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Sometimes when we need a lift, God sends us a great worship chorus, or an inspiring sermon, or a hug from a friend.

Other times, He sends down avocado egg rolls, peach Bellinis, and a darling little $7.00 peasant blouse from Ann Taylor Loft.

Grace appears in the form of 70-80% off retail. What’s not to love?

I spent the weekend with Holly and Cheryl (Holly’s post-Jennifer college roommate who rescued Holly from the trauma of living with me) …and it was Exactly. What. I. Needed. Never in my life have I needed to get out of town more than I did this weekend, and never in my life have I found such sweet relief from the stress at home.

Oh. Did I mention that our washing machine flooded our hallway, bathroom, family room and master closet last week? Yup.

And I think I forgot to tell you that Michael wrecked his car last week, too. Mmm-hmm.

But all of that – plus the dark mystery of Saturday – was but the tiniest fragment of my consciousness as I indulged in some serious retail therapy.

I know that the void in the human soul can never possibly be filled with a shopping spree. I know. But it sure is a good anesthetic. Especially when Ann Taylor Loft opens an outlet store and I didn’t buy anything that cost more than $20.

I think we spent a good, healthy 2 hours in Ann Taylor Loft. The salesladies were laughing at us and calling us The Three Musketeers – though I doubt that Athos, Porthos, and Aramis were ever so well-dressed.

We practically tried on everything they had in stock. We’d each go into our dressing rooms, emerge wearing Something New and Adorable, and swoon over each other with ooohs and aaaahs and the occasional “hmmmm…that’s not my favorite.”

We also ate really, really good food, laughed our heads off, went to a movie that our husbands wouldn’t be caught dead seeing, stayed up late, and rested our weary yet fully satisfied souls on no less than five feather pillows and luxuriously soft and sanitary pillowtop mattresses.

Oooohhh, I feel so much better.

I did crank up the Chris Tomlin on my drive home yesterday and sang at the top of my lungs and thanked God for knowing exactly how to fuel my heart. This weekend was nothing less than a gift.

We’re still in the middle of the muck of Saturday, and today is actually a pretty pivotal day in this entire blechk situation – but I am filled and refreshed and ready to take it head-on.

It’s a good day.


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