Wednesday, March 07, 2012


 Mom and I have been selling on eBay for about seven years, maybe longer. We're always hitting up thrift stores and rummage sales to find merchandise, but we also regularly clean out our own homes and get rid of items we no longer need or want. I have the tendency to collect, and I used to have a hard time getting rid of things, but since I've learned that I can make money and then turn around and buy something I really want or treat my family to a night at the movies, I've become less materialistic.

Mia got an amazing new bed for her birthday from her grandpa. He made it from scratch based on plans they drew up together. When Molly and Mia shared a room, we had an old set of bunk beds in there from the 1970s. They were bulky, wooden, and very ugly. When Molly moved out, Mia's stuffed animal collection took over the top bunk, but I warned her with the new bed, we'd have to get rid of lots of stuffed animals to keep her room neat. She kept putting off thinking about it, but this week we finally started the process of paring down. Unfortunately, Mia is much like me. She has sentimental attachment to nearly every stuffed animal, knows where every single one came from, and feels guilty if she gets rid of one that was given to her as a gift. But I explained to her that if she sold some of her stuffed animals, she'd be able to use the funds to buy some Monster High dolls. If you don't have a tween daughter, Monster High are the new hot item for that age group with characters based on the classic movie monsters: Draculaura is the daughter of Dracula, Clawdeen is the daughter of the Wolfman, you get the idea. Walmart is completely sold out, but I found some at the mall for a reasonable price.

Mia and I made terrific progress through her stuffed animals once she had a goal in mind. We didn't get rid of any pandas (of course) or animals with real significance to her. She's hopeful that she can get a couple new dolls, and I'm thrilled that once I pick up a pet net, her room will actually be able to hold what she has left.

Once Doogie saw what she had done, he went through his collection of XBox games and quickly came up with a pile of his own for me to sell. He has a list of new games he'd like as well, and this way he can afford some.

It's funny how eBay has changed my view of things. While I don't value them as highly as I did when I was younger, at the same time, I recognize more of their true worth because of what I can get for them. In the end, I can't take any of it with me anyway, so keeping it all is foolish. I know that I'll be judged on what I did with what I was given, not how much of it I had.

Sarai by Jill Eileen Smith is the first book in her new Wives of the Patriarchs series. The story of Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah is well-known, but Smith breathes new life into these age old characters. She follows the story of Abram's journey from Ur to Canaan at the Lord's command through God's promise fulfilled in the birth of Isaac. Smith creates a beautiful story of love and friendship between Abram and Sarai that has become tainted over time by her desperate desire to give him a son. Her faith in her husband's god isn't as strong, and she often falters while trying to be patient. She becomes very real in this story ashamed of her barrenness, but proud of her beauty, bitter at Abram's insistence on the pretense of not being his wife in Egypt, but so full of love for him that she's willing to offer up her slave, Hagar, to give him a son. Sarai is a woman of contradictions, one that women can easily relate to, because she is like us. Smith really brings to life the reality of marriage in the little details, how Sarai adjusts her smile to reflect both love for Abram and disappointment in their current circumstances, how she often tries to manipulate him. Sarai doesn't come across as a woman from thousands of years ago, but a woman who would fit very much into the 21st century.  Hagar is also given time here, and Smith makes her sympathetic as well, more so than the Bible does. My only real complaint is that I wish Smith hadn't jumped right from God's announcement that Sarai would bear a song to Isaac's circumcision. Because I came to love Sarai so much, I wanted to follow her through her pregnancy, to share her joy at feeling the first kick, to see the aching love when he is finally born and she first sees his face. I felt robbed that Smith didn't take us through that journey with Sarai, but it's a credit to the author that I cared enough about the character to desire that completion. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Thank you to Revell for providing me with a copy of this book for review. Available March 2012 from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group at your favorite bookseller.