5.23.2012

God's Calling

I don't even know how to begin this post.  I have been feeling pretty vulnerable, weak, and overwhelmed with the project God has set in front of me.  

It has to do with the problem that any Christian fashion blogger is faced with: how do I balance my belief in Jesus Christ with my love of materialistic things? (i.e. clothing).  I read a great post here about this very dilemma, and have read a couple others over the months of blogging. 

My own guilt and conscience seems to sneak in at the most inconvenient times.  I mean, I now have like 100+ followers!!  That's a big deal for a blogger.  And then boom.  God calls me to go on a fast.  A clothing fast.

But WHY, I ask God.  Why now?  
And somewhere in my heart I can hear His response.... Because you are weak, but I am strong, and I am calling you to something bigger.  

Which leads me to what I have been doing since Sunday night.
Even though I posted some outfit pictures from the weekend, the reality of my life has been quite different.

I took all my clothes upstairs into the craft room/music room/we-hardly-go-up-there room, and all my shoes as well.  I left myself with a few pairs of jeans, t-shirts, and 6 pairs of shoes (flip flops, danskos, crocs, toms, tennis shoes for working out, and nike free sandal things)

Let me tell you.  It's actually a lot harder to pick an outfit with a limited amount of clothes.
I wanted to go upstairs so bad every day and just.... put something together. 
I wanted to get more into facial beauty products while I was doing my fast so that at least I would look decent.
I wanted to keep just a few of the newest additions to my closet downstairs...

But every time one of these desires poked up, Jesus said "nope! this is what I have for you, and yes it is normal to be a girl and love clothing in your culture, and yes I want to bless you and I want you to be joyful in the abundance of things I have given you, but not right now."

It isn't easy.  But I kept thinking, I spend so much time, effort, and energy on putting my outfits together, photographing them, editing them, writing my blog, and PURCHASING the next thing..... how could that time, effort, and energy be better used for God's Kingdom?  Yes I write some devotionals on my blog in hopes that someday, someone reading my blog might be inspired to give their life to Jesus.  But is that just a bandaid?  Are those posts included to justify the rest, which is materialistic at heart?



This whole thing started as I was reading the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan in my Bible study the other morning.  
Chan writes, "In about fifty years (give or take a couple of decades), no one will remember you.  Everyone you know will be dead.  Certainly no one will care what job you had, what car you drove, what school you attended, or what clothes you wore"(46).

And even Matthew 6:28-30  Jesus says, "And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the flowers of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you - you of little faith?" (NIV)


Chan continues this line of thinking and says, "All that matters is the reality of who we are before God"(51). 

Is that all that matters to me with this blog?  I need to examine my heart and find out if it is.

"Friends, we need to stop living selfish lives, forgetful of our God"(51). 



Well, if you aren't convicted, you're lucky.  I was so convicted by these words that I moved all my freakin' clothes upstairs.  :)



But here's the important part of this whole post.  
(If you are still reading, bless your heart.)

I want to use this blog as an outlet for real change, instead of just a tool for self-gain and self-worth.  I'll continue posting outfits (in a week or so.... :D) and you'll continue reading and commenting.  It'll be great fun. BUT.....
For ONE WEEK EVERY MONTH I am going to do t-shirts and jeans only to remind myself of what is truly important.  

And for every two days in a row that YOU wear a t-shirt and jeans when you really feel like dressing up.......
- I will put $1 of my clothing-allowance in a jar. 
- I'll do it for every day I wear a t-shirt as well.
- All the money will be donated to a non-profit organization, fighting for Jesus Christ.  I haven't chosen one yet, I'm hoping you can help me!

It's about sacrifice.  It's about Jesus.  It's NOT about me.  That is what the goal of these weeks will be.
If we can get enough people to participate, think of all the money we could raise to help out someone who doesn't have the luxury of clothing that we have.  It could be a really beautiful thing.

So join me!  I'm on day 4 of t-shirt'in it.  It's not easy.  I've cried a few times, been all mopey in the morning when I can't get all dressed up (to which Matt so sweetly says, "Awww, honey!! Cheer up!  You look great!!")  

Our walk with Christ isn't supposed to be easy.  In fact, it's the hardest walk.  I know that Jesus calls us to not parade our fasting around (Matthew 6) like hypocrites, but I had to share this with you.  I am going to TRY not to tell many people what I am doing.  I think this will add to the humbling factor.  

So.  Thank you for reading all that... and I ask you again to join me, then send me either a link to your blog with a picture of you in a tee, or write a comment on any blog post saying that you have done it for two days in a row - I'll throw a $1 bill into a jar.  
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12 comments:

  1. Just found your blog and this is the first post that i've read and I'm already one of your biggest fans. You are truly inspiring and you really understand and grasp what this whole blogging thing is really all about. It's just another platform to point people back to God.

    I will definitely be partaking in this. Such a GRAND idea!!!

    XOXO
    MacKenzie
    www.ruffledromance.blogspot.com

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  2. Natalie, thats so awesome! I love to hear how God works so specifically with everyone and knows our own personal weaknesses. :) And I pretty much have to try not to wear a tshirt half the time, so I"m on the other end of the spectrum...
    As a suggestion, have you heard of "Give a shirt" ? A high schooler at salem Alliance started it to give money for homeless students in the school district to have clothes to wear to school. Josh has had several of the kids on his bus and it is crazy to think that that specific kid didn't have shoes until someone helped out. In Salem! Not Africa or some other random place! ~Holly

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  3. Oh Natalie, I feel your open heart (vulnerability is so BEAUTIFUL!) and the love and honesty and faithfulness pouring out of it, and it looks so good on you and in you. I celebrate with you any and every step you take in any direction that is born of this Love. You are amazing.

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  4. PS - this whole thing - materialism/spirituality and all of the little prickliness and challenges therein - I share it with you, and know it from the inside out! I'm right there with you, sister. :)

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  5. I think this is lovely! Not sure if I'm totally capable of enacting a full week fast yet! But, definitely at least a day or two. What a wonderful thing you're doing! Very admirable. Your blog is inspiring!

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  6. I think this is such an awesome idea and I think it's great that God really laid this on your heart :) I love the dollar to charity idea and will definitely let you know if I deliberately don't get dressed up :P

    Say x
    eighteenthofmay.blogspot.com

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  7. This is so beautiful! I too have struggle with ways to glorify God through blogging and fashion. It's so easy to get caught up in reading fashion blogs and acquiring inspiration. I often find myself running out for "that neon belt" when in reality there is NOTHING I need. I love how you are refocusing, and pointing everything back to Jesus- because that's what it's about. :) I might go do a little re-evaluating myself! Thanks girl!

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  8. love this! one of my favorite passages regarding physical beauty and appearance is 1 peter 3:3-6. you can definitely be a beauty in a t-shirt and jeans. :)

    AND it takes courage to do this in a very appearance-focused blogging atmosphere, so i'm glad you're doing what you feel convicted to do, regardless of what others may think. way to be strong and follow God's leading!

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  9. Well, I found your blog yesterday... and today's post has hit me hard. I'm just starting my blog. But, I've been thinking some of the same things you are - and the last few days, every day, God has been convicting me on one thing or another. Then, I read this; not really what I was wanting to hear, but I don't really get to choose what I need to hear.
    Thanks for being so open, honest and passionate for Christ, online, for the world to see. I'm going to have to do a little re-evaluating myself =) so thank you!! And you will be so blessed for doing this. Stay strong!!
    Elizabeth
    styleexperimental.blogspot.com

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  10. thank you times a million for this post. It is too easy to get caught up in the materialistic things that surround us in our day to day lives let alone all over the internet too. thank you for challenging me to love the skin I'm in!

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  11. This is such a heartfelt post! Thanks for your honesty. I've gotten more into fashion lately, partly thanks to reading more fashion blogs. It really can be a time sucking thing and as a Christian, it really does create a dilemma! So thanks for the encouragement to not let it get in the way of what's really important. It's really inspiring to see you make REAL changes in your life! God is using you, and that's a beautiful thing.

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