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Fall Clothing Swap

     I love a good deal. I am learning to be prudent with the resources the Lord has provided me. I am incredibly blessed. I am learning, also, to be content with what I have. I have spent years being prey to the visual delights of fashion. I could fill my closet each season with new and innovative items. I could sit happily idle at a runway show basking in the glow of creativity. But, that is not prudent and doesn’t do anything for my Spirit. In fact it does the converse. It makes me acutely aware of how I am not a model, never will be. I am not a millionaire, never will be. The Lord intervenes and reminds me that I am obedient to follow the call He has for my life. I am a stay-at-home mom who pours over the Word and occasionally Harper’s Bazaar. I own my love of clothes, but my budget screams NO MORE! That means no more Goodwill, no more Target and no more unleashing my inner Maxx-inista! I am a woman living in the mercy and provision of the Lord. I am a woman answering the request of her husband to be prudent and responsible with our family’s finances. I am, after all, the house manager. I am the one who determines how our ‘everyday’ money is spent. I am the one who has to show the greatest amount of discernment and restraint in making purchases. I have to learn to live within my means.


     My dear friend Melinda invited me to a Clothing Swap at her home years ago. There were eight of us ready to exchange our gently used mommy couture. We anxiously waited to see if the items we coveted were snagged by fellow swappers. It was fun. We all drew numbers and waited with baited breath to see what the treasures her livingroom-turned-boutique held. It was fun and I came home with a few great staple items. An evening spent with friends, sharing the Lord and enhancing our wardrobes.


    Clothes tell a story. They hold our history. For husband’s eyes only dresses have been worn on dates. Navy suits carried us confidently into ‘that’ job interview. Cozy sweaters have wrapped around sweet newborns. Looking into a closet reveals the very intimate moments of our life. When you share your clothes with friends, or acquaintances, the stories are revealed. The history is shared. There is a thread stitching lives together. A common ground through life and love is set. Clothes can do this. I have met some of my most treasured friends over the sharing and admiring of clothes. It brings women together. While society tells the story of clothes dividing, I find that to be very false, and clothes can really bring us to a more level playing field.


     In my time of extreme budget consciousness I found a way to enjoy my habit and spend no money. I was sure other ladies would have the same thought. So I talked to Melinda to get her feedback. She was in agreement; and what we deem as one of the most fun times of our lives; commenced.


     Melinda has graciously deemed me her co-hostess. She and I hosted 40 women of all shapes, sizes and ages in my home in April. It was epic. The presence of God spilled out to the street. The house was filled to over flowing with the Fruit of the Spirit. God is so good. He meets us where we are at especially when we meet others where they are. We decided that the clothing not swapped would bless our Church’s Clothing Ministry. Did it ever! We ended up giving 4 large black bags of beautiful items.


     The event begins weeks in advanced as items are dropped off and gathered and sorted. Racks of shirts and dresses and jackets and ‘you name it’ filled my dining room and foyer. The turnout was amazing.


      On the night of the Swap, as each woman arrived, she received a number on her nametag. She also handed off her contribution to the evening…a savory or a sweet. I found it to be most cost effective to ask the ladies to bring a dish to share. It worked perfectly and added another element…the art of recipe exchange!


     Numbers were called and lots of five swapped. We made my front room the dressing room…it turned out to be the best place to get the best finds! Ladies were swapping as they tried things on! The fervor of fun and excitement and sisterhood permeated the air.

     In order to curb the enthusiasum of those waiting their turn, we held door prize drawings, giving our friends who have home-based businesses an opportunity to showcase their wares. It is always a blessing to be a blessing!


     The party ended promptly at 10 (as we said it would!). The ladies left with bags and bags of great items. Smiles were on the faces of everyone…the night had been shrouded in the peace and acceptance of the Lord. No one was a number or a size but rather a beautiful lady of God. His beauty was enhanced by the love shared among near strangers.


     We will swap again. In September we will hold our second swap. We plan to set up a silent auction to benefit Open Hearts and Homes for Children. It is our honor to be able to serve other organizations. We hope to follow God directly as He guides our steps.


    I urge other women to form Swaps in their communities. The benefits are amazing. If you are interested and would like to share our formula, please contact me through Myfrienddebbie.com.


    May the Lord bless everything you do in His name!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Samantha Ewing

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