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Springtime may be a season of blooms and blossoms, but it’s also a time to de-clutter the closets and sell off the stuff I probably shouldn’t have purchased in the first place.

On Saturday mornings cars move in our neighborhood like a parade of ants across a picnic table as families eye front yards packed with clothes, toys, kitchen gadgets and old CDs, videos, and books.

Which one appears enticing enough to make them stop, shop, and part with their cash? I’m an observer. I can’t be bothered participating, even though I might be missing out on some great bargains. What I enjoy is seeing people haggle with one another—begging for a discount of a nickel or dime on a fifty-cent item.

But maybe I do that in another way—haggling with you, God, so you’ll let me off the hook from my fifty-cent sins—a catty word here, a misstep there, a bitter thought this morning, a withheld compliment this afternoon. “Are they really so bad?” I ask you. “It’s not like I’m a murderer or a tax evader.” You listen, and then you remind me gently that any sin against another is a sin against you. You call me to your standard, not mine. The bar I set for myself is always lower than the one you set for me. Thank you for using a neighborhood yard sale to teach me this lesson once again.

What has God used in your life to show you a flaw and how to turn it around?

“… In repentance and rest is your salvation …”

(Isaiah 30:16)




A Different Kind of Yard Sale — 8 Comments

  1. My late husband loved to have yard sales and we had some huge ones! I admit it was a lot of work but it was also fun and it seemed that people did not “bicker” over the prices. Guess that is rather unusual.> I like the comparison you made about our “small sins” and it reminded me of the devotional in my Guideposts Sunday morning. It was not about “caddy” words, as you mentioned, but it was about the writer’s judgement of people. After he made a remark about a certain person, his daughter reminded him he was judgemental before he knew the person. He started thinking about it and I did too!! He realized he had been avoiding speaking to a person who was at one of the checkout registers where he shopped because the person did not seem friendly so he decided to smile at the person and greeted them. The writer said it was like he had pushed the ‘on’ button because the person smiled brightly, they had a stimulating conversation and he learned the person was bashful but friendly and extremely funny. I thought how often I judge someone before I know them. When I see someone who looks like they have needed a haircut for a year and have tatoos all over their arms, do I think they are some one I would not like to be around? When I see someone who looks grouchy do I realize they may have a heavy burden and needs a smile from me? WOW! These fifty cent sins sure do add up to dollars! I am going to do better.> Thanks, Karen, for another “eye opener”!

    • Thank you, Margaret. You gave me plenty to think about too! We all could do better, that’s for sure.

  2. Karen I don’t do yard sales, but did clean out closets and get rid of lots of things laying around. This was the perfect time to clean house and move things around. So I gave it all to a local flea market with a sleeper sofa. I needed a small bed so when my daughter comes from Alaska I will have sleeping room. Yes, I like to go to sales but I’m sure not the type of person that can manage a yard sale! Changing churches after nearly 20 years prompted me to change other things in my home and life, and I feel like a new person and more hope just by changing things.

    • Thanks for commenting, Mary. I always love hearing from you and learning that you are well and thriving.

  3. Our church is participating in a “Stuffification Challenge” Whereby we take the stuff that clutters and surrounds us and sell it. Then we are giving the proceeds to fund special mission projects. Made me think of the not so healthy stuff I surround myself with and am I willing to get rid of it. Love your challenge to watch the “stuff” I think…. Blessings on you Karen, I love getting your blog and hearing your words of wisdom. Hugs

    • Thanks so much, Patti. It’s just great to reconnect with you after all these years. I really appreciate your support.

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