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I am not one to make big purchases lightly. I'm annoying when it comes to things like phones and other electronics because even when I've saved up the money for something, I just don't always wanna pull the trigger and spend a large amount of money that could be used elsewhere. But the dichotomy I live in is I like quality. Most of my wardrobe is made up of clothes that will last several years before falling apart. But one lesson my mother taught me was everything goes on sale, and more specifically everything eventually goes on clearance. So even though I have a lot of nice clothes, I can rest easy because I got most everything for 50-70% off. In fact, there is an amazing thrift store that all the proceeds go to a homeless shelter for kids that I can shop at and get so much for so cheap and rest that my money is going to a good cause. The only down side is they don't sell high end bags.

Now, for all the men reading it, don't check out on me yet. The same principle I felt God just show me can be applied to a car, new Bose sound system or anything else of quality you are saving up for.

For most of my life I was content with decent brand bags. I would have several options and never

spent more that $30 on one. Until someone gave me a Kate Spade bag (Which was probably a $300 gift). Up until this gift I had no clue why the expensive bags were so expensive. Then I got a gift that I literally used every day for a couple years until it started to look a little sad. So I decided I was gonna buy myself a fancy bag. And for 2 years I found myself in a cycle of saving up enough money only to not be able to find exactly what I wanted so I would end up using the money for something else. This happened around each holiday and season of extra margin in my bank account until my handy Kate Spade bag was finally too pitiful to take out. So I decided I would treat myself to the perfect bag, but again I couldn't find it. One day I was at my favorite thrift store and found a nice red bag. It was what I was looking for: long handles that easily fit on my shoulder, big enough to throw my computer in, and it was my favorite color, so I got it for the low, low price of $7. But then after less than a month of use, I noticed it started to look a little raggedy and I was back to using my little going out purse on the weekends and my backpack during the week, and the hunt for my perfect bag continued. So I looked, and looked and decided what bag I wanted. I started hunting for deals and after looking for a few months, I found it for 2/3 of the store price and it was RED!! You would think that I have automatically bought it, but nope. There was a turquoise bag and a pink bag for 1/3 of the normal store price. There was a part of me that wondered if I should spend the extra money or if I was being wasteful, so I sought the advice of some wise people and they both confirmed that yes, my dream bag is totally worth the extra money. So I bought it and it has everything the other bag had but with one huge difference: it was made of serious quality. This morning as I was reading I glanced over to this new bag sitting on the floor and was thankful I don't have buyers remorse. Then my eye was drawn upwards to the cheaper bag hanging on the back of my door and God started to shape my prayers and convict my heart on how just like I had almost settle for a cheaper bag, too often I settle when it comes to answers to prayers. You see, in the few last months God has been reminding me of some things He put on my heart to pray years ago. Things I had given up on or settled for something less than what He's called me to ask Him for. He's also putting some new dreams in my heart: the kind that are so big they're scary to even think about, much less tell anyone about. So as I sat journaling and asking God to lead my prayers, He led me to a prayer of endurance. May I never again settle for a counterfeit answer to a prayer May I never again say, "That's close enough" to a promise of God and stop praying because I'm scared to hope in and wait for the fulfillment made of quality because it was crafted by the hand of God. May I always pray through until I see Him work the miraculous, because from what I know about miracles, they're called miracles because there is no other explanation for why they come about. But waiting for a miracle can be scary. When you have no job or a job that is in an environment so hostile you don't know how to function in it, it would be so easy to settle for what comes along as opposed to stepping out in what you know you're called to do. Whether its finances, family, broken relationships, a new car, or even the perfect handbag that will forever serve as a reminder that God loves you so much He cares about all the details, don't settle for the counterfeit. After all, all great adventures have a time of waiting, but when you include God and wait for His answers, the adventure is greater than you've known to dream about. So today, my prayer for everyone who reads this is that you are made aware of any counterfeits you are settling for in regards to a dream God has given you and that you stand in faith and in the waiting know that God is a God who works miracles when we don't settle for less than what He has in store for us.

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