Monday, December 1, 2014

31 Dresses: Day One

Do you remember the movie "27 Dresses"?

It's a cute flick about a cute girl who was always a bridesmaid, yet never a bride. That is, however, until she met Mr. Perfect and fell in love with him over the course of a couple weeks (because that's a realistic timeframe for love), ending like all other chick flicks: the girl gets the guy that we've been swooning over since the opening credits. It's a feel-good, light-hearted movie that many women can identify with because of the bridesmaid dresses that fill our own guest-room-closets.

We also identify with it because we want to be noticed and loved. We want to feel beautiful and we want others to recognize our dignity. We desire to be desired.

In a perfect world, in a world without sin, each of these desires would be fulfilled. But the news and media don't lie -- we live in a world where women are oppressed, trampled on, taken advantage of. Where sex-crazy men and power-hungry people use their prestige and money and strength to squelch, dehumanize, and devalue women and girls. I've seen it with my own eyes in Bolivia and even on the streets of Portland.

And that is why I'm participating in Dressember. I believe in everyday advocacy and I know our voices matter. You and I can help change the world that millions of abused women and girls wake up to every morning. Your voice matters, too, and all our voices are louder together. Let's yell, let's run, let's dress for the restoration of dignity for all women.
Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who've been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women.

Dressember exists to inspire and empower a global community of like-minded women who are locking arms to face one of the greatest injustices of our time.
The heart of Dressember is freedom-- that every woman has the right to live a vibrant and autonomous life.
I'm choosing to include my 4 month-old twin girls in Dressember, as well. Ada and Libby are my baby in the making. Currently, Ada May is napping in her crib, and baby Libby is wiggling on my lap while I type with one hand. As I got them dressed this morning, stretching their little arms through sleeves and wrestling tiny leggings over their giant diaper-clad bums, I told them why I was putting a dress on them when it's 20 degrees and frosty outside. They may not be able to choose their own outfits yet, but I want my girls to know that from the day they were born, they had purpose. Purpose to advocate, to empower, to motivate and inspire. A purpose to breath life and hope and speak love and joy into others.

My heart is full of anticipation this month, as it was a year ago.

A year ago, I longed to be pregnant and I begrudgingly identified myself, Elizabeth, with Elizabeth of the Bible, a woman who desperately wanted a child but was barren. Turns out, I was pregnant and didn't even know it yet. God had fulfilled His promise in me (twofold!) as He had done thousands of years ago with Jesus and John the Baptist.

I'm expectant again, this month. Not as a woman with child, but as a mom full of dreams and hopes and prayers for her babies who need Jesus as much as the oppressor and the oppressed do. Advent season is upon us, and I crave the freedom and justice and light that only the Savior of the world can bring. Jesus Christ, from his humble beginnings as a baby in a manger surrounded by donkey poo, came to proclaim freedom for the captives, bind up the brokenhearted, and comfort all
who mourn (Isaiah 61).

Dressember is bigger than a dress. It's about celebrating my freedom as a woman and claiming freedom for my baby girls' futures. It's about setting captives free and ending modern-day slavery. The heart of Dressember is dignity for ALL women. (Whether you've been a bridesmaid, or not, whether you own a dress, or not.)
  • Will you cheer us on this month?
  • Will you support our cause and donate to IJM on our behalf?
  • Will you think of us as you bundle up in your jeans and sweaters, and say a prayer for victims of oppression around the world?

Ada, Libby and I are hoping to raise $4,500 to fund a rescue operation with International Justice Mission

IJM is leading the fight for freedom by defending the oppressed and putting the oppressors (pimps, rapists, perpetrators) behind bars. They are rescuing thousands and protecting millions. They are the good guys who fight the bad guys in real life, and it's so much better than the movies.
Dressember begins today. Help us meet our goal and create real change. Every dollar counts, and the process is fast, easy, and secure. You can also partner with us by sharing my link on Facebook and Twitter. Or, send an e-mail to friends you think might be interested in contributing and include a link to my page!

 Dress UP and Raise UP
You can find me under the team name: "Dress UP and Raise UP" My team is comprised of my youth group girls and my baby girls. We are dressing up to raise up world-changers.

Ada & Libby's dresses for the whole month of December, thanks to hand-me-downs. (Not pictured are leggings and fleece sweaters.)  They certainly have more options than I do this month!

Follow us all month on Instagram by using the hashtag #DressemberBabies.

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