Dressember

December 1, 2014
Well, I’m doing it again.  I thought about it, and almost felt like I didn’t have the emotional energy to put into this year…but really, I do.  It just means choosing non-routine outfits in the morning (or night before).  This CAN be done!

So, for those of you new, What exactly can be done?

You’ve heard of No-Shave-November?  When guys take on the “challenge” of not shaving all month?  You might have even heard of Movember, which I ran across for the first time this year.  Men (who were decidedly better groomed than their beard-sporting counterparts) grew distinguished mustaches in an effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

Well, this is the girl version.  Dresses (or skirts, for cheaters) every day of December.  All 31 of them.  This year though, since I now nanny several days a week, and don’t really want to wear a dress while doing so, I am always going to have a flower in my hair.  So – I’ll wear a dress as often as possible, and a flower always.

Why?  To raise awareness of human trafficking and the like.  And, at the same time, giving people a way to get involved and help make a difference – by giving to one of the organizations that helps fight such horrors – International Justice Mission (though, if you feel led to give to a different similar organization, I’m not going to make a fuss!).

For years now, this has been one of the major issues that break my heart.  I can’t imagine being a slave in the sex trade. Or on a chocolate plantation.  Or a coffee plantation.  Or a worker in a sweat shop that produces cheap, “cute” t-shirts or jeans.  And I feel more than a little bit guilty at the slave-labor I inadvertently support with my lifestyle.

So I’m going to do something about it.  A little something, but a something nonetheless.

When a friend of mine from school posted about this opportunity last year, it would not leave my mind.

So here I am, wearing flowers and dresses (or, sometimes skirts because I’m not totally hard-core, and I have some pretty awesome skirts).  When you see me this month, and you see my very girly attire, remember to pray for those who are trapped in horrible situations.  And maybe, if God so leads you, give.

If you are a person who is so inclined to give me a Christmas gift, that’s super sweet.  But, really, I’d so much rather you donate.  Give me a hug, and let me know that you have.  Because, really, I live in America.  I have a warm place to live, and I never worry about where my next meal is coming from.  Sure, I’m a poor, broke Seminary Student…but compared to so many others, I have so much.  Thank you!

 

 

 

January 5, 2014 –  A Conclusion to Dressember 2013  (sorta)

So, I spent a month in dresses (with only a few days of exceptions in skirts).  For a girl who wasn’t a big fan of skirts in college (or of pink) this was a big deal.  I’ve been out of college for many years now (though less than 10), and God has definitely worked with my identity and what it means for me to be a girl since then.

See, Mom had me in skirts for most of grade school.  By the time I reached middle school, I pretty much despised dresses.  I’d only wear them when we HAD to – so, for chapel days at school, and at church, when Mom said I had to (though no one else my age was!).  I hated dresses and skirts so bad that I would bring a change of clothes with me to wear at youth group (Mom was okay with jeans at youth group, just not in church).

I only wore skirts a handful of times in college – on VERY special occasions…or under great peer pressure.  I hardly ever wore them when I was in the Middle East.  I remember wearing a skirt once there…no, maybe twice.

Over the last two years though God has been doing a work in me.  Enough of a work that probably, were I to break it down, I’d have enough written material to write a book.  WAY beyond blog length.

Let’s just say I knew that being female DOESN’T mean having to wear make-up, or have perfect hair or wearing girly clothes.  It doesn’t mean having a boyfriend, or wearing pink only on Mondays, or being devoted to a boy band, or crushing over the hottest male actor out there.  It doesn’t mean being a cheerleader.  It doesn’t mean being a good housekeeper, or a wonderful baker, or even being good with kids.

I think most people think being female means being at least some, if not all, of those things.  Maybe that’s just my perception of the world.  I fought most of those generalizations for a long time.  I didn’t regularly wear make-up until two years ago.  I wouldn’t even consider wearing a skirt JUST BECAUSE I WANTED TO for years.  I didn’t allow my mind to go into a place where having a “boyfriend” was a possibility.

I’m not sure why.  I think for so many years I had seen femininity represented to me in ways that I instinctually knew were wrong.  And so, being me, I fought in the only way I knew how.

But then God had to work, so that I might continue on our journey of me being the truest version of me possible.   And so I had to learn what being female meant.

Who am I kidding – I’m just beginning this journey.  I’m LEARNING what being female means.  Why God male and female genders.  What it is supposed to mean to be a woman.

And Dressember was the next step in my education.  Being female does not necessarily mean wearing dresses or skirts every day.  But being female does mean embracing whatever love for beauty is within myself.  Being female, I think, partially, means bringing whatever beauty I have to offer (OUTSIDE just as much as inside) into every room and situation I enter.  Being female means recognizing and embracing my love for the things God has (and is) drawing me to, or that He built in me (or put me in situations to learn) to appreciate and love and like.  Like shabby chic.  Like skirts.  Like a bit of mascara.  Like an appreciation for what a clean room does for my soul.  Like melting in the arms of a child.

Like an acknowledgement that a clean room, or a bit of mascara, or a skirt, or a child’s hug actually has an effect on my soul.

I’m rambling.  Mostly because I recognize God is doing something in me, and, true to His form in my life, I’m not exactly sure what, or what it’s going to end up looking like.  He likes to blind me to His actual work and then surprise me at the end.

So, I’m intrigued.  Journey with me?  Give me feedback on what being female means to you (yes, even you guys – what does being truly feminine in her best form look like to you?).
PS – I’m totally planning on doing Dressember again, in a year!  Maybe you girls out there will join me!

My Dressember 2013 Journey:

https://www.ijmfreedommaker.org/campaign/2344/Dressember-for-IJM/

You’ve heard of No-Shave-November?  When guys take on the “challenge” of not shaving all month?  You might have even heard of Movember, which I ran across for the first time this year.  Men (who were decidedly better groomed than their beard-sporting counterparts) grew distinguished mustaches in an effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

Well, it’s the girls’ turn (finally).  Dresses (or skirts, for cheaters) every day of December.  All 31 of them.  And yes, you will see me in repeat outfits.  I don’t own THAT many dresses.  Why?  To raise awareness of human trafficking and the like.  And, at the same time, giving people a way to get involved and help make a difference – by giving to one of the organizations that helps fight such horrors – International Justice Mission (though, if you feel led to give to a different similar organization, I’m not going to make a fuss!).

For years now, this has been one of the major issues that break my heart.  I can’t imagine being a slave in the sex trade. Or on a chocolate plantation.  Or a coffee plantation.  Or a worker in a sweat shop that produces cheap, “cute” t-shirts or jeans.  And I feel more than a little bit guilty at the slave-labor I inadvertently support with my lifestyle.

So I’m going to do something about it.  A little something, but a something nonetheless.

So, the girl who for so long refused to wear dresses (or skirts) because she wore them every day in elementary school, is long gone.  Sure, she’s been “gone” for a while.  But, I’m still not the most avid of dress-wearing girls, even if I DO wear them every now and then.  Well, I wear skirts every now and then.  I wear dresses only on big occasions.

But when a friend of mine from school posted about this opportunity, it would not leave my mind. And the idea decided to settle down in my mind and set up house.

So here I am, wearing dresses (or, sometimes skirts because I’m not totally hard-core, and I have some pretty awesome skirts).  When you see me this month, and you see my very girly attire, remember to pray for those who are trapped in horrible situations.  And maybe, if God so leads you, give.

https://www.ijmfreedommaker.org/campaign/2344/Dressember-for-IJM/

Also, I haven’t lived in a skirt every day this long, since I was in fourth grade.  I am sure it is going to make some sort of impact on me.  I intend on blogging about it under this tab on my blog.  So, come check back often!
December 19th –
There is something about wearing a dress that, while taking more time, encourages me to be more intentional about how I look.  I mean, I’ve never been a slob, but now what I wear encourages me to take a few extra minutes with my appearance.  I still try to be as authentic as possible.  But somehow, taking the extra time, allows me to embrace my femininity, almost relish in it.
December 15th –
Well, I’m half way through.  And I’m loving dresses more every day.
I was having a conversation the other night with a friend of mine.  She had just finished being in a play that is set in the 1940’s, when women wore dresses, skirts, large hair and precise make up.  She was saying how dressing up during the play was making her feel more feminine.  She was carrying herself differently.  She was being treated differently from the people around her (more respect).  I thought I was the only one noticing these differences.  I’m not sure what it is, or why.  During the conversation the idea that somehow us embracing our femininity left room / allowed / invited the men around us to be more masculine.  It’s something I want to explore more.

December 11th –
Sorry, I know it’s been….a week.  I’m a bit buried in finals / papers / end of semester-ness / HOBBITness / Youth Christmas events.  However, I HAVE been wearing dresses.  I’m into repeats now.  I’m also realizing how very much I enjoy wearing girly clothing.  It just feels more…me-ish.  However, static cling and I are going to have to duke it out pretty soon here.  :s  And yes, I WILL be wearing a dress (with my transportation map of Middle Earth T-shirt) to the midnight showing.  And I WILL be wearing a dress to the youth group Christmas party the following day.

December 4th
Well, it’s official.  Declare to the world that you’re going to wear dresses, and the temperature plummets to unhuman depths.  In other news, who knew I enjoyed wearing dresses so much?

December 2nd
I’m feeling incredibly feminine…which I need to investigate what the meaning of that actually means.  Since by “feminine” I DON’T mean, “like Barbie” or “Super domestic” or anywhere in between there.  I just am aware that God made me female, and this is good.
I’m also planning my outfits out further than I’m used to (read this as, I already know what I’m -probably- going to wear tomorrow, which is unusual since I normally only figure that out after I get up in the morning).

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