Well, I did it. I went an entire year without shopping for myself. I am actually very surprised by how fast the year went by. I am also shocked to hear myself say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I know without a doubt that God used this simple challenge to prepare me for a roller coaster of a ride.
There have been so many sweet spots during the past year. Gifts to my blog, gift cards, gifts from friends, hand-me-downs, and more. Any sacrifice I made was given back to me in such a sweet way. I appreciated the small things with a greater love, and this made me recognize areas of selfishness that I never want to return. I have learned a lot about wants versus needs, and my self control is better than ever. I still love fashion and always will, but this break taught me that less really IS more.
The last month has brought on yet another challenge for my family that I just wasn't ready to share publicly. I don't know if it was because of fear, or embarrassment, or a little of both. But in the past few days, God is showing me even more who He is, and how important every step of this yearlong journey I have been on is. If I hold back, how am I to truly communicate what He has been doing in my life? I realize not everything has to be shared, but I signed on for this year of transparency, and so I am going with it.
Well, as of August 28th my husband has been out of a job again. This is the second time in six months, for a man that has had only 4 jobs for the past 25 years of his life. The very same job we accepted as such a blessing several months back, turned out to be a horrible fit for our family. The commute, the long hours, draining work environment and missing out on family activities all took their toll on my man. Obviously, we would have preferred he found something else before parting ways, but in the situation he was in, there was no time to look or leave work for interviews, etc. I am sure there was a reason for his 5 months of suffering, but God wanted him out of there.
So now, here we are looking up to God and believing and KNOWING that He is going to provide. I won't lie and say I haven't worried, I have. But what is really awesome is the community of friends that have loved on us, prayed for us, and reminded us of the truths that we needed to hear and repeat until we believed them.
When we went through this in March, a fix came quick. This time, not so quick. But we have been able to see why God may be waiting. My husband was freed up to serve at Tres Dias men's weekend and he needed to be there. With his previous job, or even a new one....he would not have been able to take the time off to attend. We have had amazing quality time to spend together over the last month....(we had plenty of catching up to do). He has also had the opportunity to participate in car line pick ups, and school lunch dates. This quality time is helping us get through not knowing what will happen next.
Maybe God allows us to visit a scary place to show us that it's not so scary if we just keep our eyes on him?
So even though I would love to celebrate the end of this shop fast by heading to Nordstrom, due to our current situation it looks like my shop fast will continue on. So I thought, What better way to celebrate than with the October Dress Project? Day one, year four......here I go again! God is so good, all of the time.