The Hunt for the Perfect Purse
You know what I mean – right? Whether it’s the perfect purse or the perfect shoes, dress, or make-up, we women can get a little fanatical when we know exactly what we want but can’t find it.
Six years ago we were on vacation and I found my idea of the perfect purse. The problem was that it cost $69.99, and that amount wasn’t really in our budget – at least not our purse budget. Can you imagine my angst as I wrestled in my mind about finally finding what I had been looking for and not being able to afford it?
Along came my husband Dan, looking for me because he was ready to leave the store. He asked me if I’d found anything I wanted, and I told him about the purse. He asked to see it and I’m afraid I couldn’t contain my excitement as I showed it to him and explained all the little things that made it so perfect – everything, that is, except the price. Dan is a man of few words. After looking at the purse he said, “If it’s the perfect purse, I guess you better buy it.” Even now as I write this my eyes fill with tears. I so don’t deserve a husband like Dan, but the Lord gave me more than I could ever have hoped for in a husband.
Eph. 3:20-21 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Fast forward six years. I’ve used that purse almost exclusively for all this time. It has proven to be well worth the investment and has served me well, but it is beginning to show quite a bit of wear and tear. With my birthday coming up in November I began an online search for the same purse, thinking I would ask for it for my birthday. In my thrifty way I had decided that it actually was a good investment, since it cost less than $12 a year, which would have been about the price of six inexpensive, on sale purses.
I found it, but it had a hot pink lining. Yes, it would be easier to find things whenlooking against the lighter lining rather than the dark grey one I had, but the color would also show when I carried it and l am just not a hot pink person. It still cost $69.99, and still wasn’t really in our budget, but I felt sure Dan would get it for me if I said I wanted it. He hasn’t changed either – other than to become better.
I couldn’t get past the hot pink lining, so I dropped that as an idea and we decided I would come up with another gift idea.
For some reason it really bothered me that the purse, MY purse, was changed in a way that I didn’t like. We’ve been through a long season of losses this past year or so and this seemed to be just one more loss. I know, in the big scheme of things a purse isn’t that important, but given where I was emotionally at that time it felt like a much bigger loss than it really was. I found myself questioning the Lord almost daily about all the why’s I had.
My birthday came and went. Dan took me out for a very nice dinner; we celebrated at home and moved on. I never did come up with another gift idea, but I knew I could tell Dan if I did and he would gladly get it for me.
One day when daughter Rebekah and I were in town we ran in to Savers to look for a scarf. After a few minutes I told her I was going to go look at the purses, since mine really was looking worn and I needed to find something to replace it. They had a long rack of them – sorted by color, so I walked past all the black and brown ones without seeing anything that really looked interesting. As I turned to go back to Rebekah I decided to walk past them once more – now I know this was the Lord, but then I just felt a bit silly. As I walked past them in the other direction I spotted one that looked rather familiar, so I took it off the rack. Why, it looked a lot like my purse. I opened it up and there was the label – I looked at the compartments – yes, yes… it was my purse, only it was new and it was only $6.99 – no, I didn’t leave a number out, it wasn’t $69.99 – it was $6.99.
I found Rebekah and wanted her to jump up and down with me in the middle of the store, but she wouldn’t so I did it all by myself!
But the Lord wasn’t done yet. When we got to the checkout we discovered the purse was on sale and would only cost $4.90.
It was as though the Lord wanted to really get His point across to me. Phyllis, I know the losses you’ve suffered. I know, and I care, and I’m here.
How about you? Are you suffering from losses this Christmas season? What have you lost, a friend, a loved one, a pet? Or perhaps it is something that was just special to you, like my purse? Do you feel like the Lord has let you down in some way?
May the Lord’s richest blessings be yours this Christmas season,
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© 2011 Phyllis Sather
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