Hey guys, as the week of Thanksgiving is upon us I wanted to take a second and realize how thankful I am for all I have. And never have I been more grateful than when I truly see how little other have. That’s why I partner with The Mocha Club to help draw attention to the atrocities going on in our world, to give hope to these people, and encourage us to stretch ourselves and give to our fellow (wo)man. As it so happens I have a sweet friend who decided to embark on a journey this month by challenging herself with a Purpose Project. Nicole is one of the realest women you’ll ever meet. She has such a heart for the Lord and would love nothing more than to help these ladies in Africa. See what she has to say:
When I thought about doing a purpose project, I knew I wanted to do something that was really going to push me beyond my comfort zone. Someone mentioned skydiving and I reminded them I said ‘comfort zone’- not dying. So I came up with ‘Pay Fashion Forward’, a two-fold purpose project.
I will raise $1000 to fund healthcare and education for 25 women in the Kibera slum of Nairobi for an entire year. When I reach my goal, I will sell 1/3 of my wardrobe in a boutique sale with all proceeds going to my very first mission trip to El Salvador in February.
I’m excited about doing this project to not only help the women in Kibera but also the people of Anemona, El Salvador.
But there is one tiny problem.
And I feel like a jerk for even thinking this.
I don’t WANT to give up 1/3 of my wardrobe.
I am incredibly sentimental. I have a strong emotional attachment to my clothes. Various t-shirts, blouses, sweaters, pants and shorts. Clothes I’ve wanted, purchased and worn happily. Clothes I’ve gone to concerts, movies and vacations in. Clothes I’ve cried laughed and loved in.
To be honest, I’m embarrassed about how much of a heart issue this is for me.
Last year, I read the 7 Experiment. IN fact, I DID the 7 experiment for a series of weeks with some ladies at my church. During the clothes section, I wore the same work skirt or pants for 2 weeks straight. I also wore the same pair of jeans when I was dressed casually and I wore zero makeup. It was easier than I thought, but also harder than I thought.
Because inside? We are sort of ugly. Our hearts are all wrapped up with how we look. We can say it doesn’t matter to us or that we don’t find value in looking good- it’s all about Jesus- but that’s not really how we are. Why else would we have Pinterest boards and fashion mags and closets full of stuff we don’t even wear?
I’m not trying to say that feeling good in what adorns your body is bad. I think you can most certainly look and feel good in what you are wearing. I’m just speaking truth about a serious heart issue. And I can say this because I’m this way too. I DO find value and worth in how I look and what I wear. As much as I hate to admit it- it’s true. Deep inside? We’re all a little vain.
What would I do if it was all stripped away? Would I feel differently about myself?
I hear these stories about African women living in Kibera and I’m struck by the severe contrast.
I start thinking about how MUCH I have. I have a healthy body. I just ran my second marathon in October. I have a great job. In fact, I just started a new business. I have a great community of family, friends and believers who support me all the time. I have money in the bank, a retirement fund, a warm
place to sleep and food in my refrigerator. I even have a car with less than 100,000 miles. I have a closet and shelves full of clothes.
These women in Africa have a whole different set of life circumstances. Their bodies are not strong and healthy, often weak and ravaged by HIV/AIDS and lack of nutrition. They can’t work or make money due to illness and/or lack of resources and education. Their community is often broken, they don’t have people to help them out and take care of them when they need it most. They don’t have bank accounts, floors in their houses or refrigerators. They don’t own cars and they can’t even imagine what 100 items of clothing would look like.
And I’m boo-hooing about giving up 100 of 300 items of clothing? Really?
I decided to make my purpose project a fashion purge because I want to strip it away. I want to simplify and pass along things I have excess of to make room for things that are more important. I want to purge away the ugliness in my heart and make room for more love and Jesus. I wanted to feel a sacrifice- even if it is a bit of a #firstworldproblem. I want to use my resources as fuel to change the life of someone who might not have had another option.
Everyday I’m faced with hundreds of options when I open my closet.
The women of Kibera don’t have a single option.
At least not without our help.
Our small sacrifices are giving them options they never would have otherwise had- healthy lives, education and jobs.
When it comes down to it- this purpose project isn’t about me or my addiction to t-shirts. It’s about each of us having the opportunity to give HOPE to someone who desperately needs it.
Please join me in being a giver of hope.
Y’all Nicole has FIVE days left to finish raising the $1000 and she has $660 left to go! Help her out!