Monday, April 28, 2008

Enjoy the blessings! Really!

On Saturday we went garage sale-ing. Vince and I, along with Kyle & Hope braved the cold and set about our trek to see what treasures we could find. I love garage sales and flea markets! For me, the fun is happening upon something that I never expected to find, and that's exactly what happened!

We were on a mission to find some furniture that we will need in our new house. Specifically, we needed a small entertainment center, two (I have no idea how to spell "armwahs") for Nick & Vinny's rooms as they won't have closets, and a dining room table that will be large enough to seat our family of eight. We've been looking, but all that we have found at furniture stores have been so expensive. We want something nice that will last, but don't want to spend a fortune either. I know furniture at garage sales is sometimes pretty scary, but this was an annual neighborhood sale in a very nice neighborhood - the kind of neighborhood where people redecorate and change their furniture just because they can, not because it's worn out. And I've seen some really nice stuff there in years past.

So we gave Hope & Kyle each 5 bucks to put in their pockets and off we went. As we drove into the neighborhood, I said a quick prayer asking for God to lead us to what we would need, if it was there. Not long after we started, there it was...and I let out a scream, which it turns out is a very effective way to get Vince to stop the van. We got out, walked up the drive, and there before us was a beautiful oak table that just happens to seat 8, along with four matching bar stools, which would just happen to go perfectly around the island in the kitchen! Shazaam! It was beautiful, hardly used, and in perfect condition. So why were they selling it? Because they just built a new house and it wasn't going to match the woodwork in their new dining room (told ya!) They had lots of lookers all morning, and some who said they wanted it but never came back with the money. Coincidence? I think not! I fell in love with it immediately, but I couldn't tell what Vince thought initially because he had his "business" face on, which always throws me. It's funny, I know him so well and he's such an emotional person that I can usually tell how he's feeling just by looking at his face. But when he is looking at making a purchase, he is all business and I can't tell. It drives me crazy!! He was the same way when we walked through our new house the first time. I was gushing all over about the paint colors, the cabinets, the little oak shelves above the windows in the living room...everything. I was imagining and babbling on about how nice it would be to have the kids eat breakfast and do their homework at the kitchen island, and where we would put the piano...and all the while Vince was quietly perusing the place showing no emotion at all. He was analyzing the structure, looking for potential and flaws. Turns out he loved the house and the whole time I was thinking he hated it! The same was true of the table, but this time I didn't let myself jump to conclusions and I just let him do his perusing. As you have probably surmised, we got the table!

But that's not the end of the story. We wrote him a check and then wondered how in the world we would get it to the house. In talking with the guy, we learned that the people who are buying their house are the ones we are buying ours from!!! (Did ya get that?) AND, they would be moving some things over on knowing how nice these people are, we called them and they happily agreed to move our new table & chairs back to their old house (our new house) on a return trip =) Another coincidence??? I THINK NOT!!! Thank you, Lord!! He plans out even the smallest details of our lives. He not only provides for our every need, He delights in blessing His kids with good gifts!!

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11

"Command those who are rich
(that's you & I!) in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." 1 Timothy 6:17

Hmmm...God really wants to give us good things? And to enjoy them? I have always felt guilty about having something nice. I'm not sure why, Vince has been trying to help me figure this out it because I don't feel like I deserve it? Maybe. There are always others who have less than I do, shouldn't we always try to get by on less? Sometimes I believe that's true. But if I'm going to take God at His word, He is a good God and loves to give us good gifts! Does that always mean material, but it can. God knew that we needed a table, and He knew that I would love this one, and I think He took great delight in providing it for us! I do! Vince and I LOVE giving gifts to our kids that we know they will love - to see their faces light up and the joy in their hearts! Why would our Heavenly Father be any different?

So, instead of analyzing the blessing and feeling guilty about it, I'm going to thank God for it and enjoy it! I look forward to all the special moments that we will experience around that table with our family and friends for years to come...the meals that will be shared, the conversations that will take place, the laughter, the tears that will be shed, the prayers that will be offered up...around this table, in our home. OUR home. I still can't believe it!

Oh, and the kids found some treasures of their own...we limited each of them to two stuffed animals (which was two more than they need :/ ). Kyle found a lion, a parrot, and a santa hat. Hopie got two bunnies and a denim Cinderella purse =) Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us, Nick and Vinny were visiting some garage sales of their own and came home with quite a haul: a tent, a huge mounted fish, two visors, two leather jackets, a set of pool balls & two pool cues (do we have a pool table? no.), and a little plate for me with a piano on it. It is amazing what two little boys with $18.05 can buy at a garage sale!

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