The Capsule Wardrobe Diaries: My Capsule Wardrobe and Jesus Mentor

Packing for Nantucket

The first time I went to Jesus Camp (4 years ago) I had NO idea what to expect. I’d never been to Nantucket, I’d never met the lady who asked me to come and I’d never spoken at a spiritual retreat. Yet there I was, packing to fly across the country to an island off the coast of Massachusetts, leaving my 3 small children and my husband behind for 6 days.

Darcy, the retreat organizer, had found me by googling “Christian Nutritionist.” It’s by the grace of God and a whole lot of faith, that I was there to be found. When God was working on my heart to become The Christian Nutritionist I resisted. I’d always loved God (albeit in an obligatory way,) gone to church and to Bible study…. but I’ve never been overt in my faith. I was like - my friends are going to wonder what’s happened if all of a sudden I start talking about Jesus all of the time! Plus, I’m no Bible scholar nor evangelist and, quite frankly, I didn’t want to be. Even still, I had the overpowering sense that this was what I was supposed to do and, so, for once in my life, I let my faith be bigger than my fear. And, now, here God was dropping a big ‘ol validating blessing right in my lap. An opportunity that would have never come my way had I not followed His lead.

 
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What awaited me inside of a perfectly-shingled, classically styled Nantucket house was the warmth of praise music, wafts of bison chili and hugs from twenty women I’d never met. I was overwhelmed, blindsided and instantly comfortable all at the same time. Jesus Camp pulled a level of love out of me that I would have never anticipated. Here I thought I was going to add to everyone else’s experience but they were all pouring into mine.

And Darcy. Wow. A wealthy Conneticut-born woman who had been sexually abused, married and divorced twice, mothered two sons, lost all of her money, started a successful hat business, became wealthy again, partied with the jet set, moved in elite social circles….but felt empty. So empty. One night she fell in a heap on her staircase, wearing a ball gown, crying rivers of mascara and asking God if this was all there was to life. That was a turning point.

Darcy pledged her life to Christ in a very public, Pentecostal baptismal ceremony and hasn’t stopped setting the world on fire since.

She felt called to use her newly purchased investment property, a 4-acre estate bordering a nature preserve off the Atlantic Ocean, to host a retreat. She didn’t know exactly what it would look like, but she followed God’s lead and started inviting women with whom she’d attended Charis Bible College and Compassion International trips to Africa. She filled it in with a few other women she knew and then, randomly, me. Jesus Camp was born.

We spent our days in praise and worship, Biblical and health teachings (all led and taught by the attendees), eating Real Food, exploring the island and enjoying fellowship.

I’ve now been to five retreats and had the blessing of spending five weeks with my family on this incredible property.


You may be wondering what the heck this has to do with a Capsule Wardrobe. Well, imagine my surprise to observe Darcy, this total powerhouse of a woman who can afford whatever she likes, wear practically the same thing day after day, year after year, pretty much every time I see her. Her go-to uniform: a striped Peter Beaton nautical shirt, khaki pants, vest and either boots or wedges. This did not go unnoticed by me that first year as I had recently read the book that had exposed me to the concept of a Capsule Wardrobe. Darcy gave us all the same Peter Beaton shirts from her shop along with boots and hats our first year there. She’s always generous and has Jesus Camp swag for us. :-)

 
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It was funny the day that Darcy and I showed up for an outing to the cranberry bogs wearing matching camo vests. That keeps happening over the years as it’s a staple in her wardrobe as well as mine.

Darcy’s “capsule wardrobe” has evolved organically and not necessarily intentionally. She’s often mentioned that after living an illusionary “house of cards” (a life built on nothing of substance) for so many years, things like fancy clothes just aren’t important anymore. She spends her efforts and her money on charitable pursuits like water wells in Africa and a biking program for local nursing home residents. Her mornings are spent mucking out donkey stalls - an activity she calls therapeutic. Her clothes fit her new lifestyle. They are classic but not fancy. Stylish but not fussy. Flattering but not flashy.

Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
— Colossians 3:12

Of all the many many things that I admire about Darcy, the clothing part is not all that significant. And, yet, it’s another thread in the fabric of her being that exemplifies her authenticity. Her heart is all for the Lord. She is sold out for Jesus. She is on fire for the Holy Spirit. It’s her unabashed boldness that takes me up a notch in my boldness.

 
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When I picture Darcy, I picture her in that standard uniform. But when I see Darcy, I see the hands and feet of Jesus changing the world.

That’s how I want to be seen.

Chelsea