the wardrobe & white space

white space 9

One of the first goals I want to tackle is the closet situation.

We have a small closet here at Todd’s grandmother’s house, and it’s bursting at the seams. Our closet in the new house will be a bit bigger, but that’s not really the point.

There are things in my closet that I haven’t seen in months. They’re hidden in a sea of clothes. They were purchased on impulse. They mean nothing to me.

So why did I buy them? Not because they were cute. Not because they were on sale. But, really, why did I buy them?

Here’s where I’m trusting you. I’m praying that we’re all friends here so I can get a little bit vulnerable in my space. It’s gonna get ugly, complete with some ugly cries while I write.

I have some serious self-image issues. And I buy the clothes so I can hide.

Because, in my mind, if I’m wearing new, pretty clothes, I can hide behind them. People will see my clothes and not the body that shames me.

I know. Those words make me cringe. But they’re the truth.

When I was 16 years old, and a senior in high school, I went with a friend to her older brother’s apartment to pick up something that she needed. I don’t remember all of the details about the day, but I do remember that when we walked up to the door, there was a sign hanging up that said,

“Girls who weigh 130 pounds or less are welcome inside.”

I have no idea what I weighed at the time, but I’m 5’8″ and I was probably a little over 130 lbs.

And ever since then, that was my number. I knew it was ridiculous. It hurt me to read it even then on that door. But it became my number that I strived for.

I’ve hit that number a few times. I was under that number on my wedding day. And now, two babies and five years later, I’m far from that number.

So I buy clothes to hide that. I try to mask the insecurity. Mask the shame. Mask the weight that I wish I wasn’t carrying around.

The truth? My head knows the truth. My God sees me as beautiful. He created me! He loves me! He formed me. He knows me.

This body carried two babies. It endured surgeries. It works to create a home for my family.

But daily, I am faced with shame over it. Because it’s not what it used to be. And it doesn’t match an arbitrary number.

Filling my closet with things to hide that? So I don’t have to face the truth? That’s just icky and it robs me of my white space.

It robs Todd and me of financial breathing room every time I buy something we don’t need. It robs me of peace and white space when I go to get dressed each day and feel my blood pressure go up as I try to find something comfortable, that fits, and sort through the clutter of clothes.

I can put on a mask. I can walk and talk like a confident woman. I can do my best to hide those insecurities. But they are there. And they are lies! 

So my goal with the closet is to let go of the number. To focus on health and happiness and living in a way that glorifies the Father. To stop filling up my closet instead of filling up my heart with more of Jesus. More acceptance of His grace and knowledge of who He is and who He created me to be.

I am not a number on the scale. I am not a size on a pair of jeans. And what I put on cannot hide the person that I am.

I was bought with a price! And so were you, sister. We were created in His image! And nothing can separate us from Him. Nothing.

1 peter 33-4

This week I’m going to go through my closet and donate what I don’t wear and maybe sell a few things. I’ll focus on keeping the things that I love and that I wear often. For more tips and information about creating a great, functional wardrobe, visit The Tiny Twig’s The No Brainer Wardrobe Revisited

This is Day 7 in a series called 31 Days of Creating White Space. You can read the rest of the posts here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. says

    Let go of the number. Exactly. Christ does not see us as a number…and our children don’t either. You’re so right. We must let go of the number (whatever that number might be…even worrying about growing older and our age is a number!). I loved this post. You are beautiful both inside and out.

  2. says

    Beautifully worded, as always. Just this morning I woke with the prayer that I wouldn’t be so hard on myself and my weight. I was searching for a verse to cling to when I read your post. Thank you for sharing your heart, which happens to be the heart of many others this morning. You’re beautiful inside AND out, but I certainly know how you feel.

  3. says

    Thank you for being vulnerable. I think we as woman have all struggled at some point with body image. It can be hard to juggle trying to be healthy with not focusing on a size or number. But, I’m glad you know the truth of God’s love for you and can cling to it when those lies pop in your head! Have fun with de-cluttering your closet! Perhaps it will be therapeutic for you and a tangible exercise in letting go of the numbers! 🙂

  4. Stacey says

    Erin, thank you for being brave and sharing this. I too struggle with this same thing all the time. I think as women we tend to be too hard on ourselves. By looking at your beautiful blog, I would have never guessed you have been going through this. I have always followed your blog and read your posts and thought you and your family are so beautiful. Continue to share your heart here because it is truly inspiring! And, know that you have people rooting for you here daily.

  5. Karah says

    This post is amazing and beautifully written. Love it. Thank you for being vulnerable on this little ol blog. You are saying what lots of us are thinking. We all struggle but you are right God created each of us unique and we are all beautifully made in his eyes. Love you friend.

  6. Christina M. says

    Girlfriend I love when you are in your writing stride. Your post this morning is like a touchdown! Sorry i watched football with the fam all weekend. The way you can take your feelings and express them through this post, but most of all you tie it all together with God’s word. It’s very inspiring and relatable at the same time. I battle with this on a daily basis. Everyday I have to throw my insecurities out the window but believe me they come right back at the worst times. God has shown mee i am a work in progress and God is not through with me yet. Thanks for the inspirational vitamin!

  7. says

    Beautfiul, honest post! I just did a quick closet cleaning yesterday and as I went through I was shocked at all the impulse purchases that filled my floor. Oh how I desire to be happy in my own skin, and to recognize that just because that arbitrary number in my head has been surpassed, that God still finds value in me and my family still finds value in me…so why can’t I find value in myself?

  8. Rachel says

    Erin, this is such a powerful post. You help us all by being vulnerable and sharing this. And you are not alone! And also…this whole “white space’ series is wonderful and just exactly what I need right now. I have been so excited to get to your blog on my feed every day to see what you’ll say about it. Thank you.

  9. Brandi says

    This was just beautiful, Erin. I have put on a few (20) pounds in the last two years–and have also bought more clothes in that time than I had in a very long time. I’ve not thought too much about it, but this post helped me realize exactly what I’ve been doing. I spend a lot of time thinking that no one will want me when I look like this and that unless I make changes to my body, I will be alone forever. I guess the important thing to remember is that God wants me just the way I am and the rest is just details! Thank you for being so transparent. Have a blessed day!

  10. says

    Erin, I am a long time reader, but rarely comment. However, I read this post this morning and immediately needed to tell you thank you for being so open and honest. I feel like this type of honesty and vulnerability is so rare in the blog world, and I want you to know that you are not alone in this struggle. I am in exactly the same boat, as I imagine most of us who read are. Thank you for reminding us that the number on the scale or the way our skinny jeans fit (or don’t fit) is not what defines us or gives us value. Freeing us from that lie is truly a breath of fresh air and the addition of more “white space.” I love this series, by the way. It’s one of my favorite things you’ve done on your blog. Thank you!

  11. says

    In tears reading this. Weight. I struggled all of middle school and high school and some of college with my weight. “thin” didn’t come naturally to me like it did to all of my friends. It’s so hard to let go of the number, but you’re so right, “God sees us as beautiful.” Love that reminder and love this post today. You are beautiful outside and inside, friend. Love you and your heart. xoxo

  12. says

    I totally know how you feel! I have struggled with an eating disorder for most of my life and even though I have stopped the behavior, it seems impossible to stop the thoughts. Thank you for being so open.

  13. Lisa C in Dallas says

    Oh! I never would have guessed this from reading your blog. Your glow is so apparent in your writing and your pictures. The love you have for your family (and that they have for you) just screams from every entry. Tramp on those horrible thoughts of insecurity and put them in their own closet! You are chosen, you are loved, you were bought with a price! Relish those thoughts and enjoy your life (and your body).

  14. says

    You just described me…to a T. I’m really trying to make positive changes in this area as well and wish you the best of luck as you tackle it as well. Hugs!!!

  15. HeatherM says

    Great post! It is SO important that you do more than just know in your head that you are beautiful. You have to believe it in your heart too. Donating your clothes is one good thing to do. Another is to pick out your outfit in advance. Perhaps you could pick out your clothes for tomorrow before or after you do your devotional today, so you are really in a spirit-led place when you approach that difficult area of your life right now. Such a routine of picking out clothes in advance will also create a little white space/ breathing room/ room for sanity in your morning routine.
    By the way, have you ever followed FlyLady ( She has a ton of home management tips that are really focused on creating white space and improving self esteem for women. She calls any physical activity you build into your routine Finally Loving Yourself. I know I have a lot more white space in my life when I follow her systems at home.

  16. Michelle says

    Oh sweet girl, thank you for your posts. I do so hope you let the number go- it’s so very arbitrary, but in know you know that so I will stop there ;). I will say that I’ve been where you are in my own closet. After three pregnancies, two babies and a LOT of New Orleans food- I would sit in my own closet and cringe. My kids looked brueatiful, smocked and smelling like babies, nothing better in this world….me? I felt frump and dumpy so really it doesn’t matter what I LOOKED like, it was all on the inside! The gym has become my white space. It’s my hour to myself to talk to God in between sprints, or my sister in between sets of weights. Or just sit in the sauna and not even talk to myself. I hope you find white space within your body image because once you are comfortable in your body/ you can wear Dollar General clothes and ROCK them! Your time will come, put in the work on your own body as you are outing. In work on your soul- both are amazing in my opinion. ps: you have sons but for me, I never want my daughter to feels being insecure about all of the hinges I wish I could change about myself. and we all know we can’t hide anything from these inquiring little people. so each day I work on strengthening myself, mentally and ohayicly so I can proudly teach her (and my son) how to love themselves <3

    • says

      Yes, Michelle! Thank you! This is something that I actually never ever talk about outloud, just because I want to protect my boys from that. I wrote a post about this a few weeks ago, but it’s important to me that they never reach a point where they critique women the way those boys did that I knew in my vulnerable years. 🙂

  17. says

    Powerful post! I thought of the college guys that wrote that terrible sign and wonder how it has impacted them. I hope and pray their thoughts on beauty have changed over the years. I want to be sure that Henry knows that weight is not what makes a woman beautiful!

    You are so brave to post this. Most of us have a similar story that haunts us with our weight. I am going to put mine behind me and reflect on your beautiful words.

  18. says

    This is a great post! I buy so many things I don’t love just to buy them. My closet, which isn’t exactly small, is bursting at the seams (along with another closet or two upstairs and plenty of drawers). I go through cycles where I don’t buy anything and then there are those times I feel like “I have nothing to wear” and buy way too much at once. Clothes don’t make a person; what’s inside is what counts. I think this is something we all struggle with in some way or another.

  19. says

    This is a great post, Erin. I buy so many things that I don’t need…sometimes I feel like it just makes me feel better to buy something. But after it sits in the bag, in the back of the closet and collects dust…it irritates me that I did it and know it’s not helping, financially.

  20. Whitney says

    Thank you so much for sharing such an important (yet hard) message. I too had a number…120. During college I dated a football player – he played for a big SEC school. The guys on the football team had what they called the 120 rule….players said they wouldn’t be seen in public talking to girl who was over 120 lbs. At the time I was a college cheerleader at a smaller christian college. I battled with an unhealthy eating/working out lifestyle as a result of the pressure of cheerleading and the lies my at the time boyfriend would say to me. I thank the Lord so often that he got me out of that relationship and blessed me with the most amazing husband. However, I know the devil still uses my body-image weakness and what I heard for so many years sometimes comes creeping into the back of my head. My husband and had the discussion this morning about feeling convicted over our excess of materialism and it’s been something I’ve been praying about all day. I know I tend to find worldly happiness in clothes that make me feel better about my body…..and that’s so wrong. Your message was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for sharing what God placed on your heart.

  21. says

    Oh how true this is. I think it is something that every woman can identify with. It’s not just clothes…it’s purses, jewelry, and shoes. For some reason it makes you feel better. Why??? I have a closet full of clothes that I never wear. It’s awful and discusting. I cover up my flawed body as well. Everyone sees themselves a certain way. I think some types of clothes help hide the fat or the disibiliy that I suffer. But really it doesn’t. It’s my attitude and state of mind. Oh how true this rings with me and it’s so insignificant in the long scheme. “You can’t take it with ya!” And try to be happy and still with what you DO have instead of constantly wanting more…having more won’t fill that void. xo Becky

  22. Brooke Turner says

    Beautiful and brave, my friend. You inspire! Thank you for your vulnerability! I know so many of us can relate 🙂

  23. says

    I get this. I wish I didn’t. I wish I could say that I love my body but I struggle with the whole concept. I ran 6 miles last night then got on the scale this morning and hated the number. I’m in great shape physically, yet I still scrutinize myself daily. I have saggy skin and a scar from pregnancy. I’ve got cellulite on my legs . . . but this post has made me realize this line of thinking has to stop here and now. I’m created in the image of God. I have no right to put myself down. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

  24. says

    I totally get this Erin and love your message. I wonder though about a happy medium. I don’t shop that often for myself just because financially we don’t need to be in that position right now so there are times when I need things to fit different occasions and I just don’t have them. Yes, we can afford them. I just don’t shop that much and then I’m in a bind. It’s tough to go somewhere in a world full of trendy and not fit in. And then to still feel beautiful just because God made me that way. Does that make sense?

  25. says

    I cannot even imagine how many women you spoke to with this post. How many women who were reading and nodding their heads in agreement. I know I was. Thank you for being brave enough to write it, and thank you for sharing. You are beautiful inside and out friend!!!!

  26. says

    Beautiful. This is something that I struggle with too – even before kids. But if only I can make my goal to be happy and healthy…. I think the rest will take care of itself! Here’s to loving who we are!

  27. says

    What an encouraging post! I don’t know one woman who can’t relate to this in some way. Good for you for going deep and making us all take a second look at what is driving our decisions.

  28. says

    I relate just like everyone else! I’ve been very slowly getting the courage to peel back the layers of accessories and bright clothes and bangs. I even hid behind my thicker rimmed glasses for awhile. It helps me to actually START listening to what other people say. The people in my life are way kinder to me than I am to myself, and I’m working on believing them!

  29. says

    Oh, lady! You are so so so beautiful!

    I have definitely struggled with image issues, and the sad thing is, I think this country has probably caused this for ALL girls. I think God taught me so much with pregnancy. That’s what our bodies are made to do and I’m sure if he had it his way, we wouldn’t stress once the baby is born. It’s SUCH a beautiful thing and comparison is such the devil. I feel like now that I care so much less about the before pregnancy body, that he lifted the stress and has my body where he wants it to be….even if free of gluten wouldn’t be my choice 😉

    I want this to be my prayer for all young women and ladies of all ages. Image means nothing. Gosh, you know what, I will pray about it for men and boys, too. They even struggle with it, too, but also for them to understand the beauty in a female no matter what!

    Thank you for this post and I know everyone who read it says the same thing. It allows us all to open up and probably admit that it’s been part of our life, and some point or another… and we all need to get out from under it!

    love you!

  30. Neila says

    I am in the middle of a little home renovation project, including my 7 year old daughter’s bathroom. A few weeks ago I scratched my whole vision to make room for this verse to be hung on the wall, so she can read it every day of her life when she looks in the mirror. And hopefully always know that she is beautiful on the inside and that’s what matters to God! Love that you posted it here.

  31. says

    Oh shut, I have been there. It always seems like when we let go of our weight, that’s when we get happy with where we are. I’m proud of you for talking about this! Love you friend.

  32. says

    Oh Erin, I can relate to this post so much! Mine isn’t really about a number but more about giving an appearance that I’m “put together” when I feel like I’m falling apart on the inside. It got to be the worst last year when my husband was deployed & I was overwhelmed trying to take care of our 4 young children. I couldn’t keep up & felt like my house was coming apart at the seams, my children were craving structure & routine that I tried desperately to give them but failed miserably at. So if I could look like I had it all together then maybe no one would know that it was actually the exact opposite. Really it only created confusion and I wasted a lot of time trying to perfect that appearance than creating white space & giving myself room to breathe. I’m loving this series on your blog! Thank you for sharing your heart! You are beautiful inside and out!!

  33. Elizabeth says

    I studied Revelation last year for 30 weeks! It was eye opening. It made me focus on the hope of glorious eternity with Jesus and made the wordly things around me dim. I truly stopped all worry about my body. Of course, I want to be healthy, but will no longer focus on my imperfections. Jesus clung to that cross thinking about you and me, and I’m sure our perceived flaws weren’t even a blip in his thoughts. To know how loved I am by the King makes me lose any negativity about myself. I really just pray for those younger girls
    I know that are in their vulnerable years, wishing they’d know how much Jesus loves them!

  34. says

    I just have to say how much I appreciated reading your words. I had twin girls 3 weeks ago, 2 years after having our daughter, so needless to say my body isn’t quite in the shape it was. I think it is so easy to get caught up in the number and the size of clothes, but at the end of the day my girls all rely on me for my love and support, not whether or not I can fit into my skinny jeans yet!

  35. says

    What a great, honest post! I , too, get stuck on the number on the scale so often. I’ve had two babies. I try to stay fit. I feel strong and healthy. But when I go in my closet and try on certain things, I don’t like what I see. And I beat myself up for how I think my body should look. I need to sell/donate/get rid of those things too!

  36. says

    This is a beautiful, honest post Erin and thank you for sharing it. I am positive that you are touching so many people by being so candid and honest about something so many of us struggle with as women.

    I know I gained so much more confidence and self esteem within myself when I accepted my body for what it is. After I had Andrew, I had a little bit of self loathing about my body but then I remembered what it did and how I carried a baby full term and how strong it was. I realized that we all have our own struggles to face and that instead of talking down about it, I should praise it and be thankful for all that it has given me. When I started to think that way, not only did I gain a lot of peace with myself, but somehow the healthy eating followed and I met my goals again.

    This is something that I still struggle with, though, on occasion and I have to remind myself… and I also hope to teach Andrew that a specific number on the scale or in a pair of pants has nothing to do with the character of ANYONE.

  37. Casey says

    Just catching up on your posts! This one is me to the tee!! I have a horrible habit of buying clothes to hide my insecurities. I feel the sane way as you, if I wear nice, beautiful clothes, people will not see my flaws, but notice my clothes!! I have a closet full of expensive, beautiful clothes, clothes with tags still on them!! Did I need them, no! They just make me feel better! I absolutely loved this post! It is exactly what I needed to read today!! I LOVE reading your blog. You are such an inspiration! 🙂

  38. says

    It took me so long to realize that a number is just a number and buying more things will not make me happier. I love this post and I love all of your white space posts…you are an inspiration and the kind of mother that I hope to be!

  39. Charlotte says

    Wow, i just stumbled across your blog today while googling reviews for Moms on Call. I feel like I was led to your site for a reason. Now that I am reading your White Space entries from the beginning I am seeing why and this one HITS HOME. Actually, all of them so far have including your fear of saying no to people in fear of missing out on something. Anyways, thank you for your posts, I look forward to reading along the rest of the month. I have a 5 month old daughter and have really struggled finding time to spend in private quiet time with the Lord. Hopefully some of your own soul searching can help me. Ironically, now that I have had my daughter I am struggling less with self image than I ever had. God created us to be such miracles, everything we go through to have children and how much we pour out to raise them keeps me in constant amazement of Him.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *