I officially cheated for the first time on 7. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a clothing emergency, but clothing was needed and so clothing we bought. So how did this happen?
Monday when I picked up Sean for school he said, “Mom do you have my costume ready for my history program at school tomorrow?” “Crickets…is that tomorrow?” “Yes mom! You were supposed to let them know today if you didn’t have a costume for me!”
Let me just tell you that this scenario has happened hundreds of times since Sean started school. The information gets lost, watered down and forgotten. And more times than not I think that “events” are a few weeks away when they are actually the next day–even thought I have a bright colored piece of paper on my fridge telling me it’s TOMORROW. After our discussion my heart immediately starts racing because I have to find a solution. He has to have his costume for dress rehearsal at school tomorrow and what am I going to do?! I don’t have time to go to moms and dig through five closets and eighteen boxes to find the perfect menswear outfit suitable for the thirties! I message mom to see if she can find anything within arms reach…she can’t. So it is settled that I will be going second hand shopping as soon as the stores open in the morning. And Target may be my back up if I can’t find anything.
So Tuesday morning started something I usually refer to as “the chase”. You should know that I am a insane shopper. It doesn’t matter what avenue I need to use; mall, internet, other cities, second hand, catalogs…I will utilize any and all retail outlet to find what I am looking for and I will not rest until I find it. This is the same scenario if a friend or sister messages me and says “I need”. I chase it till I find it. And I can only count on one hand the number of times I have failed at “the chase”. As you can see…this chase is a very unhealthy thing for someone who is trying to CALM DOWN her retail clothing tendencies.
I really wanted to try. I really wanted to try to make something work with whatever we had lying around. And I probably should have. Because we all know a fourth grade history night is not Chicago on Broadway where the costumes need to be spot on. But in my twisted mind he needed a tie, a vest, a shirt, and some Italian leather shoes that looked like they were actually from at LEAST 1950!
Goodwill is directly across the street from Sean’s school so we drove over there right after drop off, but they don’t open until nine. So I say to Lyla, let’s run to Target (I really did need some other things) and we could also scope out what they had for costume attire. For a short while on Tuesday morning I was convinced that a jacket was going to be necessary. And it needed to be a black jacket. So I caved and bought the black jacket at Target because I KNEW I wouldn’t find everything we needed at Goodwill and I didn’t want to come back.
We leave Target and head straight to Goodwill. On the way there I realize that the most rational thing is that Sean wear brown tones instead of black because he already has khaki pants, and the hat he has is brown. So at Goodwill I start searching for brown tones–we hit the jackpot. I find a brown dress shirt with a black pinstripe, a vest that was practically cut from the same cloth as his hat, a tie that is SKINNY and is three shades of brown, a brown belt, and A PAIR OF ITALIAN LEATHER DRESS SHOES THAT LOOK LIKE THEY WERE MADE IN THE 50’S AND ARE ONLY A SIZE TOO BIG! I am in the middle of Goodwill and I honestly feel like I have won the lottery. We go to the cash register and guess how little I paid for all this loot?! SEVENTEEN DOLLARS! I was absolutely beside myself. So we returned the jacket to Target.
Lyla insisted that she had to be in the photo…don’t even get me started on why his tie isn’t tucked in and his sleeves aren’t rolled up. But can you believe those shoes!?
This little chase actually taught me a lot. First, you need to know what you are chasing after. When you don’t have a clear vision of it, you can get lost and distracted along the way and end up with things in your life you don’t need. Second, check your heart about why you are chasing what you are chasing. Are your motives pure? Is this a path you really need to take?
“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” (Prov. 12:11)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12: 1-2)
Everyday I have people who are watching what I do and how I react to things. Most importantly my children. They are the witnesses. And they see and learn from what I do and how I handle these situations. When I thought about what I was doing between Target and Goodwill I thought to myself “Would Jesus be proud of how I am behaving right now? Is this what he went to the cross for?” I think God pulled me into Goodwill that day to teach me that there isn’t just one path, or one way to a solution. He made us to be creative, imaginative creatures. If we take the time to slow down, and think about what he wants us to do, we have the opportunity to make choices, then take a path that glorifies him. This way, we are chasing after HIM instead of after material goals that don’t even matter.
What things can you throw off today that are hindering you from keeping your eyes on Jesus?