Monday, January 11, 2010

New Clothes

The chilling hand of the deep freeze has left its unmistakable fingerprints on the South. The past few days we've had to contend with daytime temperatures well below 32 degrees, not to mention snow and ice. One of the compelling reasons to move to Georgia, was the balmy weather. Anything but balmy now! With after-Christmas sales in full swing and the weather offering us a not-so-gentle reminder that our daughter, Riley, will be off to a northern college in the fall, we braved the cold and headed to the mall to buy her some 'real' winter clothes.

Boots. Real boots, not fashion boots. The kind with low heels and a lining of fur, were high on the list. Long sleeve tops and warm sweaters also made the list. I can't say I understand today's teen fashion trends. Through careful observation, I've noticed that the majority of girls wear their shoes without socks of any kind. Shocking to a Mom who searches out both socks and slippers before emerging from her bedroom! And that's all in the comfort of my home. I can't imagine leaving the house without socks! Fortunately, Riley agreed that tights just might be handy for a girl attending college in the frigid North.

I wouldn't have dreamed that even my husband, Steve, would get in on the shopping scene. After some serious Mom and daughter shopping time, Steve called me to let me know that Land's End had a good sale on winter clothes. Say no more. We were on our way. The most memorable moments were when Steve chose some clothes for Riley and she actually liked them! My man never ceases to amaze me! Several hours and a few shopping bags later, we labeled our shopping trip a 'success.'

Wearing the right clothing for each season is important. Wearing the right spiritual clothing is even more important. As a 'new creature' in Christ, I have a whole new wardrobe at my disposal. With His power, I have the ability to 'put off' the clothes of the 'old nature.' Paul wrote to the Colossians about the new 'clothes' they were to wear, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness" (Colossians 3:12-14; KJV).

Selfishness can be taken off, and compassion for others can be worn. Looking to God's Word and Christ's example will help us to see what this looks like. "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). When we see those who don't know Christ, do we take the time to introduce them to our Savior? Are we available to bear someone else's burdens?

Self-focus can be traded in for God-focus. Realizing that it's all about Him and not about us, goes a long way toward helping us take off this constrictive piece of 'clothing.' Psalm 100 serves as a good reminder: "Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture" (100:3). When we're appropriately clothed, we can say with the prophet Isaiah, "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand" (Isaiah 64:8).

We can replace lack of control with strength under control. We are told, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).

We can shed impatience for a confident trust and reliance on God and His timetable. Proverbs 3:5-6 shares the timeless wisdom of Solomon, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Every day we have a decision. Will we put on the 'new' clothes Christ has purchased for us? Or will we drag out the old clothes, that perhaps are more familiar to us? My prayer is to be clothed with the brand new wardrobe of Christ! What clothes will you choose?


  1. Awesome post! And how did you know I love shopping! I can really appreciate this analogy. "Today is here again. Let your Spirit overtake. Let it rain. Fill me on the inside. Build me higher and higher. Move all over me. And let you will be done in my life. I just want to be in Your presence." Lyrics from a favorite song of mine.

    In His presence He will clothe me with peace, love, joy, hope. Halleujah!

  2. This is so great, Maria!!!

    I am so over winter. Last week was freezing! I hope y'all got all the clothes you needed for your daughter!

  3. Tamika - I think I caught the 'shopping' bug when I was young - my Mom and I used to go shopping a lot! I like the lyrics of the song you quoted, "let Your will be done in my life. I just want to be in Your presence." Wow! Words to live by. Thanks for sharing! God bless you as you continue to choose His clothing!

    Kristen - Glad you enjoyed the post! Someone told me there's a possibility of more snow in the forecast - hopefully it won't materialize. I think we've gotten all the warm clothes Riley needs for right now!! :)

  4. How true! Am thankful that each day is new, with brand new mercies.

    BTW, I picked up some hiking shoes on sale online from Land's End:)

  5. Hi Maria -

    Boots are a wise investment for the frozen north. A down coat isn't a bad idea either. :)

    Thanks for the tie-in with our spiritual clothes.

    Susan :)

  6. Hello Maria, thank you for the reminder. I still say I don't know what to wear before I have to go out, just like my daughters. I will keep in mind that my spiritual clothes are more important. Take care in the cold. Hard to let go of daughters! Make the most of the time you have with yours right now. Looking forward to stopping by soon. xxx

  7. Karen - Enjoy those Land's End hiking shoes!! God bless!

    Susan - A down coat sounds like a great investment! Blessings to you!

    Raymonde - Spiritual clothing IS so important! Praying for your daughter as she's back at university. Great advice to make the most of the time I have with Riley!! God bless you!!

  8. Amen! Life is so much more fulfilling with Christ's new outfit!

    I try to tell my BF that she'd enjoy winter more if she dressed for it. My outdoor clothing may not be fashionable, (although I really like fuzzy ear-flaps) but it keeps me warm in single digits! And so does the clothing God provides protect me.

  9. Lily - Sounds like you're plenty fashionable! And warm as well!! Keep wearing those clothes that God offers you - after all, you look marvelous!! God bless!

  10. I love what you ask at the end of your post, Maria. So many times I'm caught with a piece of old clothing and am completely thankful when I realize that I am forgiven and the fresh, new clothes are there for me.

  11. Ahhhh shopping. All day. Until I drop! :-)

    I love the comparison. Maria, Too often I find myself racing to get out of the old clothes and anxious to put on the new, clean clothing provided for me. My forgiven clothes. And time and time again I have to make this change. I wish I never needed to make the change. I wish I could say that my clothes are always clean and fresh. But the truth is they're not.

    Maria what's the Bible verse about I want to do good, but I can't. I try hard not to sin, but I sin all the time. (paraphrasing here) Written by Paul, it is my favorite thing to read in the Bible. Because it speaks to me. And God knows every time I read it that I will get something else out of it. Isn't our creator to be adored and praised and exalted? :0)

  12. Very true and powerful writing!!! I especially loved this line, "Self-focus can be traded in for God-focus." Awesome!!! Your intro was great also!

    -Alisa Hope

  13. Heather - Isn't it funny that we tend to reach for those old clothes automatically? How much better to reach for the new clothes that He offers us daily!! God bless you!

  14. Robyn - Shopping...don't get me going! Just found out that the Talbot's Outlet is having one of there 75% off sales now through the 18th. Think I should schedule a couple hours for the sale?!

    The verse you're thinking of sounds like Rom. 7:19 "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." I'm so thankful for what Paul writes a couple verses later (24-25a): "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
    Jesus Christ is our answer to living victoriously!!! Amen to that!!Our Creator is definitely to be adored, praised and exalted!! God bless you, girl!!

    Alisa - Welcome! Thanks so much for the sweet words of encouragement. We serve a powerful God!! Looking forward to getting to know you this year! Have a fantastic evening and God bless!