The Great Wardrobe Clean-Out

My friend, Lydia, posted about how she had been reading about “capsule” wardrobes and how that inspired her to go through her clothes and get rid of a bunch of stuff.

The idea behind it is that you get rid of the clothes that don’t flatter your figure, or you have too many of, or don’t really go with anything. This enables you to actually see the clothes that are left- the ones that you love.  You spend less time looking through a huge pile of clothes wondering why you have nothing to wear. You should also only keep items that you can use multiple ways. The more ways you can mix and match your items, the less you need and more options you end up with.

Here is a capsule of 12 items that you could wear 22 different ways.

Business casual capsule.

Here is one with just 12 items and lots of different ways to pair them.

So, Lydia posted about it and then she posted again about how she helped her husband with his clothes. Immediately, I closed my browser and went upstairs to my room and pulled out all my clothes. I ended up with an overflowing laundry basket of clothes to get rid of.

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I am not one to actually have tons of clothes, but I had ended up with a bunch of things I didn’t ever wear or were old and I wasn’t going to wear anymore. I had a huge collection of 5k race tshirts, VBS volunteer shirts, and several dresses that didn’t fit or flatter me. I also had a bunch of pairs of jeans that didn’t fit. I also had some cute items that I had picked up, but even though they are more current trends, they don’t look good on me. My body shape does not love the current fashion era or big, flowy shirts and skinny jeans. They emphasize the parts of me that I don’t want to emphasize.

This is what is currently hanging in my closet:

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 I have my t-shirts, shorts, and jeans in my dresser.  It feel so good to have all of the extra stuff cleaned out!

 

The Treasure Principle

There are two ways I can do this blog post.

1. Tell you to go and buy/borrow/check-out the book The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn and leave it at that.,

or

2.)Tell you about the book and how it impacted me and encourage you get it yourself to read later.

I’m going with option 2.

We were given this book from the church we were attending last spring. It was part of the “discovery” class for newcomers. There are six principles mentioned in the book. I want to mention two. I wish I could talk about them all, but for the purpose of our story, I’m going to tell you about the two that made the biggest impact.

*My heart goes where I put God’s money.

Here’s a quote from the book, “By telling us that our hearts follow our treasure, Jesus is saying, “Show me your checkbook, your VISA statement and your receipts, and I’ll show you where your heart is.”  That statement has slowly started to make a change in how we set up our budget.

My bank statement proved me a liar. I said I believed that Christians should be giving to those in need. My bank statement said I didn’t care about the poor.

Randy Alcorn went on to say that when we invest our money in something, we always become more interested in it. “Do you wish you cared more for eternal things? Then reallocate some of your money, maybe most of your money, from temporal things to eternal things. Watch what happens.”

I cannot overstate how true this has been for us.

The next principle that has made a HUGE impact is this:

*God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.

This principle changed my thinking more than anything else in the book. I started thinking, what if we actually lived like that? What would that look like? So, I went to Nathan and said, “What if we committed to living on a certain income and EVERYTHING above that we gave away?” 

Poor Nathan! I don’t think he’s going to let me read anything that he isn’t also reading anymore. I think he was surprised at the question, but he agreed that we need to decide what is “enough”. It was the start of a long conversation that’s still happening.

We don’t know the answer. The cost of living goes up from year to year. Health insurance premiums keep skyrocketing. It’s hard to set a hard and fast amount of money that would be enough to live on 40 years from now. For us, right now, God is telling us that he wants us to live on a certain percentage of our money. It’s less than we’ve been living on. I don’t want to be too specific because I don’t want this to be about us and how much or how little we give or live on. It’s just the story that God is writing for us and this is the chapter we are in now.

I’m a bit giddy about it 🙂 What if we could increase our percentage of giving every year?

Tomorrow: Conspiracy

Previous Posts:

I Don’t Know When It Started

Meet Shelly

A New Motivation

 

I Don’t Know When It Started

Have you had an experience like this? For several months Nathan and I have been in situations where we have heard the same message over and over again.

It’s about our stuff. It’s about possessions and money and how we use them. So, I’m going to share our story and what this theme is that keeps following us everywhere we go!

I have a love-hate relationship with blog posts like this. Sometimes I read them and get inspired. Other times I just feel judged and defensive.

So, here is my disclaimer:

I’m going to write about how God is working in our hearts in this area and what He’s saying to us. I don’t know what He’s saying to you. It’s not a suggestion to follow what we’re doing. It’s just our story.

Long story short:

Two years ago, we were spending our money on frivolous things, we saved very little and our giving became inconsistent. We hit a wall and decided we needed to make some changes. So, for the last couple of years, we’ve been listening to what God has been saying to us about our money and He is saying: “Live simply. Give Lavishly”

I guess I just spoiled the ending 🙂

For the month of November, we’re (maybe Nathan will chime in too) going to spend time telling the story of   how God is moving in this area of our lives. More to come. . .

Part 2

 

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

About a month ago I read the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. I had been hearing good things about the book since early this year and finally decided I didn’t want to wait any longer to read it.

I liked it so much that I finished it in a couple days and considered buying it for everyone I know. I was  THAT inspired by it.

It’s hard to do it justice in a short summary, but I’m going to try. The inspiration for the author to write this book came after housing a family that had been displaced after hurricaine Katrina and overhearing a young boy exclaim, after seeing their house, that they were rich. Her eyes were opened to how much they really had. After thinking and reading and praying for a while, she decided to focus on 7 different areas of excess in her life. She did one a month for 7 months. For each month she limited herself to 7 choices in that area.  The purpose was to “create space for God’s kingdom to break through.” I wrote down this quote from the introduction:

 “Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk and more of You and Your Kingdom.”

The 7 areas were: Food, Clothing, Possessions, Media, Waste, Spending and Stress.

Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts on it. It you haven’t read it, you should! I promise it’s not a hard read. I laughed a lot, cried a little and it made me think more deeply about how I’m living my life.

Garage Sale-Day 1

I survived day 1 of our garage sale!

Dad and Joyce came and picked up the kids at 10:00 and that left me free to sell all of their things! Today went really well. We were able to sell quite a bit. I always have that moment of fear at the beginning of the sale where I’m sure that no one is going to show up and then a short while later, people start trickling in!  The most surprising thing to me was that I sold all of the little decorative pictures and photo frames. I thought no one would be interested. I’m about $25 away from my goal for the two-day sale. I think we can make it.

Clearing Out Stuff

We’re celebrating our remaining warm days by having a garage sale.

Do you know what we don’t need anymore?

2 toddler bed mattresses, 2 toddler beds (one is coming from dad and Joyce’s house), a rocker/glider, boxes and boxes of 2T boy clothes, baby toys, kids toys that aren’t being played with a hundred unused picture frames, and all of our video games. And a million other things!

Yesterday, I opened 3 boxes that had not been opened since we moved 5 years ago. I found my old name tag with my maiden name on it. Audrey has it now 🙂 The trickiest part about getting ready has been keeping the kids out of everything. What I’m sure we don’t need they are positive they can’t live without.

I’m hoping to make a little money off our things. Anything that doesn’t sell is going to the local thrift store.

Views Around Our House

Isaac is doing much better. No trouble with eating or drinking and keeping food down. We did have to see a doctor today for some other issue going on in the diaper region that seemed, shall we say, painful. If it alarms the daddy during a 5:00am diaper change enough that he immediately does some Google searching then the mommy gets to take the baby to see the doctor during the day. That’s the way it works around here anyway! We’re dealing with a little infection that should clear up soon and I’ve probably said too much for my sensitive readers so I’ll leave it at that.

But, isn’t he cute? Seriously!

Audrey has been trying a few different looks for the big wedding coming up in 8 days. This wont detract too much from the bride, will it? Hah! She wishes she could wear my veil! She cannot wait to wear her dress!

Ethan came home from AWANA last night with a gift for me! I feel like such a real mom when I get homemade cards.

I’m also on a spring cleaning/ simplifying/ purging clutter kick. No toy is safe! And how many pairs of pants and underwear does one child need? Would 20 pairs of underwear be sufficient? If so, Ethan should be safe several times over. I tossed lots of pairs today. Sorry if you were hoping for hand me down underwear. Isaac had about 20 pairs of pants in his current size. I decided he didn’t need that many. I packed up some and added it to my give-away and garage sale pile. I also switched Isaac’s dresser with Ethan and Audrey’s and I organized Isaac’s closet.

And now I’m feeling a little sleepy and thinking that my 5:30 wake-up call to go running. Off to bed with me! Maybe.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out the inspired room. What a lovely site! It will suck you in (just warning you!).

Frugal/Fashion Friday Followup

I know it’s Sunday, but since I missed getting this post in on Friday, I’ll just pretend that I’m not two days late.

I love a good deal and I’ve been working on my scrapbooks lately so good deals related to that make me very happy. Here are a few sites where you can get some great deals:
CropChocolate: This is a site that just started a week ago. I call it my very own “woot” because it works much like the woot site. They sell one item a day until it’s sold out. An item I bought the other day had free shipping. I don’t know if it’s like that with everything, but it might be. The prices are ridiculously low.
Michaels and Joanns– If you sign up for their mailing lists, you get the weekly advertisement emailed to you as well as weekly coupons. I think Joanns offers a 40% off coupon every single week. I just recently signed up for Michaels. At sign up I received a 40% off coupon and I received a 50% off coupon this week. Some of the big ticket items are excluded, but you should still be able to get some good deals. This week, Joanns is selling the Bigkick Die-cut machine for 50% off. Maybe for Mother’s Day. . . I need to think about whether I would get my money’s worth out of it. It’s very tempting. Of course, none of these things are good deals if you are buying things you don’t need or have money for anyway. Just a little disclaimer!

Now, on to Fashion. Have you been waiting with bated breath for the follow-up to last week’s post on jeans? Well, wait no longer! Here it is! Yes, the word “tertiarily” is used in that post!