Sunday, July 21, 2013

You wanna know a secret??

So, every once in a while, you meet a group of women who just change your world in small little ways.  While this group of people differs slightly from season to season, come consignment time, they are there none the less.  You laugh, you cry, you hang tens of thousands of pieces of clothing, and you laugh some more.  Never have I been to a sale with such happy, loving people! 

This year, I do not have the ability to work Hooked On Consignment's amazing sale, but I do know this, it is going to be absolutely amazing.  My sister introduced me to consignment sale shopping when my oldest daughter was almost 3 and I have been hooked ever since.  And while I could go on and on and on about the benefits of this sale, pictures speak much louder than words.  So... 

Tons of Baby Gear!

This is the boys section, and there are still 3 days of drop-off!

Have a little girl who loves shoes??  Oh yes, this sale is amazing!!

This sale opens to the public on July 27th, but trust me, you really want to volunteer to sign up and shop early!  When you volunteer to work early, you not only get to skip the wait to shop, you also get to shop with fewer people than the first few days of the sale, not to mention some of the other worker perks include snacks while you work, worker credit for the sale, and kid-free pre-sale shopping.  It is SO worth it, and Natalie is one of the best people you could work for.  In the past, I have shopped the fall sale for Christmas presents, Halloween costumes, as well as backpacks, birthday presents, and back-to-school clothes.  And, when I say back to school clothes, I mean brands like Justice, Matilda Jane, Gymboree, Children's Place, and so much more.  Natalie is meticulous (in a really really good way for us) about what she takes in, too.  You won't spend your time weeding through stained, outdated clothes.  We are talking quality clothes for almost nothing!  If you have never done a consignment sale, please take an hour and go to hers this weekend and next week!  I promise, it will be well worth your time!

My (totally selfish) favorite part this season is the fact I don't need to drive to Murfreesboro anymore!  The sale will be in the Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot in Rivergate!  I have a feeling I will be making several trips down, as the deals are too good to pass up.  I am telling you, I have followed this lady from Encores North in Madison to Encores n More Murfreesboro, and now locally, to Hooked on Consignment.  I have been to other sales, and they just don't compare. 

And, did I mention all the amazing stuff??

American Girl dolls and Accessories!

Toys, Kitchens, Power Wheels, and so much more!

Matilda Jane at incredible prices!

Even something for the teens and Mom's - Vera Bradley bags!

With about 450 consignors, this sale promises something for everyone.  And, if you follow Hooked On Consignment on Facebook, she does giveaways and teasers as new amazing items come in.  So, if you find yourself ready to start back to school shopping, Halloween costume shopping, or even just a little bit of kid spoiling, head on down this coming weekend (July 27th) or any of next week (sale ends August 3rd).  You will not be sorry! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Out of focus

So, have you ever had one of those seasons when everything just seems like too much?  I feel like I am just drifting from one spot to another, just waiting for God to show up and do something.  This last week, I had the amazing experience of going to kids camp with the church's 3-5 graders.  It left me with a realization that I don't have to wait for God to show up.  He's already here.

I'm gonna rewind, and then fast forward.  I have felt incredibly overwhelmed over the last several months.  Life has gotten crazy and a little out of control.  A very kind woman gently reminded me a month ago to be careful what I choose to put in my box.  She explained with such sincerity that when I allow something in my life, I get to carry it around in this invisible box with me.  Obviously, my kids need to be in that box.  School (until the beginning of November!!) has to be in that box, as does work.  But, what else is in that box? 

In my do it all mindset, I have allowed things that should have been left out of my box inside my box.  I carry the weight of too many things pulling me in too many directions, stress and worry over things I have no control over, as well as the normal single momma junk.  My focus became incredibly blurred.  The last six weeks, I have been trying to determine what needs to stay in my box, and what I need to push out of my box.  My box is becoming lighter, though worry and doubt that I am keeping the right priorities keep trying to jump back in. 

So this last week, our Children's ministry at church took it to the mountain.  Literally.  We spent several days in the Smokies, running around, worshiping God, and learning more about who He is, and what He so longs to do for us.  Watching those kids hunger after Christ really made me evaluate where I am in life.  I realize I give my all when I feel like I need to.  Do I give my all when I am having a great day, feeling on top of it all?  Nope.  I give my all only after I've tried everything in my power to fix things.  And that is not what God wants.  He doesn't want my leftovers.  He wants it all.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  I want to know I can do it on my own.  I want to know I don't need someone to handle my problems.  I want to know I can handle the life I've been given, without help. 

So many times in life we are let down.  So many times, we ask or we want or we need something from another person, only to be completely disappointed and let down.  In those times, we learn to do it on our own.  I can't even count how many times I have said, with pride even, "I don't need       (fill in your blank here)       I can do it all on my own."  As parents, we want our children to do things for themselves.  We want them to succeed without our help.  God just isn't that way.  He wants us to realize we aren't weak or cowardly when we need His help or His intervention.  He just wants our all. 

Ok, so fast forward.  I had the fun job of driving three kids halfway back to their house last Saturday (about a 15 hour round trip).  I was completely lost in my thoughts and worries, allowing my focus to be on how enormous all of the struggles were, instead of the fact that God is so much bigger than all of those.  I felt overloaded and ready to give up.  Even remembering the things God has helped me from didn't feel enough.  Driving along I-40, I was pretty much surrounded by trucks.  I was just following along, driving with my head in the clouds.  There is no telling how long I was behind this guy, because for the longest time, this is what I saw:

*This photo has been edited...

Just a truck.  One of hundreds.  And, upon further speculation, I realized something.  Sitting in that car, trying to get myself focused enough on all of the issues in my life long enough to get them fixed and acceptable was just not going to work.  The more I focused on my life, and the silly things that add up to feel  like so much, I realized I was getting frustrated, sad, and overwhelmed.  My heart wanted to fix so many things that I have no control over.  And I just kept driving thinking. 

I wasn't concentrating on the road.  I wasn't concentrating on the fighting in the backseat.  I wasn't concentrating on the music on the radio.  I was concentrating on all of my frustrations.  I started praying that God would give me the peace and calmness I experienced at camp.  I thought about all of the kids who were giving their all, without question or doubt.  I started to quiet those crazy thoughts.  When I really started to focus on the fact that God's got it all, I realized the answer had been there all the time.  This is what I saw:

The answer had been there all along.  I was so oblivious to everything around me, I missed it completely.  This simple reminder has been in my mind all weekend.  When we are focusing on how crazy our lives are, we tend to miss the simple answer: Jesus.  Cause, really, He is all we need.  He knows our yesterdays.  He knows our todays.  And, what I find so encouraging, He knows our tomorrows.  He has the answers to all of it, even if the answer feels blurry or out of our grasp.  When our focus is on Him, all we have to do is just follow Him.  He will guide us to where we need to be.