Day 288: Faith-Filled Fashion

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In July, my husband quit his “real job” (hehe) to work out of our house on his own company and invention (shout out: ChordDice.com) and so we are in MAJOR budgeting mode.

Have I already talked about this? I feel like I have already talked about this. Oh… yes, I did… and it actually has the same topic today as I did on Day 221: CLOTHES!

Cause, in essence, I don’t have many clothes that I can wear out of the house that fit me anymore. (Yes, a blessed blessing!) But I just decided to not worry about it. Aside from asking for a pair of boots for my birthday, and spending about $15 of my birthday money on some super sale shirts at Target… I have just been wearing the same outfits over and over again. I was getting a little intrigued though as to how I was going to do that come winter when I had, like, one or two long sleeve shirts to wear out of the house. In the house I knew that I could rely upon t-shirts and sweatshirts (love that uniform anyway), but when I go to church I was going to have to rotate through about four outfits.

Until.

God provided.

And He provided in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I always thought that provision for clothes had to be in the form of money to go buy some. And He did WAY better than that!

I texted a friend of mine before my birthday and asked her if jeggings were cute? hideous? And she told me that she had a pair that she never wore in her closet and would bring them to me. But then she went through her closet and brought me a whole BAG of leggings, those jeggings, and several beautiful shirts (which pretty much immediately became my favorites). It was totally unexpected and so. very. nice. (And she was gorgeous taste… in fact, I spoke about her earlier on Day 136… although I thought she was wearing Gap stuff but none of the things she gave me were Gap… she just buys my kids clothes from the Gap! Haha!)

And then, the same week, a friend of mine that owns a clothing store just… GAVE me several ADORABLE dresses, some jewelry, and a few shirts of their leftover inventory. I would LOVE to give them some props but I’m not sure if that is something that I’d be allowed to share. I’ll have to check first! But I mean… uh.dor.able. stuff.

Update: I just got “permission” to let y’all know about the store that donated to the “January Got Skinny And Poor” Clothes Closet (hehe, I think I’m so clever!). They are called the Brassy Blueberries and their website is www.BrassyBlueberries.com! Their stuff is SO. CUTE. and they are obviously SO. NICE. If you live in Texas they have a booth at Canton!

And I was just overwhelmed with CUTENESS and I was IN FASHION for the first time in, like, well… ever. And I was clothed. And warm. And blessed by the giving spirit of these two ladies.

Well, then Friend-Who-Doesn’t-Wear-Gap-Afterall-But-Way-Cuter-Stuff texts me yesterday and says that she went through her closet again, and she brings me FOUR BAGS of beautiful clothes… dresses, tops, workout shorts, sweaters, t-shirts, etc. etc. etc. I spent almost AN HOUR playing dress up last night just wading in the clothes. It was like flipping Christmas. I kept going in and showing my husband and telling him that he’d have to take me on a date in this outfit, or that I looked really cute in that outfit. And, of course, today was bible study so I wore one of the suuuuuuuper cute shirts!

ANYWAY, what hit me about half-way through my dress-up session last night was this verse:

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matt 6:28-33

And He did… He gave me GOBS more clothes than I could ever afford had He provided me with money to go buy clothes. He totally gave me everything I needed… and more.

But I also have to say that those two women… whether they were just being kind or whatever… they were used of God in my life. They were the feet of God… coming to me and clothing me.

Oh God, may those two women receive abundant blessing for their generosity. May you look at them in Heaven and say “Thank you… thank you for taking care of my January.” And God, my thanks to you is neverending. May I remember YOU every time I put on a cute top or a fun dress. May I remember the garment of sorrow that YOU wore on the cross for my sins. May I remember the blood stained fabric that was left in the tomb. May I remember YOU and your care for me. I love you God, and thank You for loving me. Amen.

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Day 279: Divine Diapers And Dinners

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Both yesterday and today are the kind of days where I wake up and think… I really don’t have anything to say.

Part of that comes from a couple of days of busyness where my heart and mind don’t have time to think about anything except for the next five minutes or getting from task to task.

Yes, yes, I am a stay at home mom so my “busyness” is not deadlines and contracts and meetings, but I can assure you that my two boys keep me bussssssssy!!!

And of course as soon as I wrote that about being too busy to think about anything other than diapers and dinners, I recalled a verse from my lesson in church yesterday… we are studying parables (little fictitious stories that have an underlying message) and specifically studying the message about the farmer who throws some seed out. I’ll put it here for you so you don’t have to go looking… it might be familiar to you but go ahead and take it for a spin anyway to refresh.

    Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
    “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! (Here Jesus has a little chat with the disciples and then he gets to saying this to them.) Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
    http://bible.us/Matt13.1.NLT

And when I wrote above “that comes from a couple of days of busyness where my heart and mind don’t have time to think about anything” my mind went to this verse:

    The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” http://bible.us/Matt13.22.NLT

YIKES.

That’s so true. The days when my life is so crowded with worries or bills or… or… or… those are the days that I am relatively fruitless. Those are the days that my mind is focused on the temporary things instead of on the things of eternity.

Well, that’s all good and fine, but I can’t “downgrade” my busyness. I already have two kids and they aren’t gonna stop needing diapers and dinners just because I want to focus on things of eternity. I already have bills that must be paid. I already have a house to be cleaned. I already have a husband to support. I already have bible studies to complete. I already have, have, have.

And so what’s the “fix”?

I guess for some people they might need to downgrade some busyness. I really don’t think that I am that busy.

But what I can do is fill my mind with things focused on eternity. So, while I am working on changing a diaper or cooking dinner… I can set my eyes on the things above.

And not to be redundant from my posts on day 269 and 270, but I think that praise is the best way to do this.

I can praise Him in those little one sentence acknowledgements of His awesomeness. I can praise Him while I’m changing a diaper. I can praise Him while I am cooking dinner. I can praise Him while I am doing pretty much anything.

And if I am constantly looking for a time of open thought to praise Him then I am going to have my mind on the things of eternity quite often during the day.

And that just makes even the mundane of diapers and dinners… divine.

Day 163: Just Food

I was recently having coffee with my friend Alice and we were talking covenant stuff. She mentioned that one of her struggles was that she felt the need to be strong enough to resist on her own. She said with a sarcastic note to her voice, it’s “just food”. She felt that she should be able to deal with “just food”.

And I have been really thinking on that a lot since then.

Cause really… she’s right. We so often feel a little extra dose of extra guilt because we can’t resist this stuff that is “just food”.

But as I have thought about it, a few thoughts have come to mind about “just food”…

Satan used food as the first form of temptation in the Garden.

Jesus performed his first miracle changing water to wine.

Christ compared his own body to bread and wine at the last supper.

It’s not “just food”.

And honestly, I thought and thought about WHY it’s not “just food”… WHY does it have more of a power than other things in our life?

And I’m thinking that it ties, in a weird sort of way, to our level of faith. Satan knew that Adam and Eve were provided every piece of vegetation in the garden except those apples (or whatever they were) from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And I think he played off of a small, tiny fear that has glowed in our hearts for all of time… the thought – the fear -  that we might not have enough. Not necessarily that we haven’t gotten to experience everything, but that deep down we fear that we might come across a time of… want. need. starvation.

And now I live in a time where most people in America live in a situation where there IS abundance like in the Garden. there IS enough for all of us. there IS plenty.

But we still have these images from the Holocaust. I can still remember stories of the Irish Potato Famine and the mass exodus that ensued. We see pictures pouring in from Africa, India, Asia, Russia of men, women, and children bare boned and sallow eyed.

And although we might grab another brownie it’s not typically because we are consciously thinking, “Oh, man, I’d better stock up on brownies tonight because we might all be starving tomorrow!” But in the ever increasing state of unrest in the world, it is more than likely in the back of our thoughts.

So, I wonder if much of this addiction and pull to “just food” is in response to our fear… and our subsequent need to control that fear.

But God has instructed us that food is now to become… insignificant. a non-issue.

I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:25-33

And He gives us a promise here… that if we run toward Him that He will give us everything we need. He doesn’t promise that we won’t starve, He doesn’t promise that we won’t be hungry, He doesn’t promise that we will even live. But He does promise to give us everything we need. And once we start to learn to trust that He will take care of us… then we can free ourselves from stressing over “just food” and then it can truly become exactly that… just. food.