For several years my heart has been asking me to "shine brighter", "be the change", "take action," but it seems that whatever I do, I'm jinxed. I can't tell you how many times my efforts to lend a helping hand have flopped at my feet: the time there were not enough busses at the church's "First Serve Saturday" community outreach event, and I ended up folding Sunday School papers inside, the time I scheduled a Bible Study visit at the nursing home, and we showed up to a locked door at the activity center, the Girl Scout leader fiasco, the 2nd time I showed up at the church for "First Serve Saturday," only to find out "they don't do that anymore," and the list goes on.
The dumb thing is, I haven't stopped trying. I have a feeling I'm going to hit on something. I have a feeling it could be Dressember.
Confession: I've been a closet fashionista (no pun intended) even before middle school when I was wearing those hideous floral stretch pants with matching giant green sweater and plastic statement earrings. Even though I don't have the cash to be a real fashion addict, I love playing dress up when it's time to go to work or on a rare date night. Mixing and matching the junk in my tiny closet to create new looks brings out the artist in me.
That said, when I read a post about a month ago on the Noonday Collection blog about the Dressember cause, I got really excited. Women wearing a dress every single day of December to raise money to combat sex trafficking and restore other women across the globe?! What an amazing idea! So, I shared the link on my Facebook page and asked my friends to give me a pep talk to join in. A few weeks later I had a "new" vintage dress to pep me up even more and an advocate page set up to raise funds. Today I'm 14 days into the challenge and am half way to my goal of raising $500 for the International Justice Mission.
The mantra is "It's Bigger Than the Dress," and the movement has proved this to be true. With over $200,000 raised so far, IJM can cover 101 lawers' salaries for a year, or fund 44 rescue missions, or cover 888 slavery victims' cases, or provide 10,000 hours of individual trauma therapy for sex trafficking survivors. Wow!
Even though I've enjoyed participating in the challenge, I don't love the idea of posting selfies every day to document my journey, so what you'll see as part of my social media campaign are lots and lots of headless shots on Facebook and Instagram featuring my daily looks. I'm working with eight to ten dresses and a bunch of cardis, sweaters, fleece-lined leggings and too many high-heeled shoes. Ouch!
I have really loved being part of this challenge that is bigger than the dress and bigger than myself. Several times it has crossed my mind that the cause should have been at a different time of year--because the cold is nipping our tootsies in our open-toed shoes --because folks are too busy shelling out all their cash on cheese plates and Barbie Dream Houses, but then I stop and realize all over again that this is the work of Jesus--our work through Him; to "defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed" (Ps. 82:3). So every day of this challenge, as I shimmy into my tights in the dark of morning, I am reminded of how little I truly need, how tiny my inconvenience truly is, and how much good a collective voice can do when "men thier songs employ".....ahem or "women!"
If you'd like to donate to Dressember, or just learn more about the cause, visit my advocate page.