We changed out our closets this week. You know, that whole transition from spring/summer clothes to the fall/winter ones that it isn't quite cold enough to wear yet, but you are afraid of an artic blast pressing it's way through the South so unseasonably, and being caught with nothing warm to put on? It was this transition last year that convicted me to begin my 12 month shopping fast. This means...I have 3 weeks left of my fast. It ends October 11th.
I am feeling many emotions..relief...pride...guilt...fear...anxiousness...impatience...I am relieved and ready for this to be over..but at the same time, I'm scared to not have that discipline anymore. I don't want to return to being a shopaholic!! Now, I am looking forward to buying myself a few new essentials and I have my eye on a pair of new boots. But I want to stay focused and maintain my attitude of shopping for necessary items as opposed to shopping for wants. I am celebrating with a couple of friends by going to Atlanta for a shopping weekend in November, and I'm limiting what I can buy for myself-it will mostly be a Christmas gift shopping experience.
In the midst of this fast, my husband and I have refocused our budget (we did Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace back in the spring) and there is a small amount in there for shopping. I have two children that are growing at a ridiculous pace, I can't buy my son more than a couple of items of clothing at a time because he outgrows them too quickly. Most of that shopping budget is directed towards keeping them covered.
Last year, when I set this goal for myself, I also wanted to downsize my wardrobe. I got rid of about 3 large trashbags of clothes last fall. All in great shape, and was able to donate them to a women's shelter. This year, as I went through the spring/summer things that I was taking out of my closet, and the fall/winter things I was putting in, I got rid of anything that I didn't wear this past year, which happened to be quite a bit. Things that are in great shape, but not "my shape" I piled into two large boxes and I'm delivering them to a new home today. Things that were just ratted out I threw away. My closet is still full of things! I am not in NEED of anything other than some new long sleeve t-shirts.
I want to keep that focus and be a good example to my children of knowing the difference between need and want. I want to continue to be thankful for the things that I have, and not search for happiness in some new trendy item. This whole thing has kind of been like hitting the reset button on my outlook of what is important and meaningful in my life, and while I am really going to enjoy getting a new pair of boots..my life is not going to end if I don't buy them. And chances are, if I don't see some that I just fall in love with..I will talk myself out of buying them. I don't want to view it as a reward. The reward I have recieved from this is the way God has worked in my life over the last 12 months. The way He has worked on my patience, my self image, my gratitude for the blessings in my life, the way I view what is a blessing...I am proud of myself, but in many ways, I'm still ashamed of what led me to do this in the first place. It's somewhat embarassing to admit to being a materialistic person!!! And I know that I still have some materialistic roots in my being. It is a work in progress, and while I feel like I have made much progress..there is still so much room for growth. So, these next few weeks, I am going to be praying steadfastly for God to really instill the things I have learned over the last year so that when the calendar flips to October 11th, and I know Satan is going to be waiting for me (he has been taunting me the whole last year), I will be able to look him in the face and tell him to back off. Will you all say it with me?
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