It’s fall here in Colorado. The time when the trees and wildflowers turn vibrant yellow and red. The time of brisk blue skies and chilly nights and warm sweaters. The time when I stand in front of my closet and complain, much like a 14-year-old, “I have nothing to wear!”

Recently, I had a chance for a new perspective. Two of my coworkers here at Compassion (one of them being the lovely Becky Tschamler), and I decided to form a wardrobe co-op. Once a month, we get together and swap our clothes, quenching our thirst for new clothes, our own little Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, if you will. Monday was our second swap.Katy, Becky and Amber

What an eye-opener to have friends see your possessions, which you had been suspiciously eying and disapproving, and proclaim how nice they are and how they’d love to borrow them. It left me feeling a bit silly and quite grateful for what I realize I’ve received. If my fellow coworkers think my wardrobe is nice, what would, say, a worker at a Compassion child development center think of it? 

What about you?

You might think shoes and belts are silly, but what’s “your thing” that you sometimes feel a bit deficient in?

  • Your car? 
  • Your home? 
  • Your kitchen? 
  • Your movie collection? 
  • Your out-of-date TV?

Look at it through someone else’s eyes. Through your sponsored child’s eyes. How would they see it?

When I look at my life through someone else’s perspective, a child, a person from another country…and especially God, I realize just how blessed I am and just how much I can bless others. Instead of clamoring for more, more, more, I can be content and focus on what I can do for others. Thank you, God. 

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  1. Oct 24, 2008
    at 4:21 am

    I have a problem with my kitchen…there’s not enough room…or so I used to think. How much *room* does a person need to cook? Not much…every time I get into my *funk* I literally have to stop, remind myself to look around and name things that I am thankful for…clean water (that comes to me, rather than me having to walk miles to get it), a stove (rather than having to start a fire), even a fridge (so my left overs don’t spoil…that’s right…left overs). It’s so easy to forget how good we have it.

  2. Oct 24, 2008
    at 4:51 am

    And the guys at Compassion will be swapping clothes too?!?!?!

  3. Sarah
    Oct 24, 2008
    at 5:18 am

    That’s a really good idea!

  4. Amber Van Schooneveld
    Oct 24, 2008
    at 6:48 am

    Steve, I think the guys really want to deep down inside, but they haven’t been able to admit it yet.

    Brittany, I know what you mean about the kitchen! I was convicted the other day watching a home show on HGTV. A woman was getting a home estimate. She had a huge, beautiful kitchen with a huge granite island. The home evaluator turned her nose up and said, “This kitchen is seriously subpar.”!!! A good reminder that enough never seems to be enough!

  5. Oct 24, 2008
    at 9:34 am

    I just went through this with my house, always complaining about how it didn’t measure up to my desires. And then one day God tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of just how blessed we are. It may need a little work, but I realize now that for many, our house is just a dream.

  6. Brianne Mullins
    Oct 24, 2008
    at 9:53 am

    I love this. Love it! What a great reminder to take on the Lord’s perspective in our everyday lives, with everything. AND, you ladies look so lovely :)

  7. Oct 24, 2008
    at 10:49 am

    Clothes-swapping is a great idea, f’r sure, when you can make it work. Great stewardship thinking!

    If a home estimator could seriously turn up her nose at a “huge, beautiful kitchen with a huge granite island” and declare it “seriously subpar,” she would probably throw up over my upgraded kitchen! Remind me never to have such a person evaluate what we have!

    I think, if any of my sponsored girls were to see our house–with old age showing–one of the first questions they might have is, “Why do you need so much space, and so many rooms?!” Never mind that eight people once lived here; I’ve seen one-room wood-and-tin shacks with great gaps in the “walls” and roof, smaller than our guest room, serving as home for seven people. We really need to downsize!

  8. Oct 25, 2008
    at 10:34 am

    May I quote you…

    “I realize just how blessed I am and just how much I can bless others. Instead of clamoring for more, more, more, I can be content and focus on what I can do for others. Thank you, God.”

  9. Joanne (or GrammyJo to my grandkids ;o)
    Oct 25, 2008
    at 3:24 pm

    You three looked so great in that photo. Oh to be able to swap clothes and have FUN doing it again… Now it would be more like swapping ‘tents and clown pants’! ;o)

    I too complain about my house (of 34 yrs)…it’s small, the rooms are too small and not enough of them, my kitchen is to small and out of date, the layout of our house isn’t what I want anymore, and on and on. But THANKFULLY the Lord is faithful to remind me how truly BLESSED we are having so much to complain about. And in reminding me I stop complaining, realizing my blessings FAR outweigh any ‘complaint’ I might have. After all, I’ve been blessed to grow up in the most prosperous country in the world. What do I KNOW about suffering and doing without??

    I find my self telling God ‘Thank You’ when I take a shower…in WARM, comfortable, CLEAN water, with soap and shampoo, etc. So many in the world have nothing like that. I find myself thanking God each night when I go to bed for the GREAT blessing of having a comfortable bed, in a safe and secure house already paid for. So many must sleep under bridges or in card board boxes, mostly in the most dangerous places of what ever city or country they are in and in all sorts of horrible weather throughout all seasons. When a really bad storm blows up (we get really bad tornado’s here in the Mid-West) and I pray that God will just keep us safe the Holy Spirit reminds me to pray for those living on the streets with NO shelter or protection. I ask Him to protect them with His own hands.

    How’s the saying go? ‘I’m too blessed to be stressed’!

    HOW TRUE!

  10. Oct 28, 2008
    at 3:21 pm

    This is really clever — and you all look great! Also, check out “The Fashion Fast” at: http://thefashionfast.blogspot.com/
    This is the friend of my nephew’s wife. Quite a challenge for her — to give up “fashion consumption” for a whole year. You can watch her progress at this site (she has already failed at least once, but did end up taking the item back to the store).

  11. Oct 29, 2008
    at 11:33 am

    Just recently I went through my wardrobe and filled a bag with “no longer wants” as I call them. Clothes that are still perfectly good, but I look at them with those “eyes” you mention in your post. I think “these things are terrible” or whatever.

    I had a group of girl friends over the other night, and brought out my bag of “no longer wants” for them to sift through, and they were all “shopping” (for free) excitedly in my bag, and each went home with a few items they just LOVED. As most of my girl friends currently are in tighter financial circumstances than I, it felt really good to “give” and also to see my things through their eyes. You are right…it’s all in perspective, isn’t it?

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