So, as most of you probably know,
this past year I did a type of fast.
I called it, 6 Things.
I began to wrestle with idea of it during a message our Pastor spoke January 3, 2016.
I made the final commitment to do it about the middle of January,
but, because I had not purchased anything up until that point,
I chose to date the fast from the beginning of January 2016 to the end of December 2016.
I felt the Lord was asking me to limit my personal clothing item purchases,
and my decorative household purchases,
to 6 items each.
For the entire year.
Only 6 pieces of clothing, people!
Half a dozen.
How crazy is that????
What's even crazier is that,
I followed it!
I bought only 6 items of clothing for myself.
Hard to believe, I know!
But I did!
I only bought 6 decorative household items!
This fast was definitely more than just an exercise in buying less stuff.
It was in fact, not really about the buying stuff part at all.
That being said,
it was the conduit He used to open my eyes to a new way of seeing.
I've loved and hated it.
I wouldn't change it.
I thought that since you've been following along with me on this journey,
you might be interested in a little tour of the things I bought,
and in hearing some of the struggles I experienced.
So, the very first item I purchased, was this.
The thing about this was,
I had actually ordered it in December of 2015,
almost a month before I began my 6 fast.
And, because I received it at the beginning of January 2016,
before I even began to contemplate my 6 fast,
a part of me actually wrestled a little bit with including it.
But, because I chose to date the length of my fast
from the beginning of January to the end of December,
I knew I needed to include it.
I had ordered it for a very specific spot in our basement,
and the basement was unfinished.
So, this sign sat under my bed for almost the entire year!
We put it up in the middle of December!
Let me tell you,
I was a little bit bitter about one of my purchases being hidden under my bed for pretty much the entire year!
It's up now, and I LOVE it!
This "Hope Will Rise" sign is so very precious to my husband and me.
It is our truth,
for our children,
and for our loved ones,
Thank-you, Pam Helm, for doing such a beautiful job on it!
This is the second item I purchased.
I absolutely agonized over this buying this top!
I was sick to my stomach thinking I might regret it.
Originally, I was looking for a plain , long black T, that I could layer and wear with lots of different things, but when I saw this I loved it!
I hummed and hawed in the dressing room while my friend patiently listened to me go on and on about whether or not I should buy it.
Although I can't really layer it, it is very versatile,
and in the end, I never did regret it.
The next thing I bought was this gorgeous table for our deck.
Can I tell you?
I didn't think, nor do I now think,
that I technically needed to include this in my 6 items.
Because, I don't consider this a decorative item.
It is furniture.
And before you think that I'm stretching the rules, or breaking them even,
know that, when I made the decision to do this fast,
it was to limit my tchotchke purchases.........
my nick-nack accumulation.........
But, I chose to include it because,
I could have purchased a less expensive outdoor dining table.
But, I loved, (perhaps even coveted???) this particular one because it was so beautiful,
and so I counted it as an item.
(Just so you know, I got this one on clearance! Not that I feel the need to explain that to you.......)
Then I bought this top.
This was also a difficult purchase for me.
I carried it around the store for almost an hour debating whether or not to buy it.
Why, I'll never know.........
Texas long-horn covered in glitter?????
What could there be to regret?!?
I wear it like this in summer, and layered in winter.
I love it!
Then, I bought this picture.
It was quite possibly the easiest purchase I made.
I had been looking for the perfect piece for my dining table wall for a while,
and when I saw this, I was smitten.
I bought it without even a hint of angst.
Somewhere in here, I lost my water bottle. (See this post.)
This was a tragedy.
I bought a new one,
and proceeded to agonize over whether or not it should be included as one my 6 personal clothing items.
Obviously, it isn't clothes,
but it was a personal item.
I didn't know how to deal with it.
Don't count it?
I was so torn!
In the end, after lots of thought and prayer,
(yup, I honestly prayed over that stupid water bottle!)
I decided not to include it.
I wasn't completely sure I made the right decision,
but in the end,
it wasn't about the rules, folks,
it was about my heart.
And my heart was most definitely in the right place.
Then I bought The Bieber Pants.
Worst purchase ever.
My next purchase was this pair of white pants.
I went shopping specifically for them.
I had been desiring a pair of white pants for quite a while as well, so I felt confident in this particular purchase.
It was not really difficult.
Well, maybe just a little.
I think I tried on every single pair in the store.
But, again, I love them.
I don't regret them.
You should know.
These shorts are new.
But, I didn't count them in my 6 things.
My husband and I were going on a little getaway in B.C.
and he wanted to buy me a pair of shorts.
He emphatically informed me that I was not allowed to include them in my 6 items.
I was to pick them out,
but he was buying them as a gift for me.
I cannot tell you how much I love him for that.
This is my cousin, Helen.
How gorgeous is she?!?
she is a designer.
And she designed these scarves.
Aren't they fabulous?
I might be her biggest fan, folks.
She and her mom, have altered some of my old, ill fitting, out-dated clothes,
into fabulous new pieces for me.
So, when I found out she had designed this new scarf,
I had to have one.
I bought this one.
Here's the thing.
Even though this would definitely would fall under the 6 personal clothing items catergory,
I told myself I wasn't going to count it.
I told myself that I was buying this to support someone I loved and believed in.
I told myself that, I didn't need to count it.
Because I was investing in her.
My 6 items needed to be actual clothing items rather than accessories.
I didn't want to count that scarf.
I really didn't want to.
I almost didn't.
But, I felt such conviction about it.
It was actually making me feel nauseous.
I want you to know something......
when I finally surrendered my heart to include this beautiful scarf as one of my 6 items,
I felt joy.
The struggle over this scarf taught me one of the biggest lessons I've learned through this fast.
Real sacrifice comes when you give up something for yourself,
to invest in someone else.
I love Helen.
I chose to invest in her.
In the end, I'm still the winner here.
A shirt for myself would never begin to compare to the joy I received from investing in her.
(Plus, I have the scarf!)
I bought outdoor Christmas lights for our back porch.
(Sorry, I don't have a pic.)
I bought more than one set,
but, I counted them as one item.
I do not feel like this was cheating.
Maybe you do,
but, it's my fast.
If you do a fast, you can make your own rules. ;)
So, Jason and I have been finishing our basement this past winter.
We've purchased flooring, and trim, and a gas fireplace.
And, well, other stuff, too.
Obviously, none of those things were counted as decorative household items,
except for this.............
OH, how I love this wallpaper!
And, while it is part of our finished basement,
it is also purely decorative,
so, I counted it.
I bought this sweater in December.
It was my last clothing purchase.
It felt like the "last supper".
No more clothing items.
But, it felt good, too.
Um, plus, you know, my fast was coming to a close.
I could buy more in less than a month!
(FYI.......... I have not bought a single thing yet.
Honestly, I don't really know how.......
More on that in a later post.)
The very last thing I purchased, well,
Jason and I both purchased it,
was this chair for our basement.
Again, I don't feel I needed to include this as one of my items,
because it is furniture, not a tchotchke.
But, I did.
(I feel a little bit like a Pharisee,
bragging about counting it when I didn't need to.
And there you have it!
6 clothing items.
6 household items.
I made it through.
I never died.
O man, I cried.
But, I am so glad,
for this past year,
and for my 6 fast,
and for the things I've learned through it.
I have grown so much!
I look forward to see how those lessons, this growth,
will continue to grow and develop this year.
I am so thankful for those of you who journeyed with me.
Many of you brought such encouragement when I was struggling.
Many of you prayed for me, and with me.
Some of you even wept with me.
I needed you.
You were there.