Lately I’ve had this desire to go shopping – often! We are on a very strict budget and I really CAN’T shop for anything other than food, toilet paper, and dog/cat food. Meaning, in all truth, I can’t afford to shop for anything extra. But I’ve been buying it anyway. This started in the spring when we got our tax rebate check. We kept it in savings FOREVER, but once I started spending it I just never stopped. And once the money was gone I had created a lovely new habit! (Awesome.) Instead of the penny-pincher, love to save and get things for free, “Oh look Sam, it’s even on CLEARANCE!”, I just spent and spent and spent.
Another habit this created was guilt. Because deep down inside I knew we couldn’t afford those things I started to associate shopping with guilt. This is sad because as much as I am NOT a girlie-girl, I really do love to shop. I think that has something to do with being able to provide for my family – something ancient and satisfying. But because I went shopping for something I did need I also bought something I DID NOT need I have come to associate any shopping at all as a guilt-ridden experience.
So God is fixing this. And I am learning to say no to things I don’t need and ask, “God, will you please find me some ________? I really need/desire them.” And every single time that I have decided not to buy something that I really needed or really, really wanted He has provided for me.
Here are just a few things I’ve experienced:
A few months ago I was absolutely going to run out of conditioner. This might not really seem like such a big deal to you, but I have very long, curly hair and without conditioner my quality of life (sadly, sadly) really is lowered. So I told God I couldn’t afford any more and asked him to please find a way for me to make this last for an extra week until payday. I had what I thought was about three days left – tops – and that was with using less than usual. That stuff lasted me up until the day we got paid.
I went shopping and bought three sweaters and a pair of jeans – all for $40 from the second hand store. I thought I did a pretty good job, but deep down I wasn’t supposed to be there. I kept the sweaters, but took back the pants (they were from Target) and the next night my friend gave me TWO BOXES of sweaters! AND Yesterday she gave me a new pair of jeans! (They were actually new as she bought them just days before she found out she’s pregnant!)
If you remember this post I put on my to do list that I wanted to start thinking of ways to add color to my living room. While shopping at Target last night I found this for $5 on clearance to cover our yucky white and purple couch. So far it kind of looks college-roomy, but I think as I add to it the whole room will start to even out. Now, I know that God didn’t necessarily give that to me for free, but we were only able to buy it since my husband located three checks that have been waiting to go through since February – giving us an extra $50!
Next I have asked God for new underwear. Gross, I know, but I have about three nice pairs. I can’t wait to see how He pulls that one off. I also can’t wait to tell you about it!
These are all just “things” and have no value in reality, but I needed them. Because God is good and loving He gave me the desires of my heart.
What has God provided for you lately? What will you be asking Him for next? Please let me know what you’re waiting for and come back when you have it.