My shopping style has drastically changed since having kids. We are a one income household, so we try to be frugal with our spending. One way we do this is buying kids clothing second hand.
All pictures today feature Goodwill clothing!
After Lyla was born, I started shopping twice a year at consignment sales. I’m talking the big ones, with a giant warehouse filled with clothes, toys, and crazy mamas. At first I thought they were great. But once I had two kids, I found it way too stressful to take both of them to a chaotic sale. I got nervous trying to make decisions on whether I liked the clothes, checking to make sure there were no stains, and weighing the value with the price while the kids fussed. The lines to check out usually took anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. The kids and I were not really okay with that.
After attending one particularly hectic sale in Seattle with Luke that involved gridlocked aisles and waiting in line wondering if I would be able to pick Lyla up on time from preschool, I decided my consignment sale days were done. No more!
Instead, I turned to Goodwill. I had visited Goodwill a few times at that point for kids clothes. It was more hit or miss, but cheaper and, most importantly, stress free! I discovered that there were more options for boy clothes than girl clothes. I have a theory on that: I believe that women love and value girl clothes the most, leading them to either keep or sell girl clothes at consignment sales and give away boy clothes to Goodwill. Just a theory, but I regularly see much nicer boy clothes than girl clothes at Goodwill.
Since moving to Dayton, I’ve also found a lot of nice women’s clothing. Hence, I am now a Goodwill Gal!
I don’t like my clothes to look brand new. It makes me feel conspicuous and self conscious. I have always preferred a more broken in look, so Goodwill does the trick for that! Call me odd if you want! (Or, as the most recent salesman at our front door said, “Paint me green and call me a pickle!” That one made me laugh.) Someone once said to me in high school, “You’re not from around here, are you?” After my yes, she said, “Well, you just seem different, that’s all.” Haha! To be fair, I was wearing my boyfriend’s mismatched tube socks with bowling shoes, a skirt, and a fancy prom hair-do. That was before my Goodwill days, but the eclectic spirit must have been showing through already. My family still loves to quote that line.
I also love the idea of re-purposing items and giving them a second life. “Gotta learn to reduce, reuse, recycle!” sings Jack Johnson on the Curious George soundtrack.
By shopping at Goodwill, our family reduces waste and saves money. It’s a Win Win!
Then, the other day, I went to Goodwill to look for long sleeve winter shirts for Lyla, and I saw this desk. You may remember I posted about my “new” antique desk on The Craigslist Headsplitter. So, yes, I did have a writing desk at home already, but this was love at first sight! That has only happened to me once before- a month ago with, well, my writing desk! I texted Thomas, and he told me it was impractical.
He was therefore surprised when I showed up at home with a desk in the back of my van!! But I so desperately wanted to refinish it and give it a new life! It is a huge desk, solid, and in great shape.
Eventually I will refinish it and change out the knobs. It will live in the mudroom/laundry room to be used as a folding table. The next day I realized it will also be a perfect place for me to paint with my watercolors, and that room always has great light. It was meant to be 😍
About a month ago I randomly flipped to the book of Hosea and read it. I thought this verse was beautiful, so I put it up on the chalk board in our kitchen:
“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.” Hosea 14:4-5
If you don’t know the story of Hosea, I’ll fill you in a little. The kingdom of Israel had once again turned to idols and pagan religion. God told the prophet Hosea to take a wife who was a prostitute. Can you imagine that? Hosea obeyed God, and over the years his wife Gomer continued to go back to her other lovers, abandoning her husband and children. God also told Hosea to give his kids funny names that meant things like “not loved” and “not my people.”
My Quest Study Bible says, “God was saying through Hosea’s marriage, ‘Wake up, Israel!’ God wanted Hosea to demonstrate God’s own love for his unfaithful people.” It was probably a really painful thing for Hosea to live out in front of the people, but God was using it as a very obvious teaching tool. Despite Gomer’s unfaithfulness, Hosea took her back again and again. He even had to buy his own wife back at one point!
That’s exactly what Jesus did for us. He paid the price for our sins, BEFORE we turned from our sinful ways. That’s what I love about the verse I wrote on my chalkboard. “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” Israel didn’t do anything to bring back God’s love. They were still worshiping idols, but God chose to redeem them. Our creator pursues a relationship with us because he loves us, not because of our actions.
I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly thankful that God wants to reuse me. You see where I was going with that Goodwill analogy? Well, it only goes so far. With Goodwill clothes, they change ownership, but they are still the same used, slightly worn out and beat up clothes. God takes it one step further- not only does he claim us as his own, he also makes us a new creation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
And, although I am going to refurbish the desk, and you could say I’m giving it a second life, it is still the same desk.
If we accept the gift of salvation that Jesus extends to us, we are born again and will spend eternity with him in Heaven. We cease existing as only physical beings and become spiritual beings who live for more than worldly things.
Elvina M. Hall wrote this beautiful, classic hymn:
“Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow”
I can just picture it- a fresh and untouched powdery snow- PERFECTION! That’s what God wants for us. Not that we can ever attain perfection on our own. Jesus did that for us. Praise God!
The apostle Paul wrote, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
That is great motivation for me, and I hope it is for you as well!
(Okay, the Christmas pjs weren’t Goodwill, but everything else was on this post!)