This is my garage sale find for the weekend. I made a Willow Tree Guerne family for just $6! The retail price is $58.00. I used to think they were boring because they didn’t have faces, but they’ve grown on me. I think their plainness makes them more relatable. Except, I think they should make African American ones too. Then they’d increase their diversity sales, and also it just seems racist not to.
I have a confession. I am addicted to garage sales. I mean seriously, I have withdrawals if I miss a weekend. I feel bummed like I missed out on something great, and I can’t wait until the next weekend to make up for it. I tell my husband it could be worse. I could be addicted troll dolls and have them take over our house. Or I could be addicted to pink and have it look like a bottle of pepto-bismol exploded in our house. Or I could pretend I was stuck in the 1950’s and refuse to use a cell phone because they weren’t invented back then. I love TLC’s show My Crazy Obsession! Seeing other people’s quirks makes me feel much more normal.
Garage sales have ruined my ability to buy things at full price. When I go to the store and see a shirt for $24.99 I think to myself, I could buy TWENTY shirts at a garage sale at that price! Although I must admit, it is much harder to find stylish adult clothes than it is to find cute kids clothes. So occasionally I splurge and by myself a new shirt, but you better believe it’s off the clearance rack! If I can buy my kids a cute outfit (shoes included) for $3.00, then why would I want to pay $9.00 for just a kid’s shirt?
My church has a Wear and Share every year. People from the church drop off their used clothes. The clothes are organized, and then people come and take what they can use. Of course some people might abuse the system and take things they don’t need, but overall I think it blesses a lot of people. It definitely blessed me. I got a beautiful, vibrant colored pink and purple coat (that’s not me in the link). If you know me and my style you’d know it looks just like me. I also got Steve a nice shirt. It’s brand new with a tag still on it priced at $150.00. One-Hundred and Fifty Dollars! It was on sale for $119.00. What a steal! Not. It’s a bit of a culture shock to me to see people pay that much for clothes. I couldn’t care less that it is Burberry. Did I spell that right? I think their tan plaid is ugly anyways. I do admit the material feels nice, but for that price it ought to wash and iron itself, and Steve better wear it until it rots off his body.
Granted, if I had the finances I wouldn’t be as adamant about garage saling. I would spend my time and money differently. I might even feel guilty for lugging my children around every weekend when it wasn’t necessary. I’m just trying to be a good steward. My husband works hard to support our little family, and I feel my job is equally important to spend (and save) that money wisely.
Lately though I’ve caught myself looking at others and thinking, “That’s a cute shirt. I wonder how much she paid for it. Probably more than I’d ever spend. She should be more thrifty like me.” How twisted is that!?! To think I’m better than someone because I wear cheap clothes. Usually people think the opposite.
It’s sad how the Devil can take any good thing and twist it into something bad. Dancing is a good example. The Bible doesn’t condone dancing. Matter of fact it says, “their is … a time to dance” (Ecc. 3:4). And it tells us to “… go out and dance with the joyful” (Jeremiah 31:4). But the Devil has twisted dancing and made it something so sexual that people are basically having sex with their clothes on. Maybe pretending I’m in the 1950’s isn’t such a bad idea after all! My Grandma always lights up when she talks about dancing the polka. I don’t know how to polka, but I do enjoy dancing at every wedding I attend. I might be trip’n over my feet and clapping off beat, but I’ll be having a blast!
It’s important to know where to draw the line. Wine is another good example (or alcohol in general). Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11). I heard some pastor say that it was actually grape juice not wine. Umm, no. It was wine. Ephesians 5:18 says, “…do not get drunk with wine.” You can’t get drunk from grape juice. Jesus wouldn’t have made the wine if he didn’t want people to drink it. “Eat, drink and be merry” (Ecc 8:15). I enjoy a glass of wine on occasion. But when do you go from being merry to being drunk? My brother-in-law saw my collection of corkscrews and accused me of being a lush. Have I crossed the line?
I want my family to have nice clothes as affordably as possible so I garage sale. A trick I’ve learned about buying used is that you have to buy for the future. My father-in-law was at my house for my daughter’s 2cnd birthday party recently. He offered to put some chairs back downstairs, and I told him, “No, I don’t want you to see my dirty little secret.” In my basement I have color coded (purple for girl and green for boy), 18 gallon totes for every size kid’s clothes up to the age of 7. I am trying to be responsible by preparing for the future, but when do I cross over from being thrifty into being greedy (or just weird) and not trusting God to provide for my future? Am I collecting mana for tomorrow?
The verse that comes to mind is Philippians 2:12. It says, “… work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” To me this means that when the Bible isn’t specific on things (and especially when it is) we should listen to the Holy Spirit on where to draw the line. When does a good thing turn into something bad? I’m not trying to sound preachy. I’m just trying to get the planks out of my eyes, so hopefully some day I can help others work out their specs.