I just don’t listen.

Just last month, I wrote a “therefore I quote” blog post about foregoing what’s “good” to make room for what’s “best.”

I never listen to me.

And do I listen to God? Thankfully he’s patient. But He got my attention yesterday. With an iron. ouch.

For years, I’ve tinkered with ebay and consignment. Gathering up unneeded stuff and listing it on ebay, taking a load of stuff to the consignment shop for resale. Watching ebay snipers at the end of one of my auctions, spending consignment store credit instead of money. It’s fun. It’s work, but it’s fun. And in return, I get a little (and mean a LITTLE) extra cash for my effort.

Unfortunately, for about two years, I hadn’t physically been able to do it so much. I was thankful I could keep up with daily life, forget dealing with purging or spring cleaning for ebay and consignment or any type of home project. Struggling with chronic anemia for 18 months or so, along with the escalating and life-intruding problems associated with the fibroid tumors I had for decades, then the hysterectomy that knocked out both the anemia and the fibroid tumors, but required months of recovering from major surgery . . . by the fall of last year, I was finally starting to feel “normal” again. I enjoyed becoming more active, spending time DOING things with my family instead of . . . not.

Then, in November and December of last year, one of my clients upgraded and I got a LOT of work. A LOT of work.

And I had an epiphany.

I was organizing stuff we no longer needed, spending hours cleaning and prepping and listing it/taking it to the thrift shop for sale and making a pittance. I mean a PITTANCE. When I had the courage and intention to factor in the hours spent – my “hourly wage” turned out to average less than I made babysitting in middle school. In the 1970s. Let’s face it. There are a lot of people who can do this and make it worth the effort.

I am not one of them.

And then, out of the blue, God provided a tremendous blessing through a client project. A financial and professional and personal blessing I could NEVER begin to match in my efforts to sell on ebay or consignment.

So my epiphany? God’s prompting? I need to LET IT GO. I need to GIVE IT AWAY. I need to write off the donations using It’s Deductible. I need to GIVE to charities who provide affordable clothing and household items to low-income families – and frugal shoppers trying to stretch their income, like me. By the grace of God, my family can survive without making money on our excess. And I obviously don’t love this activity enough to do it well or I would be making a lot more money! By spending my time selling this stuff, I’m being short-sighted and leaving myself no time and no room in my life for what’s “best.”

If I give up this particular activity, I will gain HOURS to spend on other work – work that could bring a lot more personal and professional and financial rewards than these distracting, time consuming, focus breaking tangents do. If I’m serious about diversifying my business and beginning a vocational ministry in faith-based speaking, singing and writing, I’ve got OTHER THINGS I NEED TO BE DOING.

Okay. I had the epiphany. And I had the Red Cross pick up two huge loads of stuff in the last few months.

And then.

I was packing up for another Red Cross pickup on Friday morning and I came across some nearly new, name brand, outgrown clothes of PinkGirls.

“hmmm. I could sell these and get some “new” clothes for PinkGirl.”

But they need ironed. And right in the middle of ironing these clothes we DON’T NEED (I don’t iron the clothes we WEAR!!!!) . . .

I burned my arm with the iron. (See? Obviously a home appliance I’m not comfortable with)

And although I don’t believe God reached down and attacked me with the iron, I distinctly heard this message:


So, does God say the word “crap?”

Probably not. That was me, because I just got burned with an iron. (shhh. Nobody tell PinkGirl I said crap.) And the clothes I was ironing? Definitely not crap. (shhh again.)

But the message came through loud and clear:

“This isn’t about stuff and it isn’t about wasted time or ebay or consignment or fun or work or any of those things.

It’s about FAITH.”

It’s about me trying to control things. Doing what I can, in my feeble attempts, to provide extra money for my family, instead of trusting God to do it.

And I know He can do a better job than I can.

Stupid iron. I should give the it to the Red Cross. But I won’t. FirstHusband uses it.

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

4 thoughts on “I just don’t listen.

  1. It is such an epiphany to realize the value of your time and energy. I’m totally there with you on ebay auctions. I’ve sold a few things, but it took so much time and effort. I’ve had the same experience in my business – some activities that “everyone” does just aren’t profitable for me, so I don’t do them! My mom used to literally drive across town to save a nickel on a loaf of bread – using more money in gas on the trip than she saved. Sometimes, it’s hard to break out of a rut, though. I’m glad you were able to break out, but sorry it took a burn to get your attention. (-:

  2. Oh Julie! Thank you for the chuckle! Yeah, we went through the same thing a few years ago. Now I just drop stuff off at the Goodwill or give the handmedowns to friends.

    Although, I have to admit, we have an old Victrola that’s worth more than $100. THAT I’m going to try to sell. 😀

  3. Nearly every day we are working with families who are downsizing. What a difference it makes if they have consistently given things away rather than waiting just before they move. We encourage donating items to charity; some will have us put items on freecycle, too.
    As James Dobson said in one of his early books,”Things can control you.” (My paraphrase.)
    Unfortunately, they can take over your life. Congratulations on making the choices you have.
    Thanks, Ann

  4. About once a month, I drop off a box of items at one of the local thrift shops, mainly due to the time I spent reading Flylady.net, because I came to pretty much the same conclusion you did–I needed the time more than the money. Although I never tried to sell anything on eBay, I did have yard sales periodically. I’d spend so much time organizing, labeling, getting change, making signs, and then staying outdoors with the merchandise, only to make a mere pittance–and end up taking the leftovers to a thrift shop anyway.

    Now when I bring something into the house, I try to put something in a box to take out; otherwise my packrat tendencies will take over and I’ll end up on a future episode of “Hoarding”. Then, when I have a box or two, I drop it off when I’m running errands, so I’m still being smart with my time.

    It’s very freeing, isn’t it?

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