What Difference Does It Make? and don’t dare touch those

vintage-metal-sconce“Fresh cart. Fresh cart.”, the Goodwill employee, muttered. Without a hint of excitement or drama in his voice he pushed the large 3 shelved metal cart, bulging and heaped with thrifty possibility, to a stand-still.

Clicking the stop latches, on the rolling casters, into place with the tip of his black  shoe,  he sauntered away with his head hanging. Oblivious to his demeanor, the Goodwill shoppers left behind thousands of thrift store items to rush to the “sirens call” of the “fresh cart”.

Like little fuzzy yellow baby chicks looking for the newest batch of starter feed, they lined up around the cart.

I can make a quick round through Goodwill in about 15 or 20 minutes…depending on “traffic” such as: running into a fellow thrifting friend, or the speed of the cashier and the impending line of people at the checkout.

It starts at the door.  I do not get a cart.  The wheels will squeak and slow me down.  Plus, I’m just looking and I have my spending limits! So first I glance toward the sweaters, saunter through the ladies tops, quickly scan the formal dresses looking for rhinestones and buckles and lace or such that can be repurposed, glance at the shoes…size 9…high heels…not worn, stop and actually sort through the quilts and curtains, quickly scan the furniture and then I’m off to the aisles of shelves piled with metal, wood and glass, cast away treasures.  That’s sorta how it goes.  Quickly. Low budget.  AND great friends made along the way.

But back to the “fresh cart”.

So the “baby shopping chicks” were gathered around the bulging cart hunting and pecking, sorting and discarding.

I couldn’t get near the cart, but that didn’t stop me from craning my neck and standing on tip-toe, from there in my place in the milk glass aisle in an attempt to see what  I could see.

Suddenly I spied them. Immediately, I sensed that I wanted to crouch low and draw my fists and growl like a cheetah close on the scent of its prey,
“Y’all, don’t you dare touch those. They’re mine!”

*chuckling* just kidding about the crouching and growling part-totally out of my character (I think!)

The vintage metal sconces, were worn over and beat up and looked like they had served their last purpose YEARS ago, but to me they were beautiful.

It took all the sweet and kind patience I could dig deep inside and find to keep from stepping forward and with a polite, “excuse me” to  the lady with her squeaky wheeled shopping cart, just gingerly reach around her and snatch them up…but I waited my turn…bless my heart.

Yes, bleeeesssss my little heart. I waited. Patiently. Sorta.

*heart skips a beat*

Suddenly the squeaky wheeled shopping cart lady moved away and I reached across and picked up the beautiful horrible chipped vintage metal sconces. I turned and moved away to make room for other shopping chicks who wanted a scratch at the “starter feed”. Glancing at the price, I was surprised to see that they were within range of the pocket change I carried and was willing to spend. Those beautiful babies were mine!

I headed to the checkout and heard their “metallic thwang” as I placed them on the counter.

The stout and muscular checkout boy who appeared to be about 21 with a shock of blond hair and scruffy goatee, said,

“Now those things right there are neat. They would really have some potential if you’d paint them up nice.

Yeah, they need a new coat of paint. But they really DO have some potential.”

“WHAAAAAT?” I hollered to the top of my lungs (inside my head). What in the everlasting world do you mean they REALLY have some potential?”, silently thinking, while nodding pleasantly and saying, “Uh hmmm, they do have potential, don’t they?”

I paid.

I took my bright orange plastic bag of potential,

and politely walked myself right out of Goodwill.

But you know what?

Within seconds of hearing his comment,

I was deep in thought about those vintage metal sconces.

Yes, the ones that would really have some potential
they were just painted.

I thought they were beautiful just the way they were…

and I know some of you will think they are beautiful too.

I may even sell them in my shop when a bride comes for a fitting.

To me they are beautiful!


worn and twisted
cast away
waiting a new turn,
a new chance on life.

And that’s not terribly unlike you and me:
We tear ourselves down…

we lose sight of our potential and purpose


say we aren’t skinny enough…
old enough

aren’t pretty enough…

young enough

We say we aren’t a good enough______
church member…
merchant…(merchant? what’s a merchant?)
the list goes on…
patience holder…
faith seeker…
hope maker…
inspiration giver…
trust builder…
whatever our mind fills in the blank
to say we just aren’t good enough.




beautiful wonderfully and fearfully made
you are enough.


Because you,

Yes! YOU

we all have a Redeemer.

We all have ONE who sees our potential,
among all the others that appear to be chipped and flawed
AND cast away too.

HE’S passionate about us.

HE sees our beauty.
HE sees our potential
and because of HIS grace.
We are enough!

When I am struggling with my purpose and self-worth,

I quote these words to change those messages

my mind is sending to my heart.

I hope you will find these words helpful also.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
Psalm 139 (Old Testament~Holy Bible)


What difference does it make?

“What difference do I make?” you may be asking.

Everyone of us, living and breathing…has purpose.

So reach out.

If you are homeless, walk around the cement pillar of the bridge you are under

and find someone. Offer a kind word, or a smile and a handshake.

If you are flat on your back in a hospital bed, use your eyes and smile a thank you to your caregiver.

If you are all alone and in pain, find someone in more pain than you and reach out to them…make a group of two.

Shine your light.

Put the extra…in an ordinary day.


I am honored that this post is participating in a Fall Blog Hop.

You can read other fantastic blog posts here.


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind comments and sharing these blog posts.  I am humbled and honored by your kindness. You truly do add extra to ordinary and joy to the journey. I love to surround myself with ones just like you.

For updates on the blog, there is a subscribe button if you scroll all the way to the end of the page on a mobile device or in the upper right hand corner of this page on a computer. Thank you again. YOU are my tribe.

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  1. What a wonderful reminder that God takes us as we are and makes us clean and gives us a new life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Love you!

    1. Dana, thank you for the kind compliment…to be used of God…all I ask. Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

  2. I can identify with that rush in the hunt!! Your description is spot on and eloquent. Your appreciation of the old and worn aspects in found treasures and in people is insightful. I liked this piece so very much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and observations in this well crafted poetic message! As always, you share your heart.

    1. Ronda, thank you so much for sharing in my love of chasing the thrifted find. You have so many beautiful treasures and I know you relate to this story. As always, I appreciate your comments and encouragement. You are dear.

    1. Rhoda, thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, Goodwill stores are fun to browse. I’m enjoying the blog hop also. Thank you so much for dropping by.

    1. Stacey, that is such a sweet thing to say. That would be fun to see it on a billboard for sure!! Thank you for your kind words and thank you for stopping by also.

    1. Oh Cindy, thank you so much for your kind words about this post. I think the Goodwill sconces are fabulous also.

    1. Those sconces are wonderful. Aren’t they? I’m glad you like them also. I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you so much for dropping by.

  3. This is such a lovely post. And I’m sure that the scones are gorgeous as they are. I am a huge believer that God made me who He needed me to be in this world. He has a plan for me. If I’m trying to be someone else, or I don’t recognize my talent I won’t be of use in the context I’m meant for. What if there’s someone out there, waiting for me, for my words, my talents etc. Someone that needs me, as a piece of their puzzle, so that they can move forward to be who they need to be. So, I may be rusty, or chippy, or not everyone else’s cup of tea. But I don’t need to be. I just need to be who I was intended to be. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Nikki, thank you for leaving such a powerful reminder here in the comments about how important each and everyone is. I appreciate it so very much. Yes, I agree with you that we just need to be who we were intended to be. Your visit was refreshing!

    1. Maria, I know! Aren’t the sconces great? Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind and insightful comment. I agree with you that life is too short at the very longest and we need to savor every season.

  4. You are a fabulous storyteller! I thoroughly enjoyed your description of the “fresh cart”. I sure wish that our GoodWill made an event of the “fresh cart”s. Such fun!

    1. Paula, thank you for your kind and humbling words. I appreciate it very much. We really have a great Goodwill and it is fun to visit. Thank you for stopping by.

  5. I notice that there are so many women who are scrubbing, shining, plastering and painting themselves to try to look like they did 30+ years ago and it’s such a shame because we are beautiful in our own way with all our wear and tear (much like your sconces) and I think we need to give ourselves more credit and not go around painting ourselves to try to please others – great post!
    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au

    1. Leanne, I know what you mean…such a temptation to try to look younger. But it is true there is beauty in things that have age…yes, like the sconces. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your insightful comment. I appreciate it so much.

  6. Rachel thank you for this. It is such an uplifting post full of humor, wisdom and inspiration. We are just like those chippy scones and that is God’s will and that is perfectly fine. Just as it should be. You are an incredible writer.

    1. Mary, I’m glad that you could relate to what I said about the chippy sconces. I appreciate your kind words so much. Thank you for stopping by.

  7. It was fun following you around looking for your “treasurers”
    Again a good message beautifully written.

    1. Ah Donnie! I’m happy that you enjoyed our “shopping excursion”. Thank you for your kind words and for your visit.

  8. I always flip over sconces and love love love yours! I so believe in paying it forward. I love your message. It’s so important to be reminded of how God is with us in everything we do. Love this post!

    1. Carolann, thank so much for our visit and kind words. Yes, I agree with you, the reminders of God’s love are so very powerful!

    1. OH Carol, I am humbled by your kind words. Thank you. I am glad you saw the humor the way I did. xo rachel

  9. Wow, Rachel! That’s beautiful & so true! God is passionate about us, but we do play those messages all the time…not good enough. In fact, I did it right after this blog hop went live, that my post wasn’t good enough next to all the other great posts talking about aging gracefully, etc. You hit the nail on the head, and really made us SEE the Goodwill store, and the scenario you painted with words. I love the Scripture too…one of my favorites.

    1. Florence, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving your kind comment. I really appreciate it. It makes me so sad when we “play those negative messages”. Your blog is wonderful and full of long lost treasures, so I am sure that you relate to the story of the sconces. xo rachel

  10. Oh, how I love this post. I was impressed you weren’t trampled at the cart. That is how they behave in my neck of the woods. But the best part is the life lesson you gave us.

    1. Trampled by the cart!!!! Oh my! No they always push it out politely but usually yell, “Fresh cart, fresh cart!” spoken like “Hear ye, Hear ye!” haha. Thank you so much for your visit and kind words.

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