A few weeks ago, I pointed out to a man that there was crack in the bottom of a container he was trying to sell. It was a BIG crack. I did end up buying a boombox at that sale and thought I'd looked closely at it. Turns out it was missing the volume knob! I missed it! I felt bad. My mom set the volume to what she normally listens to and it's still useable, but I felt foolish. The same Saturday morning, I bought a bread maker for a friend. I looked at it and bargained with the lady for the price to be $3 instead of $5. I'm glad I did. It only made 1 loaf of bread for my friend before quitting. At the same sale, I looked at a teapot that seemed to have some rust inside. I questioned the folks at the sale and the lady commented to me after a few minutes to stop giving her a hard time. I didn't think I was, but I was concerned and couldn't make up my own mind. I didn't get it. Two big clues that I shouldn't have bought things at those two yard sales.
But, I've had pretty good luck on the whole this year (two nice dresses for me, a rug for my girls' room, several cds for my husband, a pack 'n play for a friend, a roasting pan with a lid, a pasta maker for another friend...). Still, my husband's advice is wise for me to heed. I can call him if I have questions and need a second opinion. I need to remember I have a smart phone!
The idea of having enough is an important one, I've realized and it has a lot of applications in my life. Someone asked me this week if we could add on to our house. We could refinish part of our basement eventually, but that would involve a lot of work and expense. Since deciding in February that we weren't going to move, I've felt convicted to strive to be content with our home and our yard. Our yard is on the small size, but our kids make the most of it. More importantly, it is enough for me to take care of. There is enough room for flowers and a garden and for them to play. I went through my basement last week and did a big purge. Now, I feel comfortable down there again when I go to look for things.
I've come to believe that making things stretch is as much about finding ways to save money as it is about not spending in the first place and seeking contentment. I haven't posted many things lately about ways I've found to save money. My mind hasn't been on it. I've been dealing with a lot of life stuff. But, I've also been thinking about not spending when I go to a store. I've really wanted to buy a few new plants at Home Depot, but I've put it off. I have some seeds for perennial flowers and I'm going to plant them instead. We had a late frost after I'd put 6 plants in my garden and yard--and I didn't protect my plants. (I have to admit that I was tired that day and a bit lazy! ;) ) I wondered if they would die. 2 had no damage because they were in sheltered spots. The other 4 did experience some damage, but they're coming back from it. I'm thankful. I didn't want to spend more money on plants.
But, for me, it all comes back to the word: "enough". God knows what we need. He is so generous and I need to always remember that and remind myself of that truth. Having "enough" and not "too much" should be what I consider important.
There is a twisting that can come with "enough" though. The thinking can follow the lines of "just 1 more will be--enough". Enough starts with what one already has, I think, and carefully considering whether 1 more is actually a need or a want. I find I have to be very careful--especially when it comes to garage saling. Many items are very inexpensive, so it's easy to get "just 1 more". But, I just went through my craft supplies last week to organize them and I became very aware that I don't need any "just 1 more"s. It's good to know what you have and make sure you're using it before purchasing 1 more.
My kids wanted to sew and it frazzled me because over the past 2 years my crafts supplies had ended up in multiple spots. They weren't labeled or organized. So, we pulled everything out and organized it. I labeled every bin. I want to make sure we use what he have and I don't end up with two 18 year old girls and tons of craft supplies never used! The point of having something isn't to hold onto it and let it sit, but rather to use it and enjoy it. As soon as it was all labeled, the kids and I sat down to to do a sewing project (it's from the book Sewing School). Here's Sami's stuffie:
My goal this spring is do more instead of buying more. It felt good to do this project. It felt good to use what I had and teach my children how to sew.
So, those are my thoughts this morning. Rambling, jumbled, meandering... as usual!