My Semi-annual ritual…The Changing of the Closets

Yep… It’s that time of year again.  I both love it and dread it.  In my “dream home” (which, btw, I recently found a lovely picture of on Pinterest… how did they know?) I would have a HUGE closet.  On each rack would hang a category of clothing (shirts, skirts, pants, etc) arranged by color and hanging in the order of lightest weight fabric to the heaviest.  Then, at any time of the year, especially during the Southern winters when the temp can sometimes reach 70 degrees) I could get my hands on the exact article of clothing to fit my “Three C’s Rule”: Cute, Cool (as in, not hot), and Comfortable.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  Some of you probably have a closet like this, and to you I offer my deepest joy and congratulations.  But to the rest of us who are low on year-round-closet space, I offer a way that the Lord gave me to gratefully endure {and dare I say, enjoy?} this semi-annual ritual. 

PS: I promise you – I do NOT focus on “dream homes” or “dream closets,” etc.  I promise.  I am extremely and passionately grateful for all God has given us.  We have more than we need and are very aware that we are blessed.  In fact, we live in a home built in the 1930s, but unlike most homes of that era, we have wonderfully large bedroom closets – much bigger than in our 1970’s built home in Nashville.  O.K.  Just had to clear that up before we move on.  Thank you very much. 😉

My number one rule of enjoying the changing of the closets is this:  Ask Jesus to do this with you.  Ask Him to help you, inspire you, convict you, and guide you.  I usually put on some praise music and put my focus on Jesus and off of myself (and any new bumps and lumps I might have gained over the previous season). Psalm 22:3 tells us that God dwells in the midst of the praises of His people, so I praise Him and invite Him to be a part of the experience. 

My number two rule is this: If I’m going to go to the trouble of changing out my wardrobe, I might as well go on and plan some easy to grab outfits for those frequent days when I’m running late and can’t show up in yoga pants.  Personally, I want to stay “current” and in style.  Not because I’m trying to please the world, but because I enjoy it, and that’s how God made and uses me. 

So here is how the Lord helps me dress, stay “current,” and change out my seasonal wardrobes:

1. I look through fashion magazines in waiting rooms, the library, or wherever I find them, and try to get a feel for the common denominators in the clothing and accessories trends.  I’ll sometimes invest in a March or September issue of InStyle Magazine or Vogue.

2. I check the internet fashion websites to see what was on the runway for the season. Here is a summary of some Fall Fashion Trends for 2011.   These are a few other pictures of trends for Fall 2011.  (I’m not endorsing anything you happen to see while you are on these sites… Just letting you know a few of the fashion trends.  You’ll have to get past the crazy runway looks and focus on the description, which explain the true wearable portions of the runway looks.) 

3. Realizing that what is in the magazines and on the runways is not what will look “normal” in my middle-class-suburban-stay-at-home-minister’s wife-mom-Bible-teacher-life, I classify the trends in categories of clothing I would actually wear. I also look for accessory trends I already have, but that can be used in a different way.

While I’m doing this, I’m doing it with the Lord, often talking through these things out-loud to Him, as if He’s sitting with me (which actually… He is right there with me).{I found this awesome verse just this morning in my quiet time:  “My God in His steadfast mercy and love will meet me.”  Psalm 59:10.  Ask Him to meet you in your closet, and He will!}

4. Then WE (God and I) go through my clothes for the new season. He totally does this with me. We pull out the clothes and I try them on.

5. Remembering the trend categories, I’ll pray for wisdom to make “new” outfits out of old clothes. I don’t audibly hear this, but the Lord will put ideas in my mind, and I’ll try them on, with shoes and accessories.

6. Usually, I’ll “need” a few pieces to update my wardrobe from the previous year. I’ll write down what I need in my prayer journal on a page called “Requests and Wish Lists”. Then I let it go. I give it to the Lord, and ask Him to provide those pieces of clothing / shoes / accessories IF He will be glorified through them. Sometimes I feel led to write a price beside the item. It’s so much fun to see the Lord provide in such specific ways. Sometimes He’ll provide what I’ve asked for, and sometimes He doesn’t. When He doesn’t provide, I find that I really didn’t need it anyway.

7. I don’t go out and spend lots of money on clothing. I give the needs to the Lord, and then I wait to see how He leads me to find the items I need. Often, when I lived in a larger city, I could pick something up at Target or Wal Mart, or Ross’ or Khols on sale or clearance. Now, The Lord and I have to be more creative with our shopping.  However He does it though, one piece at a time, the Lord builds my “current” wardrobe. Sometimes I’ll be drawn to go to Goodwill and look around. When I obey and go when the Lord leads me to, I find just what was on the list. Occasionally someone will share their “hand me overs” with me, and something I’ve prayed for will be among those clothes. Our God is creative with His provisions!

8. Everyday (or night), I stand at my closet and ask the Lord to help me know what to wear. He guides my eyes and hands and helps me choose the next outfit de jour.

I may not look “perfect” to everyone else, but when the Lord has helped me dress and fix my hair {a helpful idea if you have difficult or needy hair}, the responsibility for how I look is up to Him, and I don’t have to worry over it anymore. I can leave my house knowing that He has dressed me spiritually (in my quiet time with Him), and physically.

After I get ready with His help, having done the best I can with what I’ve been given, I say Psalm 90:17 to the Lord:

Let Your beauty be upon me, and establish the work of my hands.
I’m then free to go about my day, confident of His handiwork in and upon my life.

Matthew 6:24-34 sums up what I’ve taken way too many paragraphs to say. No matter how big or little it seems, God can take care of it. Our job is to seek Him first, and all these other things will fall into place. Seeking Him first – even for our Fall wardrobes – takes all of the worry out of it. We can trust Him to dress us in the way where He receives the glory – and we’ll be current and beautiful like the lilies.

(24) “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

(25) Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

(26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

(27) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?


(28) And why do you worry about clothes?
See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

(29) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

(30) 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, O you of little faith?

(31) So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’
or ‘What shall we wear?’
(32) For the pagans run after all these things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

(33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.

(34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matt. 6:24-34

If you’ve never thought that God cared about these things before, or you never wanted to “bother” Him with the little stuff, I challange you to try it. You’re not bothering Him. Ask Him to help you in the little things, and you’ll see Him being involved in your life in a big way! 

Much love to you beautiful and fashionable lilies (and to you hunky man-lilies out there that sometimes read this blog!) 😉

Jennifer

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. Smelling Coffee says:

    Sharon~ I totally agree! I never wanted to be a frumpy minister's wife either. I'm so glad that God created within us a desire to be beautiful for Him, and then helps us do just that – in His ways!

    Blessings~
    Jennifer

  2. Jennifer, I can totally relate to this! With tight budgets, creativity and God fill the void. Goodwill and rummage sales are a favorite for me, God has blessed me with just the right something so many times! Thanks for sharing, fashion is something I adore and I have had to learn to approach it with God, but am thankful He lets me have some fun with it – I decided years ago that I would never let myself be a "frumpy" pastor's wife. 🙂

    Sharon @ In Hot Pursuit

  3. Great posts Jennifer! I have prayed to find just the right clothing but not as consistently as you have shared. I know He cares about all the details of our lives. I love that this year clothes seem more feminine, at least here where I live.

  4. Wow, I'm just loving these! Thank you so much for sharing this. I've always tried this here and there, but never daily or even consistantly. Thank you for the inspiration and giving God the glory!
    Jeana

  5. Wow, I'm just loving these! Thank you so much for sharing this. I've always tried this here and there, but never daily or even consistantly. Thank you for the inspiration and giving God the glory!
    Jeana