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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another Way Wednesday

(First of all, thank you all so much for your feedback on my Negative post. I debated on whether or not to post it, mostly because it reveals that as much as I struggle against it, I still wrestle with fear. Sharing that goes against my natural tendency to package myself up a lot more neatly than that, but my ever-growing desire to be real and unpackaged won out. For those who have asked, I may test again, but it could really all just be me misreading my body's signs.)

So, going back to my problem with Stuff. And how God is dealing with me about Stuff. And how I want to be free from my bondage to Stuff.

As my dear friend Shaila would ask, What does that look like? Freedom from stuff? And how can I connect that to my desire to leave behind a more gentle impact on this planet?

Most of the time, I'm all about big ideas and little follow-through. I find big change to be more manageable in small steps. So I wanna break this down into something that is real and lasting. Each week, let's talk about some ways we can live Another Way. A way that is outside the consumerist paradigm. A way that speaks of financial integrity and resource responsibility. A way that make us, yes, a little uncomfortable, but perhaps also encouraged that if a lot of us make some little changes, something bigger than ourselves might take place.

My first Another Way Wednesday challenge to myself - *deep breath* Buying mostly (if not all?) gently used children's clothing.

This is huge for me, girls. Huge. Oh gosh, this is about to get ugly. You might wanna hide your eyes. But there is this awful, vain, shallow voice somewhere in my mind that has been known to say disdainfully, "But your girls deserve better than that!" Yuck. There is just no way to package that. It's as ugly as it is true.

To be given gently used clothes? Sure, I'll take 'em! (Seriously, if you're reading Ali, I'll take anything you clean out from your girls' closets!) But to intentionally buy used clothes? My pride . . . it wants to stand up and say NO!

But watching the Story of Stuff movie challenged me on that. I have shopped at Once Upon a Child and The Children's Orchard and there is really cute, nice, unstained and untattered clothing to be found. There really is no reason I have to keep feeding into this broken consumerist system by buying brand new clothing for the girls when I can buy clothing someone else's little girl has already broken in. And you know, this is the time to begin training my girls in a different way of looking at clothes shopping, one that might help to ward off future self-esteem problems caused by materialism. And maybe discourage any training I might unintentionally but inevitably be doing to cause them to have their own problems with Stuff.

The timing is right for me to take on this first challenge to myself because D really does need clothes as she woke up one morning having outgrown her 3Ts. The grandparents were generous with birthday money and mama needs to go shopping. Just not *gulp* at The Children's Place.

So, how about you? Anyone wanna start down Another Way path? If changing your clothes shopping ways isn't where you want to start, maybe you could check out this article my sweet reader Elizabeth emailed me about Green Grocery Shopping. Or check out Jen's list of her goals.Whatever small steps you are taking, I want to hear about it! Share in the comments or link me to your own Another Way post(s).