I’ve always enjoyed thrift shopping. Never with any gusto though. I would buy furniture to update, clothes to lie around in and every once in a while I would find some awesome deals. I would primarily, though, buy my clothes from box stores with big red logos. Until recently.
I had the privilege at the beginning of November to serve, through our Junior High Ministry, at a resale store’s off-site warehouse. This behind the scenes glimpse (pictured above) opened my eyes to an incredible amount of waste that I am a part of annually.
The pile you see in that photo is at least 8 feet tall and at least the same measurement deep and wide. All of it is clothing donations made by the community. This doesn’t include the clothing you don’t see in the photo that sits on pallets and the clothing that is currently in the store (and in the backroom of the store). I vowed, in the hours that I spent there, that I would not buy new clothes anymore.
I was convicted at my own wasteful self to reflect on what I have, what I have hoarded and what I have wasted my money on. This pile represents thousands of “had to have” purchases that I have made over my adult years. It represents the rent I could have paid, lights I could have kept on and fuel I could have purchased. It represents my wasteful heart that I know did not come from God.
I am so easy to take what God has blessed me with and toss it to the side at the first glimpse of something newer, shinier or something with more alleged prestige (i.e. name brand). In these hours helping this warehouse, I was moved to change the trajectory of my spending. I will not spend money on new clothes. AND.. my spending at certain thrift stores helps others! It’s a win-win.
Serving, just for a few hours, moved me to change. Has that ever happened to you? Where have you found God pointing you to change?
**Writer’s Note: I will not purchase “intimate” clothing at thrift stores. Socks, underwear and the like will be purchased new. But you better believe I will wear the heck right out of them before I get new ones!**
Every year, many someones do the 30 days of thankful either through Twitter and Facebook. While I’ve tried to jump on the bandwagon, I do not have the time to post something daily about what I am thankful for.
This year, I didn’t start it but I am reminded about a post I made last year about being thankful that Jesus isn’t a bully.
I’ve read enough posts over the last few months to be able to say, I am fed up. I am no longer going to accept cruel Facebook posts that belittle another person’s existence. We’re called to something greater, something that makes us stand above the world. Our love calls us to stand taller and greater. God calls us to stand taller and greater.
We all have frustrations. We have people who we have a specific opinion about. I won’t lie. I do, daily. I am in constant conversation with myself about people and their decisions and I have, at times, released that onto social media. However, I know better. I expect better of myself and, often, I will delete the post. At the end of the day, I have safe places I can go – vent those frustrations and then be held accountable to my part in the frustration. Social media is not that place.
So, as I said last year: I am so glad that Jesus isn’t a bully.
Are you guilty of this? Do you use social media as your blast board for those who irritate you?
Let’s address the first part of my last post… dating again.
Nearly a year ago I embarked on an adventure of seeing someone. Without revealing too many details of that adventure, let’s just say he’s a good man and I am so proud to be his friend before this and continue to be after it. When it comes down to it though, I had to honor my relationship with God first and he had his own journey that he was embarked on and we parted ways.
Here’s what came from that… I am completely open to God bringing a new husband into my life. Not a replacement husband but a new man. This short adventure revealed that I still have feelings that can be stirred. Feelings that I wasn’t sure ever could surface again. Hub’s death was so painful, how could I ever allow the risk of heartbreak back into my life? The short journey with this man was so revealing and positive and I am super thankful it happened.
Now that I know I want this for my life (God willing), there is a danger that comes as well. The danger of looking at my life as “less than” because I do not have what I want. Comparing myself to others who have what I want and coveting what they have. It’s a dangerous game that screams that I am not content with the life that God has given to me and allows the enemy to come in and strike at every weak spot in my armor. It’s been an upheaval of emotions as I struggle and wrestle with God through being content. It’s certainly not easy and there was a period of time where I spent money to be on two dating websites looking for that man! Talk about trying to circumvent God’s plan! In the end, all I had was an empty wallet and even more reassurance that God will provide a man when the time is right.
It’s not all bad though. Through this period of “new singleness” (new because I wasn’t a fully devoted Christ follower before I met Hubs) I have had time to study what it really means to be single and create new boundaries for my life that I didn’t have before to protect myself from those pitfalls I have previously found myself in.
In all of this, I found myself hiding these desires to date again. Hidden from those looky-loos who I felt were ready to pounce and from the people I wanted to respect because they’ve taken me into their family and I should honor the memory of their son and brother. However, I know that while he would have wanted me to do those things (protect myself and respect his family), he never would have wanted me to live in solitude. He’d want me to honor my relationship with God first, of course, but to find someone to walk that road with me. So, it’s out there, for God and for everyone… the door is open, I don’t care what the “public” thinks and I am looking forward to whatever God shall choose to send.