Saturday, March 02, 2013

What Not to Wear

Do you remember that show?  I used to love watching it.  I wanted to gain every bit of advice possible so that one day my clothing choices would best reflect my figure and personality.  Then, over time, I became unhappy with what I had in my closet.  I wanted the $5,000 shopping spree, the perfect fit jeans, the really expensive new hair cut.  I realized at that moment what I had to do.  I had to stop watching the show.

That was a little over 2 years ago.

I realized that the show, as fun as it was, was building a root of dissatisfaction in me.  It wasn't obvious to most but I knew it deep down inside.  Then we moved to a small town and clothing became less important.  It was a nice break from feeling the pressure of having to look nice all the time.  I was a stay at home mom and my wardrobe, for the most part, included sweat pants and t-shirts (Clinton and Staci would have had a fit!).  Then we moved again and I was back to suburbia and Target, Kohls, Ross, etc.  Slowly the desire to have the most up to date fashion began creeping back in.  We don't have any extra money for me to be buying new clothes so the dissatisfaction settled right back into place.

Enter Seven by Jen Hatmaker (<--- have I mentioned that you need to read this book?).

Last month focused on a purposeful reduction in food excess.  I could eat as much as I needed to be full but I was only eating 7 items.  Let.Me.Tell.You.  This was a life changer.  The bondage that my food addiction had me in became clear and God did a lot of work in me in those 31 days.

This month, of which I am on day 2 of, is clothing.  I am wearing 7 pieces of clothing (not including undergarments... because that would be gross) for the month.  Here are my 7 and my cat.

1) A pair of jeans, 2) My India shirt from 3) My long sleeved black shirt 4) A pair of decent shoes and a pair of running shoes (these count as 1 item - 'cuz Jen said they could) 5) A pair of sweat pants 6) A 3/4 length sweater 7) A set of workout clothes that will also probably double as my PJ's

Anyway, as I have been praying and reading through 7 (in the clothing and possessions chapters) I am, once again, overwhelmed by God.  I could feel my heart being gripped by all that I was learning but I was having a hard time putting it all together.  Like usual, God used my sweet Bug as an object lesson so that I would clearly understand what He was trying to tell me.

A few days ago I was in the shower trying to hurry and get ready for the day.  The Bug was dressing herself and was on the last step of putting on socks.  She had one sock but couldn't find the other one.  I yelled through the door that it was in the clothes basket in front of her.  She began digging everything out of the basket.  She made a giant pile of clothing in front of her as she searched for the sock.  She finally got down to where the sock was towards the bottom of the basket but she had put such a large pile of clothing in front of her that she couldn't reach over the clothes and into the basket to get it.  As I was watching the whole thing take place I heard that still, small Voice say "That is you.  You have so much.  So much that it is getting in the way of you reaching to the one thing you need.  Me."  I started balling.  It is a good thing I was in the shower so the Bug didn't wonder what was wrong with her crazy Momma.  At the same time she ran up to the door and said "I can't get the sock!".  I explained to her that she needed to remove all the things in the way in order to reach the sock.  Saying those words out loud felt strangely freeing and right.  As she moved the pile and reached into the basket she held up the sock and smiled with pleasure.

That is how I want to be with Jesus.

I don't want the unnecessary things in life to crowd out the only thing I need.  I don't want to be so busy with all the good extras that I haven't made time for my priority.  I don't want to let a root of dissatisfaction take hold in me when I have more than enough and should live a life being thankful for it all.

So what do I do?  What is in the pile in front of me that is blocking my reach?  Well, I have been taking stock of the activities I give myself to, the things that use my finances and time, and I am going to have to make some tough decisions.  I really like being a part of these things (obviously or I wouldn't be doing them).  I really like interacting with the people I interact with.  But just like the rich young ruler I am to sell everything for Christ. (Side note: I don't think Jesus would have mentioned it if He didn't want us to do it.  I can't live life like that story is for someone else but not for me.)  I don't want to be so busy that I don't sit at the feet of Jesus.  I also don't want to be so overloaded with stuff that I spend all my time on it instead of with Jesus.  I don't want so much stuff that I can go through the entire day and not even have to think about Him.  

As I work through the inconvenience of only wearing 7 items this month I am praying that God will really work on my materialism and show me what He wants me to get rid of both in time-consumers as well as stuff -abundance.  It is all His anyway.  On April 1st Month 3 will begin and it's focus is Possessions.  In April I will be giving away 7 items every day.  It is hard for me to believe that I have that much stuff to give away but I bet I will be shocked when I get to the end of the month.

I am looking forward to the hard task of once again simplifying a couple of areas in my life and getting my focus centered on Jesus.  I will try to update along the journey of this month.

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