One of my favorite parts about that experience was learning about the beauty in simplicity. Creativity is so naturally exposed when you live in a place of simplicity. As you can imagine, with one bag of clothes you are forced to be creative. Mix and match became my best friend (as well as the tiny sewing kit I purchased along the way). If a shirt or pants got a whole in them, I had to learn how to creatively use the resources I had to patch them up. When it was freezing cold in Israel/Palestine (yea--you read that right. Freezing. Cold. in Israel/Palestine), I got really creative in layering as many clothes as humanly possible. When I was sick of wearing a certain shirt, I traded with a teammate or figured out a way to wear it in a new way. I really loved the artfulness of the challenge!
As you can imagine, limiting my clothing options to only dresses this month has been reminiscent of that time living out of a hiking pack. I've been surprised by how many people have asked, "Do you have enough dresses for the whole month?" For some reason, people have assumed that because I am wearing a dress every day this month, that I must be wearing a different one everyday. It's such an American thing to say. That's not to shame anyone who has asked me-the question comes from a place of innocent curiosity and I know that no one has any ill will, but can we just think about that for a moment? Who needs 31 dresses? I know this will be shocking to all of you, but I am repeating dresses (gasp) and I actually really enjoy it! I love trying to think of creative ways to wear the same dress, making it as difficult as possible for people to realize I am wearing the same dress I wore last week. I love mixing patterns and colors and textures! (You can see some of my favorite combinations below.) The founder of Dressember takes the challenge to a whole new level and wears the exact same dress every day! It's actually really impressive how she is able to change the look each day.
|The mix of black and white patterns I wore today.|
|Bright color and bold pattern!|
I feel like God has reignited a fire of creativity in me. Not just in the clothes I am wearing, but in the way I look at the world, the way I look at human trafficking. Part of the goal of Dressember is to help people realize that big problems can only be solved through creative solutions. I love the way that God has designed me to always be searching for a new perspective! My prayer is that I will look at the issue of trafficking creatively, slowly mixing and matching solutions until it begins to make a dent in the problem.
So tonight-I am trying something new. I am asking for money. This will be one of my only shameless plugs in asking for money this month (you can thank me later), but I really do think it is important. If you have more than a week's worth of dresses in your wardrobe (or neckties for the gentlemen out there), then I would challenge you to give a donation. Maybe it is a dollar for every dress you own! It doesn't have to be to IJM through my Dressember fundraising page (although I obviously think it is a worthy cause). It can be to any non-profit that you believe in. Be creative! Find a ministry you really resonate with. For me, that organization is IJM and I have had the blessing of giving more than I thought I would be able to.
So go do it.
Peace, love, and creativity.