I am now half way through Book Rush and it did, indeed, pass by quickly. I told my daughter this week that it is strange how we are surprised when God answers prayer (oh, ye of little faith). Next week is the busiest, the week when most students purchase their textbooks. Keep me in prayer this week. It will be crazy at the bookstore but I'm certain the time will pass quickly.
I agreed to work four extra hours yesterday in the late afternoon and early evening. It wasn't even my muscles that ached but the soul that needed nourishment. On my way to the grocery store, I decided to stop at a couple of garage sales and then to do some window shopping at the antique stores downtown. How happy I was to find three lovely items for a total of $8.00. Gotta' love those small antique stores owned by little, middle aged women in business because they enjoy pretty things and love to chat with customers. :)
I drove much farther down Main Street to my favorite "shop that sells primitive country items". This is the store where one is transported into another world once the threshold is crossed... not only by sites but the fragrance of buttery, spicy candles and dulcimer music in the background. I immediately relaxed and enjoyed stopping at each display with all the lovely autumn choices. The owner has told me that 40% of the business from her regular customers is done in the autumn and at Christmas. There is a reason for that... a little bit of Heaven on earth. I came away with a small item from the clearance table and a promise to soon return.
In a perfect world, I would have stopped for coffee or tea but time was slipping away and I still hadn't made it to the grocery store for bananas and a grapefruit. Yes, that was my original destination but we do have our priorities you know. By the time I arrived home, I had to leave for work in an hour so there was little time to prop my feet up and rest my body but my soul had been revived. Often... most of the time... it is that area of ourselves that we most neglect.
We were made in a garden by a God who gifted artists and craftsmen (and women) to create lovely... and most likely breathtaking... items for his Tabernacle. We can look around us and see the products of His own creative imagination, from the red cardinals to the tall trees which surround my house... from the setting sun to Dolly, my delightful furry neighbor who thinks she is a guard dog in a Spaniel's body.
That is the reason we must feed the soul by visiting places of beauty and bringing them into our home. We were created in the image of the one who is Beauty. Our quest is not at great expense which would cause guilt each time we walked past that particular item. No, a great part of the feeding of our soul is in the very process of looking over the shelves a few times and reaching behind stacks of doilies when the perfect size is viewed at the bottom. It can be the curiosity that comes when entering a thrift store or parking the car in front of a garage sale and wondering if... this time... we will locate a much desired item for one or two dollars.
We carefully watch over our food budget while purchasing the most nutrition for the smallest total amount. We spend time (hopefully) feeding ourselves the Word of God to gain inner strength to meet the next day. I personally believe (and found it true in my own life) that we must feed the soul with beauty, even if this involves checking the clearance flowers at Wal Mart as we walk in the door. A soul fed for a couple of dollars... even on my budget that is a good thing.
In this case... a walk through Downtown on a Saturday morning... a small amount of money budgeted to bring "something beautiful" home... chatting with two favorite shop owners... a reward to myself for the past week's labor. Not "shopping till I drop" or a morning at the Mall but slipping a small amount of cash in my pocket (so I couldn't spend too much) and finding small treasures in favorite destinations.
Perhaps next week I will allow myself a Saturday morning visit to the farmer's market and come away with a handful of zinnias and a quart of honey from the Honey Man. :)