75 Tops, 25 Pants, 3 Skirts, 7 Dresses, 9 Jackets, 18 Pairs of Shoes.

Often when I pray for something God has laid on my heart, issues that I pray for in our world start to reveal to me my own issues. God shows me that I have some things that I may be trying to hide or bury as deep as I can so I don’t have to deal with those things I don’t dare identify as “issues”. One night, as I was praying for a dear friend and that she could feel her worth in Christ, I was convicted of where I found my worth. I was sitting on my bed and staring at my closet. It was full of colors and sweaters and layers and patterns, etc. That is when God hit me with a big issue in my life: I base so much of my worth on my clothing.

When it comes to spending money, I freely give it away for coffee or an on-sale-item at the mall. But it doesn’t just have to be the mall. If I find a good deal anywhere and I like the clothing item, I buy it because I think it will add so much more to my wardrobe and worth. In reality, that top that I just had to get will get old in a couple of weeks and it will go to the back of my closet to only be worn once or twice a year.

That was how it went with me and clothes.

As I continued to pray for my dear friend the other night, I kept looking directly at my closet. When I finally opened up my ears to what God had to say, I instantly thought to myself, without a doubt in my mind:

“I need to give up buying clothes for a year.”

In the moment that I knew this was something I needed to do, I was completely calm. I was actually excited for this challenge that God had given me. The next morning was when I started to panic. I looked through my closet and starting telling myself lies such as, “You don’t have enough tops to get you through a year!” and “All of these clothes are worn out and old, they will never last!”

I am thankful that God brings peace when we ask for it. In that moment, I sat down and just thanked God for the clothes that I had. In reality, I have MORE than enough. I think we are lost in some fantasy that we need the newest style and need to continue to fill up our closets with more and more options so we can constantly impress people with what we wear. But the reality is, in this country we are spoiled to not just have an outfit that can keep us warm or covered up, but to have a different outfit to wear every day of the week! I know that this is not the case for every person in this country because there is poverty and devastation everywhere you go. But think of how much you have right now compared to a family with six or seven kids and no income. They are focusing on paying for food, not a new pair of designer jeans. We really have more than enough.

I went through my closet today and counted the clothes that I packed away for college. This is what I decided to bring with me to college:

75 Tops

25 Pants

3 Skirts

7 Dresses

9 Jackets

18 Pairs of Shoes

When I look at those numbers, it seems like my closet is overwhelmingly full. But looking at my closet, it seemed so small and simple. I realized more than ever that looks can be deceiving. I knew I could actually wear a different outfit everyday for a few months but even then, I still thought that I needed more. I had to get out of this fantasy and come to the reality that I have more than I need.

I will not be buying a clothing item to fill my wardrobe until August 16, 2016. This is a challenge I felt God needed me to face because I can no longer focus so much on my appearance. Its time to focus more on my heart and my complete worth in Jesus Christ alone.

This is what God calls us to do. He calls us to radical lives where we are different. We are not meant to be like this world. We are not meant to obsess over the trends and the cutest shoes or how good our new jeans look on us. We are supposed to be completely in love with Jesus Christ and leave the things of the world behind. Simply liking the trends and fashion is a different story, but an obsession can lead to false idols in our lives. I saw that happening in my life.

I want to challenge everyone reading this blog right now. If you love shopping and buying new clothes, that’s okay! I don’t want you to feel bad about buying new clothes because you can spend your money where you want to. But if shopping and filling up your closet becomes an idol in your life (something you think about and do most of your time) think about your intentions and how often you really wear all of your clothes. Sometime today, I challenge you to go through your closet and count how many items of clothing you have of these things: tops, pants, skirts, dresses, jackets, and shoes. Comment your numbers below and post them somewhere else to be honest with yourself and others about how much you really have in your closet. Then think about those numbers and how you are using what God gave to you. He is the ultimate Provider who provides our resources and income. How are you using what has been given to you?

Thanks for reading. I would appreciate any prayer for me over this next year as I stay away from the shopping world. It is going to be a long but fantastic year. God is the ultimate Provider and I have more than enough. I am not just blessed, but spoiled with all of the clothes that I have. Having a choice to pick out a different outfit everyday is a privilege and I don’t want to take advantage of this privilege anymore.

Thank you to everyone who has already encouraged me and kept me accountable as I start this journey. I am looking forward to what I can learn from this “Fast From Shopping”!

1 Samuel 16:7- But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Genesis 1:27- So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

1 Peter 3:3-4- Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

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9 comments

  1. Ronda · September 5, 2015

    Can’t wait to hear how God uses this. I put part of the following scripture on Amanda’s wall a few years ago. It’s still there. 🙂 Praying for you.
    Colossians 3:12-14
    “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

  2. Jason Holdridge · September 5, 2015

    Love this Olivia!

  3. amandadrury · September 5, 2015

    Olivia, this is a very timely article for me! Lots to think over. Thanks so much for your writing. I’m eager to see you around campus!

  4. Pam · September 6, 2015

    Accepting your challenge.
    99 tops
    42 pants
    6 skirts
    28 dresses
    26 jackets
    24 sweaters
    50 shoes

  5. Ethel Bartlett · September 7, 2015

    You bless my heart as I see God using you to inspire and challenge others! Love you!

  6. carolannbreck@gmail.ccom · September 7, 2015

    God bless your sweetie! Keep listening to His voice! God is using you to challenge others as He challenges you! So proud of the way you keep growing in Christ! Love you so much

  7. Hannah Searcey · August 20

    Olivia!

    I know that we don’t know each other super well, but reading your blog, I feel as though we have so much in common. This past year, the trend of “minimalism” really skyrocketed, and I was pretty intrigued by it. But, in my research and reading on minimalism, I realized that it is so much more than only having black and white everything or only having a capsule wardrobe, but that it is a way of life that strives for simplicity in all things. So, this past year, I purged. I purged my clothes, my stuff, my collection of old birthday cards and trinkets from high school, unhealthy habits, social media, etc. In this age of materialism and excess, I think that we, as Christians, should really step back and evaluate the way that we consume. It is SO cool that you have taken on this challenge. Truly inspiring, my friend.

    • oliviaharmony · August 20

      Thanks, girl!! I think reflecting on this stuff is so important and it’s encouraging to know that you do too. I appreciate this comment so much.

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