You know what I love to see? God doing his thing. It seems like he often hooks us up with others who are learning the same things at the same time.
Does he do that with you too?
As God was teaching me about sharing, he was also teaching my friend Vera Wang* something good. We no longer live close to each other physically but we must be spiritual neighbors.
Vera and I both know we are far from perfect and know this is not intended to draw attention to us but to lift Jesus higher!
*not her real name
In one of Carissa's blog posts she wrote about a shopping fast she had done for one year. I was amazed at the restraint and self-control that would take to not buy a piece of clothing or an accessory for one year!
Soon after reading that post I was with a few ladies from church and we were talking about how can we look different from the world (or those that don't yet follow Christ). How are our lives any different from someone who does not profess Jesus as their savior?
I immediately thought of the shopping fast. I did not mention it at the time but wanted to give it some thought and didn't want to put people on the spot. I later sent out messages to these ladies and asked them if they wanted to go on a shopping fast as a way to be "different" than the culture around us.
Three of the ladies took the challenge and we started September 1, 2012. Our goal was to keep the fast going until Christmas.
One of the ladies shared with me how it was so good for her to go in the stores and remember why she was not going to buy that item on sale. It reminded her of what is really important in life and that she wanted to draw closer to Jesus!
For me personally it was a good exercise in not giving in to my every whim. I don't usually buy everything I want but my husband and I give each other an allowance that we can spend on what we want. I usually do not think twice about getting a new shirt or jewelry as long as I have the money to do it. This was a great exercise in realizing what I have sitting in my closet is enough! I don't need another pair of jeans or yet a different shade of boots!
When we ended the fast we decided that the money we spent would go to a missionary or a charity. One of the ladies had been to Uganda the summer before on her first mission trip. Her cousins run a home for children there. Some are true orphans and others are left by their parents because they are too poor to take care of them. We decided that the money we would have spent on clothing and or accessories would go to this children's home in Uganda.
This was such a great fast for my soul and my flesh. In America it is too easy to get sucked into the culture that says you can have what you want right now and you deserve it anyway.
I would challenge anyone to prayerfully consider a shopping fast or any fast that will help you pull away from the American culture and draw you closer to God's heart.
To read more on The Clothes Fast, go here for part 1, here for part 2, or here for the last one.