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  • Writer's pictureGina Stinson

The Time I Wore My Mom's Dress. . .

I was in the sixth grade. I'm not sure how much I weighed but I'm pretty sure since I only weighed 110 pounds when I graduated from high school that we can safely assume I was a light-weight. My dad was holding the fort down while my mom went to Florida to see one of our relatives. I imagine it was for some sort of short term emergency because I can't even imagine my mom leaving my dad to make sure three kids 11, 9, and 6 years old were washed, tucked in, fed, dressed, and off to school with completed homework and an apple for the teacher, all the while him working his own job with various shifts thrown in. But I'm quite sure he was capable.

I guess I was hankering for something different to wear. Like most six graders I was at a very awkward stage—braces had yet to be put on, I wore glasses, I was sporting a Dorothy Hamil haircut—you get the picture.

I thought my mom dressed like a million bucks. Her clothes were so pretty. Her closet was full of things—shoes and purses and belts and coats—OK, really it wasn't full and it was a small closet, but when you're 11 things look different. And on the day that I tiptoed into her closet while she was in Florida and dad was at work, those differences were so enticing. I knew I wanted to wear one of her dresses to school the next day.

I spotted the grey dress with small pink flowers, puffed sleeves, a light weight matching vest sewn to the front, the tie in the back and the soft pleated skirt. It was one of my favorite dresses my mom wore. I knew this was "the one." I snatched the dress from the rack and ran to my room.

The next morning, outfitted in the beautiful dress, I loaded into the car. I don't remember my dad giving me a second glance! How could he not notice that the dress was too big? How could he not remember seeing my mom wearing it? How could he have not even raised an eyebrow? I have no idea. But I went to my 6th grade class proudly wearing my mom's dress that day...thinking I was as beautiful as she was when she wore it. Looking back, I realize how ridiculous I must have looked. I wonder what my teachers must have thought?

It was a decade later at least when I told my mom this story and we have laughed a hundred times about it since.

Silly, huh? But as I was thinking of this story today, I realized that as a Christian woman living in the modern world it is easy to think that I can go into the world's closet and try on their garments and walk around for a day in their shoes and that no one would notice. It's just a day, it's just one dress, it's just a trip to school and back. No one will notice. But the world is watching much more closely than my dad was that day in 1983. The ultimate fashionista enemy wants us to put on pride, arrogance, anger, bitterness, lying, covetousness, and anything else that feels good. But the truth is we look ridiculous clothed in the garments that weren't made for us. We become the hypocrites, the laughing stock. We become Christianity's poster child for WHAT NOT TO WEAR.

It's a silly analogy I know. But I want to look different than the world. I want to rise above my circumstances, bad luck, unfortunate events, bills, laundry and back to school blues. I want to be a light in a dark world and that can't happen if I am dressed just like the world. So, this girl's gonna make an effort to wear the clothes that were made to fit me perfectly—a garment of praise, the armor of God and righteousness. And no matter how cute, perfect or just my size that pride, anxiousness or a bad attitude look at the moment—that's on my WHAT NOT TO WEAR LIST.

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