So I have alot to talk about from my weekend. The post for today is about God's provision for us lately. I have to tell you the whole story.
A few weeks ago, our pastor gave me a book about managing your money and the top mistakes that Christians make that keep them in poverty. Well, I was interested because I'd definitely say that Brent and I are currently "in poverty." So I read it immediately - even at the stoplight before I got home from church. I had been raised to put Godly ethics into my lifestyle in my money as well as other things, but for some reason I was not making any progress. We always seemed broke, and when we weren't broke, we were spending alot of money to fix things that broke (haha).
Well the first thing listed in the book was tithe. I thought about it and honestly couldn't remember the last time Brent and I had tithed. I personally felt like we never had enough money and that God would understand I was doing my best. I skimmed past the section reading on to the other 49 biblical reasons for poverty and discovered that Brent and I were very good about all other 49 things -- being responsible, don't borrow money from loan sharks, don't loan money just give it, be generous, feed the poor, etc. I was eagerly hunting for something to pop out that said "HEY! here's the fix! here's the solution!" Well. I got nothing. We practiced every guideline for having a financially blessed life that was in the book - I even get up early and don't sleep away my day!! The only thing we weren't doing was tithing. So, I took it to heart and laid out a fleece. Basically, I told God my budget this month and informed Him I had no extra money at all but I would tithe at church on Sunday and we'd go from there (LOL i know). It wasn't ten percent of our income, it was only $15 - but like I said, it was a fleece. God didn't convict me otherwise so that's where I started.
Well, life got very tough. Sunday Brent and I were down to our last $50 till payday (this thursday). I had to travel to Augusta to take Alisha home and I had a bad tire on the Neon so I was going to drive Brent's car. I got a phone call from Brent when I was just fixing to leave to go out for the morning and he told me he had a flat too and they couldn't repair it because the hole was too big. Off to Walmart I went, freaking out, ready to tell God the deal was off and I was never tithing again. When I got to Walmart I called my Dad to see if he could help us out at all on gas money so I could buy a tire. Not only did my Dad pay for my new $50 tire, but he also gave us another $100 to make it through the week. God provides.
On top of this -- I've been looking at furniture on Craigslist and Freecycle. I watch Kelly's Korner "Show us where you live" every Friday and see the beautiful houses that all these women have and I get so jealous, thinking "if only I had that kind of money, or time, I'd have a house like that." I decided to start trying to find old furniture people wanted to get rid of. Maybe I'd have to recover it or repaint it, but I'd do what I needed to because that would be cheaper than buying it.
Not a week after I started looking, I had a woman come into my store who needed her phone fixed. I fixed her phone and didn't charge her anything because of the nature of the repair (we weren't really supposed to help her) and she was so happy. While she was in the store she mentioned she'd been garage sale shopping recently and I expressed my frustration when garage sale shopping. I couldn't find furniture at a reasonable price. She asked what I was looking for and I said that I'd specifically looked for a bookcase last time and the only one I found the lady wanted $20 for it. I didn't buy it because I could get it at Walmart for that much!!! The woman in my store said she'd just had a yard sale and had a bookcase that she marked all the way down to $3 and no one would buy it. She said I could have it if I came to get it. The bookcase is beautiful. I painted it yellow and put it in Alina's room.
Then, not even 3 days after she was in the store, a lady named Jennifer came in just to look at buying a new phone for her existing service. We got to talking and I again mentioned how hard it was to find furniture at a good price. I'd just been pricing dinning room sets on Craigslist and the cheapest set I found was $1500 and only had 4 chairs. Jennifer told me that she had sold a furnished house and the people didn't want the furniture. She was paying $100 a month to keep it in storage because she didn't need it and she couldn't sell it, and didn't have time to really try. She was just about to haul it off to Salvation Army but I was welcome to come and have however much of it I wanted. Excited out of my mind, Brent's grandfather and I went over to the storage unit Monday morning at 10am and I figured I was just going to get a dresser or desk or something of that sort. God had another idea in mind. Jennifer basically furnished my entire house. She gave me a full dinning room set - 6 chairs and a solid hardwood table (cherrywood or oak maybe - dark and pretty), 2 chest of drawers, 2 desks, 2 bookcases, a shelf for my bathroom, and metal shelves for my shed. She's also going to go home and see if they are going to keep a bedroom suite that they have and give it to me if not -- this includes a queen bedframe and headboard with 2 matching dressers and a vanity set with a mirror mounted on it.
TALK ABOUT PROVIDING!!!
As if all this was not enough, I rushed out from the shoot last night to get the babies when the sitter suddenly needed to leave them and drove out to Dalton and came back and didn't have my purse. The car was empty and had absolutely no gas. I got all the way back out to my house and I decided to get up early in the morning to make sure I had time to get gas even if the car broke down. Well, I woke up at 7 this morning, showered, dressed, etc and was ready to leave with Brent following me but he was sick and puking everywhere. I chose to leave by myself and pray my car to the station. And - what do you know - God provided again. My little car made it all the way to the station and didn't run out of gas!
Funny what a $15 tithe will do in the way of provision.... Needless to say my fleece was answered in amazing ways and Brent and I will be tithing regularly.