I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Friday, July 17, 2015

My Capsule Wardrobe: Fighting the Urge To Live In Excess

Back in March, I was laying down in my bed, watching Netflix, and about to drift off to sleep when my phone rang.  It was my mom letting me know that she had called an ambulance for my dad.

Less than 48 hours later, he had passed away.

After the initial rush of people and food and full schedules, the world slowed down, and it was time to do the hardest part: go through all of my dad's things.  All of his belongings.  All of his stuff. 

My mom, my sister, and I spent days and days going from room to room, and there were so many things to look at.  There were clothes and electronics and memorabilia galore.  As I looked through all the worldly possessions my father owned, I started to think about how none of those things were him.  Other people may walk into his office and see all of the OU footballs and jerseys and trinkets and think they were looking at the life of my dad, but they would be wrong.  They were things he owned, but they weren't him.

My dad was his giving nature.  He was the long talks about politics and history in the middle of the night.  He was the excitement about Christmas gifts because he loved seeing our faces when we opened them.  He was the planning of vacations.  He was the love for his grand kids.  He was so much.

But he wasn't that stuff.

And then I started looking at my own life.  A quick glance around my house revealed more about the state of my own heart and my own desire to make myself about stuff than I really cared to see.  It was everywhere, and it was glaring and obvious.  (I have been actively avoiding reading Jen Hatmaker's book Seven for a while now- and am currently still holding out...- because I knew it would be a harsh truth for me).  Stuff can run my life.  Stuff can control my life.  Stuff can comfort me when I should feel the weight of my sin, and stuff can comfort me when I should seek refuge in Jesus.  

So here I stood.  I could run to Jesus and away from a materialistic lifestyle that I've carefully cultivated, or I could buy another sweater.

The thing is, the active decision to rid my life of many of my things seems like it would be an easy-ish task.  
  1. Buy large trash bags.
  2. Throw things I don't need into said trash bags.
  3. Love God more.
But it turns out, it's a bit more difficult.  I made many many walks around my house trying to decide where to start. My first thought was "clean out the tupperware cabinet."  But then as I took some things down, I immediately realized I might use some of those things someday, so I moved on.

"Maybe the kids toys." But then the kids wanted to keep everything.

They're basically tiny hoarders.

"Maybe my clothes."

So I opened my closet.  I wish I'd have taken a before picture.  It was that bad.  I surveyed the damage.  I really looked at it with my eyes and heart wide open, and you guys, the only phrase I could coherently form in my jumbled up mess of a brain was "I literally can't even..."  Can't even what?  I don't know.  Begin?  Clean?  Breathe??  So I didn't.  I closed the door.  I turned out the light, and I walked away.

Weeks passed, and I opened my closet every day, and every day, I became more and more frustrated- with myself....with my clothes...with my mess.  And something in my heart began to stir.  I saw my identity being formed by these things.  These things, after all, covered me.  They kept me warm, and for a season, they had given me comfort. The rush of buying the new dress.  The finally fitting into the pre-pregnancy jeans again.  The getting to grab the cardigan at the first feeling of fall.  None of these things are bad on their own, but when they become the desires of your heart, they are a detriment to your soul.  My identity was being formed by what I covered myself with rather than what I should be filling myself with in scripture and fellowship.  And day by day, by God's grace, that was becoming appalling to me.  I was no longer finding a comfort in having a bunch of hangers holding a bunch of clothes that, many of which, I was still holding out hope that I'd have an occasion to wear.

So I made of list of what I needed to do: 
  1. Buy large trash bags.
  2. Throw things I don't need into said trash bags.
  3. Love God more.
And so I did...

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