I spent a lovely evening Saturday speaking for the 9th annual Holiday Gala of First Assembly of God in Raleigh, NC. These ladies sure know how to put on a gala! It was decorated to the nines for Christmas, the music was beautiful and the catered food was yummy. The women were just as sweet as the tea and chocolate cake offered for dessert! So let me explain the title of this post...
This formal holiday event had been booked for months and I'd decided what I'd wear. I'd chosen a solid black ensemble with elegant pearl jewelry. In the South you have a handful of appropriate options and colors when going to a formal Christmas event: anything dressy that is red or green, anything black, white, gold or silver that is elegant - and velvet or sequins are always excellent choices.
Then my family experienced two deaths in the two weeks leading up to this event and I just didn't want to wear black again this weekend. So ... knowing this was not in the realm of appropriate holiday gala wear ... despite the fact that I generally don't like to buck fashion expectations and stand out ... and knowing that I was the speaker for Pete's sake ... I chose to wear a full length, leopard-print dress! Let me tell you I stood out out in the sea of black cocktail dresses, red satin gowns, and green crushed velvet for sure!
Early in the program I was introduced and invited to tell about Proverbs 31 Ministries before we began eating. So I went forward to the stage, took the mic and said, "I know what you're thinking...'what part of the words holiday gala says full-length leopard-print dress?!'" And they laughed along with me. Then I added, "Just think of me as representing Christmas in Kenya." And I went on to tell about the ministry.
As it turns out, in this crowd of 300 or so there was not one, not two, or even three but nearly 10 women from Kenya who'd been invited by people in attendance! Many of them came to me during or after the event to tell me how special they felt that I would dress in leopard and mention their homeland. They felt God really was speaking to them. I love when God does stuff like that - has me break a fashion rule that I'm not really comfortable breaking so that someone else can feel God's comforting love.
So, while I'll probably never be the most stylish gal in the room, I've discovered it's worth it to become a "fashionista for God." Can't wait to see what He has me wear to my next holiday booking - look out Baltimore, I just might show up to speak December 18th in a sarong or a kimono!