29 March 2013


[book club post]

[click here if you want to check out the book]

I wrapped up my 12 days of wearing my selected clothing. Actually, day 12 I just wore my work-out clothes all day long. And yesterday? My first day back to my closet and I pulled on way-too-short sweats and a ratty t-shirt. {mostly because of puckers the night before, and partly because I had been cold for so many days in a row}.


Or possibly 187.

{I didn't want to recount and I didn't write it down immediately, therefore the number is in question}

One of those numbers represents how many articles of clothing I own; not counting unmentionables, pjs, or socks. How do I ever utter, "I don't have anything to wear"? 

As I counted, I admit, there were a number of items that I didn't want to count because I never wear them and/or I hate them. For the life of me I can't fully grasp why they are still in my closet. So they will be going during the next chapter, which is possessions. Counting the items reminded me all over again of the importance of trying things on before buying - whenever possible.  I'm happy to say that I don't have anything hanging in my closet that still has tags on it.  Most of the poor-fit/I-hate items are secondhand items that I probably didn't try on - or I tried them on and thought I could make them work because they were a "good brand."  So I can't say I really have wasted a lot of money on clothes, but I have wasted money on clothes.  That needs to stop.

I mentioned that I've been learning about the impact of how/where I spend money. I've been scouring store websites to find information about social responsibility - for assurances that the company does not use child workers, that they pay fair wages, that there are safe working environments, and that workers are treated respectfully. I'm pleased to discover that I have found these assurances on a number of websites. (There have been a few brands that I could not find this information anywhere on their websites; so those will be brands I don't buy.) Here's the thing though, every website that has a well-written piece about their policies seemed to have a bit of a disclosure - something like "to the best of our ability" or "we randomly inspect overseas factories for compliance." Which left me feeling a little skeptical. I'd like it better if they had zero-tolerance statements, I think.

The biggest take-away for me is again my sense of entitlement. I hate that. So much. One morning I was especially cranky because it was cold again. {I know northern folk, I know.} We had a string of unseasonably cold days and as I sat chilled with my coffee thinking about the day ahead, my mood was foul. Just plain grumpy-pants because the shirt I had to wear was a tank-top-tunic and even with my brown cardi over it I knew I'd feel cold all day. I wallowed in it for a bit. Commiserated over the fact that I should've checked the extended forecast, convincing myself that I would have picked better options.

And then that still small voice...the unmistakable impression that I was only fooling myself. The truth is that I was allowing - even possibly encouraging - myself to be discontent at the start of a fresh new day because of clothing. For real. It wasn't like I had to go out naked. I was just going to be dressed for the season in unseasonable weather - and I gave myself a green light to be cranky about it. Lord help me. I was totally missing the whole point. It wasn't really about my dumb clothes it was about my dumb attitude.

A portion of this chapter, Jen Hatmaker highlights Isaiah 58:6-7
“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?

“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
She went on to describe that often when we hear "fast" we put on a yoke of self-denial.  That is exactly what I was doing.  She later states,
"While fasting from futile things, I don't want to fixate on them, missing the forest for the trees."
The fact that I was allowing my self to scowl through my quiet time proves that I've got some work to do.  But I am hopeful.  And I am confident.  I do believe God is doing a work and making space for changes that are coming.  That confidence helps balance the uncomfortable tension in the middle of this whole thing.

I will definitely be getting rid of some of my 187/198 items. I'll remind myself to try-before-you-buy.  I'll be more conscious about where I buy clothes for our family. Lord willing, my heart will remain open to hear that still small voice even in the middle of a foul mood.  

1 comment:

  1. Amanda, I am just nodding my head knowing that same argument I had in my own head...I love how quickly you processed it and didn't allow it to spoil your whole day-which is really easy to do. Love your big heart and what you shared from the book. Great STUFF!!