Saturday, October 14, 2006

If You Love It, You Need It

I know Jesus doesn't like us to shop, but I nevertheless whooped with appreciation when SisterBang said, "I've come up with a new motto: 'If you love it, you need it.'"

IF YOU LOVE IT, YOU NEED IT.

On one hand, this is terribly materialistic stuff to put in our heads. It's what Madison Avenue absolutely wants us to embrace as our highest value.

On the other hand, given that we DO need to look good and we DO care about beauty, isn't it better to love our attire rather than schlump off to the mall with dour insecurities and recriminations, as in "I really need to get a suit for the fall and now I have to go to the bloody mall and find one, which I'm going to do as fast as I can no matter what I find so I can get right on with the business of being very holy."
And then we buy something that we just sort of tolerate and we go around actually WEARING it, sometimes even for years and years. And how does it make us feel, and what energy do we radiate when we feel schlumpy?

Is that any way to attire those who are building up the Kingdom of God?

PeaceBang doesn't think so. When PeaceBang sees mousy, messy, thrown together ministers she doesn't think "There is a person who is so darn spiritual and holy they don't need to think about their outward appearance," she thinks, rather, "There is a person who doesn't have enough respect for the office of ministry to put some effort into their appearance. There is a person who mistakenly believes that sloppiness is next to godliness." Darlings, the Amish are the most intentionally plain people in our country, and you won't ever see one of them with an unironed pinafore or trousers that are falling off their butts.

So as you buzz around the world and occasionally encounter that beautiful necklace or snazzy tie or gorgeously warm, nubby sweater that you can just see yourself wearing during a counseling session, try this: rather than saying to yourself, "I love this but I don't really need it," try giving yourself occasional permission to say, "I love this, I will wear it with joy and a sense of God's abundance and beauty, so ring it up, Mr. Cashier."

If you have a bad shopping habit and suffer from compulsive shoe acquisition, disregard everything I just said. I know you love it, and I love you, but you don't need it, sweet pea. Go shopping in your own closet and mix up some new looks.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Berrysmom said...

I am so with you, PB. I used to shop for what I needed. Now I shop for what I love, and (this is the important part), I ONLY buy it if I am crazy about it.

Less money is wasted on buying dumb stuff, and I am gradually acquiring a closetful of clothes that I adore.

That's my rule of thumb: if I have the slightest misgivings about anything (does this make me look fat? will the shoes pinch less later? will I lose enough weight that this will eventually fit?) I walk away from it. I have to adore it immediately, or back on the rack it goes.

Thanks for the permission...

6:59 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

Peacebang, this is so lovely that I will now share my hot cocoa with Bailey's with you.

I say this, of course, because I had a little rendevous with Ann Taylor last weekend. And no, not the NPR correspondant.

And I'm right there with berrysmom-- if it doesn't make me feel really good, I no longer buy it.

9:16 PM  
Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I am in the process of decluttering the house and was feeling a little exasperated in making some choices about my wardrobe. The DH gave me a piece of advice: Back when he used to play some Dungeons & Dragons type card game, and he had to build his own deck, what he'd do to choose from the many options was think to himself, "If I was in a really bad spot, and the next card I drew had to save me, and I drew this card, would I think, 'Dammit!' or would I think, 'Yes!?'" And that was his criteria.

He said, "Do the same thing with your closet. If you had someplace to go real quick and the only clean thing you had to wear was that outfit, would you think, 'Dammit!' or would you think 'Yes!?'"

2:05 PM  
Blogger Pink Shoes said...

I bought a necklace almost two years ago using this mantra and EVERY TIME I wear it, someone compliments me on it. Even people who have seen me wear it before. It has guided many of my decisions! Great post.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

this is the criteria I used to purchase a new burgundy pea-coat this week. I didn't go looking for it, but there it was, calling out to me, and it looked SO GOOD and I felt so wonderful that I had to buy it.

The good news is that when I got to the register, it turned out to be on sale, too!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Shawna Renee said...

Thank you so much! It's hard to strike a healthy balance on how you look in our society, and I think that you have nailed it. I love your sense of humor.

3:51 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Thank you, Shawna Renee! And all of you!

9:37 PM  

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