Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Cut Above

It's my favorite season of the year--time for back-to-school shopping.  Not that I have any children returning to school and not that I'm looking forward to going back to work at school myself.  But this is the time to buy school supplies for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

On vacation last week I went to IKEA for the first time.  I spent 3 hours wandering through that vast morass of 'stuff' and all I could find to buy was these 3-packs of scissors.  At three pair for $1.99 these will be a great addition to our shoeboxes.

Today I made the first run of the year to Staples for their back-to-school sales and I was pretty disappointed.  Because I work as a school nurse I have a 'teacher's card' that has always allowed me to buy 25 of the "one cent" featured items that usually have a limit of 2.

This year, though, they changed the rules on this.  I can still buy 25 of each of these items but I have to pay regular price for 23 of them and then will get my money refunded at a later date in Staples rewards.

Today I bought 2 reams of paper, 25 boxes of 24-count RoseArt crayons, 25 packs of 8 Bic pens, and 4 packs of 5 Bic mechanical pencils.   The shock was that I paid $70.24.  Well, I actually paid $80.24 because I bought a back-to-school savings pass for $10 to give me 15% off on school supplies this season.

I should get a refund of $11.38 into my PayPal account for the paper and $54.85 in Staples rewards eventually for the rest of the stuff.  But I'll have to use those rewards only on Staples items and once the school sales are over there's not much I want there.

I'm not sure paying $10 for the savings pass was a good idea since they won't refund the 15% I save by using the card.  On the other hand, it helps me pay less out of pocket but I still don't know if it was $10 well spent.  Time will tell, I guess.

So the days of getting lots of nice school supplies for a penny each are kind of a thing of the past.  It will be interesting to see what God brings my way next, though, because He always provides in the neatest ways.

I've found that every time a great source of deals for our shoeboxes ends, something else comes along that's even better.  That's just the way God is!

While I was driving around paying way too much for reams of paper, my daughter was leading a crew of 42+ volunteers in repairing a retaining wall and putting a new roof on the home of a 93-year-old needy woman.
I'm better with a shopping cart than a hammer, but I kind of wish I could be serving the Lord like she did today.   It would be nice to see a start and an end to a tangible project that meets such a visible need.

But God has a plan for each of us every day and making Him smile is always a cut above.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Kathy. He does always have a plan that is far greater than ours. And, don't fret; you'll see tangible evidence of your "hammering away" at big shoebox item goals when you get to heaven and thousands of children run up to hug & thank you.