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.

 

 

Shopping for Truth

It’s been a day. A very good, very long day. At the moment, I’m enjoying my 11th day in Wichita. This morning, my mom, sisters and I hosted my other sister, Kelsey’s, first baby shower. She was buried in pink gifts and Pooh Bears by excited friends and family.

I feel like I turned around twice and all of a sudden, it’s nearly 5 o’clock. After everyone left, chairs were stored and dished racked, I went to the mall to see if I could exploit a sale at Express.  No such luck.  I hate shopping alone. However, the mall is rich fodder for a blog about lies.

The first lie assaulted me in the form of a 12×6 banner, strung to the ceiling as I entered the main body of the mall. “SmartLipo” it screamed. Really? Admittedly, you’re pretty smart if you know that “laser” stands for, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” However, the emotions that lead a woman to consider laser surgery to extricate part of her body often include depression, self-loathing and embarrassment.

“Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes,” is smart, according to Health At Every Size, a movement of individuals devoted to promoting health and contentment in people of every size.

My second double take occurred just one window further into the mall. A flirty mannequin waving from Forever21, strutted a t-shirt declaring “Jesus [hearts] U.” Not a lie, but the greatest truth ever told. I simply find it ironic to hear the overhead music bragging about “dirty little freaks.” Because Jesus loves us, shouldn’t we be more concerned with His honor?

Lastly, since I only lasted at the mall for about 25 minutes (I told you I hate shopping alone) was a the phrase on one t-shirt among many at a stand in the middle of the isle. “I Beat Anorexia.” Well, good for you, but seriously – this is serious.

Statistically, 10-25% of all those battling anorexia will die. If you beat it, do something to help someone else win a loosing battle.

Eye Surgery and Answered Prayer

Do you ever feel like God is ignoring you?

You’ve heard people wail, “Why didn’t God answer my prayer?”  Or, there’s the pious reminder, “Sometimes God says, ‘No’ or, ‘Maybe.'”  Oh how generous of them to offer their unsolicited semi-condolences.

Usually, in our finite minds the concept of, “everything working together for our good” and, “[His] ways are higher than [our] ways,” seem mutually exclusive.  (Romans 8:28 and Is. 55:8-9)

Last week Patrick was supposed to have PRK eye surgery.  He was so excited.  For years, he has talked about it, but the Army is pretty selective about who they will send to get it.  First you have to be a candidate for it visually, then, in Patrick’s case, they have to be able to spare you from your job for a week – and you have to be living in the states, and you have to be near a military hospital that performs the surgery.  Finally, it seemed like all of the odds were in his favor.  His colonel approved it, he had people to cover him for at work, the eye doctor gave him a go, and so the countdown began.

For about 10 days we knew his appointment date and carefully scheduled around it.  We talked through all the worst case scenarios (dumb idea) and planned creative ways to distract him from the pain during recovery.  He gleefully order a new pair of Oakley sunglasses that he has been drooling over for months – soon he could wear them without trying fit them over his prescription glasses.

Other benefits – the soldiers cannot wear any glasses when conducting funerals or formal ceremonies as members of the honor guard.  Now he could finally see eye winks and hand signals!

Last Wednesday, we woke up before 6 a.m., sipped coffee like we were sitting on needles and picked out library audio books for that afternoon.  Then, we battled typical DC traffic all the way to Walter Reid.  Next, we spent 30 minutes driving through the spiral eternity of their parking garage.  At the last minute, Patrick ditched the car and ran inside and I had to drive off-site to park.  It was 8:30 a.m.

I won’t bore you with the next 2 hours.  I twiddled and meandered and read and fiddled.  He was with the doctors doing last minute measurements and getting his numbing drops – I thought.  His surgery was supposed to be at 10 a.m., so I was pacing outside the waiting room door at 10 after.  Empty-handed and painless, Patrick sauntered past me and headed to the elevator.

“What happened!?”

“It’s not going to happen,” he answered calmly without even looking at me.  As if I was supposed to know that.

“Why not?”

“Apparently my cornea is too thin.  The doctor I saw today said he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if he did the surgery.”

That’s good enough for me.  I’d rather see through coke-bottle lenses than be blind!

But here’s what I’m getting at:

I’d been praying for weeks that Patrick would have minimal pain.  I had prayed desperately that God wouldn’t take his sight.  I know it’s rare, but it happens.  Even as I waited for him that morning, I saw four blind men in the hospital.  I knew my mom was praying, I knew my grandma was praying, I knew Joan was praying.  And I knew that Patrick had been praying for the opportunity to have this surgery.

So what was God’s answer?  God chose to answer my prayer for painlessness and protection by keeping Patrick from having surgery.  That’s not exactly what I was praying for, but usually, we don’t know the depths of what we are asking.

From a different view of this whole story, I have to applaud my husband.  I know he is disappointed.  I was disappointed for him.  To be taken to the last minute, the half-hour before and then to be told, “No.”

Patrick simply said, “OK.”  With no more than a sigh, he picked out a new set of glasses frames, drove us home and went back to work.  He hasn’t complained once since then.

Hmmm… Lessons to remember:

1. God always answers and it’s always for my good – now or later.

2. Displaying the grace of Jesus means accepting His will for me with joy, peace and trust in His greater knowledge and love for me.