Ready, Set, 333

I’m almost ready. All my extraneous items are packed snuggly away in the guest bedroom. My husband threatened to post here last night. I walked into the guest room to add one more item to my non-necessities pile and he accused me of pulling out a 34th item. No such thing! I should do it, just to see if he actually notices and if he would actually tell on me!

This morning, I got a phone call from my mom asking if I could fly to Texas to spend some time with one of my sisters. She just had emergency surgery and is feeling blue. My mom has been staying with her, but has to go home at some point. Would I be willing to come keep Kelsey company? Not such a terrible request as I would get to spend time with all three of my sisters and my niece Kylie.

It was an immediate gut reaction to groan, “I hate to pack!” But, I think one of the most beautiful things about this Project 333 endeavor is that I could toss all 33 items in a modest suitcase, zip it up and fly away without a thought! No wondering if I packed matching outfits, no wondering if I will look cute. The only consideration would be to remember my underwear, socks and toothbrush! I may never go back! However, I would have to control myself once I got there. It seems to be a habit to go shopping with my sisters. I’m on a clothing diet, no buying anything new!

So here are two closet-purging, Avon purchases. They promptly expelled four skirts that I haven’t worn in years and a dozen brightly colored sweatshirts with screen printing. I’m still waiting on a pair of black pants to be delivered, one white, collared poplin blouse and a pair of navy leggings. 

Here’s what I am wearing for the next month:

3 pair of jeans

4  nice, solid long-sleeved t-shirts

3 sweaters

3 cardigans

4 nicer collared shirts

1 denim jacket

2 pair leggings, one pair yoga pants

1 skirt

2 very casual t-shirts

3 sweatshirts

4 layering tanks

2 scarves

2 belts

So, how did I do? Am I missing any essentials that you can think of? I have ordered a Versalette, but it won’t arrive until April.

{r}evolution apparel Introduces the Versalette from {r}evolution apparel on Vimeo.

So what do you think?

Can you go there with me?

Past the land of not enough,

Past the glut of way too much.

Brutally ignore the whining ego,

Willing notice what can forego.

Indulge in the simple,

Revel in less.

Notice the clarity,

Wonder at scarcity.

Change my heart?

Turn your mind?

What revelation might I find?

At the end of a month,

Still abundantly blessed,

But peace. Contented now,

With less.

 

 

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Project 333, Here We Come!

This was not supposed to be an expensive venture. But isn’t that often the way with green things?

We decide to recycle more – so we have to buy color-coded, pretty recycle bins. We want to buy cleaner water so now we find ourselves making bi-weekly trips to the water store to fill up our monstrous plastic jugs – quite a bit more costly than the tap water we still use for other things. Now we can’t buy just any ordinary plastic, but it has to be the pricey PBA free, or glass. So also began my new adventure with downsizing my closet as a participant in Project 333.

Sunday, I decided to separate the nice from the spotted, the comfy from the frumpy and the wearables from the “I forgot I had those.” It was a quickly discouraging process. I have very few neutral clothes, very few interchangeable pieces, very few pieces that can be worn anywhere. Now I sound like the very lie I’m trying to refute, “I don’t have anything to wear!”

Within about two hours, Sunday afternoon, I had pared myself down to about 35 items. I decided I’m not going to be legalistic about this.

(That’s not a cop-out!) The whole point is to minimize not only my closet but my stress and my spending and my self-absorption. I decided not to include my heavy coats in my tally. I chose not to count my shoes and necklaces and certainly not my underwear and socks.

Aren’t you proud of me? I didn’t have to confess that!

I was also amazed at how many of my things have small spots, tiny holes and irregularities. Please don’t get the idea that I look threadbare and shabby all the time! But if I’m only going to have 33 items to chose from, I don’t want 17 of them to have imperfections. Maybe I need a few new items and to discard some of the old? We’ll talk about that later.

It is kind of exciting. There’s a funny thrill is discovering what I can live without. I think it will also be fun at the end of this month, to switch out my 33 items. It will be like shopping from my own closet!

For the time being, I took all my not-to-be-worns, and packed them away in a suitcase and closed the door to the guest room. Poor Brave thought I was moving out!

 

Off the top of your head, what’s the ONE item in your closet that you would pick first – the one item you couldn’t live without?

Blast! It’s February Already!

I’ve so many ideas for February, but I’d be lying if I told you that I had any idea where to go with them! Every quiet time I have with Jesus, every poignant conversation with friends, every glance at a headline, every jot and tiddle in my journal begs to be a new blog post. I just hope I can keep track of all the scraps of thoughts long enough to weave them into some interesting fodder for your thought.

For the first full week of the month, I have to get some stuff of my chest. C.S. Lewis says, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” I think the same is true of love. In order to fully love Jesus, and to fully praise Him, I have to share what I love about Him.

Lately, I’ve been discovering some things about being holy. My sisters and I have recently started a Skype-ing, Precepts Bible study. We are studying “Living Like You Belong To God.” In just 40 tiny minutes per week, God is revealing nuggets of gold. Do you wonder if you can ever become completely comfortable with God? Can you regard Him with reverence and as your Daddy at the same time? What does that have to do with being holy?

We’ll look at some other questions:

Can you really be an introverted Christian?

Do you have any alters in your life?

The second week, I think I’ll bring you into my bedroom. That sounds bad! What I mean, is that I’ll allow you to watch my experiment with Project 333. I’m afraid it’s going to be a fiasco, but hey, you never know until you try! I’d love it if you want to do it with me, misery loves company!

It’s funny, I really do wear the same things over and over, but somehow it’s nice just knowing that variety is available. Honestly, when I read this lady’s list of what she’s wearing, 33 items goes a long way.

Also, we’re in the process of upgrading all things WordPress so that I can include video and audio for you. You might even get to watch me winnow out my closet!

So, we’ve taken care of February, week 2.

And lastly, you’ve heard me mention Moody Radio and Publishers hundreds of times. You also know that I read Table Talk, by Ligonier Ministries. Sooner or later, it will no longer catch me by surprise that God weaves all His teachings through my days so seamlessly. Both of these resources have been highlighting the catechisms. Do you know what those are? During the fourth full week of February, I will review the book

The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, by Kevin DeYoung.

And then we have one final partial week before we stomp into March! March! March! Since I expect my head to be spinning with the spiral of time’s dial, and my minutes slipping through like hourglass sand, we will just celebrate the progressive nearness of Christ’s return through poetry.

So that’s it, that’s February in a wrap! See you there!

Project 333

This is a scary post. In fact, I want to write a caveat allowing myself to rescind it later. But, well, let’s just see where this goes.

A few months ago, on Shalom Mama, I read about something called Project 333. I like to think of myself as a minimalist, but after spending 5 days with my in-laws, I doubt I qualify. I grew up on a different planet, but I love they way they live. My youngest sister, who spent a lot of time with my in-laws when she was in college in Stillwater, OK, can attest to the fact that there is an unparalleled peace in their home. There is no pretension, no chaos, no frills and no expectations. My mother-in-law dresses nicely for work, my father-in-law does too, wearing one of 2 pair of identical pants and one of 3 identical shirts. When relaxing, Julie always wears a pair of her running pants and a lightweight t-shirt. Her only accessory, “You’re naked without a necklace.”

Their home is quiet and spacious. There’s a futon to sit on in the living room and only a tiny 13″ TV if you must watch something. If there are too many people to squeeze on the futon, feel free to pull up a floor cushion! I’ve never heard anyone complain. Instead, the feeling of family togetherness is enhanced by fewer distractions.

So, back to Project 333. There are levels to the program, but I’ll start with the basics: Whittle down my wardrobe to 33 items of clothing (including jewelry, outerwear and shoes) for 3 months. I like to think I don’t have too many clothes, but the truth is I frequently find items I had forgotten I owned. Really, I don’t WEAR too many clothes, it’s easiest just to wear the same things over and over.

So, I guess this qualifies as a New Year’s resolution, or a three-month resolution. Do you think I can do it? Do you want to join me? I will add on the resolution to actually take more pictures. That way I can show you what I’m doing. You can laugh at my incongruous outfits or compliment me on my simple style.

Next week, I will lay out the schedule for February’s posts. However, I will commit now to sharing my Project 333 progress with you each Friday. Wish me luck!