When I was going into second grade in the late 80’s, I begged my mother to homeschool me. I was a homebody, and I loved my mommy. I thought it would be great to be with her 24/7. She prayed about it, talked to Dad about it, and they finally decided to give it try.
That was the start of homeschool catalogs, meetings, books, conferences, and special homeschooling magazines.
This type of media influence brought in all kinds of interesting ideas to our family, but It wasn’t until I was in the third grade that things started to become sort of interesting.
We had moved to another state, and the city we lived in had an “umbrella homeschool”. This umbrella homeschool provided all kinds of wonderful opportunities for the homeschooled students. I took art lessons there, went on field trips, had park days, got school pictures, took our state tests, etc.
One Spring, the school sponsored a special speaker named Joshua Harris to come and speak to the tweens and teens. Mom was pretty excited along with all the other homeschool mothers. I went to his conference about courtship. I believe I was 11 or 12 at the time. And really, didn’t understand a lot of what he was talking about. I was more interested in my horses than boys.
Mom bought some of his tapes, and signed up for the “New Attitude” magazine that he published.
So this magazine started to arrive at my house…I would read it, because I liked to read. But thinking back on it, his target audience, seemed to be teens that didn’t really want to be homeschooled. Remember I asked my mom to homeschool me. I wanted to be homeschooled. So I didn’t get much out of his magazines.
In the meantime, mom took me and my older sister on a trip to Lancaster Pennsylvania. I loved horses, I loved “Little house on the Prairie”, and I fell in love with the Amish life style. Mom bought many books on that trip and I devoured them. I was surprised to learn that they (Amish) were “Christians”. If they were Christians, why didn’t we dress in dresses? Why didn’t we cover our heads with whimsical looking prayer caps?
One day, Joshua Harris featured an Issue of “New Attitude” that had a cover story about other magazines that fellow homeschooler’s other than him were publishing. In that issue I learned of two magazine’s for “young ladies”. One called Hope Chest, and the other called “The King’s Daughter”
These magazine’s and my fascination for the Amish are what started to bring out the whole “Denim Jumper” culture in a romantic light for me. I read these girl’s magazines. They seemed so godly, so feminine, so together, so smart. Happy! Different…in a better sort of way. I wanted to be like them.
Every time, an issue would come, I would gobble it up. I would day-dream, wishing my family was like theirs. Wishing I was like them. More godly, more spiritual.
At this time, I was around the age of 13 or 14. And that is when I sewed some jumpers, started to grow my hair past my shoulders, and tried to read my Bible and pray more. That is when I decided to take the Lord seriously, and be more holy. That is How the Denim Jumper came to be in my life.