Friday, March 8, 2013

shopping halt

A few weeks ago I made a crazy, ridiculous, super irrational decision to halt all clothes shopping for 40 whole flippin' days.

This commitment to give up something that seems so desperately impossible to live with out... is also known as Lent.  Or the Lenten Season.  Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues through Good Friday... it is the 40 day period leading up to Easter that many Christians use as a time to reflect on the meaning of Christ.  Last year was my first year to truly participate, and I gave up soda... specifically Dr. Pepper (hard!).

Welp... this year I gave up clothes shopping.  That's right... you heard me.  Clothes, shoes, and accessories... none of it.  For forty days.

So far, I've made it 21 days.  I realize that to some of you this whole "no-shopping" thing is super easy for you and you're probably thinking, "big whop... you haven't bought anything for 21 days... congratu-freakin-lations."  But trust me, it's a big deal people.

Don't get me wrong... I don't go spending loads of money on fancy clothes all the time... but I am a major sucker for "happy purchases."  I am a mastermind when it comes to bargain shopping... and while sometimes I consider this a gift... sometimes it's a simple excuse to buy something I don't need.  $5 earrings?  Sure, why not...  $20 designer top?  Perfect for work...  $30 handbag?  Love the color...

You get the picture.

So, when I decided to give up clothes shopping for Lent this year, I knew it would be a challenge... but isn't that the point?  It's supposed to be a sacrifice.  It's supposed to be hard.  The whole point of giving something up for Lent is to feel the void that it leaves.  Not that shopping is the end-all-be-all, but trust me... I'll notice.  I will be in Target and have to walk out empty-handed... I will longingly admire that new purse... I will desperately want to use that Banana Republic coupon...  And it will be in those very trivial moments of shopping detox that I will be reminded of the much, much greater sacrifice that Jesus made for me.

Did you give anything up for Lent this year??  If so, how are you doing?

O God, you are my God; 
earnestly I seek you; 
my soul thirsts for you; 
my flesh faints for you, 
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, 
beholding your power and glory.  
Because your steadfast love is better than life, 
my lips will praise you.
  -Psalm 63:1-3


mleslie43 said...

Wow, I am truly impressed! Better than me who gave up nothing. The fact that it is hard and you are sticking with it says a lot! Way to go Julia! And obviously all for a very good cause. If I could only be as diligent...

Garretts said...

I've parted with Coca-cola for Lent. I'm used to having at least one everyday. And, it's just not the same getting those Styrofoam cups from Chick-fil-a with plain ole water in them. I've done it for a few years now and usually it's coke or something similar. And, every time, I'm blown away by the impact it has. Every time I want a coke, I'm reminded of a much bigger sacrifice, which then turns my small sacrifice into a joy. God is so good!

P.S. I'm sure there will still be some great spring finds at the after Easter sales!

ThistleAshD said...

I tried to add in a special afternoon quiet time- and that definitely hasn't happened. But I guess that's ok, because really Christ sacrificed because I couldn't and grace is always enough.

Anonymous said...

I decided not to give anything up this year - which is probably the first time in 12 years I haven't given anything up. I did however, decide to add in some meditative time thinking about the word "happy" and what it means to me everyday. Was I happy today? How could I be more happy? How did I make others happy? What can I do to make others happy tomorrow? While I like this a lot more and I feel like I'm getting a lot out of it, there's not that constant reminder all day that "oh, I can't eat chocolate today" - which, even though it has nothing to do with God, you think about him every time you realize you're making a sacrifice (no matter how small). So I'm a little torn. So far so good though, we'll see how it finishes out.