Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter Table: Shopping With Your Guardian Angel

Guardian angels make the best personal shoppers. My spiritual journey has taught me over and over again that material possessions are easy for God to provide -- that whole "lilies of the field" verse in the Bible is really, honestly true. It's things like conversions, healing of addictions, etc. that take years and years of agonized prayer to accomplish. But material possessions? Simple. No problem. If you really need it today, God will provide it for you. Then too, we are in America, a country awash with material possessions. If you're in the right place at the right time, people might even pay you to take things away.

So, trusting in that, during the times when money is scarce at our house, I've come to ask my guardian angel to find things for me -- you know, those little relatively unimportant things that sometimes come to play such a huge role in the heart of a housewife -- new curtains, a fashion accessory, the perfect gift for a child or friend... The sheer amount of times that I've craved or wished for some sort of fabric or dress or place setting, and then stumbled upon it a few weeks later at a garage sale or giveaway pile are so numerous that I've been forced to rule out coincidence, luck, and my own savvy.

And it makes sense, doesn't it? After all, if God clothes us better than the lilies of the field, why shouldn't He provide for beauty as well as necessity? "If you, who are evil, provide good things for your children..." What parent doesn't provide toys and comforts as well as food and shelter to their kids?

All He asks is that we cultivate the "necessary detachment" from these extras, which I think we all realize we need anyhow.

So, anyhow, since I am one of these maddening Martha Stewart people who needs to have a new "color theme" every Easter, I had been thinking of trying to create a blue-and-white table this year. And of course, I didn't have much money for extras like that, or time to create something handmade.

But when I dropped by the Salvation Army during Holy Week looking vaguely for some sort of centerpiece, my eyes were drawn to the blue-white-and-pink china, six plates, ten saucers, and stacks and stacks of teacups, saucers, and cake plates. "How much for the big plates?" I asked the girl in charge. "I'll charge you eight dollars if you'll take the whole set out of here," she answered. "I'm sick of looking at them." Sold! Then, hunting for a white sheet to use as a tablecloth, not only did I find a lovely soft cotton sheet with only one spot, I found a vintage-looking square blue-and-white tablecloth as well.

And to top it off, my daughter spotted a wire egg basket in the shape of a hen, in the same blue as the china and the tablecloth (and it happens to match the blue in my kitchen too!). A trip to the dollar store discovered 3-packs of "washcloths" that certainly pass as napkins, though I bet one washing will shrink the lot -- again, in the same blue-white-pink theme. Almost eerie, eh? And the flea market had matching white hyacinths, $4 each.

The whole shebang set me back $19. $27 with the flowers.

And I hadn't even prayed. But of course, I did afterwards: "Thank You, Father God!"


Sandy said...

This is so beautiful, simple, and peaceful. I look forward to your posts and photos that inspire me to look at my home in a creative way.

LeeAnn Balbirona said...

I love it when loveliness meets providence! Looks beautiful! Is that butter molded into the shape of a lamb? Cute. Glad you were able to stop by the other day (virtually speaking). :) And ditto on your thoughts about material things. What a deal on those dishes! Now, where to store them???

Dragonflyer's Ladybug said...

So true! I can't count how many times I've wished for some silly decorating or craft item only to see it at our local goodwill :) Even as funny as spainish moss!

I discovered an online wealth of free stuff recently - It's a yahoo group with local listings that allows you to post needed items or offers. The site is kept clean and offers everything from toys, books, furniture, coupons, clothes, dishes, decor, and more :)

regina doman said... (or .com, I think the group split recently) is a great idea. I've belonged to our local group for several years now. You're right, it's an excellent resource!

LeeAnn - yes, the grocery store was selling butter lambs, and I snagged one early in the season.

As for the dishes, I might just put my everyday ones in storage (where?) and use these new ones for the season. And I'm sure my two toddlers will make short work of the extra small plates if I give them time and opportunity! ;)

scmom said...

You put it all together so well!

Justine Schmiesing said...

Ah, guardian angels! I always say, "I was blessed by the Goodwill Fairies today." Do you think they are really one and the same?

Jennifer said...

I love your table! And thrift stores are the best! I recently got a nice pasta bowl, made in Italy, and used it at dinner tonight. Even my husband (who's not a fan of thrift stores) commented on my $3 bargain.

Tracy said...

Thanks for the reminder! This has happened to me a few times before - when looking for a bike trailer, a plastic playhouse, a child-sized rocking chair. . . . Sometimes it seems as though the "prosper" minded protestants recognize God's desire to bless us with material goods - or talk about it more than sacrificial Catholics might! How lovely to showered in such a way to give honor and glory to God on Easter!