Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Difference Project

For the next 9 months, I am committing not to buy any new clothes.

No new shoes.

No cute new jewelry.

No more adorable vintage inspired fashions.

Nada. Nil. None. Zilch. Zero. Nix. Nothing...until December 22, maybe even after that.

To be perfectly honest, I felt like I should do this last summer after reading Radical by David Platt. But I didn't. Instead I said to myself, "I just won't buy anything I don't need." Well, that ambition was done in after I laid eyes on the wonderful fall fashions at Target. This time, I have to obey. I cannot keep spending money on "cute" things I don't really need when there are so many ways that my money can make a difference for those who truly need. No more justifying my spending because "I find stuff on sale" or "I don't buy very much at all." No more!

I'm calling it the difference project. One person can make a difference. Giving up buying new clothes may make the difference between life and death for a poor starving child. It could be the difference between disease and health. And I want to be that difference.

For my last purchase, I decided to get a pair of TOMS. Fitting, no? I needed a good pair of "missionary" shoes for a mission trip (hopefully!) this Fall.



Of course when I went in the store to buy them, I was bombarded with so many new (and adorable) Spring clothes. This is going to be hard people!

Yeah, it hasn't really sunk in yet!




I debated on whether or not to even post this. I know that the Bible says that you should give in secret, not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing. However I have decided to do so for two reasons:

First, to keep myself accountable. Obviously, I tried this before and failed miserably! This way I can share my struggles, temptations and stories of how God is using this to make a difference for His kingdom.

Second, to encourage YOU to do join in. Can you imagine if 10 people gave up buying clothes, eating out, or something of the like in order to really make a difference in this world? That would be a lot of money! Together we can be a force for good in this world. We cannot ignore the call to care for those who have needs. It's all throughout the Bible. Just look for it and take it seriously. I can't wait to see how God is going to use this project!

I would LOVE to know if you are joining in on this project. I am adding a new page where you can link up and share what you are doing to make a difference.


Jesus, please take this very meager offering and use it for YOUR GLORY! You are worthy of so much more than merely this.

70 comments:

Rankkers said...

Wow... This is a great idea!

mary said...

WOW Jennifer! What a strong stance! Best of luck! xox!

Leanna said...

Good luck, Jennifer! This is a great idea... don't know if I'm quite ready to take such a big step, though. Love your new Toms! They are super cute. :)

And I think it's a GREAT idea to share on your blog. The Bible does talk about giving in secret, but that's to prevent people from giving to show off. You aren't doing this to bring glory to yourself but instead to encourage others, so I think it's great that you're sharing.

My Beautiful Life said...

There are going to be times that will be incredibly tempting. The best way to keep yourself from eating sweets, is staying out of the bakery...
I've learned that being content, is the start of a whole lot of happy.

Best wishes on this endeavor. It is definitely for a noble cause.

MJ {The Honeypie Archives} said...

Beautiful. You seriously are just a beautiful person.

I am doing something similar, but not quite the same. I guess mine is actually more selfish, because I am not clothes shopping so I can save money, yours is a much better concept.

Cory said...

You're heart for the Lord & the world is beautiful & refreshing. Thanks for being a blessing & encouragement, sister.

Marli and Memory said...

Wow! I hope you are blessed with contentment while pursuing this awesome project! ;)

LOVE the shoes!!!

Marli

leigh said...

AMEN girl. I love that you acknowledged the verse about the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. I think a lot of times Christian's will devalue their work by bragging about it.
I'll be praying for you sister & I LOVE your TOMS. I have the same pair in dark gray & they're my favorites.
<3 leigh

Mandy said...

This is a great idea!! I absolutely admire you for doing this! Very inspiring! BTW, love your last pair of new shoes for 9 months! :)

Ms. E. said...

Crazy! I just told myself this Sunday not to shop until June (I know it is not a whole year). I just feel like too much money goes on clothes...when most of us have soooo much already. Good luck...maybe I can be motivated to go longer!

Megan Elizabeth said...

WoW! What a fantastic way to serve God right where you are!! Love this so much.
Why 9 months?

Brooke said...

so amazing! first, those Toms are so cute! and second it's so wonderful what you are doing.

Leah Belle said...

i have a friend who did this for a year...in fact, her year ends on April 1st. it has been fun to follow her progress on her blog. she even became aware of people who committed to wear only 6 articles of clothing for a month.....interesting. http://juliegumm.com/wordpress/?p=1672

anyway, way to go....i will pray for you on your challenge. we are all guilty of excess, and should take a step back and re-evaluate where we spend our treasure.

M. said...

amen, sister. love this.
i'll be praying for you and praying whether or not God would have me join you.
xoxo!

Jennifer said...

Megan - 9 months is what jumped into my head. Plus it's the end of the year...and honestly, I didn't think I could last a whole year! Something about Christmas-time sounded right.

Leah - thank you so much for the link. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I will have to check out her story.

Rylie said...

This is great. You are just too awesome.

PLUS, we have the same dress. :)

Bri {four if by sea} said...

jennifer, lovely, lovely idea. I love the Tom's you picked aaand your new blog header :)

Melissa said...

This is such an inspiring idea you are doing. Seriously. I know I have a bad habit of buying items that I don't need, so it is truly inspiring to see someone who is taking the initiative to put their money towards something greater!

Kandice said...

i love everything about this post {and your blog.} your faith is inspiring and i love reading your posts.

i should really get in on this because we aren't spending any money on things we don't need either. plus i've really been meaning to put my money where my mouth is and get out and HELP. you know?

thanks so much for sharing and, once again, inspiring me. that's a word used so much in blogging but i really do mean it.

love following you, girl!

maybe we can be blogger friends and you can inspire me all the live-long day? haha
come see me at kandice-sean.blogspot.com

<3, kandice

ps. i know it's not the point of this post but those toms are one of the cutest pairs i've seen. nice color. and does it really come with a note from the kid you just, in turn, gave a pair to?? how neat :)

Alexis Kaye said...

This is so sweet and inspiring! You really are one in a million! I wish I could give you a big hug right now!

April Rowell said...

Your post if very fitting to my struggle. I was having a moment the other day where I was fed up with all my stuff I have shoved in draws and hidden under the bed. I feel like Im constantly cleaning and trying to make things fit around my house. You're inspiring and I hope to do a better job of cramming my life with things that matter and not just things. :)

It's A Love Story said...

This sounds like a really cool thing to do!

Courtney said...

LOVE THIS! I have been struggling through making those changes in my life after reading Radical and going through the sermon series...it really does challenge us to examine the extent to which we believe and trust in the Word for what it is...proud of you for just being obedient to what the Lord's called you to do!

Emily said...

this is so wonderful! i felt so encouraged reading this- thanks so much!! :)

erin said...

this is so admirable, blair. and i've been wanting to read radical for a while! i heard it's awesome.

Angel Perry said...

Such an amazing thing! Love that letter that comes in tow! So awesome!

kitkat said...

omg like i seriously need to stop buying every cute thing i see. like i'm planning to raid forever 21 tomorrow..it doesnt help that it is right nxt to my school :/
ok i promise to stop shopping after 2moro,lol
new follower here :) plz drop by my blog n' follow bck.. thnks! <3

SavedthruLove said...

i adore the new header!!
I really feel so inspired. For Lent I decided to depend fully upon GODS provision and stop wasting money on fast food. Grocery store shopping for food is one thing but constantly putting money towards food that makes me feel yucky (for the most part) and just wasting the little cash I have is just RIDICULOUS.

The miraculous part is how much GOD is showing, reminding and revealing of HIMSELF in my life. He truly feeds me. In fact, I'm praying for surrender so I can only EAT what I need because He seriously is providing SOOOOO much free food.

Ex: I walked in work and a co-worker bought 2 loafs worth of asagio three cheese bread freshly baked from panera...
-homemade cookies and candies at Church :/
-My mom stocked up recently on oatmeals and fish!!??? that I can eat


So yes. I really trust the LORD is the LORD of provision and HE GIVES us just what we need and nothing more.

I'm going to pray about extending this past LENT.


sorry for the novel. Your blog is so inspiring and GOD CENTERED!!! Thank you girl and be blessed.

p.s. You are sooo gorgeous. Your eyes are hard to look away from I got dizzy for a second. PIERCING. alright enough.

bye :)!

The Soul Anchor said...

I think this is absolutely AWESOME, and it's interesting the timing of your post, because I'd promised myself not to buy anything brand new from a store in 2011. I would only shop at thrift stores. I've done REALLY well on this, except I slipped up and bought a top from a store a few days ago. (Oops...) So your post was a good reminder to me of the promise I've made.

It will be hard, but you can do it! Remember, avoiding temptation and not even going into the stores is a big help. Keep it up!

katyl said...

I love the shoes and good luck! You are incredibly inspiring.

Michelle said...

thanks for posting! not only are these shoes amazing, but they help others :) great!

Randa said...

What a great idea! Good luck with your project and btw - TOM shoes are not just great for others, they're amazing to wear!

Katherine Michael said...

That's really amazing! What a challenge and a witness!

Cori said...

I admire your decision to commit! :D
Good luck! :D Oh and by the by..LOVE those shoes!!

Marli and Memory said...

love the toms
love the idea.
you go girl!
*MeMoRy

Faith said...

This has challenged me to examine the "idols" in my life. Finding inexpensive clothing treasures can certainly become addictive (and after awhile, expensive), and I sincerely admire your commitment to this project. Also, Jennifer, your reasons for posting this are solid. You examined Scripture, knowing to do good deeds in secret, but also understanding the need to exhort the body and to find accountability from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. To God be the glory, and may He strengthen you in moments of temptation!

Samantha said...

What a great idea! Good luck!


BTW.. LOVE THE shoes :D

kelly summers said...

wow. super convicting.
this is an amazing idea. i know that i buy way too many things that i just don't need. i think i'd like to join this project.
my husband and i are going on vacation next month so my plan is as soon as we come back to do the same.
can you make a button for the project? i'd love to put it on my blog and spread the word. good luck!

elizabeth said...

Hi! Great idea!! I'm loving your choice of TOMS!! That'll be a hard project to do, I'm praying that you are able to do it without any temptation to buy anything!

kelly summers said...

just kidding! found the button :)

Bree Rosalie said...

I just started something similar - I am trying not to spend money on little things, and sove up for somethiing more important, and also to have more money to give to the Church. :)

Good luck - I will pray for you!
~bree

http://graphicsbybree.blogspot.com

Emily said...

You, my friend, are a huge inspiration! Right now for Lent, I am participating in the H2O Project. I will drink nothing but tap water & any money I normally would have spent purchasing beverages (even bottled water) goes to a charity to help build water wells in counties without clean water.

I love the idea of The Difference Project, and it is actually something I thought of doing before I started the H2O Project.

After Lent, I may just decide to join The Difference Project. I do think that, together, we can make a difference.

http://texasnj.dayeightmedia.com

Renée said...

wow respect for you!!

Megan said...

You are so amazing. I love this idea. So awesome that your last purchase was a pair of Toms!

Emily said...

What a great idea! What a great way to see how God will use this time and money in a different way in your life.

I've heard so much about Tom's shoes. Are they comfortable?
ps, your blog is so enjoyable to read. I love how God is pouring out all over it!

Jhen.Stark said...

HOLY Cow girl- 45 responses to such a challenging post!

I'm taking the challenge!

tina.beth said...

I love this idea! What an incredible way to not only put your money to great use for those who truly need it, but also to understand how trivial things like clothes and accessories are in the grand scheme and to keep your focus on God in all areas of life. I am inspired and challenged by just the thought of this project!

Wish Me Luck said...

good luck it's such a amazing idea! I love those shoes!

Erin Willett said...

You're doing a great thing. And those toms shoes are adorable!

heyrecklessmind.blogspot.com

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Wow, what a great idea! Good luck!

Callie Nicole said...

Good for you! Honestly it would be so hard for me to give up buying any new clothes for that long, but I love the idea - you've given me something to think about.

Señorita said...

This is such an amazing post. Your decision to refrain from shopping and buying things that you don't need is such a great example. I hope you are able to follow through; through Christ, all things are possible!!

http://ladyonaroof.blogspot.com/

Jenni @ Story of My Life said...

Wow. I really admire you for doing this.

You are beautiful. Clearly, on the outside, but also on the inside.

I'm really happy to have found your blog!

Ashley Slater said...

You are so brave, this would be very hard for me. I will be praying for you in this!!

Laura Nelson said...

wow, you are truly amazing & i love how God works through you :) I really really want to get a pair of TOMS! :)

Consider The Lilies said...

what an awesome thing you are doing. it's very inspiring to see you following after God's calling :)

Jessica of Fine and Fleurie said...

Wow, this is so noble of you! I hope we can help to give you strength when you're feeling weak :)

Love the TOMS!!

annie said...

I'm so very happy to discover your blog! (I feel like we might maybe be kindred spirits.) I can't wait to read more about this journey; I just know it will be such a blessing. Hard, yes, but full of rewards. You've given me lots to think about, and I love blogs that do that. Thank you! :)

Nikki said...

I love what you are doing and will plan to join you!

the Poston's said...

i love every.bit.of.this. So encouraged. Will be joining up!

Abigail and Lydia said...

That's a great idea. I'm inspired.:) I am just about finished with "Radical" myself. Its a really convicting book but SO GOOD! I love the phrase, "Taking back your faith from the American Dream." Great idea!
Abigail

Jennifer said...

Wow. I am so completely blown away by all of your responses! I pray God uses this in a mighty way!

Chelsea said...

Those shoes are rad.

xoxo

KTParrish said...

I love that you're doing this, Jennifer! I LOVE my Toms. I feel good that I could spend a little money that is worth so much more somewhere else.

Looking forward to reading about your progress!

Jennifer Rod said...

this is beautiful and so encouraging! I cant wait to read more about this. Im considering gettig some Toms soon :)

crystal.unlv@gmail.com said...

What a great idea, I can't wait to keep up.

You will change many lives, it's amazing what 30 dollars can do for a child. Best wishes

abbiejean. said...

Hi Jennifer. Let's be friends?
I appreciate a blog with depth, so thumbs up to you.

I went a year without shoe purchases, then a year without clothing purchases, and now, at the end of it, after buying a couple items, I don't even care about it anymore. It's amazing how God changed what I care about. What I spend money on looks soooo different than it did 2 years ago.

Thanks Jesus!
: )
good day.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i love my toms, they are the best. yours are the cutest i've seen yet, though! and my my my - your eyes are so beautifully blue!

Jeanine said...

wow. thank you for posting this. I am inspired by this whole idea of yours. wow. I just can't stop thinking of ALL the money I waste every month on frivolous stuff and even stuff that wouldn't be considered so very frivolous, but that I don't actually need. I am always saying to myself "I want to do something good with my life" etc, etc and here is such a practical, on point way to do so.

I know we're talking about spending money here...but I did just add that Radical book to my amazon cart––because I think the message must be pretty awesome and further encouraging from your review and all the others. yay.

Thanks for sharing!

Haley K said...

you are such an amazing woman!!! I wrote this in a comment a few posts ago...but you have such a beautiful heart! :) Your Difference Project is so touching. I'm sure it will be hard, but so worth it!

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