What girls don’t like to go out shopping for a day? Especially when it is a holiday, and college classes are canceled. First, of course, comes the preparation. One must get ready for a day out shopping – not just leave. There is the outfit to pick out – not too casual, not too formal. The perfect I’m-just-a-girl-out-shopping look. Hair. Makeup. Shoes. See if there is any money left in one’s bank account – or on one’s credit cards. Then the car full of the other girls pulls up and I and my friends run out to join them. Seating six girls in a car is not just possible, it is adventurously-fun. And a whole part of the experience is the chatter on the way to the mall. Never mind the Philosophy book open on my lap. Campus gossip and boys are much more interesting. Reaching the mall at about 11:30 or noon, we have the whole day before us and act like it too. Browsing through JCPennys, looking for all the good sales, is so much more fun knowing I have a gift card from Christmas. Jewelry, Clothes, shoes – we all walk out with more than just a small bag. Whether or not we can afford the stores, we walk through, ooo-ing and aww-ing. We determined on the way to the mall, and further cemented within the mall, that I would marry a millionaire within a few years of graduation and not only buy all the expensive items I know I don’t need but want anyway, but help pay for girls’ manicures and pedicures. Now I just have to meet the millionaire. So, Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylors, Ann Taylor’s Loft, Bath and Body Works, New York and Company. At 4:00 we sat outside of a store, tired, feet sore, and ready for something to eat. Pandora Bread had the most amazing Broccoli Cheese soup and frozen coffee, and we sat around the table long after finishing, chatting like college girls. Eventually we meandered out to the car, leaving in time to get back to campus by 6:00 for other engagements.
Meandering around the mall with 5 other girls and hands full of shopping bags made me pause to look around. This is amazing, I couldn’t help thinking. It looks just like the movies – where girlfriends go shopping for a day of fun – no troubles on their minds. A year and a half ago, I could not have imagined myself where I was. I felt a sudden burst of gratefulness, and I thanked the Lord for giving me an opportunity during my college years that probably would never be really repeated after college, but would be an amazing memory for the rest of our lives. I know going out for a day of shopping hardly seems like the type of thing to say thank you to the Lord for – it seems more like a day to be slightly ashamed of: wasting money, wasting a day, doing nothing useful. . .but there is something to be thankful for in almost anything. Taking a day to go shopping is far more than a day to waste money and time. It is a time to let your friends know that you love them, that you enjoy spending time with them, that you care about them. It is a time to refresh yourself and prepare for another week of hard work. A time to realize, if you take the time to think about it, just how much God has blessed us in America. Occasionally we all need to take a day off to go shopping. To remember to stop thinking about our troubles just long enough to let God be our God.