From November 15-December 6 I wore a white shirt and jeans. It all started in late September. I read a blog about a girl who was going to wear a white shirt and jeans for an entire year, in an effort to rid herself of materialism, thinking too much about how she looked, caring what other people think, and to be sure that she was truly finding her identity in Christ, not in her appearance.
When I read that, it blew me away. I thought, "I could never, ever do that. Ever. I like my clothes and accessories too much. It's how I express myself. It's part of who I am". Which threw up a red flag in my heart.
I started thinking new thoughts like, "Why couldn't I do that? Do I put too much weight on my appearance? Am I too proud to be "boring" on the outside? What defines me? My appearance or my actions and personality?"
After mulling the idea over for a few weeks, I decided that the fact that I didn't want to do it (at all) was the best reason to do it. So, I wore a white shirt and jeans (one day I wore khakis). I did not wear cute or extra noticeable shoes. I wore the same earrings every day (simple earrings that wouldn't draw any attention to themselves). I did not wear any necklaces, scarves, or hats. I tried to keep my hair simple.
I only told five people that I was doing it. Initially it was just three: Josh, Nicole, and Shantel. After a week I told my younger sister Katie about it, and over Thanksgiving I told my sister(in law) Julie.
Interestingly enough, besides those 5 who were told, a whole zeropeople noticed that I was doing it. It surprised and humbled me. The whole experience taught me a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I learned that:
1. I do not, in fact, find my identity in my clothing or outward appearance. I do find my identity in Christ. I also find it in how I treat others and make them feel. I find it in my personality. I find my identity in the people that I love. I can say with certainty that who I am has very little to do with how I look.
2. Other people don't define me by how "cute" my clothes are or my general appearance, either.
3. No one cares what I am wearing. Really. They don't. and... 4. Brace yourself, dear friends, because I have rather surprising news... I'm sorry to tell you that, more often than not, others don't care what you are wearing either. Of course, they might notice it if it's a particularly cute or special or stylish piece of clothing, but when it comes down to it, we are... well... quite often... we're-all-too-busy-thinking-about-our-own-style/look/fit/insecurities-to-take-much-notice-of-what-you-are-wearing....
(Ok there, I said it! I know it's hard to believe, really, it is still hard for me to believe. But it is so very often the truth.)
5. Despite the fact that very few people care about what I am wearing, it IS ok for me to care about what I am wearing. I still love wearing headbands, and big colorful earrings, and fun shoes and bright clothes. It is a reflection of my personality, not the definition. It is the artistic way that I tell others about myself. and it's ok!
6. I'm a bit of a cheater haha. During the 4 weeks of my experiment I tried fake nails, I made headbands, I got my nose re-pierced, I tried to reason myself into buying scarves.. you know... to be modest. 'Cause sometimes white shirts are tight and maybe even see through, right? Right?! No... wrong... I just wanted a new colorful scarf. I am pretty sure they were subconscious attempts at expressing myself outwardly in little ways. ::sigh::
So that's my story! My experience. My lesson. Overall, I am really glad that I did it. By the end, though, I was ready to start living my life once again in color...
and on Monday, December 7 I wore a blue sweater :)
Well, Christmas is just about over... and I have had a wonderful day!
It started last night. My family exchanges gifts between siblings on Christmas Eve, so we headed over to my parents house to get and give presents. We had a "unique" Christmas gift idea for my family. We bought everyone in my family nerf guns! Our present was opened last. An intense battle between two teams followed. There were several rules of engagement. For example, 3 shots and you are dead (and you have to actually act like you're dying... theatrics are encouraged), no face shots, & when you get shot you have to go back to "home base"... etc etc.
Everyone got way into it. I don't know if I have ever "played" with my family the way I did last night and today. It was a shared experience. It was something I won't ever forget. It was everything that Christmas should be. I love that I have a family that can be so free and fun and silly together. I love my family.
and I love Joshua. He got me so many lovely, thoughtful presents. Presents that tell me that he knows me. Like, really knows me... and my heart.
(Example: I always lose my chapstick. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except that I always always always want chapstick. I now have 12 sticks of various flavors/brands/sizes/colored chapstick as of today. I am in chapstick heaven AND I've had super moisturized lips all day!)
and that's the beauty of gift giving, I think. It's when someone gives you something that says, "I know you" and you give someone something that says the same.
It is a beautiful thing to be known and to be loved in this life. I cherish it. I don't take it for granted.
I sincerely hope that your Christmas left you feeling the same.
(Oh and I'm hoping to post some pictures of our family battle soon!)