Sunday, October 06, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I was taking a break from household obligations... as in cleaning and organizing in the kitchen... by perusing a favorite magazine.  The pictures of lovely rooms caused a pause in the flipping of pages as I wanted to drink in the beauty of the room.   That article was soon followed by another which promoted the wearing of pretty aprons in the kitchen as women of another generation did out of necessity.

The articles once again helped me realize that we are, for the most part, drawn to Beauty.  Some of us love seeing our dwelling places as a blank canvas on which we splatter a little paint here, hammer a nail in a wall there for a picture, and fill with those items which cause our heart to sing.

God created us to love Beauty... He understands... He gets it!

I was looking through the first few years of blog posts (now in the eighth year of writing) and came across the post where I almost quit blogging.  Some will remember the comment that sent me into such a tither that I thought (for awhile) I no longer wanted to write about anything... much less the subject of Living a Beautiful Life on a Budget.

For the anonymous comment was that I "knew how to work the system" as they knew my family had a very limited income due to my husband's disability but I was able to buy pretty things for my house.  This was obviously someone who had not read Coffee Tea Books & Me very much or they would know we received no government assistance from "the system". 

At the time, my husband was on Disability which is not government assistance, it is part of what we pay for when we have enormous amounts of money taken out of our check for FICA (Social Security insurance).  It eventually merged into regular retirement benefits when he turned sixty-five or sixty-six... can't remember which.  Yes, he is older than I am!!!  He says he robbed the cradle.

While it upset me greatly at the time, a few friends reminded me I should take it as a compliment if someone thought my house looked that nice.  For it is sad that one should think only money can make a beautiful home.  Except for the inherited furniture and the items purchased when my husband worked as an engineer, much of what I decorate with was purchased for a fraction of their original price.

For you see, those of us who love to be surrounded by Beauty and who also takes great enjoyment from the hunt receive a double blessing.   I love to show people around my house and point out my thrift shop treasures.  It's as if they were with me on that hunt for treasure.

I find it more fun to purchase clothing and things for the house on a limited budget than it ever was when I shopped at the mall.  I may only have $5.00 to spend at Goodwill or a thrift store but each time I enter through those doors... I enter with great anticipation as to the treasure that may be available that day.

It makes it even more remarkable when it is a "God Wink".  You know, when you find something for pennies... or just a few dollars... at a thrift store, resale shop, or even a garage sale that you have desired for so long but could never afford full price!

How wonderful it is that you felt His leading to check out the thrift store that day and know it truly had to be God who engineered the timing so that what you desired was donated to the store to be there when you were shopping and had the money to spend at that visit.

Or perhaps you passed by a garage sale and decided to stop and "look around", only to find a longed for treasure for yourself or a loved one.

Don't let anyone tell you God does not care about the little treasures of your life.  You know otherwise.

Picture:  Apron Gals


Betty Sneeringer said...

Wow! So glad I read this. Thank you! I often feel some apprehension when blogging about my treasures and decorating, wondering if it comes off as being too materialistic. Even though I, like you, spend as little as possible on what I buy. Still, many know my situation and know I live on a low income, and I have been somewhat concerned. I feel I was gifted by God with creative abilities which bring me so much pleasure and when I share, it blesses others. I am hoping to check out your blog more often!

Betty Sneeringer said...

Oh, I meant to also say, I love aprons and am so glad they have recently made a "come back". I have a Pinterest board full of them.

The Journey said...

wonderful post. Yes we love the hunt.

Anonymous said...

I'm in no way comparing you to the deadbeats who do "work the system" and I certainly wouldn't want you to stop blogging. But I have to take exception to the suggestion that you are not receiving any government benefits. Social Security is a social welfare program administered by the government. FICA taxes go into a pool that supports various programs (including food stamps and other "hand-outs" deplored by the Mitt Romneys of the world). The money you paid in FICA taxes has already been spent on the people who were receiving benefits during your working life. The money you receive now is coming from the people who are currently working and paying the taxes. We are supposed to get back roughly the same amount we pay in, but that only works if the amount of taxes from the currently employed exceeds the amount being paid out. I'm praying that I'll be able to collect Social Security when I retire, but there's no guarantee that I will.

Considering all the fuss about Obamacare these days, it's kind of funny to think that the Social Security program was also opposed by conservatives when it first started. Now of course everyone thinks of it as a right!

Anonymous said...

Yes I remember that comment that threw you for a loop. I like to think of thrift shopping as the adult equivalent of what Christmas morning is to children. You never know what you will find just like you never knew what you would find under the Christmas tree. And we are just as excited as little kids when it happens God blesses us with a long awaited treasure aren't we...I am ever so grateful you have not let that comment ruin your writing. I never know what I will find when I turn on my computer and come to your site either! You always bring a refreshing view on things that is so needed. Sarah

Anonymous said...

Good post and well said! I had a friend whose house was filled with many beautiful things. Her husband worked in construction and was often out of work for months at a time. The first time I went to her house and asked where she got a particular beautiful item, her response was always the same."I found it at a garage sale!" She was particularly fond of estate sales. My own daughter has become an awesome bargain hunter out do necessity from living on a very limited budget and has in turn taught me how to shop frugally! The fun really Is in the hunt! I, too, have been blessed by God in finding something I really desired for a price I could afford! I know He enjoys blessings us! I love seeing the different ways you find to decorate your home and love when you share the vintage treasures you manage to find at flea markets and thrift stores! You are a wonderful example of the Proverbs 31 woman!
Thank-you for sharing! (And I for one, am So glad you are still blogging!)
Hugs and Blessings,
Laura C. from WA state

Vee said...

Don't let the basters get you down, Brenda. There's a clunker in every crowd.

Kim said...

Thanks for this today. I needed this reminder.

moreofhim said...

I love your blog because we are kindred spirits in knowing how to live beautifully on a tight budget. Very few things in my home are new - either being from thrift stores or garage sales or hand-me-downs from family. Personally, I love the hunt, too, and figuring out how I can take something someone else discarded and making it a treasure for my home. The cheaper I pay, the happier I am! lol

I'm so glad you didn't let the "haters" run you off. You have a real gift for blogging and sharing your heart and it is all done as unto God. You bless 99% of the people - don't let that 1% get you down. There's always one person who has to drag you down but you can just ignore that person.

Many blessings - Julie

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I love to check out Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and other local thrift shops. I also check out resale stores.

You are right that people who love Beauty and Creativity will learn to find it where ever they can and with what they can afford.

That is really the fun of it too! Finding that right thing for your home and a low cost! Makes me happy!


Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Oh I remember well how upset you were (goodness we have been blogging a long time)! So glad you didn't stop blogging since yours is my favorite blog!

Anonymous said...

I am glad you did not give up on your blog. There are always those who simply cannot rejoice with those who rejoice. The hunt is indeed part of the pleasure of such!! Thanks for sharing.
Elizabeth on the way back to Seattle from our California trip to see kin...written as we drive...yep with Mifi you can do that!!