I'm tired of this American Christianity

And here's the part where I get all annoyingly radical and stuff. Buckle up, loves. Buckle up. I've decided that it's ridiculous that I have more clothes than can fit in my dresser.

So, I decided to get literal about what Jesus said. You know, give stuff away to the poor. I filled four bags of excess clothing. And just so you know I'm not just getting rid of my ratty-tatty Distraught pants, the clothing I'm giving to the poor is my nice stuff.

My $150 Citizens of Humanity jeans. My bedazzled BEBE shirt. Flouncy, sassy little skirts from White House/Black Market.

I'm even throwing in my two designer handbags: 1 Coach purse and 1 Dooney & Bourke bag.

Because you know what? This stuff is weighing me down. It's too much to maintain. I'm tired of chasing the latest fashionable trend. I'm tired of filling my closets with clothing I barely wear. Someone else can make better use of these things.

I have kept T-shirts, sandals, three pairs of jeans, two Distraught Pants (because what would I do without my Distraught Pants???), a workout outfit and four long skirts. Yep. That's it.

Now, I have to go purge my closet!

Do you know how happy I feel?

So, so, so happy! So, so, SO happy!

Going to Bolivia and doing something tangible to help impoverished children has radically altered my idea about what I need to be happy. Hint: I don't need stuff to be happy.

The more simply I dress, the less attached I am to the tyranny of fashion.

I want to free up my life, declutter my soul, my dresser, my closets so that I can focus on doing what frees others.

I'm so weary of living a Christianity that focuses on endless Bible Study without real, tangible acts of service. So many Christians like to argue about what saves a soul: faith or works? But the two are not meant to be divided. Faith without works is dead. Period. End of story.

I'm so weary of an American Christianity that focuses on endless theological debates. Fact is, I'm weary of debates. Period. End of story.

I'm weary of this American Christianity and its focus on multi-million dollar church buildings, state-of-the-art "worship experiences," ever-more-elaborate children's programs (come have Sunday School in a bounce house with a popcorn machine/clown/magician/fireworks afterward!). Not that any of these things are inherently wrong, I'm just saying I want more--and by more I mean less.

Or maybe I mean getting back to in-the-trenches Christianity. A Christianity that works.

I want to LIVE the Gospel.

Last week I felt myself panting and aching for...for what? To help! To serve! To reach out beyond my own needs, concerns. Do you want to know the funny, strange little way this is manifesting itself?

I'm smiling like ALL THE TIME. Smiling from ear to ear. Greeting everyone with a genuine, open-hearted smile. It's a small gift, but it's odd how when I was consumed with my own needs, my hurt, my disillusionment with the church--I wasn't smiling as much.

Mother Teresa was right:

Let us greet each other with a smile. For a smile is the beginning of love.

Look at this slideshow: Where Children Sleep (children's bedrooms around the world)