Today's Prompt: Rare**
Now that we are retired, my husband and I needed to find something outside the house to do. We discovered we enjoy visiting antique shops and thrift stores. Some of the malls are large, so it is good exercise. It is a way for us out of the house, and Steve loves chatting with the owners. We often will combine it with lunch at a local restaurant for a fun date.
Along with visiting the antique malls, we enjoy browsing through the Restore at Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, the boutique at the retirement village where Mom lives, and some local Christian thrift stores.
Buying from these stores not only saves us money but we are supporting good causes. We will add sailing this summer (garage sales, not boating), maybe with a picnic.
Those days we feel like treasure hunters seeking out rare and valuable finds. I believe our Father created us to seek out treasures. First and foremost, we search for the treasures He has hidden in His word.
But it doesn't stop there, He created a whole world for us to discover. People from every branch of knowledge are constantly searching and discovering previously hidden treasures.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2
In a more light-hearted vein, I believe He enjoys concealing physical treasures for us to find also. It may seem silly to you, but I pray Isaiah 45:3 before I go out.
So my number one tip is to ask for those hidden treasures to be revealed to you. Ask to be shown those secret places and be led by the Spirit on where to go that day. Take Jesus shopping with you, and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the treasure He has hidden for you today.
Here are a few other tips we have learned.
- Have the right mindset. My husband is a mission shopper most of the time. Get in, grab what you need, and get out. This is not the right mindset for thrifting. Instead, imagine you are on a treasure-hunting expedition.
(Valentines Deco from recent treasure hunt-silk flowers, heart vase, heart basket with ribbon, Be Mine knick-knack, and candle holder; total was less than $10)
- Take your time.
- Look at everything. There is a hidden treasure waiting for you to find. Steve likes to do a quick walk-through, then goes back to the areas that caught his attention. I tend to start at one end and work my way through. At some of the larger places, you may run out of steam before you're done, so go have coffee or lunch. You can always return.
- Examine each item you are interested in carefully for damage. Can you live with the problems you find, or will they need to be repaired? You need to decide if you have the skills to fix it and if you are willing to take the time it will need. It's not a treasure if you discover unacceptable damage when you get home.
- Many of these places have a no-return or a limited return policy. Also, if you are far from home, returns aren't practical.
- Be prepared.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Bring a tape measure.
- Go hands-free if you can. Put your phone, wallet, keys, tape measure, and lists in your pockets or fanny pack. Leave your purse locked in your car. Hand sanitizer and a bottle of water are also good to have.
- Know what hours and days the places you want to go are open. Many of these places have limited hours a few days a week.
(Holiday plates found at local thrift shop. I got 2 unopened boxes for $7)
- Have a plan.
- Don't buy it unless you have a purpose for it. Think about how you will use it. Though sometimes, just because, is enough of a purpose.
- If it is large, will it fit where you want it to go, and how will you get it home? That couch may seem perfect until you can't get it through the door. I have an antique railroad desk that I refinished. After all that time and work, it wouldn't fit through my office door. We had to remove the top and screw it back together in the office.
- Keep a list of items you are looking for. I keep a picture on my phone of my china, so I can add pieces if I find them. Cast iron cookware, garden/yard supplies, and repurposing pieces are other items on our list.
My sister has taken thrifting to the next level. She scours thrift stores for clothing and accessories that she sells on Poshmark. I asked her to share her thoughts and tips with you, and here is what she had to say:
"I guess I would tell them don't be overwhelmed. Be prepared to take some time because you're looking for quality thru a whole lot of quantity. I would also add that there's a thrill to a great buy and that buying secondhand is a great way to recycle and help the environment if green is the way you want to go. Lastly, you don't have to go in with a specific thing in mind, Be prepared to go off track when you find that fabulous item you didn't even know you needed. It's fun!"
You can visit her Poshmark closet here: Sandy's Closet (@sandyank60) | Poshmark
She's done all the weeding out work for you leaving the treasures out in the open. If that isn't enough, she is running a special for you: 15% off two or more items.
Whether you shop for fun or to make a profit, thrifting is the way to go! There are rare finds just waiting for you. It is all part of the delightful life the Lord has planned for you!
Do you enjoy thrifting? It's ok if you don't. Not everyone has the time or patience, or desire for it. The Lord has treasures hidden in other secret places for you.
**This post is part of the #write28days Challenge, writing and posting EVERY DAY in February