I recently started reading Jen Hatmaker’s newest book, SEVEN, and as usual she is keeping my interest greatly and causing me to think inwardly about my own life while reading about hers. The premise of this book is that for seven months she identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against greed, materialism, and overindulgence. Needless to say it’s an interesting read because she had to do crazy stuff like eat only seven foods for a month. Can you even imagine? Sounds crazy to me. Or she only wore seven pieces of clothing for a month. The same ones over and over again, which call me crazy but that sounds like a dream to me. I would wear my favorite comfy jeans, tennis shoes, a t shirt and a fleece jacket. I could do that. Aaron would argue that I do that anyways, but whatever.
As I was reading the part about the seven items of clothing I was greatly challenged by something. As much as I hate to spend money on myself, I do care greatly about what others think of me. I really have to struggle to buy a shirt that’s not marked down 800% at Target. Seriously, I guess it’s a good problem, but sometimes I just wish I could spend the $21 and not stress over it. But anyhow … I have a hard time spending money on myself, but then I have no problem buying a new “outfit” every time I go on vacation, go to a wedding, go to a Christmas party, or ___________________. Just fill in the blank. If it’s a special occasion I find it merits a new outfit. A head to toe new outfit. That’s not $21 at Target my friends, that’s some cash. But I justify it. I am so concerned about how people see me, that I justify and justify and justify. I can’t wear that one dress that I bought last week, because the same people will be at this Christmas party that were at that one. Therefore I need a new dress, because heaven forbid they see me in the same cute brown and black striped dress as I had on last week.
What happens in this cycle is that I have a closet full of perfectly good clothes that I can’t wear to someones wedding because I wore them 2 months ago to another friends wedding. Some of you are reading this and you are yelling at me, “who the heck cares what you look like”, and I appreciate your yelling, but sometimes I care. I don’t want to care, but I do care.
In the book where she was talking about wearing the same seven pieces of clothing for seven days she says this:
There is something noble about an assembly of believers in simple clothes, where the lobby isn’t filled with people saying “you look pretty” to each other. Maybe looking pretty isn’t the catalyst for the Spirit’s movement. Perhaps an obsessive occupation with dresses and hair and shoes detracts us from the point of the gathering: a fixation on Jesus. When the jars of clay remember they are jars of clay, the treasure within gets all the glory, which seems somehow more fitting.
Oh friends I want to remember that. I want to obsess not on what I’m wearing, or that I don’t have as cute of clothes as __________, but I want to obsess on Jesus. It’s not about me, but it is about him. Please let me remember that as I enter my closet next time before an event. It’s okay if I wear the dress again, and people probably aren’t looking at me as much as I think they are anyways!
If you are looking for a great new read that will give you a good swift kick in the pants, then SEVEN is a book I recommend you get yourself now. It’s $8 on Amazon right now. You can’t beat that! I’m sure I’ll be kicked in the pants a few more times while reading this!