A year ago we were celebrating Hot Hubbie’s graduation from his Executive MBA program.
I can’t believe how fast (and how slowly) a year has gone.
Last year at this time, I decided it was time to treat myself to a new dress to wear to the celebratory cocktail reception/dinner for Hot Hubbie and all his classmates.
I went to my favorite store. The store that never lets me down. The store where I can always find something that looks great. And what did I find? Nothing. At least nothing that I could afford with my budget. I found some great things, but still could not afford the $120 for a new dress. I was looking for something under $40 (and $40 was a huge splurge).
I left disappointed, and feeling a little betrayed by my favorite store.
I walked next door to a new store that was having a “Grand Opening”. I went in and after hours in the dressing room, found a dress appropriate for the occasion (and my budget).
The sales lady checking me out and asked, “Would you like to enter the drawing for our Grand Opening Sweepstakes.”
“Sure,” I said. “Why not? What do I have to lose.” I didn’t even ask what the prize was. I filled out the form and promptly forgot about it.
Two weeks later, while at the same store, the manager ringing up my purchases, recognizes my name and says, “Heather ______?! Is your e-mail _____?”
“Yes.” I say quizzically. “How do you know my e-mail?”
“I pulled your name out of the fishbowl. You are the winner of our Grand Opening Sweepstakes!”
“You won the grand prize.”
I still did not know what was going on. “What grand prize?”
“You entered our drawing, and this morning, I picked your name for the grand prize”
“REALLY!? What did I win?” I did not even know what the prize was when I entered the drawing.
“A $250 shopping spree for you and a $50 shopping spree for 4 of your friends.”
“NO WAY! REALLY?” Oh my! I could not believe it. I won. Not only that, but I could not imagine spending $250 on clothes. I haven’t had $250 worth of new clothes for years. I actually WON!
The adrenaline started to run, and when that happens, I start to ramble really fast. “$250 Oh my gosh! What am I going to do with $250 of new clothes? See, my hubbie has not had a job for 2 years, and I haven’t been able to buy many clothes for 2 years, I don’t know what I am going to do with $250? I don’t think I know how to spend $250 at once on new clothes. $250 shopping spree, really?”
The store manager began to laugh and so did the woman waiting in line behind me to check out.
We exchanged more information, and then I left.
I got in the car and called Hot Hubbie. I was so excited! He, however, was unexpectedly quiet on the phone, but still excited for me. I did not know why he was so quiet and I thought I heard, by the end of our phone call, a touch of emotions on the other end of the line.
I got home a few hours later, and asked Hot Hubbie why he was so quiet on the phone. “Aren’t you excited for me? I can take the girls and we can go buy some new clothes.”
Hot Hubbie replied, “This morning, as I was praying, I was asking the Lord to help us find a way to buy you some new clothes. Your clothes are worn and faded, and you need some new clothes. Apparently He heard, and He cared, because it was only a few hours later that you called.”
Many times over the past 3 years, we have seen many immediate answers to our prayers (and some not so immediate answers to our prayers). We try to remember these examples when we feel like our prayers have been bouncing off the ceiling and are going unanswered.
So today, as I was having a mini pity party, I was thinking of this Shopping spree, and all that it represents to me and my family.
Thing 1, Thing 2, Mother Lode, a friend and I had a great time on our shopping spree. It was really easy to spend the $250. Too easy. I did not even look at a price tag before I pulled anything off a rack (gasp!). We spent hours going through everything in the store.
But most importantly, it is good to know that He is listening.