“The Purse Fund…”

It started out as a want. The yearning for something that caught her fancy. It was out of her price range…but there was desire, and longing, and the hint of a little girl innocence, and excitement at the prospect of owning something of great value.

I’m not sure when she decided that this was a far off dreamlike item that she wanted so very badly . She brought it to my attention one morning as we were sipping coffee together, and visiting. She was in her soft powder blue terry towel robe tied tightly with a random belt that did not come with the garment, and me wrapped up in my Mum’s ” Paris printed” aqua and white pattern printed cotton robe .

The idea was birthed in my brain that morning. How could we purchase this out of reach purse for her ? I love to hunt for treasures, to find something of great worth where you would least expect it.

It makes me feel like an intrepid treasure seeker, and fills me with tangible expectation to turn over rocks, and behold the elusive article.

Kathy decided to create a ” purse fund,” so that she could save up for her purse . I teased her and said,

“Or… you could start a go fund me page?”

She said, ” when people ask what I would like for my birthday, or Christmas, I could ask if they wanted to donate to my purse fund?”

I thought it was an adorable idea. She must have started this concept back in August or September.

That elusive out of price range item, that somehow catches your eye, but then you rationally chide yourself, and admonish your inner being by saying , that ” it’s far too expensive for me.”

I started hunting. Not with a bow and arrow or anything like that, no just my peepers. I kept watching Facebook marketplace, and eBay, and searching for gently used vintage type purses hoping to find the item that was located in the same city, so I could go, and check it out.

Early one chilly and wintery Ottawa cold morning … there it was …eureka.. I found it whilst scrolling through my phone. The Christmas tree lights illuminated the room, and the warmth of the fire heated my toes in my furry slippers.

I messaged the seller, and asked more specific questions. I perused, and enlarged the photos that were posted about the purse. I inquired as to whether the purse came with original bag, and or box? It was a”Louis Vuitton” collectible purse from the nineties.

The seller stated that ” no it did not, and hence the lower price point.”

I decided to knock on the door of my fellow roomie, Joyce, aka, Sophia, and show her the purse photos.

She loved it . She wanted to contribute .

We both agreed that her daughter, and my friend was a tricky little one to buy for. She was elusive about wanting anything. She was a “doer,” and a ” go-er,” yup.. I like made up words. We knew she really wanted this item, even though she was trying to backtrack, and pretend she didn’t really want it.

It was out there .. we knew it.

I arranged to go and meet up with the seller, somewhere in downtown Ottawa.

I Google mapped it, and then stopped at the drive through bank machine, and off I went on my scavenger hunt ready to lasso the item, and bring it home if it was in decent shape, and worth the company of my dear friend.

It’s always a little apprehensive as you are searching for an address in a part of town where you have never ventured. The roads were icy, and the visibility was not great, but I was on a mission, so.. of course.. road conditions were way down the list of importance.

I stepped out onto some substantial snow and ice piled sidewalk, looking for my destination. I carefully navigated up the wooden steps and onto the front porch. I cautiously wrapped with cold and stiff knuckles on the front door.

A young woman, with long brown hair, and festive plaid pajamas answered. She smiled.

Our eyes met . She had the purse in her hand. She stretched out her arm, and handed it to me, she in her doorway, me on the porch.

I looked it over carefully, examining it all over, and then checked it out inside. She openly , and honestly showed me the flaw on the outside, and then helped me locate the number on the interior of the bag, which showed its authenticity. It was her purse that she had from the ’90’s, so it was vintage. I knew this was the one that Kathy wanted.

I paid her cash, and some coins , thanked her, and went on my way excitedly.

As I was driving, I wondered if I had paid her the correct amount? I thought I may have calculated wrong, and perhaps over paid.

I had told her that I was purchasing this handbag for my roommate.

I texted Joyce to let get know , ” I have secured the item.”

When I walked in the front door, my phone went off. It was the seller, Julia. I had shortchanged her $50. I was appalled. She even photographed the money I had given her just to be on the up and up .

I apologized profusely feeling rather dim witted. I immediately e-transferred her the money, and explained that I considered myself a good shopper, and bargain hunter , but I was no mathematician .

The cool feature buying or selling on Facebook marketplace is that you can check out the seller, and they, the buyer. This feels a little safer to me.

I looked up this gal, Julia, and straight off I noticed it said on her profile page, underneath her photo,

“Jesus is King”

Well… this purchase just got ” God nodded.” In my mind, it was meant to be. I knew my roommate Kathy, loved a good story, especially a ” God story.”

I sent a message to Julia, and asked her if she was a fellow believer in Jesus? I said I noticed what she had on her Facebook page. She answered with a resounding ” yes”

We corresponded back and forth sharing our faith together. It was stupendously encouraging to us both.

We connected through a precious previously loved and owned Louis Vuitton purse, but the priceless part is what we have both shared since.

Our mutual love for Jesus.

As I told her more of Kathy’s story, she asked me to let her know how she reacted to receiving her gift.

She knew how excited both Joyce and I were to give it to her.

Meeting Julia has been such a blessing. This is not just any purse. This purse had divine intent. I’ve shared this story several times now. As Julia said, it’s been such an encouragement to her too . The more we share these connections of hope, the more faith filled we become. It’s not by chance we live.. it’s with intention and purpose.

” A photo is worth a thousand words.”

The best gift was seeing her reaction, and her joy that flowed so immediately at her surprise.

” I love getting gifts for people I love because I just know that their reaction will be MY GIFT! You’re such a kind friend for getting her a gift that would make her this happy. You two are blessed to have each other for sure.” (quote by Julia ( seller of the purse.)

The blessing is our people that we get to do life with, and seeing joy on their faces is the best .

Turns out that this verse rings true…

“I love hearing the good stories. I absolutely love them whether they’re mine or someone elses’. This one was definitely a sweet one for me.” ( Julia)

The purse has been given a name. We affectionately call him , ” Louis..”. He has officially become a member of the family. We may be nuts.. but we are ok with that .

It was also sweet for me. My friend Kathy has given so much to me. She had been by my side through multiple upheavals, and traumatic events. She sticks. She does not run away . She links arms with me. She has been, and continues to be a lifelong friend who I am blessed to do life with. Such a provision.

I marvel at the complicated and challenging situations in life, but having friends who link arms with you, support and love you, and listen to the innermost flailings of your cracked up heart is one of the most priceless gifts imaginable.

Jesus is our best gift, and this day, Sunday, the one before Christmas, I ponder the gift of the baby Jesus who graced us with his almighty presence, and was born to the Virgin Mary, in the midst of humble of circumstances… and this gift changed everything. Behold our King.. wrapped in bits of cloth, and laying in a manger with soft straw.

Merry Christmas… may the joy of this birth fill our hearts to overflowing. Joy is contagious… and we need to be infected .

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