I officially have a new favorite way to get rid of unwanted clutter around my house. We had our very first Swap Not Shop Women's Event at church last night and it was a wonderfully fun success.
Let me start off by telling you that I am DEVASTATED that I have NO PICTURES to show you because one of my 'precious angels' accidentally DELETED ALL the pictures on my camera.
Completely, PERMANENTLY deleted.
As if that isn't bad enough, it had to happen 20 minutes before church this morning. I should have known then that it was going to be an AWESOME day of worship from start to finish because the enemy really knew how to get me off of my focus with that one!
Anyways, we set up about a dozen tables in the fellowship hall with different signs with clothing sizes and various categories such as toiletries, household decorations, jewelry/purses, books/magazines, shoes, baby/kid items, etc... As everyone arrived they got a numbered ticket and then we spent the first 15 minutes dividing up our goodies and categorizing them onto the different tables. After a time of praise and worship, we gave away a few door prizes and then had some refreshments. There was a wonderful spread of food ~ everyone brought their favorite snack or dessert. Then we called out 5 tickets at a time and let everyone have a chance to pick out their "first choice" item. Everyone was so cute running for their favorite goody that they had spotted while we were putting it out on the tables. Once everyone had gotten their first choice item it was a free for all! It was like a true treasure hunt ~ one woman's trash is another woman's treasure. The truth is, there really wasn't any trash there at all. Everybody's stuff was so nice! We had the most fun trying on each other's clothes~ it was like getting to go shopping with all of your best friends but not having to spend any money! The fun didn't stop there though, we also had two lovely ladies who provided free manicures and spa treatments for all the ladies. It was so fun seeing everybody at church today sporting thier "new" treasures.
I want to encourage anyone and everyone out there who reads this to host their very own Swap Not Shop Event too. This whole thing started with a few friends who were ready to clean out closets and pass on some hand me downs. We had so many friends that wanted to be a part of a swap, we decided to do an open invitation to the ladies of the church.
Not only did we all have a ball, but we have several boxes of leftover, unclaimed clothes that we are going to take to a women's shelter.
I told Brian I thought our little event even followed biblical principals about sharing all that we have as a community of believers.
In fact, I shared with the ladies the passage in Acts where Luke writes about how all the new believers shared all that they had with each other. Everything that they had they shared, others watched and liked what they say, and the Lord added to their number daily.
It makes me wonder...
Did the Lord add to their number because other's liked what they saw and they wanted to be a part of a group like that?
Did the Lord add to their number because they were obedient to what they were taught to do? In other words, their words and actions mirrored each other.
My conclusion is that it was both!
The world must see some difference in us. They are watching us all ~ all of the time. And I 'm not just talking about those of us who live in the "fish bowl" of ministry life. All of us who profess to be Christians have an audience of people who watch to see if our relationship with Christ really makes a difference in our day to day lives.
Does it make a difference in yours?
I want to encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to show you a way that you can demonstrate the love of the Lord with those in your community while also showing them we know how to have fun too! Maybe they will "like what they see" and the Lord might bless and "add to YOUR number daily."