Simplicity and Identity

Somewhere along the way, I lost my way. I had strongly believed that I was to simplify my life, and yet somehow life had managed to get complicated. You see, it’s easy to decide to live simply if that is all that you can afford, looking at others and thinking of them as extravagant. In a country such as the USA, it’s easy to convince myself that because I have less than others and am considered “poor” that I have the moral high ground when it comes to living in a more godly way. That sounds so similar to the fundamentalist attitudes that I despise. Old habits die hard, or so they say.

While I merrily de-cluttered my house because I’d rather live without so much stuff, de-cluttering my style was far less enjoyable. I never had a huge clothing budget, but I did used to have the money to get something once in a while, and when I did I wanted to make sure it was edgy and name brand. And then circumstances arose where I was unable to even buy myself shampoo or makeup, things that most people consider necessary, because every spare penny I had was going towards making sure the children had shampoo and shoes and mittens. And while that was difficult, God provided everything I needed, just not the things that I thought I needed. I learned that I could indeed wash my hair without shampoo, all I needed was water, seeing as God had given me a house with running water. It wasn’t ideal, and I’m thankful I’m not currently in that position, but I didn’t lack anything that was necessary.

Through this period of time I learned so much and realized that I was a snob when it came to clothes and style. There is nothing wrong with having style, and I still have my own style but I have tweaked it some so that I can live more simply. I have always shopped at thrift stores, I love them, but I would still only buy name brand things at the thrift store. I would also buy way more things than I needed, just because they were “cheap”.

I have become more intentional about how I dress, giving thought to presentation, the fact that I am made in God’s image, as well as simplifying my closet. And as I have considered the fact that maybe who I am in Christ isn’t who I have always thought of myself to be, I have learned to be content with fewer clothes, but clothes that I really like, even if they come from Walmart. I don’t have to prove myself to anybody, because my identity is not in myself. I now have fewer clothes that I like more, and I love that.

As far as the lies I have believed about myself, that I am worthless, ugly, stupid, and unlovable, it’s time those lies disappeared for good. Who I really am as a precious and loved child of God is going to be my focus for Lent. I’m going to spend this season trying to believe all the things in the Bible that talk about my identity and how valuable, beautiful, smart and loved I am to God.

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