We've had quite a few days of lovely spring weather here recently (sometimes even downright hot weather!), which has prompted me to pull out my spring/summer clothes that have been packed away.
I was a little hesitant to make the switch in clothing, simply because I knew that with the weight I'd gained back this winter, the clothes were either going to be tight or not even fit at all. And that was a rather depressing thought! I wanted to ignore that fact, but it was time for me to just face reality and keep moving in the direction to change! From what I've tried on so far, all of the blouses and tops still fit (which is a blessing, because I really like them!). And I expected that they would, because, being a "pear" - the weight heads south, if ya know what I mean. :-)
But as I suspected, the Capri's, shorts, and skirts are tight in the rear-end. The only blessing I've discovered so far is that after digging through my bucket of clothes, I realized that need new Capri's anyway. So I decided to head into Kohls one afternoon and see if I could find a nice pair. Little did I know what a discouraging afternoon that would be!
I knew the style that I wanted and after grabbing a few different brands, I went into the dressing room to try them on. One after the other, I threw them into the "reject" pile as they all had different "weak points". Too tight in the thighs....too much room in the waist....not long enough....they don't sit right on my hips...too tight in the rear....etc. I was in the store for over an hour, and I'd guess that I tried on at least 8 different brands and 15 different pairs...but nothing worked. I felt like I must have the most unique body of everyone! Which normally brought comfort and appreciation, but that day brought frustration.
It was hard not to walk out of the store feeling down, with doubts swimming in my head. Not only was shopping not enjoyable, it was like a constant reminder screaming, "You've gained weight! You've gained weight! Nothing fits! You've failed!".
Now, at this point, you must be thinking, "Uh, did she forget that she was supposed to post about a favorite thing? I was hoping for another recipe. This is kinda depressing to read..." But don't bail out on me yet! My favorite thing is coming up soon. :-)
As I sat in the car and pulled away from Kohls, I was just praying that the Lord would bring a verse to mind that would encourage me and that He would help me to focus on Him instead of the thoughts of defeat. Because at that point, I was ready to go have a good cry somewhere! And He was so faithful to bring not just one verse, but a whole host of verses to mind. Snippets of Scripture like "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us", "I have loved you with an everlasting love", " My grace is sufficient for you and my power is made perfect in your weaknesses", "you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons", etc. And the Lord gently reminded me just because I couldn't find Capri's that day doesn't mean that I should "throw in the towel" and give into defeat. He is to be the source of my joy, my fulfillment, my security, my everything. I should not be looking to Capri's to make me happy! (Which sounds ridiculous even as I type that, but I think we do that in all different areas of our lives.) I was challenged as I realized how often I let "superficial things" determine my thoughts and emotions, which in turn determines my moods and actions. I mean, seriously - so what if the Capri's didn't fit! Was I going to allow that to steal my joy and my motivation?
By God's grace, I decided that I wasn't going to let that day be marked with defeat, but that I was going to continue walking in His strength and move on, let it go. I needed to raise a flag of surrender, but not to the store - to Christ!
So, while my attitude improved, I still had a huge hole in my wardrobe that I knew I needed to fill up pretty quickly. I decided to just make plans to head to another store as soon as it worked into my schedule and just trust the Lord about the whole thing. Well, have you noticed how the Lord loves to surprise and bless His children? I was so excited yesterday as I saw Him doing that for me.
My family was in Des Moines yesterday for a Bible Quizzing competition, and after we finished up that day, my Mom decided that we would go to Bass Pro Shop and let my little sisters have some fun looking at all of the "stuffed animals". (lol )So, we went in and the little girls absolutely loved looking around at all the different animals they have on display, especially the talking moose head. :-) And as we walked in, I noticed that they had a rather large selection of very nice women's clothing and I saw a pair of Capri's that looked really comfy and cute. So I asked Mom if it would be all right to look around a bit, and after getting the "go ahead" from her, Hannah (my resident fashion expert) and I went through the racks. And would you believe it? I walked out of that store with 2 pairs of darling, comfy Capri's and 1 pair of shorts! From the Bass Pro Shop! I've never been to that store in my life and had no idea that they sold clothes, but my Father in heaven knew, and He orchestrated our schedule so that I would be there on that day and would be able to get what I needed. I don't deserve His blessings (none of us do) but I'm so thankful that we serve a God who desires to be intimately involved in our lives and who blesses us even though we don't deserve it.
And that's my favorite thing this week - that our Lord looks past who we are and what size of clothes we wear and chooses to love and bless us even in the midst of our struggles and doubts. The Scripture says to, "Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you", and I praise the Lord for how He demonstrated that so clearly to me this week. I'd encourage you all to be fervent in "casting" and leave the "caring" to Him, because I think that we often do the exact opposite. We begin "caring" and worrying about our problems and try "casting" them to whoever or whatever we think can fix them, instead of simply "casting" them to Christ and leaving the results in His hands.
It's yet another lesson the Lord has be teaching me through this clothing experience. Oh, and I also learned one other valuable piece of information - don't judge a store by it's name...you might just get surprised!
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