Monday, 29 October 2012

The 12x12 Project

So, your month of learning/torture/boredom/creativity (depending on your perspective, you know) is almost over. I'd like to introduce you to some brave women who are just getting started.

I like to visit the blogs of the women who participate in the ODP, and I happened across this project while doing that. Interested, I decided to put a few questions to the founder of the project to introduce you to it. Without further ado:

What is the 12x12 Project and who is participating?

The 12x12 Project is a year of living intentionally. Each month this year we will highlight a specific injustice/need/cause. We will give our time, our voices, and our prayers to the monthly focus.

Our vanity and consumerism are drastically decreasing, as we are committing to wearing 12 key clothing items (one per month) for the year. Each clothing item we wear is tied to our cause for the month. We are saying "no" to frivolous spending. We're not shopping for ourselves unless it's a serious need.

How did it start?

It started as an idea. While completing a bible study this summer ("7" by Jen Hatmaker) with some amazing girlfriends, I started to pray and ask God what to do with myself and the mess that I am. I was feeling conviction about the way that I am spending what God has given me (my time, my money, my resources.) Something had to change. Clear as day I heard the words "12x12 Project". I called my dear friend Kim and we started praying and talking and before we knew it the 12x12 Project was born.
How was the 12x12 Project inspired by the ODP?

A lot of inspiration for this project came from the ODP. When praying about my discontent and selfish attitude, I remembered how grateful and content I feel during the ODP. Every October I know that I am wearing one dress all month. I am happy with what I have. I get creative with what I already own. I am thinking of those who have less. We took that idea, one outfit all month, and tied that outfit/article of clothing to a "purpose".

We used the ODP to kick off our 12x12 year and we challenged those around us to shop with a purpose for their dress. Uganda is our focus in the month of October, so we found an amazing company, One Mango Tree, who provides work for women in Uganda and we purchased our October dresses from there, instead of say, Target, or another big box store.

All of the "coordinators" for the 12x12 Project are participating in the ODP this year. This is the third year for Karissa and I, actually! Lots of the ladies participating in the 12x12 Project have joined us in the ODP this year, too.

What are you anticipating as the most difficult parts of this Project and what are you anticipating as the parts that teach you the most or bless you the most?

The most difficult part of this process will be the self denial of "wants" and the refining of our hearts. I've already found myself in moments of frustration wanting to go run to the store because I'm stressed or bored or just "because I can." I want all of that to change. My contentment is in Christ alone and loving His children, not in a store or in some possession.

Those frustrations are easily forgotten when I see people "getting it". When my children dump their piggy banks for the hungry and clean out their clothes and toys for the less fortunate. When I with my friends and peers talk with tears streaming down our faces because we want our life to "be an answer" to the needs around us and we actually start doing something about it. When a house is full to standing room only because people want to know what they can do to help the suffering. These things bless me in ways I cannot begin to explain.

These rewards far out weigh anything we think we are "giving up". It's our hope and prayer that this year ignites a spark that will last a lifetime and really will change the world.

This is a wonderful project; I'm always so moved to see the way people take the October Dress Project and move it forward in new, inspiring ways. Check out the 12x12 Project on Facebook if you want to learn more or connect with the women participating.


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