It's been a month since the end of Clothed in Dignity, my 2019 "dress challenge," which raised about $11,000 for Peoria Home. The project was personally meaningful to me in so many ways and I've just begun to process why God put this challenge in my path at this particular time in my life. The next several weeks I will post some reflections on the project.
Usually choosing the day's outfit is my least favorite part of the day, and this day was no different. What to wear...what to cover my body. Something all humans have done since Adam. We must cover our shame. But in God's kindness, he allows our uniqueness to come through our clothing. I've never particularly found joy in this uniqueness. I've always felt out-of-place in my clothes. This day, instead of putting on my usual jeans and sweatshirt, I notice the dresses hanging to the side of my closet. Hmmm, I never noticed how many I have until now. Surely at least ten. I have some time, so I try one on. Hmm, it's nice. But not for today. Maybe another day. Jeans and a t-shirt with a sweatshirt for today.
The next day I go through the same charade, opting for jeans again.
Finally, day three, a dress. Then on day four, another dress. A few comments from the few people I see, a co-op friend, my husband. "You look nice today," they notice.
It occurs to me that maybe come December I can participate in Dressember. I've wanted to, it just always snuck up on me. Dressember is a fundraiser for International Justice Mission (IJM) in which participants wear a dress every day in December. IJM is a global anti-trafficking organization. But, I don't really have any connection to IJM, and I've done a lot of work with a local group, Peoria Home. If I decide to do something, it'd have to be for Peoria Home. I know the ladies there, I'm on board with their local mission. But a month seems almost too short. Could it be instead, a year of dresses?
No, that'd be crazy, I think. But the idea doesn't leave my mind.
Eventually I mention it to my husband and a few close friends and their support and enthusiasm makes this idea a reality. I will wear a dress every day for a year and raise money for Peoria Home in Everett.
I plan, I pray, I promote.
But there's no way I know what's coming toward me, what God will reveal during the year of dresses.