the one with the denim dress

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thrifting is my favorite pastime.

my mom always said thrift stores are like a box of chocolates. you never know what you’re going to get.

just kidding, my mom never said that.

perhaps forrest’s mom did, but either way it’s pretty dang accurate.

shopping secondhand is like a big ol’, life-sized treasure hunt.

maybe you’ll find the x on the map, maybe there is no x on the map.

but you won’t know until you hold your breath and walk into that smelly goodwill store.

there’s just something about seeing immense potential in what somebody had such a lack of use for that they gave it away. i think every time i find a treasure in some secondhand shop, i’m reminded of God’s perception of me and of you. where the world would say, “she doesn’t have what it takes,” God says, “i’m not looking at her outward appearance but at her heart”. where the world would say, “i have no use for her,” God says, “i want her so much I gave my life for her”.

…does this make me hyper spiritual!?!

i’m not even sure what that means, but i will say this:

it’s an incredibly beautiful thing to find Him in the details.

to, in the midst of the mundane, pause for just long enough to take notice of his pursuit of me.

on a recent trip to miami, my best friend and i walked into a consignment shop after having the most delicious latte of our lives.

we were just a few minutes in before i spotted it: a vintage tommy hilfiger denim dress.

the opportunity to channel all of the rachel green vibes i can muster?? that will be a yes from me. take all my money, rob me blind. i’m in.

i’m working on my consumerism and am trying to be very intentional by only purchasing items that i absolutely love. & let me tell you—i loved this dress.

i even threw it up on my stories & took a poll. #imamillenial #sueme

the options were: "rachel green 4ev" or "too mom”

alas… i walked out of the shop without the dress in hand.

(in hand because i would have foregone the plastic bag, OF COURSE)

leaving my denim dress dreams in the hands of fate, i thought, “i’ll come back in a week. if it’s meant to be, it will still be there.”

i never went back. or at least, i didn’t intend to.

the following week, i met my mom at the same coffee shop for the same life-changing latte i had indulged in the week prior.

after hanging out and chatting mom/daughter things for a couple of hours, i invited her to check out the consignment shop with me. i was curious to see if the dress was still there.


my (yes, MY) denim dress was still hanging on the same rack it had been on and this time? it was 50% cheaper than it was the week before.


you already know i purchased that sucker so fast i almost gave myself whiplash.

i mean, obviously, fate gave me the green light & who ignores fate?

so i’m in miami and miami = traffic = a lot of time in a car = a lot of time to sit with your thoughts.

i play nice and invite my thoughts into the passenger seat of the car.

here’s what i realized:

we humans choose to bank the outcomes of our lives on fate alone far too often.

don’t get me wrong—i am ALL for believing that if a specific thing is in God’s will for my life, it will be mine. but i also believe that receiving what is meant for me requires persistence, intentionality and action on my part as much as it requires faith and belief in God’s sovereignty for his part.

in other words, fight for what you want as if your life depended on it WHILE ALSO trusting God with what you want as if your life depended on it. then wait for the beautiful collision between human action & supernatural provision.

we can’t just sit idly on the sidelines of our lives and expect everything to fall into place for us “if it’s meant to be”. we’ll inevitably set ourselves up for great loss, disappointment and dreams that are simply never realized.

i also wondered how many of our decisions are simply a product of convenience versus sacrifice.

the truth is, that consignment store was far from my house & made for a pretty inconvenient drive. if it wasn’t for the coffee shop and its irresistible latte, i probably wouldn’t have gone back for the dress. so while i still ended up with the dress, it was a result of mere convenience—not sacrifice.

the people in our lives, the relationships we hold, the friendships we invest in—they deserve our sacrifice, not our convenience.

i’d encourage you to ask yourself this question as you make decisions in your life: am i sacrificing for this person or this thing... or am i simply acting out of convenience?

see, the thing about sacrifice is that it costs us in the moment, but it pays us back in the long run.

live sacrificially, receive abundantly.

& there you have it.

life lessons from a denim dress.

bless ya!

jessica catalanoComment