it would be! Oh, well, I hope you enjoy. :)
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Today's inspiration: This has nothing to do with the rest, but I have to mention it because I was so blessed when a lady came up to me after noon Mass thanking me for starting "O Salutaris" at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament...expressing how moved she was by my singing. You never know when the littlest thing will touch someone!
Skirt: My favorite secondhand find this season. A conviently practical length and width, and homemade by my observation of the seams and absence of a tag. Heavier material and lining attached = nice and warm!
Top: Teal ribbed cotton turtleneck/sweater from Burlington Coat Factory. $4.99, I think. I enjoy this color a lot.
Scarf: Worn the same way as Day 1, this was a Christmas gift from Veronica — I happen to know that she found it at Wal-Mart, where pashmina-style scarves are only about $5.
Legwear: Probably the only thing I own that was from a "Juniors" section! These lace-edged leggings are only $5 or $6 at Wal-Mart. They'd be better if "Miley Cirus" wasn't printed inside the tag area (ugh), but the price can't be beat and they go great under skirts! For you ladies that don't like tights/pantyhose, leggings are the perfect thing to keep your legs warm with a winter skirt or dress. They're all over the place this season, anyway, so you won't have a hard time finding some! I wore a pair of black knee-high nylons underneath this pair since they are "capri" length.
Footwear: Winter boots by Khombu. Trim and pretty and totally wearable (an awful lot of boots these days are not!). I couldn't decide whether to get black or brown when getting these in the Fall, but ended up going with the latter, and they match pretty well with all my winter skirts.
Necklace: My miraculous medal, peeking out the center between the ends of my scarf.
Hair: I washed it this morning and it dries wavy, so I just parted it to the side and gently clipped back the sides with some turquoise-flowered bobby pins (to match the top and scarf). A couple of crossways brown bobby pins underneath the decorative ones helped it stay secure.
...a cranberry wool skirt and off-white rabbit-hair sweater with sparkles in it over a purple top. Actually, I think I may have found both those pieces...when thrift shopping I'm always finding nice things that fit my sisters. :) Her necklace was made by and older gentleman we know who makes jewelry as a hobby and gave us each a piece one year for Christmas. She actually wore her purple scarf from Day 2 much of the day with this outfit, which looked great also.