I bought it several years ago at a second-hand shop -- one of my bargain treasures rescued from certain doom at the bottom of the clearance pile, that I then snipped and stitched and altered to fit. It's a little loud and tacky, but that's usually the kind of thing that catches my eye. And it's got history. Who knows what life this skirt lived before it knew me! Why, in just our short time together, it's been church wear, stage clothes, part of a halloween costume, and now a guest for high tea. This skirt has a story.
I notice that most of the physical possessions I want to hang on to usually have a life of their own. I'm an avid cleaner-outer, you see. My family will tell you that if an item is neglected for long enough around our house, they'll have to buy it back from Goodwill pretty soon, because it's outta here! The things with history, though, I try to keep. They seem to speak a bit of truth into my world.
That fact hit me this past Sunday morning when I was getting ready for worship service. I noticed that almost everything I was wearing had a story:
My chunky celtic metal ring that I bought at the gift store during our recent women's retreat. That ring wraps my finger the way God did my heart on that precious weekend. It is, to me, a reminder of how He is working me into my part in His Story.
My black leather Harley Davidson boots. If you know me, you know I must have gotten these second-hand, because I'm way too chicken to earn my leather riding a real hog. I bought these for maybe 50-cents at a garage sale just down from our old house, right before we moved last year. Our neighbors were having a massive sale to raise money for a missionary effort. That makes sense: like the armor of God -- feet covered with the gospel, right? These boots also remind me of our Longview family who stood strong and firm by ours for years. These boots make me smile.
A bracelet made especially for me by a lady I worked with at our old Mother's Day Out program. She drew my name for the Christmas party a few years back, so she made me a bracelet with the birthstones of all the members of our family. I remember how touched I was by the thought she put into that gift. About nine months later, she passed away unexpectedly. When I wear that bracelet, it reminds me of what an encouragement she was to me in my roles as a parent and a teacher. It's her legacy in my life, and that is such a sweet thing to leave a positive mark on someone else's heart.
And my favorite: an honest-to-goodness psychodelic, pure polyester, vintage 70's shirt that my baby sister bought for me. Many years ago, when we were all home for a visit, my sister and I took a road trip to the big town of El Dorado, Arkansas, to a smooth little vintage clothing shop that was tucked quietly into a neighborhood home. Amidst the feather boas, old army attire, and poodle-skirts, I fell in love with that wacky black-and-white swirly-print shirt right away. But at the time, with a new baby and one very small salary, I wasn't willing to pay the whopping five or ten bucks the store owner wanted for it. So we left. That Christmas, under the tree, to me, from Becky, was that beautiful, obnoxious seventies shirt. It was so special then, and it's so special to me even now. It reminds me of her. And it reminds me that sometimes people really ARE listening to the things we say, hearing our wants and desires, and making plans to fulfill them however they can. It reminds me that a sacrifice for the people I love makes a lasting and Godly impression. Over the years, I've repaired many a seam on that shirt, but I won't be letting it go.
Well, thank you for joining me on this ridiculous tour through my wardrobe. I hope you can also see the stories and truth in the things God has placed around you today. Give Him thanks for those little reminders.
As for me, my purple skirt and I are off for high tea with the duke. If I'm lucky, there may be donut holes, as well, just like the ones the queen serves at Buckingham Palace. :)