When God is going to give you a test. I believe I had such a test today. I took Jess to Target to buy her some jeans as she has worn out or outgrown all of her present pairs of jeans. We found some she liked that were on clearance and checked out. The price was much less than what I had calculated so I just assumed that what we had purchased had an additional reduced price that what was on the tag. As we were walking out of the store I decided to check the receipt and find out what had brought us our good fortune. It turns out the lady who had checked us out had missed scanning one of the pairs of jeans, the most expensive pair at that ($18). I debated for about 10 seconds whether this was good fortune that would allow me to buy more for her or was it a test as to what is right and wrong. I decided it was the latter. How can I stress to her about honesty and integrity if I don't practice it myself? In the past I have thought of this as good fortune but now I feel different. Never pass up an opportunity to teach what is right to our children. I don't expect any kind of "reward" from God because of this. But I surely know that if I had gone the other way, I would have disappointed Him.
Having said all that, I had a really good day. I had intended to go to work for about an hour and then on to Frye's Electronics to purchase some floppy discs (yes, there are still some uses for them in this "modern" world!) and some plastic cases to carry them in. But since it started to rain I decided to go to the Frye's that is closer to where I live (at least I thought it was closer, turns out it is only by about a mile or so). I browsed there for the better part of an hour and ended up leaving without the discs or cases. They didn't sell the cases (go figure) and I didn't want to buy discs without cases. I did, however, end up finding cheap (99cents) cases for my new AA rechargeable batteries I had purchased last weekend. I also bought some paper sleeves to carry cd's in, the kind that a cd comes in whenever you purchase a program or hardware for your computer. I like using these instead of jewel cases as they take up much less room in my bag. From there I drove back to my side of town as I wanted to have lunch at this Italian Bistro I had received a flyer in the mail for. I had lasagna and bread with a salad. All for $5! It was as good as I had hoped it would be. I will eat there often. Their lunch special is the same all 7 days of the week. Some places charge more for lunch on the weekend than they do during the week. From there I went to Big Lots. I want to buy a couple of spotlights, the type that has a silver bowl shaped reflector. I plan to use them in photographing things in the apartment, such as fruit or jewelry. Home Depot sells them for $7 and I thought Big Lots might sell them cheaper. They do, but I decided to wait as I had found a couple of other things I wanted. A small metal calculator for $3 and a pack of flexible magnetic sheets that can be cut and stuck to things so they can be made into refrigerator decorations or such. Some time ago Jess mentioned she wanted a mirror she could stick up in her locker. I have such a mirror but it had no way to be affixed to the inside of her locker. I had told her I could glue some magnets to it and then it would work. So now I will finally do that for her. Left there and went to Office Depot to look for those floppy disc cases. Found them, a little more expensive than what I wanted to pay ($5, but that isn't too bad) and then went home. Spent about and hour there before I picked Jess up at school. A really good day. I even received a phone call from my boss that this rubber stamp I had ordered for work 4 weeks ago finally arrived. I even did some warranty work during my hour home before I picked Jess up.
I have been putting alot of thought into what is my number one stress. What I have decided it is being so close on the edge financially. Money is not everything and I don't pursue it for the sake of making money. But it has become my number one goal. To have enough money to survive reasonable, unexpected events should not be a bad thing, even in God's eyes. I am talking about 2-3 thousand dollars. In today's world, that is not a whole lot of money, but not chump change either. It is enough to survive a few months on if I were to lose my job. It is enough to fix or replace my car should it break down. It is enough to take my daughter to the doctor or pay a medical bill for my son should one of them get sick. $200 a month for one year is all it will take to reach this comfort zone. I now think of luxury items, or things that have to be paid for in the future (such as my son's counseling to reintroduce me to him) as "bills". Take the counseling for example, I don't know when it will start (and I do need to find out) but it will someday. So I pay myself for it and once it is paid for I will just let that money sit in the bank. That is my first priority to get paid. Next, I need a trailer hitch for my van, so I will pay myself an equal amount, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly until it is paid for. After that I need a trailer and finally to make the trip up north to get my things. So each one is a bill to be paid. Once I am done with those, I want a new laptop computer, one with a dvd/cd burner built in. So I will pay for it as a bill. It is no different than buying it with a credit card and then paying that off month by month. But I get to keep the interest. In today's instant gratification world, this is an almost unheard of concept. But you know, there is much more satisfaction knowing you waited and saved for it. No matter what happens, LIFE IS GOOD!.