LDWF Accepting Applications for 2021-22 Deer and Waterfowl Lottery Hunts

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for deer and waterfowl lottery hunts on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for the 2021-2022 hunting season. The deadline to apply for the lottery hunts is Aug. 31.

Lottery hunts for deer and waterfowl will be held for people with disabilities, including veterans, on select WMAs; see the application for selections. A general waterfowl lottery hunt will be held on Sherburne WMA.

Lottery hunts for deer and waterfowl will be held for youth, those hunters between the ages of 10-17, on select WMAs. Note that a youth under the age of 10 may apply provided he or she will be 10 on or before the date of the hunt for which they apply.

Additionally, general deer lottery hunts will be held on select Louisiana Office of State Parks Property; see the application for selections.

All lottery applications are only available on the LDWF website at https://la-web.s3licensing.com/ . To apply click on the Lottery Applications tab, update or create a customer record similar to purchasing a license and then submit an application. There is a $5 application fee and a $2 transaction fee per application. Paper applications will no longer be accepted.

These hunts offer the opportunity for selected hunters to experience an enjoyable, unique experience. Details of qualifications, application requirements, application deadlines and dates of the hunts are set forth in the application instructions for each lottery.

For more information, contact David Hayden at dhayden@wlf.la.gov or 318-487-5353.


Notice of Death July 29, 2021

WINN:
Douglas Couttee
July 27, 2021
Arrangements TBA

NATCHITOCHES:
Melvin Berryman
July 28, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Andrew Wesley (Lil’ Andy) Daniels
September 20, 2011 – July 24, 2021
Service: Sunday, August 1 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Bruce Clark
July 26, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Otis Lil’ Bug James Williams
October 01, 1984 – July 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, July 31 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Juanita Virece
April 18, 1967 – July 25, 2021
Service: Saturday, July 31 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Sam Telsee
July 22, 2021
The casketed remains will lie in state at the funeral home Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 8:00 a. m. A procession to the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church Cemetery near Clarence, LA will depart from the funeral home at 9:30 a. m.
COVID19 REGULATIONS WILL BE STRICTLY OBSERVED. YOU MUST WEAR FACIAL MASKS AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING.

Cynthia D. French
May 15, 1958 – July 05, 2021
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Ken Busby
November 18, 1940 – July 25, 2021
Service: Friday, July 30 at 11 am at Little Flock Baptist Church, located at 1805 Little Flock Road in Many


Two Members of Winnfield Fire Department Receive Medal of Valor for Heroism

The 116th Louisiana State Firemen’s Association concluded their week-long annual conference Saturday night in Baton Rouge at the Crown Plaza with a banquet.

The banquet includes a ceremony to recognizes firefighters who have gone above the call of duty in Louisiana. These firefighters are given the Medal of Valor which is the highest honor a firefighter can receive in the line of duty.

Captain Philip Wilkerson and FF/OPR. Ben Murphy from the Winnfield Fire Department was chosen to receive the medal at this year’s event. The firefighters were selected for their actions on 7/17/21 when they saved a disabled person trapped inside his burning home. Capt. Wilkerson and FF Murphy went above the call of duty to save a life and in keeping with the greatest traditions of the fire service and the Winnfield Fire Department.

Several members of the WFD team and their families attended to observe and show support for the honors.

WFD members who attended:
Asst. Fire Chief Martin
Captain Wilkerson
FF/OPR. Dotson
FF/OPR. Murphy
PT FF/OPR. Harrell
Vol. FF LUNDY
AND FAMILIES

Pictured above: Left Philip Wilerson and Ben Murphy


Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

City of Winnfield Police Department

Name: Justin Foutain
Date: 7-20-21
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 27
Charge: Driving Under Suspension, Security Require


Name: Sonya Carpenter
Date: 7-21-21
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Gender: Female
Age: 60
Charge: Driving Under Influence
Bond: $3,500

Name: Wilbur D. Beard, Jr.
Date: 7-24-21
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 28
Charge: Obsenity, Battery of An Officer, Criminal Damage to Property, Resisting an Officer


Name: Jetta N. Holmes
Date: 7-21-21
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Gender: Female
Charge: Failure to Appear Arraignment, Driving Under Suspesion, Security Required


Name: Shurmichael M. McDonald
Date: 7-22-21
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Charge: Second Degree Battery, Criminal Damage to Property


Winnfield FFA Leadership Teams Attend Camp and Orientation

Written by: Alyssa VanBlaricum

The Winnfield FFA Chapter Officer and Program of Activities teams have been working diligently to make this year memorable.

On July 12 and 13, students attended the LA FFA Area I and II Leadership Camp, where they built friendships with fellow members and helped inspire their creativity and independence. They also took part in many team-building activities that fostered unity among the leadership teams. The experience as a whole was immensely beneficial to the chapter.

In the same fashion, students attended a three-day chapter officer orientation on July 14-16. This event centered around planning for the upcoming school year and participating in team-building activities. The officers spent most of their time brainstorming ideas for events that would benefit our community and chapter, creating solid plans for making these events a reality. The officers also “kicked off their business shoes” and engaged in exciting activities like building rafts out of cardboard, playing an oddly competitive poetry game, and trying to break out of an escape room.

Needless to say, these events were extremely valuable for our chapter and have helped the Chapter Officers and Program of Activities teams prepare for the monumental year ahead.


Rotary Club of Winnfield Learns About Pilots for Patients

Florence Bethard, a very active member of Louisiana’s Pilots for Patients, was the special guest speaker for the Winnfield Rotary Club on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Mrs. Bethard, is a Baton Rouge native and long-time resident of Coushatta in Red River Parish, was introduced by Rotarian Bob Holeman.

Mrs. Bethard spoke passionately about Pilots for Patients, which was the brainchild of Philip Thomas, a pilot living in Monroe. Bethard relayed that while working with the nationwide organization, Angel Flight Thomas observed that very few patients from Louisiana were being transported for treatment. He thought an organization of private pilots within the state would help get the service to more patients in Louisiana, so he organized Pilots for Patients in 2008, and Mrs. Bethard got eagerly on board.

Currently, Mrs. Bethard has made more flights than any other female pilot in the state of Louisiana through her service with Pilots for Patients. She received her flight jacket when she completed 50 missions and her pin at 100 missions. She believes she has about 175 missions under her belt.

She explained that any patient in the state who needs transportation for medical reasons is eligible to fly with Pilots for Patients, as long as the patient can board the aircraft on their own, does not need medical attention during flight, and has a doctor’s written approval to fly. The patient may bring a companion, and a responsible adult must accompany a child.

As of today, Pilots for Patients has flown close to 7000 missions, logging 2.3 million nautical miles, transporting patients anywhere they can reach with a small plane, or as far as the pilot is willing to go. In addition, there is no charge for the service, which significantly reduces the patients’ travel time and fatigue.

Mrs. Bethard said Pilots currently has 110 volunteer pilots from Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, who fly their own planes and provide the fuel for the flights of patients to medical appointments for doctor visits, checkups, treatment, any medical reason they need to travel. The organization has a website with contact information. A volunteer administrator contacts the pilots and coordinates between pilot and patient.

According to Mrs. Bethard, the flights are identified by the plane’s unique tail sign under the Medical Alliances tail sign, which alerts air traffic control that the flight has a medical patient on board, and often gives the pilots special dispensation to do things that will allow the patient to be more comfortable in flight.

Mrs. Bethard has flown children to and from St. Jude’s in St. Louis, as well as many patients to and from MD Anderson in Houston for cancer treatment, stem cell donors to the harvest site, stem cells to the location of the recipient, COVID tests to Denton, Texas, and even organs. However, most organs are transported by another volunteer organization because of the unique conditions required.

Mrs. Bethard’s highlights have been flying a 17-year-old patient from St. Jude’s to his home after he was released cancer-free from the hospital and transporting a 39-year-old patient with a 5-year-old daughter home, who was diagnosed with melanoma which had spread all over his body, to his home after a new treatment protocol at MD Anderson had cured his cancer.

Mrs. Bethard related two scares from her flight career, one when she got a little too close to a front, and the plane went out of control. She was the regulation distance from the weather system, but the front affected the flight controls anyway. Once the aircraft increased its distance from the front, she regained control, and all was well. On another occasion, her patient had a seizure during the flight. Once they landed, an EMT team on the runway treated the patient, and she made it to her appointment on time.

Mrs. Bethard flies a Cirrus aircraft equipped with a whole-plane emergency recovery parachute system, which gives the plane its nickname, the “plane with the parachute.” While the plane must be at an altitude of 800 feet for the chute to be effective, this is one of the safest and best-selling single-engine planes on the market. She said that while her plane cannot be adorned with LSU colors, it is pretty, and she clearly loves this plane.

Bethard answered lots of questions from Rotarians after which, the meeting was concluded with the Rotary motto, “Service above self.”

The Rotary Club of Winnfield meets every Wednesday at Noon for lunch at Lynda’s Country Kitchen. For more information about the Rotary Club of Winnfield, you may contact President, Jodi Taylor (832) 573-5085. You can also find club information on Facebook at Rotary Club of Winnfield Facebook Page or online at Rotary.org.

Florence Bethard with her Cirrus aircraft flew into Winnfield from Dallas to speak to the Rotary Club of Winnfield

Winn Parish School Board Special Meeting Tonight

The Winn Parish School Board will meet in special public session Monday, July 26, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. in the meeting room of the Winn Parish School Board in Winnfield, Louisiana, for the purpose of appointing a District 1 Board Member to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Durane Johnson and call for a special election. Concluding the special session WPSB Committees will meet.

SPECIAL SESSION AGENDA
Winn Parish School Board
July 26, 2021

  1. Invocation
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Roll Call
  4. Order of Business
  5. Appointment of District 1 Board Member
  6. Call of Special Election for District 1 Board Member

COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA
July 26, 2021

Academic and Instruction– Long, Clingan, Howell, Scott
1. COVID Protocols 2021-2022

Maintenance and Building– Browning, Clingan, Scott, Riffe, Walton
1. Declaration of Surplus Propety
2. School Food Service Maintenance

Finance and Budget – Harrell, Carpenter, Howell, Long
LSBA Dues

Personnel and Salary– Walton, Browning, Carpenter, Harrell, Riffe
1. Promotional Contracts
2. Staffing 2021-22

Executive – Martin, Walton, Browning
1. Set Agenda


Foster Campbell: Letter to Winn Parish

Louisiana Should Respond to Climate Change

The punishing heat wave in the western United States and heavy flooding in the Northeast from Tropical Storm Elsa provide more evidence that the world’s climate is changing.

I think of Al Gore. The former U.S. senator and Vice President held the first Congressional hearings on global warming in the 1970s. His 2007 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, offered a clear-cut message of the threat of climate catastrophe and won him a Nobel Peace Prize.

Gore’s public acclaim made him a threat to the special interests under pressure to change their climate-warming ways and the politicians who defended them.

Now we know from legal proceedings and independent reporting that fossil-fuel interests knew in the 1950s their products were warming the Earth. An ExxonMobil internal document in 1982 declared the science on climate change was “unanimous” and would cause “significant changes in the earth’s climate.”

But the oil industry publicly doubted its own science, much like Big Tobacco did when its research blamed smoking for cancer and heart disease. Exxon and other companies launched a systematic campaign to question the science of global warming and prevent meaningful action.

My home in Bossier Parish lies in the middle of the Haynesville Shale gas fields. As a landowner, state senator and utility regulator I have had a great deal of involvement with Louisiana’s oil and gas industry. It has provided tax revenue, good jobs and economic benefit. But I have seen firsthand the industry’s heavy hand on our political leadership.

In the early 1980s Governor Dave Treen, a conservative Republican, proposed the Coastal Wetlands Environmental Levy. CWEL was designed to address industry’s damage to our fragile coast with a tax on oil and gas produced offshore and processed in our state’s refineries and facilities.

In reply, industry and its allies, supporters of Treen when he ran in 1979, turned on him and helped defeat him for re-election in 1983.

Oil representatives in the 1990s similarly rejected my plan to modernize Louisiana’s 1920s system of taxing oil and gas. I said taxing only the oil and gas produced in Louisiana was wrong when far greater volumes of hydrocarbons produced offshore but processed in Louisiana were untaxed.

These hard lessons have convinced me that Louisiana suffers from the Resource Curse. The phrase refers to a nation (or state, in my example) with its wealth concentrated in a few industries. The industries develop enough influence and power to undercut the public interest and bend the government to their will.

For Louisiana, the Resource Curse helps explain why our state finishes poorly in measures of economic wellbeing despite our fossil-fuel resources, forests, rich soils and assets like the Mississippi River.

At the Public Service Commission, I have urged Louisiana electric companies to favor energy efficiency and solar and wind power. This has proved a challenge due to our abundant natural gas, cheap lignite coal and low rates for electricity. Early in my tenure I promoted power from offshore wind and rooftop solar.

The utilities, confident of backing from other PSC members, ignored wind and actively opposed rooftop solar.

In our last debate over rooftop solar I predicted the utilities would begin building their own solar plants to replace some of their fossil-fuel generation.

That is where we are headed. We are an energy state, not just an oil and gas state. We have a task force studying climate change and are promoting offshore wind. Our coastal industries are helping to build a wind-power sector. Utilities are investing in renewables.

Al Gore was right on climate. Louisiana is now recognizing that it is vulnerable to rising seas and damaging storms. We can fight climate change, develop new industries and jobs, and watch our state prosper. It is not too late.


Notice of Death July 25, 2021

WINN:
None to report

NATCHITOCHES:
Terry Wayne Davis
September 04, 1953 – July 20, 2021
A graveside service will be held at a later date where he will be interred next to his sister Carolyn at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches.

Patricia Burford Churchman
April 25, 1944 – July 21, 2021
Service: Monday, July 26 at 10 am at the Gloster Trinity Cemetery in Gloster

Otis Lil’ Bug James Williams
October 01, 1984 – July 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Shirley Ann Grappe Eiland
June 22, 1943 – July 23, 2021
Service: Tuesday, July 27 at 3 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Juanita Virece
April 18, 1967 – July 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Alice Lovick
July 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Sam Telsee
July 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Cynthia D. French
May 15, 1958 – July 05, 2021
Arrangements TBA


Winn Police Chase Ends in Crash Yesterday

Winnfield Police Department Press Release 7-23-2021

Yesterday at approximately 6 PM Winnfield Police were alerted to a car chase that began in the small village of Creola about 40 miles south of Winnfield.  Winn Parish Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to use spike strips just south of town but were unsuccessful.  The fleeing vehicle entered the Winnfield city limits from US 167S, then made a turn onto South Jones Street and just past the Moss Street intersection crossed into the opposing lane of traffic striking another vehicle head-on. 

The other vehicle was driven by Jason James, 18, of Dodson.  His young juvenile sister was a passenger in the vehicle.  Both were transported to the Winn Parish Medical Center where they were treated and released with relatively minor injuries.

The fleeing vehicle, registered in Texas, was occupied by Tarik Rouchon, age 21, of Baldwin, LA.  It is unclear if he was the driver or a passenger.  He was trapped and was extricated from the vehicle by Winnfield Fire Department personnel. 

Officers from Creola recovered THC crystals, THC oils, and over $14,000 in cash from the vehicle, as well as several weapons.  Rouchon was transported by ambulance to Rapides Regional Medical Center in guarded condition. 

This incident remains under investigation by the Creola Police Department. 

Chief Carpenter stated he was pleased with the cooperation between departments which included the Winnfield Fire Department, Winnfield Police Department, Creola Police Department, Advance EMS Services and the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office who also assisted with the tracking team from the Winn Parish Correctional Facility. 


Window to Winn – Former Judge Jacque Derr Retirement Finally Celebrated

By: Bob Holeman

Jacque Derr retired Dec. 31, 2020, after serving 12 years as Judge of the Eighth Judicial District Court in Winn. But due to COVID protocol, there was no celebration, no sendoff. That delayed event would come six months later when on Friday, July 16, the retired judge was finally able to hang his portrait on the courtroom wall together with the judges who preceded him.

Those portraits belong to Cas Moss, Robert W. Oglesby, Harwell L. Allen, Hiram T. Wright, Douglas H. Allen and Jim W. Wiley.

One morning earlier in the week, I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a fig muffin served to me by Laure, his wife of nearly 51 years, at their breakfast table. Jacque sat at his chair of honor at the table’s head. No black robe. Just casual clothes and an LSU cap firmly and proudly atop his head throughout the interview.
In his familiar gravelly voice, he tells me he was born in Ruston on Oct. 24, 1947, the first child of John Chester Derr and Elinor Anne Love Derr. The couple met at Kilgore College in Texas where Anne was one of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes and Chester had recently returned from World War II where he had flown as a radio operator for Army Air Corps.

Chester used his GI Bill to attend Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, graduating with a degree in forestry and working briefly in the forestry industry before an opportunity opened up at the Winn Parish Enterprise. Anne was a niece to the Riser family. At the age of 5, Jacque moved to Winnfield.

In 1965, Jacque was part of the first graduating class of the new Winnfield Senior High School. His path to law school took a little turn when he initially enrolled in the Air Force Academy Preparatory School. But by fall of that same year, he decided on his new course and resigned. He enrolled at his father’s alma mater, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, receiving his BS degree in Business Administration in 1970, the same year the school officially changed its names to Louisiana Tech University.

July 25 that year was also significant when Laure Spatafora of Monroe whom Jacque had been dating since fall 1967 became his wife.

Jacque entered Law School at LSU that fall and was graduated October 1973.

During his college years, Jacque was in the Air Force Reserve and received an educational delay because of his studies. “I was supposed to be a pilot but the war in Vietnam was winding down and they didn’t need pilots. So, I ended up at Barksdale AFB as a JAG (Judge Advocate General) officer to fulfill my obligation to the Air Force. I remained there until January 1974 and was Captain when I received my honorable discharge.”
He was able to hang out his law shingle a month later when they moved back to Winnfield, and he went into partnership with Kermit M. Simmons. “I continued 28 years, with a general office practice specializing in real estate and business transactions.”

In 1996, Jacque was elected Winnfield City Judge, following Jim Wiley who had been elected District Judge. In 2008, he was elected District Judge, again following Jim Wiley who had retired.

One of the legacies that Jacque left for his successor, Anastasia Wiley, was a backlog of criminal cases due to the COVID shutdowns of 2020. “We were ordered by the Supreme Court not to have court. I was not allowed to fashion my own safety plan which I could have done easily due to the few numbers of cases that normally come before my court. Jury trials were prohibited. The Supreme Court gradually eased restrictions but those were not totally lifted by the time I retired.”

Jacque was 73 when he retired. The state constitution prohibits anyone running for a judgeship after the age of 70. When Jacque took office for his final term in 2017, he had not reached that benchmark. “Even without that law, I would not have run again this time anyway.”

While Jacque was practicing law, Laure was teaching school and rearing a family. She taught for 30 years as a fulltime teacher and another 15 as an interventionist, helping students who are having problems in classrooms.
They are active members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Winnfield.

The Derrs have three children: Jean Anne Bushong, a CPA; Jamie Lynn Gonzales, an RN; and Jacque D. Derr Jr., a PT and OT. They have six grandchildren: Laura Bushong, Mia Gonzales, Cole Derr, Sean Derr, Lainey Derr and Cooper Derr.
I’d wrapped up the essence of my interview and thought to add an anecdote or two to lighten the feature’s tone. Jacque and Laure shared some thoughts for the next 20 minutes or so while I took notes. Jacque chuckled over several. I put down my pen and drank the last of my coffee, now cold. As I later wrote this feature, I saw it was long enough, so any other tales died on my notepad.

However, as I prepared to leave the breakfast room, Laure made a final observation and I picked up my pen once more.
“The focus,” said the longtime educator, “should be on little kids. You see, Jacque came from a modest background. A hard-working Christian family. And he accomplished so much. The message to children is that you can do anything you want if you’ll work for it. ‘Firm but Fair,’ that was Jacques’ motto.”

Pictured above: The Winn Parish courtroom was filled with friends and courthouse associates Friday, July 16, for a retirement celebration for District Judge Jacque Derr.   While Derr retired at the close of 2020, the reception was postponed some six months due to COVID protocol.  Family members able to attend are shown with the retired judge. From left are wife Laure, grandson Cole Derr and son Jacque Derr Jr.


Register Now For East Winnfield BC VBS July 26-30

Youngsters will have one last chance for some summer adventure before school begins here in Winn in early August with Vacation Bible School activities in the Joyce community at East Winnfield Baptist Church.

There will be a lot of construction underway at East Winnfield Baptist Church as children work with leaders to build faith on the foundation of Jesus during Vacation Bible School during the week of July 26 through 30, Monday through Friday.

Activities will be held each evening from 5:30 until 8:30 for children who have completed Pre-K through Grade 12. Included will be the traditional kid-friendly VBS Bible stories and lessons, games, crafts, music and snacks.

The theme this summer is “Concrete & Cranes: Building Our Faith on the Strong Foundation of Jesus Christ.”

Parents or guardians are encouraged to pre-register children by coming by the church office at 6586 Hwy 34 north which is just past the flashing light intersection of Hwy 84 east. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If you are unable to pre-register, registration will also be held on opening day, Monday, July 26, beginning at 5 p.m.

Transportation on the church van will be available for children needing it. To sign up for transportation, please contact the church office.

Pastor Jeff Shows invites children from across the area to come and take part in this exciting ministry. “Vacation Bible School is always a marvelous summer opportunity for children to gather not only for fellowship but to learn more about Jesus. How great is our theme of Building Our Faith on Jesus?”

For more information, please call the church office at 628-5998 or VBS director Michelle Nugent at 318-413-0344.


Do You Provide a Service or Product to Children or Parents? Highlight Your Service at the Back to School Bash

If you provide a service or product to families, the Winn Parish Health Coalition has an excellent opportunity for you. Do you offer piano lessons, dance lessons, maybe karate or gymnastics? Do you help with counseling services, or perhaps medical services?  Are you a business that provides rentals for birthday parties? Are you a civic organization looking for new members?

The Winn Parish Health Coalition is hosting our annual Back to School Bash Friday, July 30th, at the First United Church of Winnfield from 9 AM – 1 PM.  At this event, each vendor that provides a service or product will have a table to showcase what they can do for the community. 

We want to show the community what is available in Winn Parish to help their families thrive.  This event is free to parents, children, and vendors.

As a parent who wants to get off work and travel 30-40 miles to make sure their child has every opportunity to flourish when all we need could be right here in our community?

For further information, please call Kimberly at 318-413-0040 or 318-729-6756. 


Blessed – Southern Moms

Let’s be completely honest with one another. Southern moms just know how to dress children. Boys and girls, Southern kids are generally the cutest kids on the block. Southern moms also know the power of classic smocked outfits and pinafore dresses. Outfitting a newborn for a first-time mom is one of the sweetest ventures that one could undertake. When I found out my first child was going to be a girl, I eagerly began the planning and plotting to make sure she was adorable and presentable.

As a child, I was never the best dressed. In all my childhood photos I always appeared like I had just rolled out of bed with a bad haircut and I truly wanted to avoid this with my own children.

I spent so many hours planning her coming home outfit, outfits for her first photos and of course they would have to have the matching bows. Most Southern moms would agree that they have spent most of their hard-earned paychecks to buy the biggest bows that their child’s head can support without regard to the possibility of future chiropractic care.

I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion, especially when I only had one daughter to dress. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a neighbor who told me she could always spot Meredith down the street because she was the only child who matched. That still makes me smile to this day. My child matched….

However, having a stylish child was all thrown out of the window when my second daughter came along. Yes, Kathryn wore smocked dresses but would only wear Crocs with them. Yes, she wore bows, but she was also known to throw them out of the car window when no one was looking or simply place them in the trash. No, she did not match and had no desire to wear anything that I put on her body. She had an affection for wearing fake high heels with her soccer uniform and everything that was glittery, gaudy, and sequined to the hilt.

If she didn’t look so much like me, I would have sworn that I brought home Dolly Parton’s child.

Somewhere along the way I merely gave up and let her dress herself. Since I was an older mom and more confident in my mothering skills, I did not even apologize for her appearance or her lack of bows and smocking. It was truly painless, I just let her dress herself and my house was much more peaceful, and my budget applauded what it saw.

Although I had a newfound freedom in caring less about what my daughter is wearing it does not stop me from trying to micromanage her style from time to time. This summer while on our way home from vacation we stopped for coffee and gas and I noticed that Kathryn was wearing bright pink shorts, turquoise Jesus sandals with socks, and a tourist t-shirt she found in one of the shops in downtown Jackson Hole. To top it off, literally, she had shimmery tinsel from Amazon that was weaved into her hair.

I mildly scoffed at her outfit under my breath and laughingly told her she looked like Rainbow Brite. She was not phased, she said she felt beautiful.

As we were leaving a lady walked up to Kathryn and said, “I am loving so much about your outfit right now….the bright colors, the shoes, the hair….who did your hair? I would love some of that in my hair”

After Kathryn gave me an “I told you so” glance they then began a ten-minute-long discussion about the proper way to care for the shimmery tinsel once it was weaved into place. As I watched them converse about style, I could only think about the hours upon hours of time that women spend worrying about their clothes, hair, makeup and just their appearance in general.

We have multibillion dollar industries designed to cater to women and their insecurities about the way they dress or look. So much wasted time worrying about our outer appearances when all of this is just a distraction from what is really going on in our souls.

Worrying about what to wear, when to wear it and how to wear does not even register on the radar of worries in the Kingdom of God. But yet it was addressed for us in Mathew 6:28. It tells us to consider the lilies of field…how they grow and how they toil not. They do not worry about a thing; they know God will take care of them. God is not concerned about our fashion choices; he is more concerned about whether his children live with him in eternity.

“Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or in what shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom, and his righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you.”
Mathew 6:31-33