Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Clothing Fast Revelation

When I decided to start this blog (a week ago), I wanted to be able to share not only the things I've learned towards my "quest for comfort," but also the things I've learned about being a good steward.  I mentioned in this post that when I finally discovered style blogs, I also decided to take a break from clothes shopping for an.entire.year.  Since there's just so much I can say about that year of no shopping, I will probably go more in depth in future posts.  Today I'm literally going to cut and paste a summary of what I wrote to Caitlin about my clothing fast experience.

Caitlin is Caitlin Skidmore who writes over at Greater Than Rubies. To make a long story short, I basically found her blog via Pinterest.  When I discovered her jewel of a blog on Black Friday of 2012, Caitlin was near the end of her own break-up with shopping.  She had started her clothing fast in January of that year and had documented many of her outfits on her blog.  As I read post after post about her experiences over the year, it suddenly dawned on me, "This is what I need to do."  I was inspired.  A whole year of not shopping for clothes?!  Impossible!  Or was it?

I emailed Caitlin and shared with her my decision to go on a clothing fast.  We kept in touch and she was (and still is!) an encouragement to me in so many ways.  One day she asked me if I would write a guest post for her blog and share some of the things I had been sharing with her.  I was humbled to have been asked and I didn't feel confident about writing a piece about my experience, but with God's help, I went ahead and wrote some things that I had learned over the past year.  I felt like God would want me to share my story of His grace and faithfulness to encourage others who may have been experiencing similar things as I had been experiencing. 

You can read the original post from Cailtin's blog here.  Here's my clothing fast revelation:

There’s so much more to my story but basically one year ago I had been feeling discontent with several areas of my life. As a wife and working mother of two little ones I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed out with the busyness of trying to balance my marriage relationship with my husband, caring for my then 4 year old son and 18 month old daughter, and teaching English to 5th-8th grade middle schoolers. Add housekeeping, ministry at church, and other family/social obligations and you can imagine how busy and tired I was (am!) I know many of you reading this can relate!
I had been searching for ways to simplify my life for several years and I realized that one of the areas of my life that needed to be simplified was my wardrobe. I was so discouraged waking up every morning with “nothing to wear.” Or needing to have outfits that could be functional yet stylish for the different hats I wear throughout the day.

So while perusing Christian style blogs I stumbled upon Caitlin’s blog. It was Black Friday (God has a sense of humor) and realized that I needed to fast from buying clothes. The reason why I was so discontent with my closet was because I had a closet full of clothes that were ill-fitting and poor quality. Many of the pieces in my closet were impulse buys. I told myself I would learn to be content and be a good steward of what God had already blessed me with.

At first I thought I needed to hoard clothes. “How would I be able to survive without buying anything new!?” was one of my thoughts. I began scouring Pinterest for outfit ideas to remix my closet like Caitlin and so many other style bloggers do. After more “research” I realized that the reason I was so discontent was because I had too much!

Over the past year I have learned to purge my closet, redefine my style, shop wisely for quality timeless pieces with a few inexpensive refreshers to keep up with the current trends, and then remix, remix, remix!

Today I am so content with my wardrobe. Sure, over the course of the year I was still shopping, but with gift money and gift cards from special occasions. And even then I would look for remixable or classic or functional pieces. I was also given hand-me-downs from family and friends, several who didn’t even know I was fasting from shopping.

I know that there’s more to life than clothes, but it is amazing how a comfortable, well-fitting, and yet stylish outfit can change the way you go about your day. I’ve included a before and after picture that kind of sums up what I’m talking about. Both are outfits with jeans, sweatshirts, and comfortable shoes, however the second one (which actually cost less than the first one) makes me just want to get on my feet, be-bop around the house, and get chores done. It’s also functional enough for running around with my kids, and still stylish enough to go out in public and look cute for my husband.

There’s so much more I can say about what I’ve learned over the year but then this post would go on and on. I guess one of the main things I’ve learned (or realized again) is that God is faithful. By trusting Him with this area of my life I’ve been able to witness His faithfulness and His goodness in so many other ways, too. By learning to be content I have discovered more of His purpose and will for my life, which is ultimately to glorify Him with every area of my life.

I share this post because my purpose here is not to compete with or try to be like the gazillion style blogs that are out there.  During that year of not spending money on clothes, God revealed so many things about life to me, and I realize I need to share these things to hopefully inspire others in the same way I have been inspired.  We all need encouragement and I hope and pray my little blog will do just that...encourage you!

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