How It Came To Be (Getting my Jumpers)

Jiffy-N-Lou, Comic Strip, Written and Drawn by Joshua Harris for "New Attitude" Magazine

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.

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20 Responses to How It Came To Be (Getting my Jumpers)

  1. Ginger says:

    God is SO AWESOME!!!!

    I am so glad you visited with me! I do remember you Heather! Where do you go now for encouragement besides our bible? I assume you found me via Diane’s blog! Is she not the most awesome writer?

    • Glad you stopped by Ginger. I go to many places for encouragement, and I am planning on building this blog to be a place to come of sorts for those of us that are tired, and burned out on legalism, but still want a relationship with Jesus.

      There is so much to this legalism web that affects so many women in the homeschooling movement. I have a burden for them.

      So I hopefully, I will be adding links to blogs, websites and ministries pretty soon. 🙂

      Actually, I found you through the tags on my post! I tagged my post Denim Jumper, and then looked at other tags with that name, and found your blog! Small world eh?

      Love Diane though, 🙂 She is such a sweetheart, and an encouragement to me too.

  2. Ginger says:

    How funny is that? I like doing the tag thing. We stopped going to the one church due to distance, our van was not working properly. Right now we are without a church home, but we are searching. Email me and I can give you the “story” I erased your email from the post you left on my blog before I could write you. It was different then the email that was connected to the post. So I figured it was a private email..

  3. Amy S. says:

    Totally LOVE this beautiful place, Heather!

    Can’t wait to hear all that is brewing in your heart.. I have a couple of posts that I am chewing on, and will be sharing too about “the journey” 😉

    Amy

  4. I’m going to add your blog to my list. Love the title, by the way. Sounds like it would make a great book . . . 🙂

    • Thank you Hillary! 🙂 When I told my husband the title, his reaction was hard to read. I thought he thought it was stupid sounding. But then he explained that the title is going to have ramifications with family. :-/ But then he said to go ahead with it…because it is true. And our family does know I ditched the denim jumpers, he he he!

  5. Miriam says:

    I’m excited to read more here on your blog! Your story sounds very much like mine–and I’m still trying to find the balance in life, the “normal” life that I never experienced. Sometimes I feel so lost, feeling that I wasted so much of my life that I won’t have time to ever change and live my life how I should. So it’s very encouraging to know there are others out there on a similar journey with the same struggles and experiences.

    • It is hard to find the balance, isn’t it? Hang in there Miriam ((hugs)) Jesus does care, and there He loves you and wants you to find freedom through Him. I am glad you found this blog, and I will be posting links to other blogs and sites that have been a help to my own healing. ♥ Hoping you find as much encouragement as I did through them.
      And also a good tip that I learned though all of my spiritual wanderings. Don’t panic…God is in control. He knows what’s going on in your heart and mind. Trust that He wants you to know *HIM* and lean your heart towards *Him* and trust Him to teach you and show you what you need to know. There are so many scriptures I could share with you, but at the moment, I am pressed for time. But just stick around and read as I continue to update my blog.

  6. Didi says:

    *laughing* Wow… I do could have written much of this!! My aim name on aol used to be “denimjumpers”, the title of my “someday biography” is The Mixed up Life of a GHG – Good Homeschool Girl, and I was laughing because I LOOOOVED HopeChest and Lisa *used to be Bode* of the King’s Daughter is in my church and small group – and she doesnt adore being reminded of her King’s Daughter days. 🙂

    • Wow! Small world! What doesn’t Lisa like being reminded about her King’s Daughter Days, very curious! I would love to read your biography! Hey maybe we were pen pals through, “The King’s Daughter”? You think?

  7. Pingback: How I ditched the Jumper (Sort of) | From Denim Jumpers to Blue Jeans

  8. Debra Baker says:

    Funny now Josh Harris is a pastor in one of the more patriarchal legalistic groups of churches.

    I’m glad you got out of that system.

  9. Esther says:

    This is so wonderful Heather. For me, coming into contact with all those “dresses only”, “quiverfull”, “godly womanhood” articles online happened during my college days. Like you, I thought they were all so godly and feminine, two things that I wanted to be. This blog is awesome and I am really looking forward to reading all you write!!!

  10. Sara says:

    I read all those magazines too…I really enjoyed New Attitude, even though I liked being homeschooled. And I had read Hopechest which I borrowed from a friend, and I think I even met the girls who published it at a homeschool conference…
    Wow, thanks for the memories…I really look forward to reading what you have to say further, since I think there are many of us who grew up in the movement who are now saying, wait a minute–this wasn’t right.

  11. Debra Baker says:

    It would be fun to post our old dumpy jumper photos (trouble with mine is they’re pre-digital camera.)

  12. Rachel says:

    Seriously love this. I could’ve written it – except that I was a little more strong-willed (AKA rebellious!!) and wasn’t a fan of the jumper. But I so relate. Especially the “more interested in horses than boys” 🙂

    What concerns me most about this is how, even though the things you mention are really kind of an extreme part of Christianity so much of it is becoming mainstream!! Ugh… and it’s just little enough so that I’m not sure how to fight it…

    • Rachel, I think writing about all of this is a good form of fighting it. If I had only found all of these blogs that I have found *now* during my depression and spiritual wilderness, I wouldn’t of felt so hopeless.

  13. Anna R. says:

    Hi
    I totally support the dresses.
    But did you get your out come from the bible or from a Amish source?
    I am a Christian, I wear skirts/dresses and I have been asked if I am Amish.
    I am wondering where you got your conviction from.?

    thanks for your time.
    Anna R.

    • Sorry it took me so long to reply to your question Anna. It’s a long story, about the whole dress thing. Mainly, the idea of it came to me because of the exposure Amish. But then I found ministries in my denomination, and through homeschooling circles, that I honestly, feel twisted the scriptures to sound like it was mandatory from the Bible. I was a young girl, who wanted to do the right thing, and wanted to follow Jesus with her whole heart. I didn’t know much about the Bible, nor how to rightly divide it. So what they said made “sense”. But the sense that it made, appealed to my fallen flesh to want to do good works to please God.

      It looked “romantic” in a way. I did not despise wearing dresses. I loved to do it. But I did it to please God, and there is nothing that pleases him about works of my own righteousness. The only thing that pleases Him, is faith.

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