Thrift Store Ladies

For almost two years, I’ve spent nearly every Tuesday afternoon volunteering behind a cash register at the Twice Treasured Thrift Store.  

The store was started by members of my church and all profits support the ministries our church supports.  Such as our outreach efforts in Haiti, Tecate Mexico, and Hope for the Homeless, to name a few.

Working the register.  Good times!

Working the register.  Good times!

Tuesday, I rang up my final sale.  It’s time to move on to a different volunteer role in our church office.  

While standing for several hours swiping charge cards, organizing clothing racks and stacking shelves teach a certain level of selflessness... selflessness is not the lesson I’m taking with me.  

I'm taking the many lessons taught by the amazing older women working right alongside me.

Dana talked Hunger Games, movies, and battling the things we can’t see.  Diane cracked the most callous jokes for a church lady - but she’s old and she doesn’t care!  Nanette set aside books I could use for my classes.  The other Diane never minded filling in when I was late.  Meg wrote me cards.  Debbie read my book.  

We all gather once a month for happy hour.  Yes, church lady happy hour complete with margaritas and chardonnay.

Something in me craves their attention.  Maybe it’s because they so freely give it.  Maybe it’s because there’s something magical in someone older than you, believing in you - without wanting to change a thing about you.  

Diane, Dana, and Diane working in the back.  Sorting.  You have no idea what kinds of things people donate to a thrift store...

Diane, Dana, and Diane working in the back.  Sorting.  You have no idea what kinds of things people donate to a thrift store...

Older ladies are awesome like that.  They’ve lived too long and know too much about life to stress about those tiny cracks in your makeup.  They’ve already seen how so little of it ends up mattering anyway.

But man do they know how to encourage.  They know how to make you feel special. Unique. Valued.  

Noticing those younger than you is a kindness to be admired.

I only hope I’m pouring into my 8th grade girls (I lead a small group of them at church), the same way these thrift store volunteers have poured into me.