Friday, March 18, 2011

A Conundrum

I have a wonderful friend, Gina, who has outfitted Joshua for the last 4 of his 5 years. Her older son is 1 1/2 years older than Joshua, so Joshua borrows his clothes and then we give them back for Gina's younger son, Henry. I am profoundly grateful for Gina's generosity since I have rarely had to buy clothes for Joshua--that's really huge.

In an attempt to be frugal with Clare's clothing, I have relied heavily on consignment stores and consignment sales. Unfortunately, the awesome consignment store in Jackson recently closed, which leaves consignment sales as my only option. And when are those consignment sales happening? During Lent, of course.

I had originally justified shopping for kids' clothes during Lent by convincing myself that it's for my kids and not for me (I have already wept a tear over not shopping for myself at the upcoming sale in which I am also a consignor). But to be true to what I'm doing as a mother I feel like I should have to forgo buying clothes for my kids as well. But if I miss these sales then I'm stuck buying full-price clothes, and I really feel like that's a poor use of money too. I can't stand paying full price for clothes (unless they're from Sew Sassy) that my children are going to wear for 6 months max.

I looked to see if there were any other sales after Easter, but of course there aren't. So I guess I'll shop and chalk it up to another fail, along with my art purchases and my van.


David said...

Not sure of the dates of the Consignment sales, but remember that Sundays are supposed to be "Little Easters" and therefore exempt from the 40 days (it is actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter, with 6 Sundays between).
So perhaps, instead of celebrating your "Little Easters" on Sundays, you celebrate on your Sabbath.
On the other hand, I do recall something along the lines of Jesus talking to the gathered crowd about the understanding of rules on Sabbath versus the life preserved, with the story of the animal int he ditch, and the man with the withered hand.

Jenny said...

I love David's comment.
The Lenten Discipline is to get you focusing on Christ during Lent, which you are doing.
Does Miss Claire need to wear clothes? (I'm going to say yes.) Is she going to need new clothes? (Again, yes.)
I don't think getting your children necessities (like clothing) is breaking a Lenten promise, and if it is, I think that might be too close to the law for the sake of the Law, rahter than for the safe of the discipline.
Does that make sense?
I say buy the clothes. It would be less mindful of Christ to spend full price later.

Gina said...

First of all, thanks! You are wonderful, and I love how the clothes I lend seem to multiply at your house and I end up with more. :). As for the dilemma- I have to say that saving money on clothing for your child is not a splurge. And if you feel overwhelmed with guilt, keep a record of how much you spent, price similar clothes at retail and donate the difference to a charity. Then you sre spending as much as you would have if you had skipped the sales in favor of "following the rules," but the extra money does good. In my opinion, that would be more mindful of Christ than spending retail after Lent.

Mary Beth said...

Over on FB my friend Jennifer said, "one of the stresses for people in lower income brackets is that they frequently have to buy more expensive items because that is all that is available to them when they have the money. The truth is the more the money you have the easier it is to shop for bargains."

Clare doesn't have spring clothes that fit, so I'm going to shop the sale for her.

I'm not trying to be hard on myself about this so much as I am trying to be oh-so-aware of how easy my life is because I have money at hand to spend whenever I need (or want) it. If I were to skip the sale, it would make me much more aware of what it is to live in a world where I have to forgo convenience and simplicity because I don't have the cash flow to take advantage of it.

As it is, I'm learning quickly how much more I have than I need.

Jenny said...

Interesting point about not having the money available when the sales are. Living paycheck-to-paycheck (or even beyond) is such a trap... Of course it's easy for me to sit back and say, just earmark that money for later because I have the money to earmark.
Interesting thought...
I have on occasion shopped at Goodwill or other thirftstores (especially for the kids) but I always feel guilty about it -- I should leave that stuff to the people who truly need it. I can afford to wait for sales or pay more money, and I shouldn't be getting the stuff that someone truly needs...
So I usually don't shop there.