Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Proverbs 31 Reflections: Verse 14


"Lady with a Milk Pitcher" by Johannes Vermeer

"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."

From my understanding, this verse is not primarily referring to the importance of going a long way to get what you need. The merchant ships brought high quality provisions that could not be gotten or produced locally. It wasn't the distance that matter, it was the type and quality of the goods themselves.
 
Of course, we cannot just go out and buy quality everything. Nobody has unlimited resources, and most homemakers are accutely aware of exactly how unlimited their resources are. Sometimes, buying the cheapest option is the wisest (or only) option. Often, though, it is not.

There is an old saying that goes, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Think about it: If you are not purchasing for cheap consumption and really plan on use things up or wearing them out, then it is advisable to purchase quality items in the first place. You may have to make what you have "do" in the meantime, while you're saving up for your purchase, or you may have to (or choose to) do without certain things.

I think there's one more bit of advice that goes well with the above saying, though it doesn't fit into the meter or rhyme: Make it yourself! Many of the things you might pay top dollar for quality for (a loaf of excellent bread, for example) can be had for a small fraction of that price by making it at home with your own hands. Note that this is not true of everything: You can often get quality clothing at thrift stores for much less than it would cost to make, for example.

And, remember that it's not always about frugality--or about quality. It's about good stewardship and a thankful heart. The most admirable homemakers I know are able to cheerfully, creatively, and gratefully put together a home with quality goods, making what they can and taking care that their hard-earned acquisitions be enjoyed thoroughly until they are used up or worn out. In the interim and the dry spells, they make do or do with out, still with joy, creativity, and gratitude.

There is something to be said about those far-off merchant ships, as well. We don't have to join a caravan to bring our provisions from afar, though. We don't even have to leave our living rooms, half the time. That's the beauty of the internet. What are some of your favorite online resources for quality, affordable homemaking purchases?

1 comment:

  1. You mean I can't use this verse to justify a trip to Italy for olive oil? Sigh! :) *wink*

    This isn't exactly homemaking-related, but I love retailmenot.com for coupons for oh-so-many websites. It's probably saved me $2,000 in the past year. Around Christmas, it was just a lifesaver! :)

    I've found that calling corporate offices and asking nicely when things are going to go on sale works wonders. Truly! Whether the item in question is a skirt or a chair, salespeople can be so helpful.

    Overstock has a great selection of tables, rugs, sheets, towels, and other home items; and, with coupons, they're far less expensive than they might be otherwise. We bought a great, large sisal rug from Overstock for about $20 (after coupons and including shipping.) As we have three cats with claws, the sisal is perfect for them to scratch - and they find it comfortable! (It really does keep them from scratching the furniture entirely.) The fact that it was so inexpensive made me feel less guilty about throwing it out when we moved after one of the cats was *quite* ill on it and we couldn't clean it sufficiently. But, I'd definitely buy a rug from Overstock again.

    I also look for specials on Amazon. My husband bought me a swanky vacuum cleaner for my birthday last year -- it was about the most exciting thing in the world, but I was secretly a little worried because I knew it was a really expensive one! To my delight, however, he proudly told me that he'd done some research and found that Amazon was having a three-day special on that vacuum. How cool is that?! :)

    Blessings,
    Luci

    ReplyDelete

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