The last few weeks have been very busy for me. The estate side of my company has had three huge events since the middle of February. And although I really need to have the next estate event “in the pipeline” right now, frankly I am in need of a little break. My main helper, Kay, and I have busily tagged, bagged and sold so many items over the last few months I haven’t been able to get out and do much buying myself for my own inventory. And a true junker has to have that fix…we need to get out and visit with our friends we see at all the yard sales, pop into our favorite haunts and honey holes and put down some change for those little treasures and trinkets that turn up in the most unexpected places. The real junker lives for the journey, not the purchase itself….the art of finding junk is the very best part of what we do. Selling junk we find, for the thrift business owner, is just a stepping stone, not the whole path.
This last weekend I didn’t have any family events, no estate sales to conduct, nothing to keep me from my “fix”. I mapped out my list and headed to two subdivision sales and several small individual sales about 7 a.m. The whole back end of the Montero was full to the gills when I returned home, and I felt like I finally breathed for the first time in several weeks. New inventory was just a small part of the lift in my spirits…it was about getting bits and pieces of things I could sell or recycle into new projects. I felt a purpose in my future….I could already see where I was going with everything that was in my car. It gave me my next stepping stones in the thrift business and a much-needed refreshing in my being.
For me, the whole idea of thrifting is multifaceted. It is about recycling, living a “green” life, preserving the pieces and whispers of the past, along with a myriad of other wonderful things. Sometimes items I purchase are made into new items to sell. Many times I add a little of this, slap on a dab of that, and I have a new eclectic piece of wall art, or a table made from a portion of old farm equipment. It’s exciting and just a bit awesome to end up with an old thing made into something totally new with just a little time and effort.
As a Christian, the thrift mentality takes on whole new meaning. It’s my calling to be resourceful and a good steward of the finances and material possessions God has given me. When I was in my early twenties, I had virtually no money to spend on anything but the cast offs and yard sale finds when starting my home and ultimately beginning a family. But I took those cast off finds, and I molded and made them into something “new”…and my friends and family thought it was amazing when they saw my child looking like Saks Fifth Avenue and my home decorated with stunning items that were purchased at garage sales and flea markets. And I began to shift in my mindset…no longer was I sad that I was unable to purchase new items like all my friends. I was able to purchase BETTER items than my friends, for less money, and the “thrift” lifestyle became BETTER than the old life of purchasing too little for too much.
I recently read something that said exactly how I see thrifting in my own life. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the author’s name on this piece, but it is very humbling for the Christian to read:
“There’s something about the idea of recycling that speaks to me as a Christian. That’s the underlying theme of the whole strip. It’s not just about recycling clothes, it’s about giving people a second chance, too. The thrift store takes cast-off goods that are about to be thrown onto the trash heap. They’re rescued, cleaned up and made useful again. And that’s what being a Christian is all about, how a person can be redeemed, made new again, through God.”
Along with the estate company I currently own, I have been the proud owner of a cleaning company for the last 11 years. I have learned much about people, idiosyncracies, wants, desires, and needs while getting them cleaned up. But in the last two years, I have felt a move toward a different calling and through a chain of events opened the estate side of the company. Although I do make only part of my income in this section of the company, as time goes on, this is where I feel the most reward and the most comfort personally. Slowly, I have been coming to the realization that maybe this is my next stepping stone in the path the Lord has for me. In looking at the path the Lord takes each Christian down in his life walk with Him, it’s an interesting parallel. He finds the sinner, He saves him, He cleans him up, He makes him useful again, and the sinner saved by grace becomes a part of something “new”. Maybe it is time, in my own life, for something “new”…
As a cleaning company owner, I have been “cleaning them up” for years, but this has only been one stepping stone for me in my own path. Maybe, just maybe, it is time for the next step, my “second chance”…maybe it’s time to rescue, recycle, and make something brand new out of my own life. I learned a long time ago, when you see a path appear, take it…it might lead to something BETTER.