Shopping in Tension

During Summer of 7, I cleaned a lot of my clothes.  I suppose in some ways I didn’t think through that because I didn’t leave myself too many items for the cold days.  I suppose when it’s 102 out you just convince yourself you just don’t need too many sweaters.  Well, it seems I do actually need a few extra items.  So I’ve been adding some clothes to my Christmas wish lists and doing a tiny bit of shopping.


Over the last few years after reading Crazy Love and Radical and starting Blood:water belt, I’d just stopped shopping.  Sure, a few times a year I’d visit Old Navy for the girls and pick myself up a few things but I avoided Target like the plague and didn’t seek out The Loft.  I was just so done with spending my money and regretting it. (P.S.  You MUST read the latest post about the blood:water belt)

I knew when I started WIWW posts that I’d want to buy more things.  I was right, I do.  Especially now that I need some winter clothes.  And since I’ve been letting myself shop a bit for winter clothes and Christmas shopping, I’ve been kind of a train wreck.

I gave in and bought two shirts and two sweaters at Target last week.  All of it was on sale and one was even a maternity shirt on clearance (did you read how I buy maternity even thought I am NOT pregnant?).  I got home and saw there was a gap in the stitching of one of the sweaters.  I thought to go exchange it but when I took it back I just couldn’t.  I let them put the money back on the card and left Target empty-handed.

A few weeks ago I realized the brown boots I wear constantly had completely lost their form. I’d be walking and realize the left one was sagging.  My boots would be uneven and I’d look silly.  I’d have to tug on the boots and wear 2 and 3 pairs of socks to try to keep them up.  I finally broke down and bought a new pair when Nine West had a sale on top of a sale.

The boots arrived and I let them sit behind my desk on the floor in the box for 2 days before I would wear them.  It killed me to spend that much money on one pair of shoes.

This morning I got a sale email from The Loft.  Shirts were only $10.  They had a pretty white one with black stripes and I knew it would be so cute with a scarf.  I put that and another white tee in my bag.  I went to check out and then I closed the tab.  I couldn’t pull the trigger.

I feel like a maniac.  There is this constant tension between what I want, what the world says I need and deserve and where I really want my money to go.

Believe me, I sure am enjoying my boots and new shirts and already am thinking about where to buy a red scarf before this weekend’s holiday parties (while simultaneously trying to convince myself I don’t need it).

I don’t always manage the tension well but I do believe at least some tension is good to keep spending in check.

I just wonder if anyone else is feeling this tension especially this holiday season as we’re shopping more?   If so, how do you manage it?  When do you decide to give in and when do you decide to hold off?

Blood Water Belt Story

I had the pleasure to share the story of the Blood Water Belt as part of an illustration for our church’s sermon on generosity.  I filmed it last minute the night we got back from Disney at our place in Florida (check out the storms happening behind me!).  I thought I’d share the video and point you to the full sermon so you can see how it was tied in.  Click over to our church’s site and check out Week 3 of the Wise Man Says series.  Below is the unedited video I shared with them.



I’m still in awe He would take my faults and turn it into something good.

Change is Gonna Come


Ya’ll today was kinda a big deal.  In so many ways.  Wanna know why?

The job

I applied for my job today.  Not A job, but MY job.  I’ve been a contractor for the bank for 10 years now but because of new rules, I can’t stay a contractor.  So we’re looking to pull me into a full-time position.  I will be upping my hours from 30 to 40 and some other minor changes but I’ll be doing the same thing with the same group.  But as you might not expect, there is a lot of red tape to get MY job even though I’ve had it ten years.  I even have to interview.  So yeah, I applied for a job today.

The call

It’s official.  I made the call to DSS today to schedule our orientation meeting.  I actually said to someone official “we’d like one child, a 3-5 year old male”.  Part of it felt a little icky, like I had just called a catalog order in but ya’ll, when I think about the fact that I just made the first phone call to find my son that is not under my roof, well, it’s a beautiful, big deal.

The house

The bids for the houses should be coming in today.  So excited to get that ball rolling.  And by the way, I think we settled on that last floor plan.  It feels good after staking it out outside and staring at it for a few days.

The car

Somewhat less major, today we also had some car issues.  We took the van in for a recall and asked them to figure out why our engine light kept coming on randomly and Honda wanted to do $2700 worth of work on it.  Unfortunately $1500 of that is probably legit work that needs done.


Today feels like 2011 is going to be quite the ride.


Also before I go, you just have to see this video about the Blood:Water BeltSarah, Amanda and Mandi had it at Blissdom and it put me in tears to think of all God has done with just an ounce of obedience.  All the ladies that have it mean a lot but this is the first I’ve seen anyone talk about it with as much passion as Dani and I have about it.  Three more ladies and we have over $2,000 raised!  Consider joining?

Blown Away

Blown away is pretty much the only feeling I feel this morning.  For those that followed in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook or the blood:water belt site, you know that yesterday was HUGE.  Dani and I made a goal of 28 people.  I have to be honest and say we were nearly laughing at that number.  Twenty-eight people?  I can’t even get 2 to a Mary Kay party.  But we had to go with it.  We both knew in our hearts that this couldn’t be ignored.  We just weren’t sure if it included just the 2 of us or 28.  But it was a nice round number considering the cost of the belt.

Well, I am just blown away that we have THIRTY people officially signed up on the site right now.  There are a handful more that have committed but just haven’t registered yet.  That is $840 for Blood:Water Mission!!  Speaking of, they left a sweet comment on the site yesterday giving their blessing on our efforts.  Marla, the leader of the Radical Read-along joined up as well as many friends both IRL and online, wonderful blogging ladies I look up to and other Read-alongers :)  Our prayer was simply that God would make people’s hearts tender and wow, He showed up!  Whether people knew they were prayed for or not, He showed up every time they joined.

And you know what?  As I lie (laid?) in bed last night thanking God for all of this He just whispered, “And that was only a belt.”  My joy overfloweth with just one belt sparking a change and God tells us to give it all to Him.  I thought of all the possessions I have and just how much of a difference could be made if we always had a Kingdom mindset.  We think giving our money, time or possessions is a chore, something that we will regret.  But, no.  If God calls you to it, it’s a complete and utter joy.   I have never, ever regretted anything I’ve ever given to Him.  I don’t look back and say man, think of all the money I could have saved by not sponsoring a Compassion child.  Or man, too bad I volunteered for the Christmas Boutique at church.  Giving always results in thankfulness and a happy heart.

2 Corinthians 9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

Introducing blood:water belt

Some days I feel like Jekyll and Hyde.  One day I’m talking about a TV show, the next about being radical, yesterday I posted about going to a celebrity meet and greet and today I’m talking about something entirely different.  It may seem like two sides but I assure you they are of the same coin.  I’m passionate about whatever I’m into.  I’m either into it full force or I’m not.  Yes, I get on bandwagons but I enjoy them while I’m there and I really I don’t know any other way to do it.  So I have all these parts of me but all of them are me and all of them I’m passionate about but there are some that are close to my heart and some that aren’t.

This is going to be one of those close to my heart.

When I wrote that post on Tuesday about the first chapter of Radical I really had no idea what would  happen.  I definitely cringed a little hitting the Publish button hoping I wouldn’t look the fool asking someone to buy a belt for charity.  But God moved and my friend Dani “bought” the belt.  She’s donated $28 to blood:water mission!  Hooray!    That one post and one belt just helped 28 people in Africa.

They like it!

Well, apparently God had something a little bigger planned than 28 people because Tuesday night after Dani bought the belt, my passionate/addictive/entrepreneurial mind kicked into high gear and I could not quit thinking about it.  I sent her an email the next morning and said, what if we made this like the Sisterhood for the Traveling Pants but for the belt and everyone donated to blood:water mission in order to take their turn with it?  What if everyone took their picture with it and we posted it? What if we had a map? What if we made a goal to have 28 people do it?  What if we had a journal to pass along with the belt? The questions wouldn’t stop and the cool thing is, we were on the exact same page.  She couldn’t stop thinking about it Tuesday night.  And then I told Scott about it and he was like “do it and that’s a direct order.”  And no, I’m not really joking. hahahaha  Seriously.  Not joking.

Dani came to pick the belt up Wednesday night and we started making plans.  By now, as you can imagine, I can whip up a blog quick-fast-in-a-hurry and I have one put together for this. (Yes, I realize I was scaling back but maybe because I needed time for this?) We’ve named the belt and site blood:water belt (Scott wants you to know he came up with that name) and will create a Sisterhood of the Traveling Belt.  Each person that joins will “buy” the belt by donating, have the belt shipped to them for wear and pictures (can’t wait to see other people in it!) before sending it on.

I don’t know how long this will last.  I don’t know if it’s just teaching us two belt-lovin’ gals a little lesson but we have to give it a shot.  I have to do something more and if selling the belt to one person was a little step, this might be the next 2 or 3.  I’m serious about being Radical.  I’m serious about helping the poor.  I’m serious about making a difference.  If it comes through a belt, then so be it.  All I know is 56 lives (yes, I donated and joined too :) will be changed because of just the two of us and I’m ready to see how many more.

I think she is too.

If you think you could be a part of it or know someone who would (probably someone who used to send you a chain letter HA), would you consider joining the Sisterhood of the Traveling Belt or sharing about

It’s an awfully cute belt!!