Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kids' Clothes: Provision and Hoarding

Over the years, I have been amazed at how the Lord has provided clothes for my children. As the fall/school year approaches, we parents start evaluating our growing children's wardrobes and searching out the next round of clothing via store sales, consignment sales, hand-me-downs, and so forth. Since I can't pass on hand-me-downs within my own family (one girl and twin boys), I am fairly diligent at searching out bargains and clothing sources--especially for the boys.

For my daughter, though, I've hardly had to buy anything! When she was a baby, we had some friends who kept us stocked with the bulk of her wardrobe up until around age 2. Then, a neighbor and I started swapping clothes (she had daughters on either age/size of my daughter). That neighbor's younger daughter started catching up to mine in size, so that well of hand-me-downs began to dry up. Another friend, whose daughter has received our daughter's hand-me-downs, was given several large bags of clothes from a friend. Those clothes are too big for her daughter, so we get to use them in the interim! I'm amazed at how the Lord has provided such tremendous sources of clothing without me asking or knowing from where the next batch would come. The latest batch of 3 huge garbage bags full arrived yesterday and I realized that I don't need to search out much of anything for another YEAR; we'll need to round up a new white t'neck and some tights... that's about it.

What does all of this clothing provision teach me? In addition to the obvious "trust the Lord" aspect, it also has freed me up from hoarding my children's clothing. I have a Rubbermaid bin in the attic with 0-1 year clothing--for both genders--and also which includes miscellaneous crib bedding and so forth. That's it. If the Lord sends us another child, I'm sure he will provide for any wardrobe holes! I kept a few gender neutral things, the handmade things people had given my children, and a few very special outfits. That's it. The others I have freely passed on. SHARE THE LOVE people. Pass on those kids' clothes and don't worry if you don't get them all back or if some clothes come back in poor condition. If you don't anticipate a need for your children's clothes within your own family, then pass them on to others who can use them. Loan them or give them outright. I have even fewer clothes for the other ages--mostly because so many people are using our kids' clothes! Some come back to me and I look around for who else to loan them to.

Could I consign these clothes and make some money? Sure. I've done that once. But I decided that it's far more satisfying to pass these clothes on free of charge to people I know who can use them. After all, I didn't pay for most of them in the first place. And I know what tremendous benefit it is to get a giant garbage bag full of clothes in my child's next size :).

1 comment:

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