I decided to take the shelf back. I didn't even get it out of the car for fear the family would find reasons for me to keep it. The fact that I had just recently told Faramir off for spending more than we had was the ultimate factor. I couldn't feel hypocritical about that. I decided to take it back on Friday since it was Faramir's birthday and I had lots to do still.

We had Faramir's party. We had Navajo Taco's for dinner--one of Faramir's favorites. The cake was good. He liked the clock and it now lives in our bathroom, telling us what time it is (something easy to forget in a bathroom). I tried to get our bedroom cleaned (another disaster area) but ran out of time. While I was cleaning, another option to get my bathroom organized presented itself to me. Why not a stand alone shelf that could squish in between either the toilet and the counter or the toilet and the tub? I measured out my space between each and determined that I would look at Target for something that would work and hopefully it would cost less than $20.

Friday morning I spent cleaning my room to perfection. I vacuumed the floor--a rarity. I went through five boxes of junk and consolidated it to one box of stuff to keep, one box of tapes to put with the rest of my tapes, one box of stuff to shred, one box of stuff to recycle and a bag of garbage. That felt good! But I wanted some end tables to put stuff on so it looked more neat on the floor. Well, as you know, I don't have the money to buy new end tables. I wracked my brains for some idea. My bed currently sits on the floor, so I didn't want anything too big.

Then an idea came to me. I went to my garage, grabbed three wheat storage boxes, stacked them like stairs and covered them with fabric. Viola! I have an end table. I liked it so much I did it on the other side of the bed. They aren't huge boxes, so it only stands about 2 feet high, which is perfect for a bed that sits on the floor. It even looks kind-of cool. For some reason, doing this made me happy. I was really happy to get the room clean--something it desperately needed, but it made me even more happy to have stumbled upon this idea that solved my problem and didn't cost me anything.

Friday afternoon I made the trip back to Target to take my shelf back. I did so, then I wandered all over Target trying to find some kind of shelf which would solve my problem. I was unsuccessful. I found all sorts of shelves that would work. My favorite was $99. But I couldn't afford any of them with my $20 budget. While I was wandering around the store, exploring my options, the thought came to me to go to the DI (local thrift store run by the LDS church). So I promised myself I would. I first stopped at a place that was closing the store but they had nothing. Then I wandered in to DI.

I went back to the furniture section and was met with failure. There was nothing. Then I noticed people coming in and out of a particular door labeled "yard" and remembered that DI has a whole section of stuff that's big or damaged that they don't put out on the main floor that you can look through, so I wandered out. I saw one thing that would have worked in my bathroom out here that was only $10, but it was a little big and a weird color. I kept looking and didn't find anything, and then came back to that thing. Then I looked over and saw a black shelf--probably for cd's or dvd's. It was the prefect size to fit in between my toilet and my counter. I pulled the two side by side and compared them, wondering if I should buy both. I wasn't sure that one by itself would be sufficient. I could see what would go where in both cases.

I pondered a while, and then decided that I would just buy the black shelf for now because I really didn't like the color of the other one, and then come back if I needed the other. I paid my $10, went to the bank and deposited the rest of the money, picked up my son from school, and attacked my bathroom.

I slid the shelf in and it fit perfectly. I put all the stuff on it, both from the floor and the counter and there was room to spare. I cleaned and swept and Seth got on a mission to completely clean the bathtub, which I did not think was possible. He did it. It's spotless. My bathroom looks amazing now.

I was on a high. I did it! I brought order to two spaces that were chaos for $10 and a little ingenuity.

The only thing dampening my excitement was how to get Faramir to see this as a good thing.

My husband is sometimes the type of person who would see end tables made of wheat boxes as a bad thing, in the "I can't believe we can't afford real end tables so we have to use boxes" sort of way. I was fashioning all sorts of things to say in my head that would magically get him to think of these things as a good thing.

And that's when it hit me.

Thinking abundantly.

Yeah, remember that book I was so ticked off at?

Thinking abundantly.

Thinking abundantly is gratitude for what you have, but I think it's also more than that. Thinking abundantly is something like What I Have + What I Have=Miracles (like wheat storage boxes for end tables and room organization). Thinking abundantly is realizing that what we have is sufficient, so that when more comes, it will also be sufficient. Thinking abundantly is using what we have wisely so that when we get more, we will use it wisely. It's realizing that I didn't have to settle for a $10 cd shelf to solve my problem, I got to solve my problem for $10! It's realizing that not only do I have 6 boxes of wheat for emergencies, I now have two end tables to boot!

Maybe it is really gratitude and I'm just learning another aspect of gratitude. Who knows?

All I know is that Friday taught me a huge lesson and I'm grateful for it.

I have abundance. I have an abundance of brains to see a bathroom shelf in a cd shelf. I have an abundance of wheat so that I can use it as end tables. I have an abundance of love in my husband and kids. I've never felt truly poor because of our extended families. I have a house to live in. And I can perform miracles with what I have, because I truly have abundance.
8 Responses
  1. EEEEMommy Says:

    I love the way your mind works, and I'm proud of you for taking that shelf back and working within your means. Well done!

  2. Melanie J Says:

    I was eagerly waiting for this second installment. I think it's a great message, something I've been mulling over how to do. Not because I have to, but because I believe that "living abundantly" just leads to greater joy. Thanks for sharing.

  3. charrette Says:

    Wow, impressive. I love your commitment to think abundantly and live abundantly, and how you felt when you pulled it off!

  4. Kimberly Says:

    Beautifully written, luv. I'm going to go clean out my bathroom now. =)

  5. I hate to confess that I read this yesterday, secretly and sneakily (Tuesday is my non-blogging--book-writing day). But I didn't post a comment b/c I didn't want there to be any evidence. I did, however, tell this story to my husband last night b/c I think it is so important and true and valuable.

  6. Laine Says:

    that is awesome girl.

  7. You, my friend, are such an inspiration to me! We have been struggling with money woes as well (I really should post about it ... I have been putting it off for awhile), but I love the idea of living abundantly with what I DO have. It is much like what President Monson said in this last General Conference, "Find joy in the journey now." (I just reread that this morning.)

    And what book did you read this quote in?