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Trading Fashion for Wisdom: A Small Prayer Answered in A Big Way

Image from thecherryblossomgirl.com

A few weeks ago I made the decision to suspend my reading of my favorite fashion and style blogs. I never had much time for them anyway, five minutes here, ten minutes there, but after spending some time thinking about a thing some bloggers do called “What I Wore Wednesday,” (WIWW) I was inspired to make a change in my internet consumption. While WIWW is cute and fun and born out of the best intentions, to me, I can’t shake the way it seems to epitomize the me-centric culture of the Internet. (Maybe I’ll write more about that another day.) So I’m clear: I love the bloggers that participate in WIWW. I still read them on the daily. But WIWW just rubs me the wrong way, is all. (Bunkering-down in preparation for backlash.)

Before I go any further, you need to know that as much as quitting reading fashion blogs might not seem like a big deal, it’s actually somewhat of a sacrifice for me. I love the art of fashion (especially “high fashion”), and how subtle choices in personal style have the distinct power to communicate one’s personality and values. But my innocent penchant for blogs of the sartorial type was stirring a dissatisfaction in my heart. (I find “want” to be the root of most of any unhappiness I feel, so I’m very sensitive to snuffing out “want” when it rears its buttery cashmere or italian-leather head.) Thus, my decision to abstain from the world of fashion and street-style.

By quitting indulging my desire for fashion and style content, it was my intent to make room for something greater, but I didn’t really know what that greater thing was.

So I prayed. (Seems to me that that’s almost always the beginning of a life-changing story, no?)

I committed the time I gained by not reading fashion blogs to God, and told him that I trusted him to fill that void with something Him-focused. Something great. Something WOW. And guess what? He did!

A few days went by wherein I simply had a little more time in my day to use however I saw fit. Mostly I did housework. Sometimes I read scripture. But really, I wasn’t feeling God pointing me towards anything in my new-found “free-time.” And I really wanted to sit down and read thecherryblossomgirl.com. But instead, I kept praying, telling God that I’m happy to wait as long as he wants me to in order to discover more of His heart.

familylife.com family life today

Logo courtesy of familylife.com

One day, in the moments after I finished my morning housework and before Ellie woke up from her nap, I sat down at my computer, but instead of going to thecherryblossomgirl, I went to familylife.com (home of my favorite radio program, FamilyLife Today), and WOW! I’ve been listening to FamilyLife Today for over a year now, but I had no idea of the wealth of information available on their website. I struck gold in their “audio” section. Literally hundreds of hours of podcasts from years past on topics ranging from parenting, to feminism to guarding your safety on the Internet, all for free! I downloaded everything. We’re talking gigabytes of audio podcasts, and each of them is so good.

Through the archive at familylife.com, I’ve “met” Susan Hunt (who I wish would adopt me as her honorary granddaughter), Carolyn McCulley (author of Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World, and an absolute treasure), Dr. Tim Kimmell (author of Grace-Based Parenting), Dannah Gresh (author of What Are You Waiting For?: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex) Nancy Leigh DeMoss…I could go on and on.

The wisdom shared in each episode is nearly overwhelming, and has provided so much food for thought and conversation with my husband. What an incredible answer to prayer! I’ve grown so much just in the past three weeks– it’s more than I could have ever thought to ask God for, and has spurned a whole new passion for my calling as a wife, mother, home-maker and woman. What a blessing! I love the way God knows my heart, and knows exactly what I need and just doesn’t hold back. I feel like a kid who asks for a serving of ice cream for desert, but instead her parents fill a kiddie-pool with it and say “go nuts, kid!” I never could have imagined God would respond this way.

One last thing. Get this: I look forward to washing dishes, steaming our floors and folding our laundry, not only because it blesses my family, but because during those times I get to listen to the wisdom and insight of so many leaders on FamilyLife Today, growing me up as a daughter in Christ. Anything that can get me excited to steam the floor has got to be a good thing! And I can share the fact that I downloaded, literally, gigabytes of their past episodes without shame because I made a donation in support of their ministry. If you happen to get into their podcasts and love them as much as I do, won’t you also consider contributing? I’d love for them to stay on the air for forever. 🙂

I’ll tell you what: trading Dior and Alexander Wang for dishsoap and some podcasts was totally and completely worth it! And I cannot wait to see what God has in store next.

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10 Comments

  1. Hi There! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! And I’m so glad to know it is blessing you. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Anne

     /  September 4, 2011

    This is a terrific post. I always enjoy hearing from you and wish I could write and express myself as well as you do.

    Reply
    • You made Dennis and me smile today. Thanks. Enjoy the dishes.

      Reply
      • Wow! I was just listening to you, Dennis and Nancy DeMoss on an olllld episode of FLT. Thanks again for all that you do. Especially nowadays, your program is such a blessing and a much-needed resource.

        Reply
  3. Great wisdom, every MOMent of our day counts! Happy to know FamilyLife blesses you and it’s nice to meet you! Since you so enjoy FamilyLife Today you may want to stop by and visit us over at MomLife Today.com, we have lots of great moms you may want to meet whose blog posts would bless you! Even Dannah is a contributor! Your blog and your heart to reach out to others is great! Blessings to you!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for the recommendation. Love what you all are doing! What a blessing it is to have you all as a resource. Love you all!

      Reply
  4. Terry

     /  July 11, 2012

    I’m intrigued. Take the role of ‘god’ out of the equation, and how would anything have been different? Would those audio recordings not have been there? Would you not have gone to that website?

    It sounds more like it was just ‘you’ all along, your voice telling you to stop looking at these materialistic blogs in the search for something more substancial. It was just a matter of time before something confirmed your belief.

    We’ve all experienced moments like this; it would be strange if we didn’t! But the effects of confirmation bias and paredolia; which are extremely persuasive, are to blame for 99%, if not 100%, of them. i.e. When something agrees with our internal narrative we snap it right up as clear confirmation of our theory, regardless how long it takes. It’s normal, and natural, rather than supernatural.

    All the best.

    Reply
  5. I have recently discovered the WIWW and Copy Cat Closet link-ups and at first I thought it was fun and I enjoyed linking up. But I hate taking pictures of myself and like you, it has become a source of discontentment in my own life. I consider clothes my ‘vice’ and when I am faced with all these pretty women in pretty clothes it make me want to be like them or find their clothes to add to my wardrobe and i just can’t do that anymore. I feel almost guilty if i stop linking up but seriously something has got to give and honestly I know I will be more content if I focus on the more important things and just be content with my own style.
    Thank you Melissa
    you always have a way of getting things across in such a logical clear concise way. Like Anne above said, You express yourself well.

    Reply
    • I’m sorry I only just saw your comment! It’s funny that I wrote that post a long time ago, yet I STILL struggle with this. I have a post in the works about beauty/fashion/comparison, and I’ll try and let you know when I’ve finished it. I’m convinced that this area is a massive blind-spot for most women, and that there’s a lot more to be said on the subject

      Reply
  1. Trading Fashion for Wisdom: A Small Prayer Answered in A Big Way « Life With a Bean | Walker FamilyLife

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