Saturday, 14 December 2013

Dressember Do's

After my Dressember Don't, I have four Dressember Do's to share!  Get your coffee and sit down, because this is a long one!

DO #1: The Real Dressember

I have something important to share about Dressember.  I started my Dressember project oblivious to possibility that other Dressembers may be occurring and that there may be a higher purpose other than "amusing style challenge."  Turns out there's a much more valuable reason to wear dresses in December: to raise vital funds for International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that works to combat human trafficking and end sexual slavery.  The official Dressember has raised more than $70 000 between the US, Canada and Australia!  Since December 1st!!!  That is astounding.  While I've been busy Instagramming cute outfits, these girls have been changing the world.  What can you do?  
  1. Keep wearing dresses this month and tell everyone about the official Dressember mission.  
  2. Consider donating to this worthy cause.  Every little bit helps.  Canadians can click here to donate.  Americans can click here.   
  3. Follow Dressember on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and keep using the hashtag #dressember.
DO #2: Lightweight Layers (and skirts, shhhhh)

While the official Dressember has drawn a hard line about wearing dresses specifically, I decided from the start that skirts could count and have been enjoying styling them for the cold Canadian North!  I was on my own last week so didn't have much time to breathe plan my outfits, but I was pleased with how this one turned out...
 Gray polka dot skirt $7, green sweater $10 , white sheer top $2.50, necklace $2 all VV Boutique
Tights and Miz Mooz pumps from my closet, earrings by She Does Create

I picked up the sheer white button-up at the November 50% sale and thought it would be perfect to layer under sweaters and dresses because it is so light and long. 
Also, since white is a dangerous colour to wear in my glamorous life, the cheaper the better.

Do #3: Read a Good Book in a Dress

In between painting rooms and wrapping up work for the holidays and doing a million other things like every mom, I finished my latest book from Book Sneeze and it was awesome, just like my Dressember casual outfit below.
 
Tights from closet, accessories by She Does Create
I always stand around casually holding books like this.
Oh my those are beautiful teal walls.
Somehow plaid is the perfect reading pattern.  I'm going to coin the term.

The book is Wounded by God's People by Anne Graham Lotz.
 
Why did I choose this book: 

Anne Graham Lotz is Billy Graham's daughter so she gets immediate cred in my opinion.  Then I noticed that the forward is by Beth Moore and that sealed the deal.  I knew it would be an invaluable read.  Lotz uses the story of Hagar and Ishmael from Genesis to weave her story towards the redeeming power of Jesus to bind up our wounds and heal the brokenhearted.

"...the evidence of her forgiveness would be when she could love the wounders as God loved them."
Notables:
  • It was surprising to me to learn that someone like Lotz could have experienced wounding at the hand of other Christians, but after reading the book, I realize this is a very common experience.
  • Lotz's emphasis throughout the book is to move past wounds into true healing.  She doesn't just talk the talk; she has walked the walk and she gives specific ideas of how you can find healing.
  • Focusing on your wounds, nursing them and holding onto them doesn't "punish" the wounder but only keeps you stuck in blindness, bitterness and unforgiveness, which is exactly opposite of what the Bible commands. 
  • Lotz gently helps the reader to examine both the wounds you've experienced and inflicted (on others and yourself).  She even helps readers understand that sometimes God not only allows wounds but wounds us in order to "prune" us, forcing us into new growth and fruitfulness.
  • Lotz emphasizes that wounds don't heal themselves nor do we have the power to heal our own wounds; we need to turn to God for true healing.  She also emphasizes that there is no expiration date on God's offer to heal us.  Anytime, anywhere, anyhow, He is ready when we are.  He is standing by waiting for us to call on Him to experience the full blessing of His presence. 
  • Instead of focusing on our circumstances, Lotz encourages readers to focus on God's Word and God's character.  
Bottom line: 

My copy of this book is covered in underlines, stars, double underlines and boxes!  I could not say enough how much I loved it.  I don't even want to put it on my bookshelf, but think I might need to keep it handy for easy reference!  Though I think God prepared me to be able to hear and accept the messages in this book, I also liked when Lotz noted that "wounds can be healed.  Quickly.  You don't necessarily need years of therapy and counseling."  Not that those aren't valuable too, but just in case, why not pick up a copy of this book as a starting point towards healing, joy and peace?! 

I am a member of booksneeze.com.
In exchange for writing a review, I received this book for free.

Do #4: Host a Holiday Sweater/Dress Party

I wish I had thought of this sooner because I am hosting a little party tomorrow and it would have been fun to make the husbands wear holiday sweaters and the wives search not only for holiday sweaters, but holiday sweater dresses.  Alas, I ran out of time to get it organized but thought I would still share about a Goodwill campaign and holiday resource called Snapguide.  Snapguide shows you how to host a festive holiday sweater party for a good cause—using clothing purchased from Goodwill.  Click here for the link and let Snapguide walk you through the steps of hosting a holiday sweater party—from finding the perfect sweater to fit your personality using Goodwill’s online quiz and then getting outfitted at your local Goodwill store. After the party is over, all your guests can donate their sweaters back, to support Goodwill’s mission to provide job training and community services to people in need.

There are five Goodwill locations in Edmonton, and through Goodwill’s Donation Impact Calculator, you can see how every item you give has supported people who are seeking to earn jobs and build careers.  Last year, Goodwill provided employment training, job placement, financial education, youth mentoring and more to 6.7 million people in the United States and Canada.  I think that's awesome!  AND all donations to Goodwill are considered charitable tax-deductions!  

I hear people debating about which thrift store is better, and my stance is, I love them all!  All of the thrift shops I know of benefit the community in some way, and all help to re-use, recycle and reduce the impact on landfills, so as long as you're shopping second-hand and donating rather than throwing out, you're doing good.
 If I had time to organize a Holiday Sweater Party, I would go for something like this.
This woman inspires me.  She is wearing Christmas balls AND a hat WHILE vacuuming.
#youcandoanythinginadress
 

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