Saturday, February 15, 2014

How It All Began...

It all began the end of November 2013. I decided to "purge" my closet of the things I no longer wanted. I gathered 4 huge lawn and leaf trash bags worth of clothing - some of which still had tags. The worst part: I couldn't even tell I had taken anything out of my closet. It was sobering. I knew I had a problem. Online shopping and impulse buys at stores like Target (where clothes are "cheap") had control of my life. I had credit card debt and the anxiety that goes with it. I knew I had to make a change. 

I started praying to God for a resolution. What a lot of people don't realize is that, when you pray, it is not a one-sided conversation. You have to be quiet and listen. When you stop "talking" and start "listening" God will answer. Now I can't promise you will like what He has to say. Because I know I didn't! That quiet little voice said "You need to go an entire year, all 4 seasons, learning to appreciate what you have. Nothing new for 365 days." Nope. I didn't like this response. So I pushed it away. I thought to myself "There is NO WAY I could do that!!" I tried to give up online shopping for Lent one year and failed miserably! God knew this. Yet every day, the words came back. They started to get stronger and resonate with my soul. I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to need a plan and a support team. So, I called on some of my closest friends (who happen to be my size) and told them my plan. All of them had the same response: "You are crazy!! Why??" So this is what I told them...

1. I have way more than I could ever need. 
2. I want to learn to be happy with the things I have. 
3. I want to find out if "less" really is "more". 
4. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. 
5. There are more important things I should be spending my time and money on. 

I also told them I was fully aware I am going to have "withdrawals" and may even "relapse" over the course of this year. So, being the awesome friends they are, they all agreed to open their closets when I feel the need to "shop". They agreed to let me borrow their best and send me their cast-offs. It takes a group of supportive friends and family to help with a resolution of this magnitude. 

This is more than a journey of shopping restrictions, it is a journey of self. It is proving to myself that the "things" of this world do not control me. It is finding the courage to take on a challenge that God has placed on my heart and knowing He will guide and support me the entire way. It is learning to count my blessings and be truly thankful for the people in my life who I treasure above all things. 

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