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One Woman's Trash: Potential and Redemption

One Woman's Trash: Potential and Redemption

I find a thrill and great satisfaction in buying a special piece at a bargain that’s just right for my home. I love pointing at my chandelier and declaring, “I paid $4 for that at a yard sale!” There is a certain pride that can be found in discovering potential.

I almost relish the moments when someone scratches her head at a piece I’m super excited about. I assure her, “Just wait and see. This is going to be fabulous.” I enjoy the fact that I see something she doesn’t.


When people see my home for the first time, they don’t ever say, “Oh, I see you shop at yard sales.” Instead they comment on a unique piece or how nice our home looks. I’m the one who blurts out that half the stuff in the room was free, and I bought that piece for only $10 at Goodwill, and I found that one at a yard sale for $30.

Now I have a few homework assignments for you. Don’t worry. None of these are graded, and there are no due dates.

• Your first assignment is to look around your house and pick one thing that you’ve never been very fond of. Look at it not for what it is but what it can be. You can even take it a step further and see that potential through.


• Second, go out to a secondhand store, flea market, or yard sale and look closely at things. Imagine what a piece would look like if it were refinished or had a fresh coat of paint. Try to think of new ways to use a piece. Look at things not for what they are but what they can be.

• Third, examine a situation in your life. Maybe it’s where you live, where you work, your current financial state, or a health issue. Maybe you’re right where you are for a special reason. You could be in the perfect position to learn a valuable lesson about yourself or to help someone else through a difficult time. Look at the situation not for what it is but what it can be.

• Last, pick one or two people in your life whom you don’t have very much hope for. Look for opportunities to encourage and build into them. Let them know there is always hope and potential for greatness in their lives, no matter how many mistakes they’ve made. Look at them for who they can be not who they are.


I’ve always loved the fact that God sees potential in each of us, no matter how big we’ve messed up or how broken we are.

Isn’t it awesome that we can take that example and do the same thing – not only in castoff furniture, but in others and even in ourselves? I’m incredibly thankful for potential.

It means that in the right hands, the ordinary can become extraordinary.


Excerpted with permission from Inspired You by Miss Mustard Seed, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2012.

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Your Turn

Do you have the eyes of grace to see the built in potential and redemption in what’s broken in your life and home? What in your life and home needs to be seen for what it can be? How can you see that potential through? What situation in your life needs that same level of grace perspective? Who have you almost lost hope for and how can you build into those relationships? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear your thoughts! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full