As many of you know, we are a one income family. Finances are tight so we look for sales whenever we can. We went to the mall on Saturday to use some Chick-fil-A coupons. One coupon was expiring at the end of the month...and you just can't let a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A chicken salad sandwich go to waste!! It's against the law! Well, it is for us anyway! LOL!
After we ate our dinner, we decided to check if the Disney store had any of their T-shirts on sale yet for $5.00 each. My kids LOVE Disney movies so we knew they'd be able to easily find a shirt they liked with one of their favorite characters on it. Micah LOVES Cars and Toy Story stuff. He watched a movie the other week with Buzz Lightyear in it and ever since has been running around the house shooting his imaginary laser beam at imaginary enemies. Sarah LOVES every single Disney princess and anything that has one or more of them on it. We walked into the store and immediately saw they did have shirts for $5, but we also noticed other things on sale so we started to walk around. As we browsed through the store, I found some coats on sale that had different princesses on them. They were originally $29.50 and were marked down to $14.99. Last year I noticed Sarah's lightweight coat was overdue to be tossed in the garbage. How she manages to SHRED a coat is beyond me! Anyway, I knew when I saw these coats that one of these would be just perfect for her. I picked one up that was pink and had 3 of the Disney Princesses on the back. Sarah fell in love with it as soon as she saw it in my hands!
We looked around to see if they had any coats for boys, but we were out of luck because they had none. Phooey! So we went back to the shirts and Micah picked one with Woody and Buzz and the gang as well as a set of 3 cars from the movie CARS. We put the stuff on the counter and the cashier asked us if we wanted to reserve a copy of Snow White which is out on DVD now for only a short period of time. Of course Sarah started to beg and we had to tell her we just didn't want to spend that much money on a movie. My husband paid the bill as he listened to what I was telling Sarah (who thankfully accepted what I was saying without fussing about it). Obviously, neither one of us really paid attention to the total as a result of being distracted by our kids.
We came home, got Micah into the tub for his Saturday night bath, put the kids to bed, and then I went online to play some game. After an hour or so, I remembered I hadn't taken the stuff out of the bag so I went to do that. That is when I happened to look at the receipt and knew immediately that something was wrong. They total was only $14.50! They had forgotten to charge us for Sarah's coat! Of course, the first thought to pop into my head was "Wow! We got a free coat!", but I knew that thought was not from God! I took the receipt to my husband and asked him "What's wrong with this receipt?". He looked at it and you could tell he realized immediately something wasn't right. He finally said "they didn't charge us for the coat." I sort of expected him to say something like "Oh well! It's not our fault they didn't charge us!" in a half-joking manner, but he said "Call and tell them." I was so proud of him!
I called the store and told the lady who answered that I had just noticed that we were not charged for an item. She asked "Was it in the bag?" and I said yes. I told her we were an honest family and wanted to do the right thing. I could tell she was stunned by what she was hearing! She said "Just a minute. Let me check with the manager what he wants to do, because I really don't know what to say!" She came back on the phone after a few minutes and said whenever we were in the area, to bring the item and the receipt in. She thanked me again and said "We aren't use to this happening!". We are going to be in that area today so we are going to take it in then. At least we don't have to make a special trip to the store and waste gas! I honestly think they will be surprised to see us because I sort of expect them to still be thinking we are not going to show up and pay for a coat that they forgot to charge us for!
I was looking forward to telling my kids this morning what happened! What an excellent opportunity for my kids to learn that honesty is the best policy! I talked to my kids separately because I wanted to hear what they thought we should do without being influenced by the other. I told Micah what happened and stopped at me finding out that we were never charged for Sarah's coat. I asked him what we should do and he said "Pray". I asked why and he just put his head down and said "I don't know." LOL! Actually I think he knew that what had happened wasn't right and he knows we are suppose to pray for forgiveness when we do something wrong. I explained to him that we need to take the coat back and pay for it because that's the right thing to do, otherwise it is sort of like we stole the coat because we would know it wasn't paid for (even though we left the store fully expecting to have paid for the coat!). I then asked Sarah what her first thought would be and I told her what happened, stopping at the same place I did with Micah. Sarah's response "Take the coat back." WOO HOO! She HAS learned something from us after all! LOL!
I let both kids know how easy it could have been to rationalize that "God knew we needed a coat for Sarah and we don't have a lot, so He blessed us with a free coat.", but we need to realize that is not the right thing to do. It's easy for people to go back to the store when they are overcharged. So why don't people do the same when the mistake is in their own favor and they are not charged for something? Everyone makes mistakes and it isn't fair to take advantage of someone's mistake just because it benefits us.
Enduring Love/Mercy # 23
13 hours ago