My final week with the Uniform Project was a little rough to be honest. It was finals week. I was holed up in my office for days on end. I was exhausted, staying up until the wee hours of the morning and then crashing until the sun peaked in my windows. Coming up with unique and fun outfits for my dress was the last thing on my mind. At least, when I did think about it it was more of a burden than not. I even resorted to wearing my dress over my sweats one day....and my sweats don't even match...needless to say (or maybe it's needed?) I did not leave the house that day! But when Wednesday finally arrived, my first day to wear whatever I wanted in the whole wide world...okay, in my whole wide closet, the result in my heart was rather anti-climactic. My regular clothes felt just as ho-hum as the pink dress I had been wedded to for 30 days. Perhaps it was because I was still finishing my finals, but I'm not entirely convinced. I think part of it is that we think freedom equates with happiness. That to be able to choose will always make us happy...to choose what to eat, what to wear, what job to have, where to live, what faith to follow, what type of government to live under. But the Lord wants us to be content...happiness is not always the goal.
I think of Paul, writing to the Philippians in chapter 4, v. 12: I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
The NIV puts it this way: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I think my heart can be content in a variety of circumstances and under constraints it is never required to experience. Wearing one dress for a month certainly is not much of a "need." But it has uncovered my unconscious belief that more clothes to choose from, new things, whatever, will bring me happiness. But Paul knew the secret...contentment comes from God alone.
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Here's a few moments at Robby's Christmas Party and a few days of dresses: