I dislike thrift stores. I like the idea of liking thrift stores, and being one of those thrifting ladies, but once I get in there I sort of feel like parts of me are dying inside. I have no idea why, it just feels so depressing. Maybe because it's SO MUCH TIME. Not to mention your hands feel all "thrifty," but not in that"oooh, I found some great Target clearance items" thrifty. More like the "there is this strange film of dirt and stale cigarettes that I have on my hands after sifting through clothes not in the properly marked sections and I STILL didn't get what I came here for even though it's been two hours" kind of thrifty.
But it came to that yesterday morning. Calvin didn't have winter pajamas. He didn't have summer pajamas, either, but it's different. Babies can sleep in their sweaty rooms in just their diapers and belly buttons all summer. But in the winter, it gets a bit cold for belly buttons (bye-bye bee-bo). Grandma got him some rockin' outfits, but I have this thing for babies in feety jammies, and we were fresh out of 12-18 month boy size. And if you don't know, I've got 3 kids on a tight budget, and it's been overwhelmng to think about our big family living on this one income. Especially lately, but more on that in a few weeks. Let's just say, I've been actively trusting God to provide for this family he's given us. Or I've been trying to trust him, anyway.
So I looked online for the best price for the ones I wanted. $12.99 on sale. Take that times 4 or 5, and, um...a thrifting we will go! Old pilled-up Cherokee pajamas that smell like sawdust would have to do.
But let me tell you what God did.
Stop one: ARC. One pair of red Land's End jammies for $3. Not too bad. A little awkward, but sleepable. But I also found the cutest "wool" lined vest for the same price. And Miss Iris got her sister some pom-poms for the upcoming birthday, so I felt okay about that stinky stop. Still, I thought at this rate, it would be a loooong morning. I was after 5 pairs.
Stop two: A little shop called Bellies to Babies on 66th and Penn. Maternity and baby clothes, up to 2T or something. One little round rack for each size. Walked straight up to the 12-18 month rack, which seemed very bare. And I stopped in my tracks. 6 pairs of feety jammies, the exact kind I had googled in the morning, were right there. All together, the feet dangling lower than all of the other fancy sweater vests and tuxedo pants, all looking like they barely made the cut for this "nicer" consignment store, all brightly colored and out of place amongst the trendy light blue and brown. All three dollars each.
The first verse that popped into my brain:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Almost, KB. That's close, but not quite. Come back to that...
Hmm...Toddler pajamas. Is this a need? I mean, really. I mean, really, really.
It's pretty basic. Clothes during the day, jammies at night. But no jammies at night, that's not really going to damage a 16 month old. Him wearing his jeans and long sleeved t-shirts to bed, that really isn't a big deal. A little counter-cultural, but not that big of a deal.
And on top of that, Carter's microfleece, anti-pill, extremely soft, very warm, super cute, all-boy, $12.99 on sale, gonna-wear-them-for-36-hours-because-your-momma-doesn't-change-#3-into-real-clothes kind of jammies. Not a need need.
Not a need need at all. That, ladies, is called a wish-list item. All 5 pairs. And when someone gets you something off your wish list, it's probably because that someone loves you and wants to give you a gift.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11
I don't want to cheapen God meeting our basic needs. At all. Because it is a lovely, totally beautiful, totally amazing thing. That I certainly have experienced on a regular basis. I often don't thank and don't notice. I can take that for granted. It can feel like the soup kitchen on the corner who serves everyone. Maybe they don't know the name of the person they ladled chicken and wild rice to that evening, and they totally didn't need to do it, they just cared. In a general way. Everyone gets the same thing, but there is no personal in that.
But lets say that soup kitchen volunteer walks up to the little girl with scraggly hair and hands her two heart shaped barrettes covered with glitter. There's the hug. "I noticed you, I love you, I care about you, you matter to me. I will take time for you."
God knows I dislike going to thrift stores in sort of a bratty way. He knew I wanted those specific jammies. He knew that by there being 6 pairs I got to actually choose the ones I wanted like I would have in a "real" store. He knew I didn't need them and I certainly wasn't expecting them. And He knows that I would feel absolutely adored when I walked in and saw them all lined up on that rack.
He knows this girl really, truly, need-needs a Daddy who delights in her.
He knows this girl didn't ask, but she need-needed a "I noticed you" hug.
And in His riches in Christ Jesus, He provided. Abundantly. This is our God. And I am so grateful.