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Excessiveness—Guilty As Charged! How Much Is Too Much?

There's an old saying: You can never be too rich or too thin? (coined by Wallis Simpson, an American debutante (June 1896 - April 1986) who is famously remembered as the temptress who lured a leader (the Duke of Windsor) away from his throne.

I've been thinking about this the past few days, especially since I'm in the middle of week 20 of my Closet ClotheSure Challenge 2020. If this exercise has revealed anything, it's that I've been a bit of a clothes hoarder! For those of you who've been following my blog, you'll recall that back in February, my youngest son, Nick commented that I had too many clothes.

"I bet you could go the rest of the year without wearing the same thing twice to work!" he exclaimed.

After giving it some thought, I decided to see if what he'd said was true. I've kept too much stuff for far too long and so, I began what I refer to as my Closet ClotheSure Challenge. The rules are pretty basic—every Sunday I choose four outfits (Monday-Thursday) along with shoes and accessories to go with them. Here are three rather painful elements of The Challenge:

1) After I wear it, anything that doesn't make me "feel like a ten" when I put it on, goes bye-bye!

2) I must wear everything in my closets - too short, too tight, out of style, whatever! (my punishment for hanging on to things for so long)

3) I cannot buy new clothes during the challenge. (eek!)

I'm kind of thinking that at twenty weeks, I may be about halfway through The Challenge, but I'm not sure. There's still a lot of things hanging in my closets. (the dreaded size 4's and 6's seem to sneer at me every time I open the closet door!—might have to whip out the "incredible fat suckers" if I don't drop a couple of pounds soon!)

For those of you keeping score, I've worn seventy-eight different outfits and donated (or given to friends/family)) thirty-four thus far. So, that's pretty cool! And, although it's been a time-consuming project, it's also been fun.

But back to the too rich, too thin thing. This actually sounds like something a real socialite snob would say. (sorry, Wallis!) I try to stay out of the judgemental zone as much as possible, but I definitely believe wealth can cloud your judgment. Here's what Jesus said about it in Mathew 19:23-24:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

Now, in all fairness, I don't begrudge wealthy people for being rich. I've known a lot of "rich people" who do incredible things with their money. Along those lines, I dig this scripture found in Luke:12:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

As far as being too thin goes, I don't think there's a Bible verse on that! But I know from first-hand experience that a person can be too thin. Take me for example when I married James back in 1985. We'd just moved to Dallas and had a shoe-string wedding. My sweet sister Brenda offered her wedding gown to me and I gratefully accepted. The only problem was that she's always been considerably smaller than me. I spent weeks dieting (read between the lines—starving myself) to fit into the dress so that I wouldn't have to buy one. )Sidebar: I was able to squeeze into her dress, but nothing else in my closet fit!)

Since we'd saved so much on our wedding, James and I decided we'd spend the lion's share of our "budget" on our honeymoon. We splurged and went to Canada to ski, staying at the famous Banff Springs Hotel. (They filmed part of Stephen King's The Shining there) I'm embarrassed (even after all these years) to share that the first night we went out to a fancy dinner at an upscale Italian restaurant in town. After weeks of living on rabbit food, I was thrilled to order fettuccine alfredo. (Big Mistake!)

Suffice it to say, I was sick as a dog that night. I remember our octagon-shaped room and waking up around two a.m. with everything spinning around me, knowing I was going to hurl from the rich food.

So, yep! I was violently ill on the first night of our honeymoon.(romantic, eh?) In retrospect, I probably should have just bought my own wedding dress!


Also, this week I've been thinking about my precious Aunt Eloise Murdoch. She's the eldest of six (five girls and one boy) on my Burt dad's side of the family and she's celebrating her eighty-ninth birthday tomorrow, June 20th. Here's a shot of the two of us from a couple of years ago:

Eloise is not only one of the most amazing women I've ever known, she's also an incredibly strong Christian. No matter what life throws at her, shes's steadfast in her faith. I'm so fortunate to have her in my life.

Since I've been talking about excessiveness in this post, I'll share a story about Aunt Eloise and me.

Now, Eloise is an incredible cook and when my sisters and I were younger, she had a huge garden. We have fond memories of large family gatherings enjoying home-cooked meals featuring fried okra, green beans, and tomatoes.

There was one visit to the Murdoch home I'll never forget. I can't recall what we were celebrating, but Aunt Eloise made a special dessert called Heavenly Fudge Cake.

I took one bite of this decadent dessert with its chocolatey-marshmellowy goodness and was immediately addicted. (In those days, my sisters and I didn't have access to a lot of sugar and I hit that cake like a large-mouth bass going for a juicy worm!)

When I asked for another piece, Aunt Eloise warned, "I think you've had enough cake. If you eat too much of it, you might get sick."

I assured her that I could handle more piece and because she had a hard time telling me no, she carved out serving for me. "This is it," she said.

I scarfed the second slice down along with part of my mom's uneaten portion.

Well, not to make this post about me over-indulging too often, but this might have been my first experience in excessiveness. (and finding out that too much of anything is not healthy!) After all that sugar, I spent some time in front of "the porcelain god" wishing I'd listened to my aunt's advice.

To Eloise's credit, she never said, I told you so! (Love you, Aunt Eloise & Happy Birthday!)

Oh well, live and learn, right?


So, back to Closet ClotheSure Week 20!

I mentioned at the beginning of the week that I'd either keep or get rid of everything I wore from Monday-Thursday. I'm happy to report that for the first time in Closet ClotheSure history, we have a clean sweep! It's all going bye-bye! Here's why:

Monday: this baby doll swing dress by Danny & Nicole is lacy and sweet, but I've decided it's a little "too-young" for me. Ready to kiss it goodbye!

Tuesday -

Eva Mendes inspired red and black dress. I've always thought of this as a western piece and have worn it many times over the past few years with my black cowgirl boots. There's nothing particularly wrong with the dress, I think I've just grown tired of it, so—out it goes!

Wednesday -

I picked up this cantaloupe-colored dress with soft blue touches by Gabby & Skye at Steinmart a few years back. I do love the color and of course, the pockets. I'm just not excited about wearing it anymore, so it's going to a new home!

Thursday -

Here's an Ann Taylor classic cut dress I've only worn one time before this photo was taken last Sunday. (shame) When I was posing for this photo, James remarked that he couldn't recall ever seeing me wear this before. (again, shame!) I told him that was because I hated everything about this dress.

"I don't understand what's happening with the leopard print on one side and the block design on the other," he said.

"You don't have to understand it. Just take the picture!" I insisted, rolling my eyes at him.

"But. why did you buy it if you didn't like it?" he persisted.

"I must have loved it when I bought it," I explained. "Or maybe it was on sale . . ."

He shrugged and snapped the photo.

I swear, my husband is a saint!


From The Garden

These baby armadillos were grubbing around tonight when I was watering down near the creek. They didn't seem to mind me until I squirted them with the hose at which point they all scurried in a neat little line under my neighbor's deck. (Have I mentioned that I have a bit of a mean streak? ha!)

Stay safe everyone, and remember, God is in control and hope is on the move!


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