So yesterday was my big garage sale. I had been cleaning out different parts of my house for weeks now. I have clothes and shoes from when I worked in an office that I haven't worn in 2 years that I just don't need anymore. I have clothes from before I had kids that are just not my style anymore. I have things that I have purchased that are cute and fashionable that I just have never worn. You get the idea. I have a lot of stuff that takes up space in my little closets and I was itching to simplify.
Other than wanting to simplify I really wanted to make a little bit of money. Just being honest here, we live on a budget. Every once in awhile we give ourselves an "allowance." A little bit of spending money for whatever it is that we want, and for me that is always my shopping money. With the change in seasons coming there were a few things that I really wanted to shop for but simply couldn't. So I thought to myself "I have a bunch of nice things in my closet that I don't wear, I bet I could sell them and then I would have the money to purchase this and that!" It was brilliant! Surely people would want my gently used, (mostly) name brand, clean, well kept clothing and shoes! Surely someone would want to buy these
Ok, getting on with the story. I set the date. Saturday, September 12. I had invited a few friends to join in and bring their stuff as well. One friend sweetly agreed to participate. Friday night we went to my in-law's house to set up. (Their home is on a much busier street and we thought it would be the perfect location.) It looked great, I even had a hanging rack for my dresses and skirts. I was feeling pretty proud of my work. The whole time my little brain was just going back and forth as to what I was going to purchase with my hard earned money...those cute flats or that beautiful sweater....maybe a new dress, or maybe....
Saturday morning around 4am I was awakened by a Florida thunderstorm. The windows were shaking, the rain was thumping down, there were huge bolts of lightning followed by heart-stopping claps of thunder. Great. I actually prayed that God would stop the rain so that my garage sale would be a success.
Saturday morning we got up at 6:15 to finish set-up and be ready for the swarms of customers that would surely be crowding the driveway when we opened at 8am. At 7:50 we started pulling the tables out to the driveway. It was cloudy, but not raining. God had answered my prayers.
We had 4 customers between 7:50 and 8 am. They all did a quick round of our tables, told us they hoped the rain held off and went on their way.
Right around 8 it started to sprinkle. Big sprinkles. So we decided to pull all the tables in. Since it was just sprinkling I decided that I would just leave the doors up and people could still stop. Literally two minutes later it was raining sideways. Awesome. So I shut the doors and retreated inside to wait for it to let up.
Wouldn't you know that it rained, and rained, and rained....5 inches worth! It finally let up at 1:30. All the signs I had made stated that the sale was from 8am-1pm. Why did this happen? I asked God to stop the rain. It didn't stop. Didn't he want me to have my new shoes...or a new sweater?
This morning we got up, put on our fancy clothes and went to church. We enjoyed a time of awesome corporate worship under the amazing leaders at our church followed by a challenging time of teaching titled "Stop Being So Responsible." We were challenged to live outside of our comfortable cages and to live life according to these verses.
John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life to the FULL.
Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Then there was a time of response. I noticed a young woman go to the alter. I know her name and that she and her young son have had some hard times, but not much more than that. She caught my attention as she was leaving the alter and I immediately thought. "Give her your clothes."
That's why it rained. That is why we had 4 customers but did not sell one single thing. Because God wanted to teach me something. Because he wanted to bless me in a different way. I know that I have already been blessed knowing that I can provide something for this young lady that might take a burden from her and her son. And I can say that the feeling of blessing someone out of the abundance that I have been blessed with is better than any cute flats....or beautiful sweater.
So tomorrow I will go to the church office and drop off a box containing this
I struggle everyday with contentment. I struggle with desiring the things of this world. But, because I have asked him to, God is working on my heart.