Today's blog entry (actually written Monday morning) is a continuation of my post on Friday about a wonderful book I discovered at a second-hand store, Frugal Luxuries. The neatest part about finding that treasure of a book was the prayer I said before I left that morning. I asked God to reveal himself to me as I ventured out that day to visit my favorite thrift store. I asked Him to bring something wonderful into my day that I'd know could only be from Him. This concept of inviting God to go with me and asking Him to bring a blessing was something I learned from another great book, Twelve Days Out With God. I haven't yet learned to make a habit of this, but that day I asked God to let me see His love for me through the things I came across that day. I had no idea how amazingly he would answer that prayer.
As I was scanning the shelves for bargains, I came across a painting of Jesus. Then I looked on the shelf directly above it and saw a white ceramic plaque. It almost looked like the back of a photo frame. I couldn't quite figure out what such an item would be used for, but after reading what was handwritten in pencil, I was too overjoyed to care. "Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you." Not once, but twice I was told that I'm loved. And a painting of Jesus stood on the shelf below as I read those words. I put a finger to the corner of my eye to catch a tear. Could my prayer have been answered in a more incredible way?
Well God didn't stop there. He also led me to a book that I absolutely fell in love with. It had me at Chapter One. Tracey McBride helped me to remember what is truly of value in my life. Her incredible wisdom has inspired me to view my family, friends, and home as if I were returning from a very long journey. She challenged me to find beauty where others overlook it. Since reading Frugal Luxuries: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul, I want to do so many things I don't know where to start. She has me wanting to grow an herb garden. I'll start with the easy herbs like parsley, dill, basil and oregano. But lavender and lemon verbena will be my star herbs because they smell so fabulous. She suggests tucking a sprig of scented herb into a card before sending it. Isn't that a great idea?
Tracey has me wanting to transform my dingy laundry room into a place I would look forward to going. She says, "any area in which you must spend large amounts of time should be made as attractive as possible." She has me wanting to go through my closets, tossing out clothes I don't wear and discovering new outfits by mixing and matching what's left. She reminded me that humor and common courtesy are necessary ingredients to daily life. And learning to make something from nothing is magic. I want to get out my sewing machine and create things. I want to be more enthusiastic about my daily tasks so I can transform the mundane into the delightful. She's inspired me to be more inquisitive because asking people about their work brings out the best in them.
If I took every piece of advice Tracey offers and applied it to my life, I would have transformed living. I would garnish my meals with good humor and cheerfulness. Organize the atmosphere in my kitchen with well-organized drawers and cupboards. I'd be more into gardening because the act of nurturing a garden nourishes the soul, and preparing the bounty from a garden is the most frugal of luxuries. "There is life, substance and joy in the warm earth that seems to draw discontent and edginess out of the soul," says McBride.
This book has been a gift to my soul and the icing on the cake was delivered the day after I wrote the review for Tracey's book, two entries ago. Saturday morning I noticed that I had a new follower on my blog. When I clicked on the photo, I couldn't believe who it was. The author herself, Tracey McBride had "accidentally" discovered my blog and she wrote a comment telling me how happy she was that I had been inspired by her book. That was no accident. Remember my prayer? We serve an amazing God and He came through for me. Talk about a frugal luxury! The joy that her comment brought me was so uplifting my soul danced. And every time I see her photo on my followers list, I smile. Because it reminds me of my prayer and how much I'm loved. I'll be saying that prayer more often. Frugal Adventures await.