The last couple of months, I have discovered and have been exercising some newfound freedom. I have chosen to make some purchases that I have been wanting to for quite sometime. I have been dragging my feet because somewhere in my growing up years I received the message that I should not use my money in such a way. I have been enjoying wearing a new yellow wrap bracelet that says “bee joyful” (with a picture of a bee instead of the word) that I purchased from a friend’s store - 10th Floor Treasures. I also am enjoying a long simple necklace with two hexagons (which symbolize honeycomb since I greatly enjoy honey) that I purchased from a different shop online. The final piece of jewelry I have added to my collection this fall is a simple necklace of a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. I purchased a gorgeous leather tote I take to Bible study on Tuesday evenings from Urban Southern (my half-moon cross-body purse is also from Urban Southern.) All of these items have been investments and I anticipate wearing and using them for years to come.
Over the last few months, I took the plunge and signed up for Stitch Fix. I just received my second box last month and I am loving this way of shopping! I have received 10 different articles of clothing in each box and carefully decided what to keep and what to send back. These were not easy decisions as the items either fit me well or I could exchange them for the perfect size and almost all of them were on point concerning my style. I am still figuring out exactly how to use this service so that I get the best bang for my buck but I am looking forward to getting pieces that fit me, my budget, and my style all while expending minimal time and effort. I know not everyone has such a fantastic experience with Stitch Fix, but I am ecstatic so far. Now is when I have to get vulnerable (and give a little disclaimer concerning my Fixes); I am signed up for the children’s Fix rather than the adult one because that is just the size God made me. It is also why I am writing this paragraph - my Fixes have been full of mature options for me because that is how amazing my stylist has been.
And last but not least concerning products, I tried Color Street this Autumn and I am sold on this product. I can have awesome looking nails in designs I have only dreamed about that last 2-3 weeks at a price point that is affordable. Just last week, I talked with a couple of co-workers who also love Color Street nails and partnering up with them to share nail strips will make various manicures even more affordable and will allow me to be even more creative.
I have been scheduling things that I want to do this fall such as contra dancing. One weekend, I decided to go contra dancing instead of square dancing even though the square dancing was half the distance as contra dancing was. The contra dancing scene is just so much more conducive to where I am relationally right now - I can show up without a partner or knowing anyone and have no problem dancing the night away with various partners. It was challenging to let go of th e expectations I had built in my head to go to the square dance and then to not attend after all. So I have enjoyed contra dancing twice in September and once in October. I am not sure if I will go any in November but am eagerly anticipating attending one day of a dance weekend in Columbus. (Let me know if you are planning to attend The Winter Warmup!)
I am enjoying the stunning foliage this month as I have taken time to relax and stay at home while looking forward to more activities in November. One of the ways I enjoyed this time of year was doing a little photo shoot with a friend in Grove City, Ohio. It is always nice to have some good pictures of me. I wanted some good photographs of my dog and I to put on Christmas cards that I will be sending out in just over a month. I also took the opportunity to freely rejoice in and celebrate how beautiful God has made me. I do not need to be in a romantic relationship nor have children in order to have amazing pictures of me nor send out Christmas cards. And that, dear readers, was an exercise in freedom for me.
So how does buying more products and filling up my calendar equal freedom? For me, I shook off chains that said buy what is the cheapest and most readily available even if does not met the criteria. I was able to be intentional about where I spent my money, how I devoted my time, and I was able to invest in people and in the future. These decisions are helping me to live a more abundant life in very tangible, physical ways.
Please do not misinterpret what I am saying, though. Ultimately, material possessions have little value. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes says over and over again how meaningless everything is, except serving God. A king of immeasurable wealth and the wisest of all men found no value in all that living on earth had to offer, save following God. (Reading Ecclesiastes out of the New Living Translation was very refreshing!) So break free from chains that are holding you back, but remember the harsh admonition that he who seeks to save his life will loose it, while he who looses it will save it. And he who would follow Christ must take up his cross and follow Him.
*All of the opinions in this post are mine and I am not receiving any compensation or incentives from the companies/services mentioned above.