month 2–clothes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

7-book-cover_thumb1I’m spending this year going through Jen Hatmaker’s book 7. You can read about the start of this particular series right here.
Month 1 can be found
here.

 

 

 

I know it’s been nearly two months since I talked about this challenge. It’s just taken me that long to go through this particular month’s challenge...ugh, the clothes. To combine this ‘month’ along with the changing of seasonal clothing for all the kids, plus the addition of a 5th child into our home made it slightly more complicated and time-consuming than I had intended. Ironically, I didn’t think it would be that hard. I’m not particularly involved with fashion; jeans, hoodies, and Toms would be my uniform of choice if I could get away with it every day. I don’t buy that much new clothing; most of our clothing is thrifted or given to us. Piece of cake, right? Turned out this month was more challenging than I expected.

I did this challenge in several rounds. First round through just my clothes: I just got rid of everything that I haven’t worn in two years. Full trash bag full of clothes to give away. Closet and drawers still full of clothes. It was depressing. I can’t believe how much clothing I had that was perfectly fine that I just have been keeping away in my drawers for no reason whatsoever.

The next few rounds through all the kids’ clothes, and then another round through my clothes again. This time making harder decisions – things that I actually do wear occasionally, but purging for a greater purpose…even if I do have that many clothes, how many clothes do I need?

 

Observations from this month of eliminating the excess in our lives:

1) We have too many clothes. Does every single person in our family really need an entire dresser plus half a closet stuffed full of clothes?

2) I have 5 pairs of white hose. Oh, you read that right – FIVE PAIRS OF WHITE HOSE. I have gone back in my memory and literally cannot remember the last time I wore white hose. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore hose at all. On what occasion (besides Easter Sunday in the mid-nineties) would this ever have been appropriate? I can’t even remember the last pair of shoes I had that I could have even wore white hose with. WHAT. THE. HECK.

3) Wendell has been keeping trash bags of his old clothing (you know, stuff we agreed could be gotten rid of) in the garage. He has issues with throwing things away…

4) At the end of this particular challenge, I had donated more than 10 kitchen garbage bags full of clothes, given away 4 more to friends, and thrown away 3 bags full of clothes too stained or torn for use. Gross. That’s how I feel writing that all out. It doesn’t matter to me that most of that stuff was bought second-hand or passed down. It doesn’t even matter that it’s a culmination of 14 years of marriage and 10 years of children. It’s still a disgusting display of wealth. I am so very, very privileged. Even in this area where I don’t even consider myself to be very susceptible to excess, I still have too much.

 

I pray this month’s purging of clothing is just an outward expression of the re-orienting of my heart towards Christ’s priorities. While He might not care how many t-shirts I have or if I wear something new to the next wedding I attend, He does care very much how I dress:

“Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him… Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
Colossians 3:9-10, 12-14

I want to start dressing like Jesus.

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