Hello everyone! The cold chill of Winter has finally set in for the season in Southern Ohio, making me wish I could time travel backwards to the beginning of the Summer of 2015. The sun shone warm, the air was filled with birdsong; the world was chock full of green (oh that leaves could last all year long like needles on evergreens!) and across our horizon lay a future that would prove to be terribly exciting. We didn’t know it then, and sometimes I wish I could go back and watch myself as our family traveled towards that bright horizon. Studying the details of the events of last year as it unfolded would be a task most interesting indeed. It is my hope that I will be able to capture those memories here for your benefit. So to continue where I left off…
Back at that Church Fellowship I told you about in my first post, we learned, along with everything else concerning Levi, that he knew how to dance Scottish country and English country dances! To say that we were thrilled to find out he was very familiar with this kind of dancing would be an understatement. And it was during this time that we were in the process of planning Charlotte’s Birthday Dance, so of course we all had one thought in mind when Levi told us he knew SCD and ECD–let’s invite him to call some of the dances at her party! He didn’t say no, but enthusiastically said, yes! Hooray!
Well, I really don’t need to tell you very much about the Charlotte’s Birthday; she has already had the pleasure of recording the majority of it for you in these posts: #1, #2, #3. But that still doesn’t mean I can’t share my own perspective. 😉
We had seen Levi at Church in-between our trip down to the Union Terminal, the Ark Encounter Studio and Charlotte’s party. At that point it was rare that we ever had lengthy conversations after Service. That didn’t bother us in the least though. We were just friends at that point, enjoying a casual friendship. But when Charlotte’s big day came, I started hearing rumors that people were thinking differently about us two. Well, I certainly don’t blame them. It’s what we all do when we see two people who “look” absolutely perfect for each other. And it wasn’t because we paired up and talked by ourselves at the dance (we were nearly always across the room from each other) nor was it because we danced together the most (actually, I didn’t even dance once with Levi). Nope. I firmly believe that it was the kilt and bagpipes that did it. Haha! Just kidding! (But I had to add that in there at some point. All our dear friends know how much our family LOVES kilts and bagpipes. And as you can see, Levi was fashionably decked out in his kilt that night.) To be honest though, I really don’t know the reasons why our friends began pairing Levi and I up so early on. And whatever they were, they certainly didn’t peek my curiosity at that point. I wanted to simply be a good friend to him, and said so to those who inquired.
Eeehee-hee! Now I get to tell you a little secret that you did but didn’t see on the blog!
Fast-forward another whole month to July 25th, or Brigi’s Birthday celebration. We didn’t make much ado about it on the blog last year. But. The pictures she put up on the blog of the super cute Chambray Capsule Collection she made tells a slightly different story. If you click on that post and scroll down you will notice a change in the scenery behind her the further down you go. Suddenly our garden is gone, and there is a big stone building behind her with what looks like a very urban setting behind that! Hmm… Then there’s that last photo. I’ll just let you all know, we DON’T have that large of a tree growing in our backyard, nor do we have a tiled roof anywhere near our neighborhood. What Brigi cleverly neglected to put in her post, which I now get to share with you all here is that we went down to the City Flea in Cincinnati for her Birthday! What’s the significance of that, you may ask?
We weren’t alone…
We actually enjoyed that hot summer’s day with Levi and… his two best friends! (Sorry, no pictures, but you might meet Gabriel E. and Joshua H. in due course. For now, just enjoy the story.)
So let me explain: Brigi had just finished her Chambray Capsule Collection, and wanted to show it off at the Flea, and being the fashion bloggers that we are, we took advantage of the setting and got those neat shots of the City park in the background. There. I think I tied up those loose ends. Now for the others…
All summer long, whenever we had any kind of conversation with Levi, the name of his best friend Gabe never ceased to come up. We eventually had the pleasure of meeting Levi’s good friends at Church (we’ve discovered Church is such a wonderful way to meet new people!), and ended up pulling together an impromptu dance with them and the young people from our Church that very afternoon. Then, that same week we found out from Levi that Gabe and Josh would be in the area again the following weekend, and since we were celebrating Brigi’s Birthday on Saturday with a trip to the City Flea and an extra special dinner, we invited Levi and company to tag along. They did, and the day ended, yet again, in another dance. Ahh! It was so cool! Um, no…it was hot. Very hot and very humid. Not so great for vigorous dancing, but who cares? With three gents, and three ladies we made up the perfect number for dances that allow only sets of three. It was brilliant, and way too much fun!
“But wait a minute! Your family felt comfortable inviting three young men, and three young men only to spend the afternoon with you?”
Believe me, we did talk about it, heavily, as a family over the days leading up to the outing, but in the end, we realized that we three were old enough, mature enough, and comfortable enough to feel relaxed around these new brothers in Christ. Plus, our parents were with us nearly the entire time. True, we had never done such a thing before, but you have to admit, a family of three girls can’t just go through life never having experienced the camaraderie of young men. So our thinking was to take this in stride, remember our boundaries, and have a good time. Simple as that.
Here’s a helpful thought: you only get a problem when you decide something is a problem. We decided this scenario was not a problem, but rather a small step onto a road less traveled by our family. Most importantly though, we knew that this culmination of happenings was for a purpose that the Lord had ordained before the sands of time. Then too, being a family of only three sisters, no brothers, can be a bit challenging when you’re suddenly put in a situation with the opposite sex, and you really don’t know how to relate. Sure, you can be friendly, and hospitable, but you can’t possibly know the ins and outs of young men if you don’t have opportunities to learn about them. I can think of all the silly sayings that the world spits out at us concerning the differences between gentlemen and ladies, “Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus” and most of them are true. But you won’t ever know that until you experience it for yourself.
What the Lord did on Brigi’s Birthday celebration day was open up a door to a new world we girls had yet to explore. Our world was changed forever-after. We now had not one, but three older brothers in Christ to enjoy brother/sister friendships with! It was never spoken until much, much later, but we all knew it. Even the gents.
So, to you ladies who are reading this (and I know some of what I’m going to say has been written in a few comments already, but I want to get it out here in the open), don’t be afraid to follow where the Lord leads in the realm of young men, even though it might be new, a little intimidating, and perhaps uncomfortable (if you’re in a situation like us, that is). Because the fact is, if we never try new things, how then can we improve ourselves? Now what I am not saying is that you should suddenly start hanging out with the stand-off-ish group of young men at your Church, school, or Homeschool group for the sake of finding out what guys are like. Not at all. In fact, this could present itself as a problem if you think hard about it. What I am saying is that if an opportunity arises for you to be a sister to young men, then do so with grace, confidence in Christ, and femininity.
One thing Levi has told me is how much he appreciates my femininity on top of my love for adventure. There are some girls who are more feminine (we’ll call this white) and some girls who are more rough and adventurous (lets call this black). And what Levi has revealed to me is that its really great when a girl can be a little of both (or grey). In truth, guys do appreciate young ladies who can understand their masculine vocabulary, and not shy away from a conversation about skinning an animal carcass, exploring the great outdoors, or getting wet in a creek. 😉 But they also appreciate girls who embrace their femininity, and who know their limits in the masculine realm. When a girl admits to the fact that she can’t do everything, this doesn’t mean she is a loser, instead it opens up an opportunity for a gentleman to come to her aid and help. Then its the guy’s turn to show off his strengths, and exert energy to impress.
I should tell you, before meeting Levi, I had learned to act and talk a little more rough and tough around guys in order for them to relate to me and vice versa. And I was only doing this because I took the time to study what repels guys and what doesn’t. That’s not to say I would act a certain way to purposefully snag a guy. No way! I did it only to love my brothers in Christ, and come their way a little more to make them comfortable.
In the end, what strong, godly young men really want to see in us girls is femininity, competence, and confidence in our God-given nature. Levi, Gabe, and Josh gave us all a wonderful surprise that day–they made us feel comfortable in our own skins! Not all gentlemen can do that. But you have to stick to being who you are, practicing how to better communicate and associate yourselves with young men along your journey. Most importantly though, be who God made you to be to bring Him glory. And if you’re one of those girls who doesn’t have a brother(s) like us, then pray for God to give you godly brothers in Christ. I have been praying that prayer for many years, and it only took one guy to bring in many more into our lives. (Oh yes, Levi has lots of friends!) God is pretty reliable, dear readers. He has ears for your righteous prayers, and hands to lead the right people into your lives. Pray, and wait patiently on the Lord and He will give you the (righteous) desire of your heart.
Until next week!
Jessica, the eldest Sister & Singer